Community involvement is something that WE DTE is happy to report about, especially when it involves DTE Energy employees like Geri Nelson, account manager for Residential Sales and Marketing in Escanaba. She is among the thousands of DTE employees who volunteer in communities across our state. As Nelson revs up for its 5th annual “Da U.P. Ride for the Red” American Red Cross fundraiser this spring, she talked about her rewarding volunteer work.
Q: What got you involved in volunteering?
A: Several years ago I enrolled in a leadership class. Upon graduation, we were asked to commit to being involved in our community. I hit the ground running volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters first and then became involved with the American Red Cross. One thing lead to another, and now I am involved with several nonprofit organizations.
When people ask why I get so involved, I think back to my old MichCon days: “Helping is my Job.” I volunteer because it is very rewarding and helping people is what I like to do. It puts me in contact with many of DTE’s customers, and reminds them that we’re a part of the community.
Q. What’s “Da’ U.P. Ride for the Red” event all about?
A: This annual event is a motorcycle ride approximately 200 miles around the Upper Peninsula on May 18. About 120 riders participated in last year’s event, raising $8,000 to support S.U.P. Red Cross that encompasses the entire U.P. with the exception of Dickinson and Menominee Counties.
Q: You’ve had a great ride so far. What’s next for “Da’ U.P. Ride for the Red”?
A: My vision is to organize a motorcycle ride from the Detroit area to the U.P., stopping at DTE facilities to pick up riders along the way. This would be a fun way for DTE employees and other riders to explore the U.P., while raising money for a worthwhile cause.