Above & Beyond: Innovators

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New York is a leader in innovation, and its embrace of transformative change goes far beyond a few industries or sectors. State and local government officials have launched groundbreaking programs that serve as models for others all across the country. Technology startups have developed unique solutions for complex problems plaguing New York and other states. And nonprofits have spearheaded creative initiatives ensuring underserved and vulnerable communities get the support they need.

City & State’s inaugural Above & Beyond: Innovators list recognizes the transformative work that leaders in government, business and the nonprofit sector have done to improve the lives of New Yorkers across the state. While their perspectives may differ, each individual on this list keeps innovation at the top of their minds.

Melanie Littlejohn

Vice President of Community and Customer Engagement, National Grid

Having grown up with parents who fostered 24 girls, Melanie Littlejohn fully understands the value of serving others. She brings this spirit of service to her work at National Grid, an electric and gas utility serving more than 20 million U.S. customers 

As vice president of community and customer engagement, she strives to educate the public about National Grid and its impact on the environment. Littlejohn, who has spent nearly three decades at the company, also oversees its corporate social responsibility initiatives, such as Project C, a program that provides funding to sustainable construction projects and is spearheaded by community organizations, cultural institutions and affordable housing developers. 

The Syracuse-based executive strives to drive environmental stewardship and social impact forward through her work, with a focus on workforce development and neighborhood investment. 

“We are doing a tremendous amount of work in clean energy and community engagement,” Littlejohn says. “You can't focus on one end and not look at the whole intent of being a good corporate steward.”

Littlejohn lists supporting customers in Far Rockaway in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy as one of the most notable accomplishments of her career. “They needed homes to have power restored to,” she says. “We spent three months in a parking lot in Far Rockaway, New York, working with unbelievable community partners.”

Helping others recover from great loss has shaped her as a person, she says, and continues to impact her goals for bettering the community.

Read the full article from City & State New York, here.

Post Date

Jun 28th 2022