Southwest Power Pool hires Tamika Edwards to lead DEI initiatives

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 1,073 views 

Little Rock-based regional transmission organization Southwest Power Pool (SPP) announced Monday (March 21) that Tamika Edwards will be its new director of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), effective March 28. This is a new role for the company.

In October, the SPP board of directors approved the DEI Task Force recommendations, including reinforcing talent pipelines through historically Black colleges and universities, community programs and business resource groups, evaluating volunteer efforts and designating oversight of a formal DEI program.

Edwards, who was the special advisor to the CEO on diversity, equity and inclusion and engagement at Central Arkansas Water, will lead SPP’s DEI initiatives and work closely with internal and external stakeholders to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization and community. Her last day with Central Arkansas Water was March 11.

“We are very excited to have Tamika join SPP,” said Kelly Carney, vice president of human capital. “She brings extensive experience in creating and promoting equitable and inclusive practices. With her help, we will continue to build SPP into a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization known for its strong corporate culture and benefits.”

Edwards has more than 20 years of experience in social justice, public policy, government and community engagement. In her role at Central Arkansas Water, she identified key performance indicators to measure the organization’s progress toward equity goals and recommended strategic improvements to bring about diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace and community.

“I am both personally and professionally committed to ensuring diverse, equitable and inclusive spaces,” Edwards said. “I’m excited to carry out this important work at SPP where its talented team of leaders and professional staff is committed to fostering an environment in which opportunity exists for all, and every employee feels welcome and valued.”

Before her role at Central Arkansas Water, she worked as executive director of the Social Justice Institute at Philander Smith College, director of governmental affairs at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, director of public policy at Southern Bancorp Community Partners and community affairs specialist for former U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Edwards is a member of the Little Rock Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., a founding board member of the Friends of Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and a board member for Delta Dental of Arkansas and the Little Rock Port Authority. Recently, Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed Edwards to the Commission on the Status of Women in Arkansas. The commission will make recommendations to the governor and legislators on eliminating the barriers for women to enter the workforce.

She’s received numerous awards and recognition for her work and community contributions, including the 2021 Woman of the Year in Business from the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. Edwards earned a juris doctor from the William H. Bowen School of Law, a Master of Arts in professional and technical writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

SPP manages the electrical grid across 17 central and western U.S. states and provides energy services to customers in the East and West.