Employee Motivated to Keep City as an Amazing Place to Live

Going on his 12th year with Consumers Energy, Eric Keaton’s role as a principal rate analyst ensures our energy prices are fair for all and reflect the value of service to our diverse customer base. When his efforts aren’t focused on providing affordable energy, he enjoys serving his Chelsea community.  Below, see how he is doing his part to keep the city ‘an amazing place to live.’

How are you leaving your community better than you found it?

Moving to Chelsea, I didn’t know anyone and wanted to find a way to engage with my local community. With the help of neighbors, I was connected to the United Way of Chelsea, a local nonprofit organization run entirely by volunteers. I was drawn to this organization because of the amount of support they give to local nonprofits providing health, welfare and education for all. 90 percent of United Way of Chelsea’s funds go directly to local nonprofit organizations, 5 percent to local businesses, and the other 5 percent to membership and overhead cost. Examples of nonprofit organizations funded through The United Way of Chelsea are Faith in Action and the Chelsea Senior Center.

To-date, I have served as president and now as treasurer to the Board of Directors for the United Way of Chelsea. My responsibilities include helping to run the United Way campaign, managing finances, and making decisions on how our contributions will impact our greater community.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

I enjoy volunteering because of the pride you feel when you see how you have impacted your community.  I have met incredible people during my volunteer journey and have made connections in my community I would not have made otherwise.  You can live somewhere without ever being involved with your community, but you won’t get as much out of it. I firmly believe my new community welcomed me because I took the initiative to get involved.

What advice can you give to someone looking into getting involved in their community?

If you want to get involved in your community, talk to people.  There are so many opportunities to impact the world and every organization can use your help.  Find one you care about and contact them. You don’t know how much you can positively impact your community until you do something to make the world a better place. Volunteering is more rewarding than you can imagine. Every day, I am happy I volunteer my time.

Other community initiatives Keaton has been involved with include serving as Consumers Energy’s Green Team Leader in Jackson, MI.  His responsibilities in this role are to increase our sustainability efforts through reducing waste, increasing recycling and developing other projects which would lead to a greener Michigan. For the past decade, he has also worked to alleviate poverty in developing countries by providing KIVA microloans.

Find your reason to give back. Visit http://volunteermichigan.org/ to find a local nonprofit organization and follow #CEVolunteers on Twitter to keep up-to-date on how we are caring for the communities we serve.