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Alumna Sherina Maye Edwards Leads Company Through $500M Acquisition

November 2021

Spelman College Alumna Sherina Maye Edward

Spelman alumna Sherina Maye Edwards is currently one of the youngest Black CEOs of a $500M+ company and just took her company through a half-billion-dollar acquisition. Most CEOs don’t get to do that in their entire career, let alone before forty.

Edwards started her career as a lawyer and recently swapped her title for CEO of INTREN. INTREN LLC is a utility specialty company that MasTec, an infrastructure construction company, newly acquired. INTREN is one of the largest private energy distribution contractors in the United States and Edwards is leading them through the acquisition.

Before working at INTREN, Edwards’ resume is nothing short of inspiring. She worked on the Illinois Commerce Commission as the youngest commissioner appointed in the state of Illinois. President Obama appointed her as co-chair of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Voluntary Information-Sharing System Working Group. She helped create multiple groups, including the Women’s Energy Summit, Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council, and Women’s Energy Network of Chicago, to name a few. She is also active on multiple boards of directors, most notably the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College.

Edwards stated that Loretta Rosenmayer who founded INTREN in 1988 worked tirelessly to build the company.

“That development and cultivation of really creating that woman-owned business to what it was, was certainly on the shoulders of Loretta. I like to say I came and built upon the foundation that was already there, really growing it and being more strategic and doing some strategic acquisitions,” Edwards told Tia Carol Jones of Citizen Newspaper Group

Edwards joined the INTREN team as a board member in 2018 and was promoted to CEO in 2020. As a subsidiary of MasTec, INTREN maintains its identity, and Edwards assumes the title of president and CEO. At the time of her appointment, she became the first Black woman president and CEO of INTREN. Although the company is no longer woman-owned, it is now a minority business enterprise.

Edwards has been orchestrating the transition to help the company grow and receive the support to make the business run more smoothly than ever.

"The acquisition was really a reciprocal benefit to all parties, all of our stakeholders,” Edwards continued in her interview with Jones. “Certainly to MasTec. They’re acquiring this phenomenal infrastructure company with a great reputation. It’s a benefit to INTREN in the fact that we now have the support and capital and additional resources not only to bolster the work we currently do but also to help us enter new markets.”

The acquisition allows INTREN to expand its reach to new states and opens the door to new technological advancements to the company.

Edwards showcases her pride in her alma mater, telling Taroue Brooks of Heart and Soul that she feels proud of the “opportunity to showcase Black women in a way that we are not always seen… You see that in everything I do, from the schools I attended to the organizations I join.”

“I want others to see us and our unique experiences and perspectives. Not only do I want them to see us, I want them to value us. I am dressed down in work boots and hard hats so I can be engaged when I’m in the field. I’m in my heels and pearls at INTREN staff and board meetings. It’s not just about visualizing us in these spaces, but that part definitely makes an impact. I am confident that my leadership style, strategic approach, and innovative vision will make equally significant impacts.”

Read More About Edwards' Power Moves in the WayMaker Journal on page 14

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