According to Beth Acquaire’s three sons, she can fix anything. “I guess that’s my hidden talent,” she jokes. It’s not surprising then that Acquaire oversees gas distribution and appliance repair for more than 130 municipalities in central and northern New Jersey as PSE&G’s senior director for Gas Field Operations North.
Fixing things and ensuring everything runs smoothly is a talent that has served Acquaire well since she joined the company 33 years ago.
“I had two job offers right out of college. PSEG just felt like the right fit,” explains the Butler, New Jersey, native and the third generation in her family to work for the company.
Finding new opportunities to expand her skills
Acquaire’s first role was in Customer Operations, where she worked for 10 years as a supervisor in both the meter reading department and collection department and in the 24/7 Customer Inquiry Center. Feeling ready for a change, she looked into Gas Operations which, at the time, was just starting to enter the air conditioning replacement and repair business.
“It was so exciting – it was a growing business with so much energy,” she said. “That’s where I wanted to work.”
She became one of only two women working at that time on the Appliance Service team.
“It was a big transition,” she said, “especially because my female counterpart was in a different region and we didn’t interact much.”
But she made it work, even attending school in the evening to get certified in plumbing and heating, as well as her MBA and is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
“I wanted people to know that I wanted to learn the work,” she said.
Acquaire left Gas Operations for a time, taking a rotational assignment in internal auditing.
“It gave me a whole new perspective on the company and a new avenue for networking.”
When she came back to Gas Operations, she moved into the dispatching department.
“There are so many different areas within PSEG and opportunities to try something new and different.”
Her recommendation: Take on a role that excites you and that you can grow into.
Creating a culture of support and inclusion
Looking back over her three decades at PSEG, Acquaire sees a huge and welcome shift in the growing level of support among and for women. Three years ago, Acquaire was the founding member of Pursuing Opportunities for Women in Energy Resources (POWER) in Gas Operations. The group has since expanded to an enterprise-wide Employee Business Resource Group.
Last year, POWER focused on professional development, helping members craft elevator pitches, hone their interview skills and tell their own personal and professional stories. This year, the focus is on empowering relationships through mentoring, with nearly 50 mentorships already in place.
POWER also takes time to give back to local nonprofits such as Home Front, a group focused on ending homelessness, and Habitat for Humanity, which works to provide affordable housing around the world.
Now that her sons are grown, Acquaire says, “POWER is my baby – I love the opportunity to build the network and relationships with the other members.”
Since joining PSEG in 1987, Acquaire hasn’t regretted her choice, or any of the opportunities or roles she has had.
“Every day is different,” she said. “You are always busy, always learning. That’s what makes PSEG great.”
For more information on career opportunities at PSEG, please visit jobs.pseg.com.