David Meador, vice chairman and chief administrative officer of DTE Energy, recently announced his plan to retire from the company in March.
“In his 25 years at DTE Energy, Dave has had a tremendously positive impact on our company, our DTE family, and the communities where we live and serve,” said Jerry Norcia, president and CEO, DTE Energy. “He is a prime example of the impact people can have when they lead with heart. Dave has united the forces of business, government and non-profits to help people thrive and succeed.”
From 2001 to 2013, Meador served as DTE’s chief financial officer, focused on improving the company’s systems and processes to enable business success while keeping energy affordable for customers. After Meador took on leadership of DTE’s Supply Chain organization, the company became a national leader in supporting local businesses and expanding opportunities for woman- and minority-owned businesses. Since 2010, DTE has invested nearly $16 billion with Michigan businesses, creating and sustaining 54,000 local jobs. This success helped crystalize DTE’s aspiration to be the best in the world and the best for the world.
Meador has invested countless hours helping people from under-served and challenged communities. In addition to focusing DTE’s community outreach on jobs, equity and the environment, he co-chaired Detroit’s Workforce Development Board on its journey to connect 100,000 Detroiters with meaningful jobs. Closely connected with this work was Meador’s leadership in fundraising and revitalizing the Randolph and Breithaupt Career and Technical Education schools in Detroit to create a pipeline of skilled youth and adults – and connect them with in-demand, high-paying careers. Meador also served as an active board member of prominent economic development groups at the state, regional and city levels: the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Detroit Regional Partnership and the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.
“When I started at the city, there were only three or four companies in town that were running significant summer jobs programs, and DTE was one of them, but students had to find these companies and apply individually,” said Detroit’s Mayor Mike Duggan. “I went to Dave Meador and said, ‘what if we had one program for the entire city to expand and streamline the process for students and companies?’ Now 8,000 Detroiters have that experience every year through Grow Detroit’s Young Talent. Dave was central to building what JP Morgan has called the ‘Best Summer Job Program in America.'”
At the onset of the pandemic, Meador worked with local leaders to create Detroit Means Business (DMB), which has provided resources and expertise to thousands of small businesses – first to enable them to safely reopen, and then to successfully operate amid changing conditions. DMB has become a permanent part of Detroit’s small business program.
As co-founder of the Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM), Dave drove landmark legislation in Michigan to expand access to evidence-based autism therapies and to update the service dog law. Since its inception in 2010, AAoM has raised more than $40M for services to people on the autism spectrum.
“The most successful companies care about more than profits. A sincere focus on equipping employees to improve the communities where they live and serve will create an organization full of people passionate about their work,” said Meador. “It’s a virtuous cycle that benefits everyone inside and outside the company.”
In true DTE fashion, Meador plans to continue working to boost equity and employment in Michigan, joining thousands of DTE alumni who continue volunteering their time and energy after they retire.
“You might say that I’m not retiring, I’m refiring,” said Meador. “My goal is to make Michigan a top 10 place to live, work and raise a family. Not just for my five grandchildren and my adult daughter with autism, but for everyone. To do that, we must truly act on diversity, equity and inclusion.”