March 13, 2019

Diversity and Inclusion in Government Agencies, with Yvette Carter

Episode 2:

Yvette Carter is the Community and Government Relations Officer of Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU). She is responsible for the utility’s community outreach, community partnerships, and community investments; and serves as ombudsman and government relations liaison for the organization. Inside GRU and in the community, she is a vital voice on issues of diversity and inclusion, social responsibility/corporate citizenship, and volunteerism. She is active with industry associations, including: American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), American Public Power Association (APPA), Florida Municipal Power Association (FMPA), and is a board member of Florida Electric Association (FMEA).

Prior to joining GRU, Yvette worked for Nationwide Insurance for 14 years in various Claims capacities. She was also instrumental in many community outreach and service initiatives for the organization. She was a founding member of the Diversity and Inclusion Business Unit Council and visionary/founding member of WomenEMPOWERED (an employee resource group that provided professional and personal development for women). Yvette also served as the first AWARE Southern Cluster group lead (a group that provided professional and personal development for women of color).

Yvette serves as a board member of several local non-profit organizations and community advisory teams. She is the Immediate Past Board President of the PACE Center for Girls, an executive board member of the Alachua County Branch of the NAACP, a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., a member of the Rotary Club of Gainesville, a founding board member of the Center for Advocacy and Research on Health Equality (CARHE), an advisory board member of the UF Health Disparities Research and Intervention Program, a member of Leadership Gainesville Alumni Association, and an avid advocate for the American Cancer Society (East Gainesville Relay for Life).

She is honored to have been named one of Business in Greater Gainesville Magazine’s, 2016 Fierce Award winners. This recognition is given to transformative women in the Gainesville community who make a positive difference in business. She was also selected as a 2017 Women Who Make a Difference recipient. This award is given by Girl Scouts Gateway Council to women who have made positive impacts in the greater Gainesville community.

Yvette graduated from the University of Florida, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Family, Youth and Community Sciences with a concentration in Community Development and minor in Education. She is proud of her family, which includes husband, Wade and children: LaKisha, Britney, Joe, John and Jordan; and grandson, Landon.

She lives by this quote, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” Edward Everett Hale

Yvette is an experienced Senior Leader Of Community and Government Relations with a demonstrated history of working in the utilities industry. She is also skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Coaching, Microsoft Word, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Event Management. Strong community and social services professional with a Bachelor of Science focused in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences from the University of Florida.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Yvette’s career journey brought her into the field of diversity and inclusion work
  • How Gainesville Regional Utilities works to strengthen their diversity and inclusion from the top leadership down
  • How the larger utility industry has traditionally failed to embrace diversity and inclusion, and how that’s changing
  • What challenges Yvette has faced in championing diversity and inclusion, and how she overcame them
  • Why a public agency like a utility should be reflective of the diversity in the community it serves
  • Why GRU wants to be a voice in the community, and why inclusion and equity are vitally important to that goal
  • What advice Yvette has for others working to improve their own organizations’ diversity and inclusion
  • Why it’s important to remember why you’re doing the diversity and inclusion work you’re doing
  • Why Yvette is passionate about the work she does, and why she believes it’s so important

How to contact Yvette Carter: