A Con Edison director who helped organize the                                              company’s response to the hurricane that tore                                                through Puerto Rico in 2017 has been named winner of a Black Achiever in Industry Award by the Harlem YMCA.


Hempstead, Long Island resident Catherine Lewis, who works in Con Edison’s Emergency Preparedness group, received the award for her professional achievements and community contributions.


Lewis, a Con Edison employee since 2001, is responsible for acquiring outside workers to restore power in New York City and Westchester County when severe weather events cause customer outages.


She also handles requests when other utilities request mutual aid from Con Edison. Con Edison sent 400 workers to Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria caused an island-wide outage. Lewis was among those who went to Puerto Rico.


“Our industry is unique in that we share resources and help each other out on such a large scale when emergencies occur,” Lewis said. “It’s gratifying to play a role in helping restore power to customers in our service area and elsewhere when they need it most.”


She said she remembers Hurricane Maria as one of a trio of emergencies she handled in a period of a few months. Just before Maria struck Puerto Rico, Con Edison sent workers to the Tampa, Fla. area to help restore power to residents and businesses affected by Hurricane Irma.


Then in March 2018, she helped Con Edison secure more than 1,800 outside workers from as far away as California and Canada to help restore power to customers who lost service due to a pair of devastating snow and wind storms.


The storms caused nearly 210,000 customer outages, the second largest number of customers affected by severe weather in Con Edison’s long history.


Lewis is a native of the island country of Dominica in the West Indies and came to New York in the early 1990s to attend college. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baruch College and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Mercy College.


Lewis volunteers in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, mentoring a high school student. She also volunteered with the Urban League’s Business Exchange Program, providing counseling to college students in New York, as well as in other states.


Catherine Lewis: Kings Hill, Dominica
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