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Nicor Gas President Melvin D. Williams Named a 2017 Business Leader of Color


NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Nov. 9, 2017 – Melvin D. Williams, president of Nicor Gas, the largest natural gas distribution company in Illinois that provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable natural gas to more than 2.2 million customers, is one of 50 local business leaders who will be featured in Chicago United’s Business Leaders of Color publication. 

Selected from more than 195 nominees, Williams joins an impressive list of business leaders that includes former First Lady Michelle Obama; Valerie B. Jarrett, former senior advisor to former President Barack Obama; Aylwin B. Lewis, board member, The Walt Disney Company and Marriott International Inc.; and Don Thompson, founder of Cleveland Avenue and former chief executive officer of McDonald’s Corporation.

Concurrent to his role at Nicor Gas, Williams also serves as senior vice president of Southern Company Gas (formerly AGL Resources), the parent company of Nicor Gas and a national leader in the energy sector. Williams has been with Southern Company Gas for more than 27 years and has a depth of knowledge in all facets of natural gas distribution. He is a champion for leadership development and diversity and inclusion-related initiatives.

Among his many contributions to the community, Williams has served on various boards including chairman of the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council, board member of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and a trustee of the Field Museum of Chicago. Williams is a recipient of Great Friend to Kids Award and a Hall of Fame and lifetime member of the Frank Callan Boys & Girls Club of Savannah, Georgia.

“I am honored to be recognized among some of the most prominent and influential leaders in the Chicago area,” Williams said. “I look forward to my and all the Business Leaders of Color continued involvement in the communities that we live and serve.”

Chicago United has presented the Business Leaders of Color publication biennially since 2003. The business advocacy group created the publication to highlight exceptional corporate and civic leaders of color and to help accelerate their inclusion in board governance.

“Chicago United is proud to have showcased 320 board-ready candidates biennially between 2003 and 2015,” said Gloria Castillo, president and CEO of Chicago United. “During this time, these men and women have rendered service in more than 215 corporate directorships. It is a remarkable record and we anticipate many of the 2017 Business Leaders of Color will join the ranks of their predecessors.”

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of seven natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit www.nicorgas.com.

About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company.  Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.6 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in seven states and more than 1 million retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at www.southerncompanygas.com.

About Chicago United
Chicago United is a corporate membership and advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve parity in economic opportunity for people of color by advancing multiracial leadership in corporate governance, executive level management, and business diversity. Founded in 1968, the organization is focused on transforming the Chicago region into the most inclusive business ecosystem in the nation by engaging the top publicly and privately held corporations in leading talent management and inclusive diversity practices. Chicago United’s signature programs include its Business Leaders of Color publication which showcases a diverse pool of corporate director candidates and the Five Forward Initiative™, designed to invigorate job creation in communities of color by increasing the scale of large MBEs in the Chicago region.

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Media Contact:
Jennifer Golz
o: 630.388.3737  |  c: 331.222.9716 |  jgolz@southernco.com