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Nicor Gas President Melvin D. Williams among 100 Ethnic Minority Executives List

International recognition for leaders’ commitment to diversity and inclusion

July 2, 2019 – NAPERVILLE, Ill. –  Melvin D. Williams, president of Nicor Gas, the largest natural gas distribution company in Illinois, is among those named to the 2019 EMpower 100 Ethnic Minority Executives List. The annual list ranks the 100 most influential black, Asian and minority leaders in the world, as compiled by EMpower, a part of INvolve, an organization championing diversity and inclusion in business.

As president of Nicor Gas, Williams is responsible for ensuring that clean, safe, reliable and affordable natural gas reaches more than 2.2 million homes and businesses in 656 northern Illinois communities. Concurrent to his role at Nicor Gas, Williams also serves as senior vice president of Southern Company Gas, the parent company of Nicor Gas and a national leader in the energy sector. Williams has been with Southern Company Gas for more than 30 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.

“I am truly humbled by the recognition among the distinguished list of international leaders,” Williams said. “As leaders we are afforded an incredible opportunity to serve those that follow – an enormous responsibility and one that I am immensely grateful for.

“At Nicor Gas, diversity is neither a program nor a priority, it is an organizational value and strategic business imperative,” he said. “We fully embrace, respect and value diversity and understand the positive social and economic impact it has on our communities.”

Under Williams’ leadership, Nicor Gas increased its diverse business spend by 92 percent last year, which accounted for 41 percent of the company’s overall eligible spend, or $346 million with minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses.

Williams is the founding chairman of the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council, and for more than 25 years has been a member of the national organization American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), including having served as a board member, and remains active member of the Chicago Chapter. He is also a member of The Executive Leadership Council, committed to advancing the role and contributions of Black executives and preparing the next generation of corporate leaders.

Having experienced the benefits of strong African American community role models, Melvin supports the United Way and is a lifetime member and Hall of Fame inductee of the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club of Savannah, Georgia, continuing the legacy of his predecessors. Williams has been named a 2017 Business Leader of Color by Chicago United and Savoy Magazine’s 2018 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America. Earlier this year Williams was among 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc.’s honorees for his contributions to mentoring, health and wellness, education and economic empowerment.

To view the full 2019 EMpower 100 Ethnic Minority Executives List visit: www.out-standing.org/empower/100-ethnic-minority-executives-2019

About EMpower 
The EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Model Lists showcase business leaders who are breaking down barriers at work and working hard to smash the ceiling for ethnic minorities in the U.K., Ireland, Europe, the United States and Canada. Representing multiple sectors and industries, those on EMpower’s Role Model Lists have not only achieved success in their own careers but used this to actively drive for more inclusive workplaces. 

About Nicor Gas 
Nicor Gas is one of four 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 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states and 685,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. 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 www.southerncompanygas.com.  

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Media Contact: 
Jennifer Golz 
o: 630.388.3737 | c: 331.222.8716 | jgolz@southernco.com

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four 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 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with 774,000 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 southerncompanygas.com

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Media Contact:
Jennifer Golz
o: 630.388.3737  |  c: 331.222.8716 |  jgolz@southernco.com