When given the opportunity to participate in an internship at CPS Energy, Doris Cooksey dove right in. The University of Texas at San Antonio student was looking for experience and a way to channel her passion for protecting the environment.
Nearly 27 years later, she’s still with the utility and still doing what she loves most, driven by an unquenchable thirst to ensure our nature’s valuable resources – water, in particular – are around for generations to come.
As we continue our series commemorating Women’s History Month, we shine the spotlight on Doris, a senior manager in Environmental Planning & Compliance. She is one of the more than 700 women at CPS Energy who play a key role in delivering reliable power to our customers, while keeping our environment top of mind.
Here are highlights of our recent interview with Doris.
CPS Energy: What is your educational background?
Doris: I have a bachelor’s in geology and master’s in environmental management, both from UTSA. Also, I’m a Professional Geologist and Registered Environmental Manager.
CPS Energy: What are some of your and your team’s key responsibilities at the utility?
Doris: Protecting water quality, plant wastewater permitting, managing our company’s water rights, drought planning, spill prevention and response, chemical storage and reporting, among others.
CPS Energy: What are you most proud of in your career?
Doris: Every day I get to do work that’s important and is rewarding, but I’d say participating as a stakeholder in the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program, which created a habitat conservation plan to protect endangered species in Comal and San Marcos Springs. I also had the opportunity to participate on the Guadalupe and San Antonio Basin and Bay Stakeholder Committee that set protective standards for environmental flows in the river basin from the headwaters to the bay.
CPS Energy: Did you have any female role models at our company?
Doris: Carol Pena. She was in Generation Planning and took me under her wing and expanded my knowledge about the company outside of the Environmental area. Although she’s been retired for more than 10 years, we’re still friends.
I pay attention to women who are successful, what they do well and what makes them outstanding and then work to develop similar attributes.
In giving back to others, I’ve served as an Inspire U mentor and help newer employees learn the ropes at CPS Energy.
CPS Energy: What changes have you seen over the years related to the types of roles women are taking on?
Doris: Women are branching out into areas traditionally male-dominated and they’ve been successful. There are more women in field areas like the power plants, storerooms and Energy Delivery Services. They are also growing in engineering, and professional and leadership positions.
CPS Energy: What would you tell other women to help them be successful in their careers?
Doris: Work hard, do more than what’s asked of you, volunteer to take on assignments, branch out into areas where you aren’t necessarily comfortable, be positive and be supportive of others.
Thank you, Doris, for all the work you do for our company, our community and our environment!