In celebration of Black History Month, we’re proud to feature our diverse workforce and the legacy of service that our talented team members and leaders carry on today.
Talking with Joy Harris is just that – an absolute joy. Her vibrant, energetic personality shines through whether speaking to her in person or over the phone. As a member of CPS Energy’s Customer Response Unit (CRU), she gets to share that joy with the community and her team daily.
In 2013, as a military spouse, Joy relocated to San Antonio where she focused on raising her two daughters, and by 2018 she was ready to go back to work. She landed a job with CPS Energy as an Energy Advisor, sharing with customers how they can reduce their energy use and about various assistance programs available to help them. Joy then moved on to become a lead commercial energy advisor. Looking to expand her career opportunities and experience, Joy took advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement program for employees, earning a bachelor’s degree in business in 2021 through the University of Phoenix. She also participated in a work rotation program, taking on a rotational assignment with CPS Energy’s customer revenue and outsourcing department. She credits this experience with allowing her to gain a greater understanding of another area within the company and foster relationships with other employees and leaders.
While Joy continued her education and participated in the work rotational program at the company, she continued to volunteer and help those in our community, which has always had a special place in her heart. Before joining CPS Energy, and still to this day, Joy volunteers with residents in nursing homes through the Alamo Area Council of Governments serving as an ombudsman (an advocate for those in the nursing home), so when a position opened up with CPS Energy’s CRU, Joy knew she had to apply. Working with CRU would allow her to personally meet with customers who need assistance with their energy bill or in other ways. She became part of the CRU team in November of 2022. She always envisioned herself in a role where she could make a difference in her community.
“I would always say, ‘I am going to be in that department one day,’” Joy said. “CRU is like an extension of the volunteering I already do. The most rewarding part is when people don’t know how they are going to pay their bills and we are an avenue to be able to provide them information and resources to do so.”
And Joy has gone above and beyond when it comes to helping customers. Just last week, she was put in contact with a customer who needed utility assistance. Upon talking to the customer, Joy found she was in much more need than that. The woman was talking to Joy from a hospital bed and mentioned that she was in need of warm clothes and food. Joy quickly jumped into action. Not only did she connect the customer with utility assistance, but Joy reached out to the Salvation Army and explained the situation. That same day, Joy picked up warm clothes, including a robe, socks and slippers, and delivered them herself to the woman in the hospital. After the customer was discharged from the hospital, Joy delivered non-perishable foods as well as pots and pans to her.
“If I’m listening to someone and I hear them say that they need something more than bill assistance, I am going to try and find that for them,” Joy said. “It’s so rewarding to be able to help someone in that way. The work we do is so much bigger than us.”
Each day of the week, Joy is out and about in our community, doing what she loves best as a member of our CRU team. Her passion for helping others is a shining example of the kind of employees who work for CPS Energy.
“When I was young, my parents always would tell me to leave something better than how I found it, and I think that with this department I am able to honor that. That is what I am able to do every day.”