“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” is a bible verse that many people use to describe the essential rearing of a child. Children often look to their parents to guide them through an everchanging world. Without guidance, a child may fall victim to the ills of society that plague many communities.
Ben Felton is a product of his upbringing. As the child of two parents who graduated from Tuskegee University, an HBCU in Alabama, Felton had no choice but to develop himself to become an adequate, productive member of society.
“The value and importance of a good education is something that was strongly encouraged by my parents as they are both veterinarians who graduated from Tuskegee University, a historically black university in Alabama,” said Felton. “I initially aspired to become a doctor and enroll at Auburn University. I moved to Michigan and enrolled in Lansing Community College to pursue a career in law enforcement before embarking on a career in the utility-energy company space. I eventually received my MBA from Spring Arbor University.”
Felton has held numerous high-ranking positions, including Executive Director for Electric System Operations and Maintenance at Consumers Energy and Sr. Vice President Electric Operations at NiSource.
He recently became the Senior Vice President of Fossil Generation at DTE Energy. He credits DTE for his ability to adjust to societal timeframes through their employees. “When I visit our power plants, I’m proud because I frequently run into people who look like me and represent the diverse melting pot that’s representative of the many communities we serve throughout the state of Michigan. People of various cultural backgrounds from all walks of life are represented in our company.”
Felton is also eager to make sure we live in a clean environment, a position he doesn’t take lightly.
“My job is to ensure our fossil fuel operations are safe, efficient, and responsibly serving the needs of our customers,” Felton stated. “Our goal as a company is to incorporate more clean energy into our services. I often share with people that we are not in a position where we can shut down all our coal plants overnight. We must make this transition to cleaner energy sources in a precise, responsible manner. In my role, I have an opportunity to do something special in helping to facilitate this transition.”