The ComEd Energy Force program is the country’s first program that empowers people with developmental disabilities to teach others about solar options and energy-saving tips. The program began in 2012 with eight nonprofits with which ComEd had established relationships.
At that time, the focus was peer-to-peer education, which has now evolved, and currently, the Energy Force program has ambassadors from 28 organizations. Each ambassador works to coordinate 10+ engagements for ComEd customers throughout the year all over Chicagoland to share their tips. Energy Force is celebrating its 12th anniversary this year and has had some major accomplishments along the way!
In the past three years, over 200,000 customer interactions and media coverage, social media posts and governmental outreach have happened through the program. Most recently, the 2022 cohort had over 78,000 customer interactions through 268 engagements. You can learn from the Ambassadors at many events, such as Lincoln Park Zoo Lights, Black Women’s Expo and the Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden, just to name a few.
One of the very first ComEd Energy Force Ambassadors was Jessica Frantz, aka “Jess” from Misericordia. Jess retired from her ComEd Ambassadorship this January 2023 celebrating 11 years with ComEd.
Tina, our Visibility Arts and Community Education Division Manager, had the pleasure of interviewing Jess about her experience and interests.
Q: Jess, what was your favorite ComEd Energy Force event over the 11 years?
A: “There were a couple. I enjoyed the Zoo Lights, seeing all the animals, and Switch on Summer at Buckingham Fountain, as it’s an exciting time in Chicago.”
Q: Over the 11 years what did you learn and how did you grow?
A: “I learned over the years how to meet new people, have fun at work and public speaking. Yes, public speaking was a big one for me. I became more confident and no longer shy. I also learned about energy and even shared with people I live with and passed my knowledge onto them.”
Q: What are some of your other interests?
A: “I am an artist and am in the Misericordia show “The Artist in All”. I also sang in part of the choir, Heart Zingers, and even sang at the White Sox game. I am a huge sports fan, especially baseball.”
Q: I understand you are taking on a new role as a mentor to the new ComEd Ambassador, Charlie. Could you share some of the advice you have given him?
A: “Why, yes, I share with him to wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Also, to take notes during ComEd Ambassador meetings. That can be helpful.”
When Jess is not mentoring, she is working at the Misericordia Main Bakery which makes bake goods to sell at a variety of outlets such Greenhouse Inn, Glenview Sweetheart Shoppe and their mobile Bakery Truck. She hopes to travel to see games and some of the professional baseball fields around the US. Jess is grateful for her experience at ComEd as an Ambassador as she has grown as a person and welcomes her mentorship to Charlie. We want to welcome Charlie and all the other ComEd Energy Force Ambassadors and hope to see them all around the events this year!