In Past Events

Fireside Chat with Janelva Williams

August 19 | Los Angeles | 10am – 12pm PST

Join WCS for a Fireside Chat with Janelva Williams, Lead Utilities Specialist at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The event will be at Rivian in Venice, Los Angeles, where we’ll enjoy a light brunch.

Join us for a captivating Fireside Chat with Janelva WIlliams, Lead Utility Services Specialist at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Janelva will share her incredible journey to this role, shedding light on her experiences as a woman of color in this male populated industry. Her support and advocacy for youth, women, and people of color in STEM will inspire and empower us all.

The conversation will be moderated by Sara Fuentes, Co-Founder and President at Smart Waste, Inc and WCS Vice Chairwoman. Sara brings a wealth of knowledge and personal insight to the discussion, guiding the conversation to delve deeper into Janelva’s experiences and achievements.

We invite you to join us at Rivian. The address is 660 Venice Blvd., Venice, CA 90291. Test drives can be booked at or the Rivian Hub team will be happy to book your demo drive on-site. Hurry, spots are limited!

While you enjoy the captivating conversation between Janelva and Sara, indulge in light bites. The event promises to be an inspiring morning, filled with thought-provoking discussions and delicious refreshments. After their conversation, we’ll talk about the future for the LA Chapter of WCS and how you can get involved. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear Janelva’s inspiring journey and learn about her incredible contributions to the STEM industry. We look forward to seeing you there!

Ticket price*:  

  • Chapter Member $20
  • Student Member $10
  • Virtual Member $25
  • Student Non-Member $15
  • Non-Member $40

*Appetizers and drinks included in ticket price*




Janelva Williams
Lead Utility Specialist
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

As a woman working, mentoring and a strong advocate of STEM careers, Janelva is committed to supporting youth and women in all STEM careers and programs. And as a Black woman in the utility industry, she has always been a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion. During her tenure she actively supports the belief that there is a place for everyone, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, or background, to be afforded opportunity to pursue a career in STEM.

Janelva started her career with LADWP in 2009 as a Customer Service Representative and without ever working or knowing anyone who has worked for a utility in the past. She genuinely believes this was the perfect start to her now nearly 15-year long career in the utility industry. There was so much to learn!

During her tenure, Janelva worked hard, gained experience and deeper knowledge about the utility industry and promoted to several different departments within the Department to include groups such as the Customer Service E-Business team, Corporate Communications Speakers Bureau representative. She continues to apply what she knew and learned with each group to aid in being an important resource to her group in her current position, providing oversight and administrative support of LADWP’s popular renewable energy program, Net Energy Metering (NEM).

Regarding this most recent program, Janelva characterizes some of the joy she finds while working in a highly technical, complex and everchanging landscape of renewable energy – “I enjoy the versatility and challenges I encounter in my current role – things are always changing and that keeps me on my toes”

As a mentor and volunteer, Janelva has worked with women and youth in STEM to help them to develop their careers by providing them with support, guidance, and advice. She has delivered speeches, workshops and presentations to a wide array of audiences from K-12 students about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to hosting presentations on DWP programs and services to groups that include City government officials, Neighborhood Council members, city residents and businesses, and many other specialized groups.

When asked about the role one must take on to ensure that businesses increase access and the overall success of minority and women candidates for STEM positions, Janelva’s response is as follows – “I believe that it is important to provide individuals with positive role models, access, support and mentors who can help them to see themselves in STEM careers. I am committed to working to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. When you see her in the workplace, lift her up and offer a little advice along the way. I believe that a diverse workforce is essential for innovation and economic growth. I am confident that by working together, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all STEM professionals”.

As Janelva’s career progresses, she hopes to continue being impactful, purposeful and help with making meaningful changes. She plans to continue to help individuals see themselves as capable, to inspire youth and women to be curious about the world around them and to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in STEM careers, to encourage existing professions to help remove barriers of entry, stereotypes and provide inclusive environments where all individuals receive the support and guidance they require to be successful and impactful in their pursuits.

Ms. Williams is an LA native and lives with her family in the Southbay area. She received a Bachelor’s Degree Business Management with an emphasis in Leadership and Organizational Change Management. She earned a dual Master of Science degree in Dispute Resolution (MDR) and Business Administration (MBA) from Pepperdine University in Malibu.  She also received a Certificate of Completion for Alternative Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine’s Straus School of Law.