LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Looking back on 2018, I’m very proud of the ITC Michigan team and what we’ve accomplished for customers, communities and charitable organizations across the state.
This year we continued to drive value for customers, investing in projects that reduce congestion, connect new generation, and improve system reliability to ensure that our customers can keep the lights on in communities across Michigan. For example:
- In Lapeer County and Calhoun County, we’re rebuilding aging lines to support greater reliability and capacity across the lower part of the state.
- In Frenchtown Twp. we’re wrapping up the installation of a Static Var Compensator (SVC) at Toll Road Station that will help ensure voltage stability.
- In Ann Arbor, our new Apex – Phoenix line is nearing completion and will support greater reliability in the area.
- In Fairgrove Twp., a new substation will facilitate more renewable generation, while in Dearborn another substation project is supporting the expansion and related energy needs at Ford Motor Company’s world headquarters.
Projects like these help keep our Michigan systems strong and among the top 25% of utilities for reliability performance.
Beyond providing reliable transmission service, ITC is actively involved in many communities across the state. Just as our lines, towers and stations remain in the community for many years, we maintain an ongoing commitment to working with residents, businesses and local leaders to foster long-lasting, mutual partnerships. We actively engage in local meetings, events, festivals and conferences in places like Traverse City, Cadillac, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Alpena and Sterling Heights, to name a few.
That commitment extends to supporting charitable organizations that strengthen our communities and provide services to those in need. This year, ITC has awarded more than $700,000 in charitable grants and corporate giving to organizations across the state, including Vista Maria to provide books for at-risk youth, Michigan Technological University to support the ECE Learning Center, JVS, which provides employment opportunities to safely recycle televisions and monitors, The Rainbow Connection, which makes dreams come true for children with life threatening diseases, and Homes for Our Troops, which builds and donates specially adapted custom homes for severely injured post – 9/11 veterans.
Behind these efforts is a dedicated team of ITC planners, project managers, system operators, maintenance crews, customer relations representatives, government and community liaisons, and many others who live, work and give back in our communities. You’ll see a few of their stories in this newsletter.
On behalf of the entire ITC Michigan team, thank you for making us part of your community and best wishes for a safe, happy and healthy holiday season!
Simon S. Whitelocke
Vice President, ITC Holdings Corp. and President, ITC Michigan
IN THE COMMUNITY
Wayland Dedicates ITC Pavilion
On November 20, Wayland Main Street/Downtown Development Authority (DDA) cut the ribbon at the newly constructed ITC Pavilion in DOWNTOWN WAYLAND. ITC provided support for the new open-air pavilion, as well as the design and creation of the downtown rain garden, which was completed in 2017.
Rain gardens provide a practical and visually appealing solution to the problem of water pollution caused by unfiltered storm water runoff in urban settings. The gardens are designed to intercept and absorb unfiltered storm water that would otherwise flow into storm drains and contribute to water pollution and degradation.
“The ITC Pavilion project is a testament to the community-driven, revitalization efforts at work in Downtown Wayland. With the support of multiple community partners, the pavilion is an added public asset for all to enjoy,” said Executive Director Ingrid Miller. “We look forward to adding new landscape features around the pavilion in the spring and are currently partnering with Wayland Union High School students to design and construct furniture for the space.”
ITC joined the DOWNTOWN WAYLAND MAIN STREET board and volunteers to cut the ribbon for the new ITC Rain Garden Pavilion.
ITC Celebrates the Season
Throughout Michigan, ITC is celebrating the holidays with the communities we serve. From parades in Grand Rapids, Marshall, Ida, Pontiac and Bad Axe, to Light Up the Night in Novi, we’re pleased to support and take part in these local traditions.
Another tradition that we’ve continued this year is lighting up 10 of our 150-foot transmission towers across the state with colorful holiday lights and a festive greeting. The ITC tower in Marysville’s municipal park is located in the heart of the city’s annual Christmas in the Park celebration.
“Marysville is a beautiful city located on the St. Clair River. Christmas in the Park started three years ago and has grown to include 23 businesses. ITC has been part of it from the beginning, and when people see the lighted tower they know we’re in the season,” says Randall Fernandez, Marysville city manager.
Look for our lighted towers in these areas:
- Belleville (I-94 west of Haggerty)
- Bridgeport (I-75 between Dixie Hwy. and M-46)
- Brownstown Township (I-75 between Van Horn Road & Vreeland Rd.)
- Gaylord (I-75 south of Gaylord exit 278)
- Grand Rapids (US 131 north of 28th Street SW)
- Livonia (south of Plymouth Road and Hines Drive)
- Marysville (M-29 Busha Hwy. and Huron Blvd.)
- Novi (I-96 at Meadowbrook)
- St. Clair (I-94 north of Fred W. Moore Hwy.)
- Sterling Heights (Hall Road east of M-53)
EMPLOYEES GIVING BACK
ITC Employees ‘Remodel’ Detroit
ITC takes an active role in being a good neighbor the communities we serve. Recently, our employees beautified a Detroit neighborhood in partnership with Life Remodeled.
LIFE REMODELED is a Detroit nonprofit organization – remodeling lives, one neighborhood at a time. The nonprofit invests approximately $5 million in cash, labor and materials into one Detroit neighborhood each year. Projects are determined by the community’s needs and vision, and Life Remodeled assists in three areas: remodeling a community asset, repairing owner-occupied homes and mobilizing 10,000 volunteers to beautify 300 city blocks in six days.
During this year’s event, 40 ITC employees joined in the effort to beautify city blocks – and were happy to be a part of it! Employees put in a full day of sweat and effort by clearing debris, trimming bushes, pulling weeds and mowing plenty of grass!
ITC CHARITABLE GIVING
Vista Maria READS Promotes Wellness Through Literacy
Located on a 37-acre campus in Dearborn Heights is a safe haven where vulnerable youth receive care, support, treatment and education so that they may heal, believe in their worth and build the skills necessary to succeed in life. This is the mission of Vista Maria, one of Michigan’s oldest and largest private, non-profit residential treatment agencies for girls. The experience and support provided by Vista Maria can be life changing, and transformational. It’s something that ITC Sr. Real Estate Specialist Barb Mention has witnessed firsthand as a Vista Maria volunteer.
Barb started volunteering with Vista Maria through her church’s US Ministry two years ago. “It started with a ‘day of pampering’ event for the girls, but we quickly realized that we wanted to do more,” says Barb, who volunteers monthly at various outings for the girls such as bowling events, museum visits and talent shows. Barb has even passed on her passion for Vista Maria to her own granddaughters, who were in the foster care system. “It’s hard for the girls in the program to open up. It takes time. But after a few months you start to see a change. They start to open up, start to trust. I know I’ll be volunteering there for as long as I can.”
Barb encouraged Vista Maria to apply for an ITC Charitable Giving grant to support Vista Maria READS, a program designed to instill a love of reading among the girls in residential care. What began as a book fair has grown into a monthly book distribution program that issues an average of 250 books each month. With ITC’s support, Vista Maria will be able to provide books for an entire year. Says Vista Maria, “We are hopeful that through this program, many young women are developing a habit of reading that will stay with them forever.”
To learn more about volunteering or supporting Vista Maria READS, please visit HTTPS://WWW.VISTAMARIA.ORG/VOLUNTEER/
ITC Charitable Giving Highlights
ITC is proud to support many 501(c)3 non-profit organizations from throughout our Michigan service territory. Our CHARITABLE GIVING PROGRAM focuses on education, environmental stewardship, health & wellness and social service organizations. ITC recently provided grants to:
- Detroit Public Schools Foundation
- Communities in Schools Michigan (CIS) Lansing
- North Adams-Jerome Public Schools
- Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy
- The Stewardship Network
- The Cadillac Area YMCA
- Alpine Regional Tennis Association
- Homes for Our Troops, Inc.
- Monroe County Opportunity Program
- SEEDS Youth Conservation Corps
SUPPORTING EDUCATION AND STEM
MSU Students Make an Impact in Detroit with Help from ITC
Michigan State University students are getting hands-on experience working on a wide array of social challenges through InnovateGov, an experiential learning program within the College of Social Science, supported by ITC.
InnovateGov, a 10-week summer program, prepares and delivers MSU’s most vital resource – talented, diverse, and motivated students – to Detroit’s civic institutions while providing students with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to do real and impactful work on the city’s most critical social challenges. Since the start of the program in 2014, nearly 150 interns from over 20 MSU academic units have worked to deliver high-impact projects to civic partners in over 30 Detroit civic organizations. These projects span a range of areas critical to the quality of life of Detroiters – from chronic absenteeism, to property vacancies, to small business development, and many more – and touch every neighborhood in the city. Program highlights include the development of an outreach process that prevented property tax foreclosure for thousands of residents and the launching of a celebrated and widely used database connecting Detroit small businesses with local suppliers.
“As a Michigan-based company, we see firsthand the incredible impact and opportunity that this program provides, not only for the students but for our civic organizations and the residents they serve,” said ITC’s Simon Whitelocke. “It’s a ‘win-win’ for all involved.” Whitelocke is an alumnus of MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business MBA program.
For more information about InnovateGov, please visit: HTTP://WWW.SOCIALSCIENCE.MSU.EDU/STUDENTS/EXPERIENTIAL-LEARNING/DETROIT/
ITC Supports MTU’s ECE Learning Center
Michigan Technological University students in the ECE Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will soon be able to enjoy a newly renovated Learning Center with the support of ITC. The renovated space will be a provide a clean, well-equipped place for undergraduate students in electrical engineering and computer engineering to study together, collaborate and participate in peer mentoring with learning center coaches.
ECE Department Chair Dan Fuhrmann says “I am delighted and grateful to ITC for their generosity. The Department has needed to upgrade this resource for our students for quite some time. It’s nice that students have a place to hang out and work, so close to their classrooms, but now they will have a brighter, cleaner space that is more inviting and more conducive to collaborative learning. I’m sure more students will take advantage of it once they learn what we have done.”
ITC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jon Jipping remarked, “At ITC, we recognize the importance of inspiring today’s students to pursue careers in engineering, which is critical to the future of our industry. The renovated ECE Learning Center will offer an environment where students can be inspired, collaborate and advance their educational pursuits.”
For more information on the ECE Learning Center, please visit: HTTPS://WWW.MTU.EDU/ECE/UNDERGRADUATE/ADVISING/LEARNING-CENTER/