Passion is the fuel that took many leaders to great heights. Juliet Roulhac’ s journey is a striking example of this sentiment.
With 25 years of complex business litigation and appellate experience, Juliet has become a prominent name in the legal space. Currently, she serves as the Director of External Affairs for Florida Power & Light Company, a Fortune 200 company and the largest clean energy provider in the state.
Throughout her tenure, Juliet led with passion, and as a result, today, she is seen as an influential leader. We at Insights Success caught up with her to learn more about her journey.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position at FPL. What challenges have you overcome to reach where you are today?
My leadership journey began when I recognized the importance of volunteerism. I believe when you volunteer, you should do so at the highest level and at the best of your ability. My first volunteer effort arose while practicing law with the Gwen S. Cherry Bar Association, which was formally known as the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division. It was a group of African American women lawyers, and I was elected secretary during my tenure with that board. Even though I was one of the youngest members in the organization, because of my passion, drive, and service, my colleagues began to recognize me. Since then, I have consistently and continuously adapted the same spirit of always leading with passion and doing my best, both professionally and personally. I find that my ethos has led to me being recommended, elected, or thought of as a leader in my profession and in my volunteer work. Although I began as a lawyer, my skills such as leadership and communication are transferable and paved the way for my career path to support governmental and community sectors. As a result of my management, professional and commercial skills, I was promoted to a director role with FPL. The challenges I have faced have been primarily due to my demeanor, often described as kind and gentle, which is sometimes misconstrued or seen as weakness. However, I found that kindness has allowed me to connect with people and recognize their strengths and weaknesses, becoming a better coach, mentor and leader for them. Another challenge I have faced has been while participating with non-minority organizations, I felt at times not as readily visible or valued, but almost always persevered when I worked harder and contributed my talents to the best of my abilities, particularly in areas where I felt the organization most needed support.
Tell us something more about FPL its mission and vision.
FPL is an innovative company that is always challenging itself to improve in every way – providing America’s best energy value, with electricity that’s not just clean and reliable but also affordable. Its values are being committed to excellence, doing the right thing and treating people with respect. A combination of its values and driving principles of continuous improvement are reflected throughout the company resulting in high engagement and pride among its employees.
Enlighten us on how you have made an impact in the retail electricity niche through your expertise in the market.
My greatest impact has been informing our business and community partners about FPL’s service reliability, growth in innovation and clean energy, and our commitment to serving our communities through financial giving, volunteerism and so much more. I also support the company’s initiatives by liaising with the local government to support our company’s capital investments in solar and battery projects and outreach to our customers to share new initiatives. All of these are examples of our commitment to our customers and communities today and for years to come.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?
Advancements in technology are crucial to FPL’s modernization of the energy system.
We recognize that technology is essential to driving innovation and efficiency. We encourage employees to invent, create and share ideas in technology, including augmented reality and other advancements that will support and create greater efficiencies for the company and ultimately our customers. And, our capital investments support the construction of plants using the newest technology in the market so that we are always ahead of the curve.
If given a chance, what change would you like to bring to the clean energy industry?
The clean energy industry has grown significantly in the last several years, particularly due to the cost of solar becoming more affordable. We have made significant advancements in building solar energy centers, and over the last decade, we’ve retired coal-powered plants and modernized many of our older oil-burning power plants with new natural gasfired plants. We are continuously looking at ways to be a leading driver of clean energy – exploring new technologies, including green hydrogen, which could one day unlock 100% carbon-free electricity, and unveiling the world’s largest solar-powered battery to deliver more solar energy to customers – even when the sun’s not shining.
What, according to you, could be the next big change in the retail electricity industry? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?
Cars and transportation are one of the greatest contributors to carbon emissions, so electric vehicles are emerging as a growing trend in the auto industry. We constantly analyze future trends – such as these – and create forward-thinking programs to meet our customers’ evolving energy needs while delivering clean, reliable energy. Our company has identified electric vehicle charging ports as a solution to the growing demand. FPL EVolution is designed to boost Florida’s EV infrastructure and support EV adoption by installing over 1,000 charging ports at more than 100 locations.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run and what are your future goals for FPL?
I continue to see myself always working in a capacity to serve the industry and my community. And, because of the company’s focus on continuous improvement and innovation, I know the sky’s the limit!
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the retail electricity sector?
I encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to stay informed with this fast-paced growing market and the technology that drives it. And, to look for mentors to help lay the foundation for a strong future in the industry. We recently launched 35 Mules, an innovation hub powered by FPL, designed to move the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem forward and help early-stage companies. Past startups include energy, water, and energy-adjacent fields, and our goal is to help these entrepreneurs build and scale their early-stage companies right here in the state of Florida.