Alumnus combines engineering expertise with MBA to maximize opportunities at Dominion Energy
MBA alumnus Cedric Green and his family are dedicated Gamecocks — and they have the degrees to prove it.
Green, a four-time USC alumnus (‘97 mechanical engineering; ‘02 MBA; ‘08 Master of Mechanical Engineering; ‘15 Ph.D. mechanical engineering), and his five sisters have a total of 15 USC degrees. They range from business administration and the MBA, education and history to broadcast journalism, anthropology, library science and law.
Currently, the oldest is pursuing a Ph.D. in educational leadership as her fourth degree from USC. The second oldest of the seven siblings, Green’s brother, is the only sibling who was not a Gamecock; he successfully graduated from a university in Georgia instead.
The six Gamecocks followed in their parents’ footsteps; Green’s mother has a bachelor’s (‘84 USC education) and a master’s
(‘94 USC counselor education); his father attended USC while working at UPS, serving as a master sergeant in the Army National Guard and raising his family, which included helping to send them to USC.
Green emphasized that his parents instilled in him and his six siblings the significant value of education.
“Combining academic pursuits with a strong work ethic sets you apart from others,” Green said. “My father was a drill sergeant in the Army while my mother ran a tight unit at home. She instilled in us that an impeccable work ethic is the only opportunity we would have for success, and she demonstrated it as she studied at night to complete her master’s degree after a long day of teaching and parenting seven children.”
USC is even in the blood of his and his sisters’ spouses. One sister’s spouse has a bachelor’s degree from USC in liberal arts. Another has a Ph.D. in public health. Green’s wife has a bachelor’s in English and master’s degree in educational leadership and was a Gamecock basketball player.
While working on his four USC degrees, Green has spent close to 30 years with Dominion Energy, working his way up from student intern in 1994 in Columbia to his current role as senior vice president of generation in Richmond, Virginia.
In the early 2000s, Green chose to get his MBA while continuing to work full time, so he wouldn’t lose momentum in his career.
He said the business and leadership experiences he gained from the Professional MBA program have been invaluable in his roles over the years.
“Throughout my career, some of the main PMBA classes like financial accounting and managerial economics continue to be helpful for me because of what I do,” Green said. “We are a heavily regulated industry at the federal level and state level, and any and everything we do ties back to financials.
“As I collaborate with our team, the skills I learned in the PMBA and graduate engineering courses help me to get to the big picture, assess risk efficiently and to recognize how that all works together to solve the technical issue at hand. When accounting and finance folks are sharing information, I understand the technical side and also have a good understanding of business, which helps me ask informed, thought-provoking questions like ‘How do our choices impact the customers and our company?’”
Before earning his advanced degrees and building his career with Dominion Energy, Green was able to get hands-on experience with the energy industry and engineering as an undergraduate. Green credits two engineering mentors, Randy Nimmons and Wayne Lynn (’88 USC electrical engineering), for inspiring him to pursue a career in energy and engineering.
“The two of them took me under their wings and allowed me to spend time in the field, which gave me real awareness about the industry even though I was still a student,” Green said.
He still considers the two as mentors; these “impactful” relationships inspired him to make the academic and career choices that set him on his career path. Both mentors were Black men.
“As an undergraduate, recognizing folks who looked like me were doing this work and leading colleagues was important for me,” Green said. “My two mentors spoke to me a lot about how to handle myself in a corporate environment, gave me an understanding of the culture of a company and how you can best contribute.”
Green wants to pay forward the support that was given to him and has made a commitment to work with minority students. He serves on the Black Alumni Alliance, an African American alumni group at the Moore School. One of their main objectives is mentoring Black students.
“I’m a big believer in exposure. Within the Black Alumni Alliance, we really focus on students and are trying to make an impact in secondary schools, to make sure students are prepared for college,” he said.
Green’s Dominion colleague Iris Griffin, a Dominion vice president for power generation in South Carolina, is working with the Moore School on the Dominion Energy Power Forward Program.
The program began in fall 2021 with partnerships with Richland County School District One and Richland School District Two. During the first year, high school students in both districts participated in virtual activities to heighten their knowledge and awareness around college preparation, financial literacy, goal setting and demonstrating leadership through service.
The financial support provided by Dominion Energy enables the Moore School to reach South Carolina-based high school students before they apply to college. Program managers hope to extend the program to other school districts across South Carolina in the coming years.
Green said he also hopes more opportunities like the Black Alumni Alliance and the Power Forward Program continue to grow to help the next generation of Black and minority students to see themselves in college classrooms, graduate with degrees and build fulfilling careers.