Inside Aera
Community Apr 16, 2019

Bakersfield College Foundation names Aera corporate philanthropist of the year

Aera President and CEO Christina Sistrunk (center) accepts the Bakersfield College Sterling Silver award for corporate philanthropist of the year. 

Last month, Aera was recognized as Corporate Philanthropist of the Year by the Bakersfield College Foundation. The award acknowledges Aera’s commitment to community and its work with Bakersfield College.

Aera President and CEO Christina Sistrunk accepted the award on behalf of Aera’s roughly 1,100 employees, praising them for their work in the communities where Aera operates.

“I’d like to take a moment to recognize our employees, who give of themselves day in and day out to make Bakersfield a better community for all of us. While we give through dollars, I am even more impressed with how our employees give of their time and make personal investments in local education at Bakersfield College and beyond.”

The annual Sterling Silver Gala fundraiser allows Bakersfield College to expand access and opportunity for students of all ages, enhance College facilities and technology and build community relationships.

Heather Pennella, alumni and donor relations manager for the Bakersfield College foundation says that Aera Energy was very deserving of this award.

“Aera Energy was selected by the Bakersfield College Foundation as the 2019 Corporate Philanthropist of the Year as they have supported the college for decades, especially our STEM program,” said Pennella. “Aera has always stepped up when needed and they have been very generous to boot. Aera Energy’s support of our community runs deep, and their contributions have made a lasting and impactful difference on Bakersfield College and Kern County as a whole.”

Over the past 10 years, Aera Energy has given over half a million dollars to the College, including a $500,000 donation to build the Aera STEM Success Center located on campus. This important center features large and small study group areas, counselors and occasionally hosts guest speakers to support and encourage STEM education and careers. it is also the home of the nationally acclaimed MESA program (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement program aimed at creating and developing a new generation of STEM leaders from historically underrepresented groups.

 “Receiving this award assures me that we as a community are partnering in the right ways and walking on the right path to reach our goals,” said Sistrunk. “Aera and Bakersfield College share common goals of increasing access to higher education for local students and preparing a future technical workforce. We can make such an incredible impact when we work together.” 

We live our safety motto that “Every day, everybody goes home alive and well!” / DID YOU KNOW? Aera Energy has been honored with the North American Maintenance Excellence Award and the AME Manufacturing Excellence Award.