The honor recognizes visionary leaders who enhance customers’ lives through dedication to their industry and communities.
The AGA honored PSEG with three other awards:
- The 2022 Leading Indicator Safety Award, “in recognition of its proactive commitment to enhancing safety”;
- The 2021 Industry Leader Accident Prevention Award;
- The AGA Diamond Award of Merit (given to Paul Pirro, Public Service Electric & Gas appliance service technical support manager).
LaRossa said he was humbled to be honored.
“Having started my career in natural gas and having served as an AGA president, I couldn’t be more honored to receive this award,” he said. “This is a critical time for the future of gas and the entire energy industry, as we fully embrace clean energy and implement solutions to fight climate change.
“Americans rely on natural gas because it has proven to be safe and affordable. Looking ahead, we have great opportunity to continue to decarbonize as we introduce innovations such as hydrogen.”
LaRossa, who assumed the rule of CEO on Sept. 1, said change is coming in the industry. Change, he said, that will be measured in a number of ways.
“Embracing change means supporting the workforce of today as the energy landscape and the jobs needed evolve around us, while continuing to diversify the workforce to better represent our population and the skills needed for the future,” he said. “All this while companies aim to reduce carbon in every available way and help customers who are struggling to pay their bills — particularly during winter heating season.
“It is up to all of us how we respond to climate change and the needs of society as we transition into the future — we can and must ensure it is a just transition.”
The AGA said LaRossa was honored because of a variety of his attributes.
“(He) has been a passionate advocate for energy customers — meeting their needs while improving safety, reliability and emergency response performance,” the group said. “His long career at the company and his rise to the C-suite is a testament to his leadership within the company and his dedication to the industry.”
In 2016, LaRossa was the chair of the AGA board and led the industry effort to reauthorize the Pipeline Safety Act. LaRossa championed workforce and skills development and inspired others in the gas industry to better prepare employees to deliver energy to the customers of tomorrow.
Under his leadership, AGA created or participated in programs to help assure that utility workforces better reflect the communities they serve, including Veterans in Energy and the Next Level Leadership Women’s Program.
LaRossa’s passion for bringing a new generation of diverse workers into AGA member companies spurred action throughout the industry and benefitted thousands of young people.