Schilling to Take Helm of Edison’s HR Team
From Saudi Arabia and Russia to China, Iceland, Australia, Brazil and most of Europe, Natalie Schilling has traveled the world as a former HR executive in industrial manufacturing. A couple years ago she returned from New York to her native California roots to work for Southern California Edison.
In March, she will be the new senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Edison International and SCE, a role held by Jacqueline Trapp who recently announced her retirement as of March 1 after 33 years with the company.
“I am so excited to have joined the company during this time. It has worked because of Jacqueline’s strong leadership,” said Schilling, who has two adult children, Juliana and Matthew. “We have great leadership and a collaborative culture where we care for each other through a keen focus on safety and inclusion. And it’s not just words on paper. I hope I can continue to cultivate that culture moving forward.”
“Natalie is fantastic and has all the right qualities and experiences,” said Trapp. “She has fresh eyes and will find new ways to do things.”
Schilling joined SCE during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 just as some employees began working from home, while field workers continued their day-to-day critical work to keep the lights on. From workplace protocols, COVID-19 testing and wearing masks, the company strived to keep workers safe at home and out in the field.
In her neighborhood in the South Bay, Schilling often sees SCE trucks and introduces herself to the field crews as they work to upgrade equipment and make repairs.
“They have been our heroes on the frontlines helping to keep the lights on,” she said. “We’ve done a good job and not missed a beat. We have been very productive throughout the pandemic and I’m proud of the entire Edison team.”
After a 33-year career at Edison, Trapp points to two things that have kept her at the utility: integrity of the company and the people. She is also most proud of the company’s work around DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) and that psychological safety is an important part of the company’s safety culture.
“I’ve worked with the most amazing colleagues and teammates,” said Trapp. “The greatest thing about Edison is that we live in the communities that we serve, helping customers and creating a clean energy future for the state and globally.”
Trapp is looking forward to “a bunch of things” as she prepares for retirement in March, which include more travel, writing and maybe even trying some pickleball. “Someone once told me that the best thing about retirement is that you own your own calendar.”
“Jacqueline has been an important and respected member of our senior management team and has expertly led our leadership development and talent and succession planning initiatives resulting in all of the successors from our recent senior executive changes, including Natalie, coming from within,” said Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International. “I will always be grateful for Jacqueline’s leadership and friendship, and look forward to partnering with Natalie in the years ahead.”
As Schilling prepares to take on the helm of Edison’s HR department, she wants to continue the culture of collaboration, caring and psychological safety.
Her top priorities include: a successful reentry for those who have been working from home, inclusivity and strengthening the employee talent pipeline. She is looking forward to the operational excellence initiatives and helping build a culture of disciplined execution. And she is inspired by the utility’s work to help create a clean energy future.
“We have an opportunity to make a lasting impact around clean energy, reimagining the grid and electrification,” said Schilling. “I want employees to say, I am empowered to make a positive impact and Edison is where I want to work. Employees are our greatest asset in talent recruiting.”