Our People: Herrera and Hugo

Dynamic Duo Demonstrate SoCalGas' Commitment To Diversity

Until recently, Louis Herrera, a customer programs specialist, who is visually impaired had to rely on a rigid mobility cane to get around. Now thanks to SoCalGas and a nonprofit, his mode of navigation has been upgraded to a friendly four-legged alternative named Hugo.

Going Above And Beyond

SoCalGas demonstrates its commitment to diversity and inclusion, said Herrera. "The company even gave Hugo his own I.D. badge!" he said.

Ted Humphrey, senior marketing advisor and Herrera's supervisor, said he is proud to have Louis and Hugo on the team. "They are great ambassadors in the community about our customer assistance programs and SoCalGas'

commitment to its customers," he said.

Another one of Herrera's important duties is to reach out and help underserved communities and persons with disabilities, disabled veterans and senior citizens, said Humphrey.

They are a dynamic duo who reach out to community-based organizations that serve groups from various demographic and cultural backgrounds and introduce them to the California Alternate Rates For Energy (CARE) Program and the Energy Savings Assistance Program, said Humphrey. "These programs can help their clients save money, make their homes more energy efficient and improve their quality of life," he said.

"As a colleague, Louis continues to help our team understand things in new ways. We're always learning from one another," said Humphrey.

Returning The Favor

"He keeps me safe. He's like my guardian angel," said Herrera. On one occasion, Hugo placed himself between him and the dangerous edge of a commuter train platform.

"He just stiffened up and wouldn't get out of my way, even when I pushed him and gave him firm commands," said Herrera. "He wouldn't budge. I never realized how strong he was," he said. "I could have suffered some serious injuries or worse."

Herrera said he appreciates Hugo and does everything he can to return the favor by keeping him clean, happy, and healthy.

"I told my wife, 'You know, this dog's got it made. He has me clean up after him, feed him, and groom him,'" he said smiling and looking down as if searching for Hugo. "But it's all worth it to me, because of all that he does."