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GenXYZ 2015: Murugan Palani


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The Serviceman

Murugan Palani

38 | Director of Supplier Diversity
Xcel Energy

Since Murugan Palani took over the Supplier Diversity Program at Xcel Energy in 2009, the company has increased its spending with suppliers owned and operated by women, minorities and veterans from $159 million to $385 million last year. This was achieved by reinventing Xcel’s practices. In addition to his work at Xcel, Palani is active in the community, serving on the boards of the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council, Colorado Heritage Camps for Adopted children and several chambers of commerce.

Biggest achievement

Receiving the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award for volunteer work with local chambers and business organizations to support small businesses and grow the local economy.

Bronze Star medal for heroic actions under intense close-quarter contact in Iraq.

Making an impact

“I’ve helped our small-business owners in Colorado by supporting them to get procurement opportunities with Xcel Energy and help them grow their businesses, which in turn helps them grow our local economy.”

Role models

“My parents. My dad moved to America in 1962 when he was 23 not knowing what to expect. I admire him so much for the courage it took to take on such an amazing adventure.”

Best advice

“To be persistent and never give up.”

Off-duty

Volunteer work. “My favorite is for the Indian Nepalese Heritage Camp. I enjoy helping and working with young children.”

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Margaret Jackson

Margaret Jackson is an award-winning journalist who spent nearly 25 years in the newspaper industry, including seven years as a business reporter for The Denver Post covering residential and commercial real estate. She can be reached at myjackson7@gmail.com.

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