Julee Stephenson serves as senior vice president of corporate affairs for NiSource, a utility company serving nearly four million customers in seven states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. Her responsibilities include corporate communications, customer communications, federal government affairs and the NiSource Charitable Foundation. NiSource is the parent company of Columbia Gas of Ohio.
Julee has served in many different leadership roles in her 15 years at NiSource including customer experience, corporate communications, regulatory and government affairs, public affairs and marketing. Prior to joining NiSource, Julee worked in sales and marketing and nonprofit program management.
Julee holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University, an MBA from Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s Certificate from The George Washington University. She moved to Columbus in 2012 from Chicago.
Why are you passionate about the Homeport mission?
Housing is the first step in building a home and a community. Home is many things - a stable place, a space to learn, a place where families and communities can come together.
What would you tell a friend who was considering getting involved with Homeport as a donor or volunteer?
In my professional role it’s important for me to engage in and understand the communities we serve. When we moved to Columbus in 2012 we learned about our neighborhood. Homeport has helped me learn about our community and city. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to give back to their community.
What do you feel is the most critical aspect of affordable housing in Columbus and Central Ohio?
There needs to be greater availability of affordable housing. One of the statistics I learned from working with Homeport was that one in four renters in Columbus spends more than half their income on housing. That puts a tremendous burden on balancing all the other costs of living and meeting basic needs.