Warner L. Baxter
Warner L. Baxter has been serving as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ameren Corporation, a Fortune 500 energy company serving 2.4 million electric and 900,000 natural gas customers with revenues in excess of $6 billion, since 2014.
Baxter launched his career with PricewaterhouseCooper’s LLP in 1983, where he provided auditing and consulting services to clients in a variety of industries in the firm’s St. Louis office. Ten years later, he assumed the role of senior manager with the firm’s national office in New York City serving as one of its liaisons.
In 1995, Baxter joined Union Electric as assistant controller before moving into the role of controller in 1996 and then vice president and controller in 1997. In 2001, he became the senior vice president of finance.
Baxter was named executive vice president and chief financial officer of Ameren Corporation in 2003, where he led the finance, strategic planning and business risk management functions of the entire enterprise. In 2007, he assumed additional duties as president and CEO of Ameren Services and, from 2009 to 2014, president and CEO of Ameren Missouri, the largest energy provider in the state.
Baxter earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants. Baxter has made meaningful and long-lasting contributions to higher education through his involvement at the University of Missouri and the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He is a past member and president of the University of Missouri–St. Louis Chancellors Council and serves on the University of Missouri 100 Board.
Baxter currently serves on several boards, including U.S. Bancorp, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Electric Power Research Institute.
Ameren Corporation, a Fortune 500 energy company headquartered in St. Louis, powers the quality of life for 2.4 million customers across 64,000 square miles in Missouri and Illinois. The service territory includes a diverse base of residential, commercial and large industrial customers in both urban and rural areas. Of Ameren’s 8,500 employee base, 55 percent are engineers, technicians and information technology specialists. These employees’ STEM skills are essential to maintaining 10,200 megawatts of net generation capacity, 87,000 electric circuit miles of transmission and distribution lines, and 21,000 miles of natural gas transmission and distribution, as well as providing safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy to Ameren customers.
As one of the nation’s largest and oldest energy providers, Ameren has a tremendous responsibility to our customers and the communities we serve in Missouri and Illinois. To maintain our position in a world of rapidly evolving technology, we are constantly evaluating innovative solutions that will best meet the energy needs of our customers today and in the future.
Whether identifying new technologies that help produce energy, automate the electric grid, or even deliver more efficient customer tools, our ability to stay on the cusp of innovation is critical to our success. And that boils down to a diverse team, with the right skills, that will offer new perspectives and approaches to our business.
With a significant amount of our workforce nearing retirement age – particularly in skilled craft and engineering positions – we have never been more focused on applicants with STEM experience than we are today. Our employees must be able to deliver innovative solutions that meet the needs and expectations of our customers today, as well as tomorrow.
That’s why our leadership team is deeply involved in STEM-related initiatives throughout our communities such as Project Lead the Way and STEMpact. These programs reinforce the importance of a STEM education and offer resources for teachers, parents and students to promote STEM education throughout our service areas.
In addition, we are working to build relationships and develop curriculum at colleges, trade schools and high schools in our region and actively support educational initiatives that encourage high school and college students to pursue future STEM careers. Ameren participates in the Explore Energy program, which engages and educates local diverse high school students on careers in the utility industry. Ameren also offers financial support and guidance to high school engineering summer camps at local colleges. Several high schools have toured Ameren facilities to learn more about job opportunities and potential career paths and, each year, we bring more than 100 interns on board in key areas such as engineering, finance and information technology.
Ameren also supports institutions of higher learning with special interests in science, engineering and business curricula by providing scholarships to students at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Lincoln University and Webster University. Over the next five years, we are working with the University of Missouri-St. Louis to help students transition to post-secondary institutions and provide scholarships to underrepresented students who want to pursue STEM careers.
We also collaborate with universities on research projects. For example, last year Ameren became the first major energy company to open an Innovation Center on campus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Research Park. There, undergraduate and graduate students across STEM disciplines work on a part-time basis on projects ranging from data analytics and mobile applications to those that focus on the needs of the utility of the future.
Not only do we expect the Ameren Innovation Center to build a pipeline for employing some of the brightest young engineering and IT talent available in the U.S. – but it will give us a unique opportunity to learn best practices from other leading companies in an environment that fosters networking and sharing.
While a STEM-educated employee base will help ensure a strong workforce of tomorrow, Ameren also places a high value on employees with a diverse range of experience and perspectives. Diversity is the foundation for creativity and innovation, and is critically important as we build a successful roadmap for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
To advance diversity in our workforce, we sponsor six employee resource groups. These groups of Ameren employees reflect the diverse population we serve and employ, and provide invaluable insight when challenges or opportunities arise.
We are constantly striving to make our business better, and our efforts have not gone unnoticed. Ameren has been named a top workplace by Forbes, DiversityInc and GI Jobs Magazine.
At Ameren, we are committed to the future – to creating innovative programs that help develop young minds, to supporting innovative ways to improve educational opportunities throughout the region, and to developing innovative solutions that power the quality of life for our customers – all of which will lead to a stronger, more diverse company for us, a solid base of future leaders for the communities in which we live, and a brighter tomorrow for all.