Wednesday, October 18, 2023 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Emerging Leaders Fireside Chat with Torrence Hinton

The Fireside Chat Series provides an exclusive opportunity for Emerging Leaders to learn from savvy business professionals; sharing tips, lessons learned, insights to the industry, and some personal mantras. Each quarter a young professional will lead the interview with an experienced Chicago business leader.

Emerging Leaders Chicago engages and develops the next generation of Chicagoland business leaders. For young professionals, it builds relationships, cultivates skills and talent, and creates an inclusive community of future leaders.

Torrence Hinton

President | Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas

Torrence Hinton became president — Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas in June 2022. In that role, he manages the daily operations, strategy and administrative activities of the two Illinois WEC Energy Group utilities, which together provide safe, reliable natural gas service to nearly 1 million customers in the city of Chicago and 54 communities in its northern suburbs.

Hinton formerly was vice president — operations at Peoples Gas. His responsibilities included ensuring public and employee safety, regulatory compliance, operational excellence, financial performance and top-tier customer service.

Prior to that, Hinton served as director — gas storage, overseeing natural gas storage assets for WEC Energy Group. His responsibilities included the development and implementation of consistent and sustainable operational strategies and business plans related to the natural gas storage assets across all of the natural gas utilities of WEC Energy Group in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

Hinton also served as director — operations and maintenance at Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, with overall responsibility for the development and implementation of operational strategies and business plans related to the operation, maintenance, and inspection of natural gas facilities for both companies.

Hinton joined Peoples Gas in 1999. Before serving in the company’s top leadership, he served in a number of roles with increasing responsibility, including manager — centralized planning group, director — fleet services, operations manager — North Shore Gas, operations manager — Peoples Gas, and general manager — North District at Peoples Gas.

Hinton holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he received the Clinton E. Stryker Distinguished Service Award for his leadership and contributions in the area of campus life. He also holds a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master in Business Administration with a concentration in strategy and leadership from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Hinton is active in numerous community, educational and industry organizations, serving on the boards of Chicago Commons, Communities In Schools of Chicago, Youth Guidance and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. He is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, class of 2013, a 2014 recipient of the Chicago Defender’s Men of Excellence award, and a 2021 participant of McKinsey Academy’s Black Executive Leadership Program.


Paige Michals

Customer Success Account Manager | Microsoft

Paige is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University with her B.S. in computer engineering. As a Customer Success Account Manager at Microsoft, she helps clients achieve their business goals with the company’s products and services. She is a current member of the Aspire program, a leadership development initiative for high-potential employees. Paige also serves as the Vice Chair for Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) Chicago. She sits on the Associate Board of the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition – Education. Additionally, Paige is a member of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Leaders Council, where she networks and develops relevant programming for other young professionals. In her spare time, she volunteers with Tutoring Chicago and Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Her passion for technology and educational equity fuels her extensive involvement in Chicago’s tech ecosystem.

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Peoples Gas
200 E Randolph St, Floor 22
Chicago IL, 60601