Brooker engineers successful career

Published 8:52 pm Monday, October 1, 2012

Diane Brooker was one of two females in her chemical engineering class at the University of Alabama.

Editor’s Note: All this week will be featuring local businesswomen as part of our “Women in Business” special section. The print edition is available on newsstands until Wednesday and at our office at 315 E. Jefferson St.

Chemical engineering is generally a male-dominated profession, but Diane Brooker, the Business Office Manager at Alabama Power on Main Avenue, got her degree from the University of Alabama in that field of study.

Brooker said she was one of two females in her graduating class at UA, and she did not realize when she chose chemical engineering that it was the most difficult field in engineering.

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“I knew I wanted to be an engineer or a math teacher,” she said, “because I loved math and science. I went to Alabama’s Engineering Day, and I thought chemical engineering was really interesting. No one was there to tell me it was the most difficult one though. But, I don’t regret it.”

Brooker started with Alabama Power in 1989, and quickly became the first female foreman of a generating plant in the history of the company. With this title, she ran a 21-man crew.

“I was younger than all of the men that worked in the crew,” she said, “but there were never any problems. Most of them are retired now, but they still come see me when they come in to pay their power bills.”

She is also the chairman of the Christmas on the River day parade.

“That is the most rewarding volunteer opportunity I’ve ever had,” she said. “I have learned a lot, and even though I live here, I still get to see a lot of people that I haven’t seen in years.”

With four children, she said that it was always easy to balance work and home life because Alabama Power is very family-oriented.

“They always make it easy to balance home and work,” she said. “They encourage you to do what you can to make time for your family.”

Along with Christmas on the River, Brooker is also currently working on a Renew Our City project, which will take place on Oct. 5-6.

The weekend event encourages people to get out and clean up the yards of their homes and businesses. This project is a partnership with Alabama Power’s Renew Our River project.

Along with all of these other obligations, Brooker is also the Vice Chairman of the Demopolis Industrial Development Board.