Why did you join NAEM?
Duke Energy has participated in NAEM for many years, so I was introduced to it by a coworker. NAEM provides industry insights into common problems along with members that offer leading edge solutions. NAEM is a forward looking organization that helps me anticipate future challenges.
What are you currently working on?
I work for Duke Energy, the largest electric utility in the United States. Following the coal ash spill at Dan River in 2014, I was brought in as part of the new EHS leadership team to address the issues that caused this incident and prevent them from happening again.
What do you like about your job?
I like that I learn new things every day. Most of my career was spent in Operations prior to taking this position in October 2014. I am also incredibly grateful for the fantastic and dedicated team that I work with.
Has your environmental program received any awards or recognition?
If so, what? Several awards have been received over time, but despite those, the Dan River incident has caused us to rethink and overhaul our EHS Management System.
What is your biggest challenge in your current role?
Duke Energy is currently enduring 5 years of probation from the Department of Justice along with 5 years of an administrative agreement with the EPA. The biggest challenge in my job is to ensure that we are delivering on the requirements of the next 5 years without a missed compliance obligation or a significant incident.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
It's hard to answer that question about yourself, but I guess it would be about my previous job. I was promoted to Station Manager at 31 years old, and making me the youngest plant manager at Duke Energy.
What advice would you have for someone entering the field today?
My advice to new managers is to always treat the folks in your group as people first and employees second. It is a hard rule to follow at times, but there is always a way to tap into the human side of any situation, and it results in people that will work so much harder, be more creative, and ultimately make your company (and you) more successful.
What are the three words your spouse/colleagues/best friends would use to describe you?
My work life is just a part of who I am. I decided to ask my best friends and husband this question so that I could make sure to give you the real answer. Here they are: courageous, compassionate, and complicated!
What aspect to the natural world/environment impresses you the most? Why?
I'm a mom of two kids. Lilah is 5, and Nolan is 3. There are so many things that fascinate me, but I guess the most impressive is the bond of so many animals between mothers and their children. It's a love that is truly indescribable, and it is evident in so many species around the world.
What do you like to do during your free time? What free time?
I love spending time outside in the mountains with my family and friends. My two stress therapies are cooking and running. Although the running is mostly so that I can counteract the cooking. :)