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AEP Transmission employee makes liver donation

Tony Fosler (center) holds his son, Elias, as his wife, Amber, looks on. AEP employee Zac Netherton (left), Tony's cousin, donated part of his liver to Elias.

Tony Fosler (center) holds his son, Elias, as his wife, Amber, looks on. AEP employee Zac Netherton (left), Tony’s cousin, donated part of his liver to Elias.

(Story by Tracy K. Warner)

Like many people, Zac Netherton didn’t know it was possible for living people to donate a liver.

But when a family member began spreading word that an infant relative needed a liver transplant, Netherton did some research and learned that it was possible to donate part of his liver and it would re-grow, both for the donor and for the recipient.

Elias Fosler, son of Netherton’s cousin, Tony Fosler, was born with biliary atresia, a pediatric liver disease, and his conditioned worsened after birth. Time was running out.

“I thought if it was possible, I’d feel bad if I didn’t do anything,” said Netherton, an AEP Transmission engineering technician based at the Spy Run Service Center in Fort Wayne, Ind. “I just felt like I was in a good position to do it.”

The Foslers, from Columbus, Ohio, and Netherton traveled to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in late February for the operation. Now 15-months old, Elias is very active and doing great, his mom, Amber Fosler, reports.

“Our families have trouble expressing the gratitude we feel for Zac because it is so overwhelming what he did for us,” she said. “Zac’s selfless gift saved Elias’s life and gave our families hope.”

Outreach on EPA’s carbon dioxide rule continues

(Story by Tammy Ridout)

AEP continues to move full speed ahead on its advocacy efforts around the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants.

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, proposed in June, aims to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The proposal outlines a series of “building blocks” to meet state-level emission reduction targets set by the EPA starting in 2020.

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan aims to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

“The EPA’s proposed rule is vastly different than any previous emissions reduction program in the way it is structured, and many of the assumptions the EPA made in the building blocks of the proposal are flawed,” said John McManus, vice president – Environmental Services. “We are working through every possible avenue to encourage the EPA to rework its proposed rule to include more realistic emission reduction requirements and a more reasonable timeline for compliance.”

Last month, an AEP team from the Columbus and Washington offices, led by Dennis Welch, executive vice president and chief external officer; Mark McCullough, executive vice president – Generation; Tony Kavanagh, senior vice president – Federal Affairs; Bob Bradish, vice president – Transmission Grid Development; and McManus, briefed government officials on a recent analysis conducted by AEP Transmission on the potential reliability implications of implementing the EPA’s proposal starting in 2020. The preliminary analysis indicated significant reliability concerns in the PJM Interconnection – similar to those that were recently identified by the Southwest Power Pool – that will need to be addressed.

The meetings included the following groups:

  • EPA – Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Janet McCabe and staff
  • FERC – Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Commissioner Tony Clark, and commission staff
  • Department of Energy – Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman and staff
  • Senate – Staff from Mitch McConnell and Joe Manchin’s offices; staff from the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, Environment & Public Works Committee, and Republican Policy Committee.

“We made it clear that the current schedule for implementation of the proposed rule doesn’t allow time for the type of evaluation and mitigation that will need to happen to ensure reliability – especially as a large number of power plants are retired in the next few years and replacement generation is added to the grid,” Bradish said.

This was one of a number of efforts across the AEP system over the past several months to help regulators, policy makers and others at the state and federal levels understand the potential impact of the EPA’s proposed rule.

AEP’s operating company leaders have been active in discussions about the proposed rule with state regulatory agencies, other utility companies, lawmakers, governors, attorneys general, mayors, city councils, chambers of commerce, media, business customers, lions clubs, rotary clubs, regional transmission organizations, and many other stakeholders.

A team of AEP experts continues to develop extensive written comments that will be submitted to the EPA by the Dec. 1 comment deadline.

“If you haven’t already done so, we encourage employees to take a few minutes to submit their own comments to the EPA and Congress through AEP’s advocacy website,” McManus said. “It’s important for our employees’ voices to be heard on this issue since it will have a major impact on our business.”

Employees can visit https://www.aepadvocacy.com/ to provide their comments through Dec. 1.

Akins discusses AEP quarterly results, company strategy on CNBC’s Closing Bell

Nick Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer, discussed AEP’s quarterly financial results, upcoming EPA emissions rules, shale gas activities and more Oct. 23 during a segment on CNBC’s Closing Bell program.

View the Closing Bell segment.

AEP CEO Nick Akins discusses the company’s quarterly earnings results on CNBC’s Closing Bell program.

Akins said AEP logged a “great quarter” despite cooler than normal temperatures throughout most of the company’s service territory and the fact that AEP “purposely advanced” some operations and maintenance (O&M) expenses from future years into 2014 to lessen the impact of capacity prices on the company in 2016.

“It was a great quarter because we came in at $1.01 (earnings per share), which was consensus, and at the same time we had the sixth coldest summer in the last 30 years and the coldest July since 1979,” he said. “Obviously, we want to see continued progress. For our investors who depend on the dividend and earnings growth, we want to make sure that happens consistently from quarter to quarter. We’ve paid a dividend now for over 400 consecutive quarters.”

Turning to the upcoming EPA (111(d)) emissions rules, which could greatly impact coal-fired generation across the country, Akins said, “I think there’s no question that we need to rebalance our portfolio so we can have a cleaner energy economy, but we can’t forget the investments and the technology moving forward on every front. We need all of our resources, whether it’s coal, nuclear, energy efficiency or renewables, across the board to meet the energy demands of this country in the future.”

Akins also called the shale gas revolution a “game-changer for our industry,” but he said the infrastructure needs continue to lag behind.

“We need the pipeline infrastructure to be in place to support continued investment in new generation across the country,” he said. “These shale gas plays popped up pretty much out of nowhere just a couple of years ago, and it brings new resources to us that we didn’t have before.”

 

Annual Enrollment starts today!

Annual enrollment for AEP’s 2015 Health & Welfare benefit plans began at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time today and runs through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, November 13.

Retired employees can enroll online and read the appropriate retiree version of the 2015 Annual Enrollment Guide at the AEP Benefits Center website (https://www.ibenefitcenter.com/aep) under the Resource Center. Then select “Plan Information,” and then the “Health” tab. In addition, annual enrollment guides and materials have been sent by postal mail.

For more information, go to the AEP Benefits Center website or call 1-888-237-2363, option 2, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time (extended hours are during the annual enrollment period only). You may also call this number for log in instructions or connectivity issues with the AEP Benefits Center website.

Former AEP board member Robert Fri passes away after three-year battle with cancer

Robert W. Fri, of Bethesda, Md., who served on the AEP Board of Directors from 1995-2008, passed away Oct. 10 after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 78.

Robert W. Fri

Robert W. Fri

Fri was a former deputy director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and of the federal Energy Research and Development Administration. He also was chairman of the Consumer Energy Council of America Forum on Electric Industry Restructuring and former president of Resources for the Future. He was associated with McKinsey & Company, Inc., a management consulting firm, and had been a director of the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution).

He held a masters in business administration degree from Harvard Business School and a bachelor of arts degree from Rice University.

He is survived by his wife, Jean L. (Jill); his son, Perry and his daughter-in-law, Sarah, his sons, Sean and Kirk; and his granddaughters, Katie and Leah.

Akins presents Clinch River employees with Chairman’s Life Saving Award

Travis Woods (left) and Greg Cook (holding the crystal award) are shown with Nick Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. Akins made a surprise visit to the Clinch River Plant to present the pair with one of the corporation's highest safety awards for employees. Photos by John Shepelwich.

Travis Woods (left) and Greg Cook (holding the crystal award) are shown with Nick Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. Akins made a surprise visit to the Clinch River Plant to present the pair with one of the corporation’s highest safety awards for employees. Photos by John Shepelwich.

Nick Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer, made a surprise visit to Appalachian Power’s Clinch River Plant recently to present one of the corporation’s highest awards for employees. Akins delivered The Chairman’s Life Saving Award to the plant’s first responders and fire brigade members for their actions in April to a one-vehicle accident just outside the plant entrance.

Much of the employees’ response was captured in a video recording from a plant security camera.

“I was able to watch the video of the rescue operation,” Akins told the employees assembled for an unannounced luncheon at the plant. “It was amazing to see the immediate response from our employees and it showed me how the safety mentality we develop on the job often goes beyond the workplace to save lives for family, friends and the public.”

Akins specifically recognized plant employees Travis Woods and Greg Cook for their quick action April 28 when an area resident lost control of her pickup truck and crashed on State Rt. 665. Plant employees and contractors saw the accident and came to the aid of the woman in the overturned vehicle within minutes.

As medical first responders and fire brigade arrived, they found the woman, who had not been wearing a seat belt, trapped in the vehicle and having difficulty breathing. Appalachian’s Woods coordinated plant equipment to safely extricate the driver while Cook crawled into the truck cab to support her during the process. The Cleveland, Va., Lifesaving Crew soon arrived to work with the plant responders to stabilize the patient to prepare her for transport.

She was flown to a regional emergency medical facility by a helicopter air ambulance that landed at the plant’s helicopter pad. The woman is making a full recovery and her family contacted the plant employees to express their appreciation.

 

Secure online banking

October is National
Cyber Security
Awareness Month

Virtually every financial institution is using the Internet to communicate and allow customers to conduct transactions online. Customers today expect this convenience, and if done securely, these transactions can be as safe as those conducted in person.

Ask yourself the following four questions below. If your answer to all four is a yes, your chances of being impacted by a cyber incident are low. If any of your answers are no, then your chance of being impacted by a cyber incident are high. Understand these risks and take the recommended actions.

The information in this article is offered for your consideration for your home and personal use only.

It is being provided on behalf of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center to help you stay safe online.

This article is not intended to supersede any AEP policy related to use of company assets.

Is My Computer as Secure as Possible?

Using an unsecured computer is like leaving the door of your house wide open: you are making it easy for someone with malicious intent to access your property. An unprotected machine can become infected with malware in a matter of moments, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft or other crimes.

Having up-to-date security software protection isn’t an option; it’s a requirement and should become as automatic as locking your doors when you leave your house. Be sure your computer is current with all operating system and application software updates. Anti-virus and anti-spyware software should be installed, running, and receiving automatic updates.

In addition to taking precautions when using your own computer, practice vigilance when using someone else’s. Don’t use public computers or public networks for financial or other sensitive transactions. You have no control over the security of a public computer or public wireless network.

Is My Connection to the Internet as Secure as Possible?

Simply connecting to the Internet makes you vulnerable to a potential attack. Using a firewall helps minimize risks by blocking malicious traffic to your computer. Make sure you have a firewall, that it is turned on, and kept updated. New computers may be shipped with it on by default, but double-check.

When entering sensitive information into a website, look for the “https://” and check that the lock icon is present in the URL bar. This indicates that your communications are encrypted. Also pay attention to the browser you use to connect to the Internet. Keep it updated and patched, and set to auto update. If you are using a wireless network to connect to the Internet, make sure encryption is enabled and change the default network name and password that come with the wireless router.

Is My Password as Secure as Possible?

Strong passwords don’t have to be hard to remember, just hard to guess. A good password is at least ten characters and uses a mix of upper case, lower case, and numeric or special characters. Each of your online accounts, especially financial ones, should have its own strong password so that if one is compromised, the attacker does not have automatic access to your other accounts.

Do I Know How to Recognize a Scam?

Keeping your computer secure is only part of the equation when conducting online banking. You need to be alert for scams and the things you can do to protect yourself.

Phishing is one of the most common scams attackers use. A phishing scam typically consists of an email, trying to entice the recipient into clicking a link or downloading an attachment. A phishing scam targeting your financial accounts will consist of an email message notifying you of a “problem” with your account and ask you to click on a link to your “bank’s” site and submit sensitive information. This site however is a very convincing fake version of the legitimate site. This website may then prompt you to provide personal information such as Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers, and/or it may download malicious software onto your computer.

Instead of clicking on the link to your bank’s website embedded in an email, navigate to the financial institution’s website on your own by typing the address directly into your browser. Beware of attached files, as they may contain malware. Open attachments only from trusted sources, and if you are in doubt, don’t open it at all. You may also consider using anti-phishing software to help block many phishing-related emails.

Remember, no legitimate financial institution will ever ask you to provide sensitive information in an email.

Reprinted with permission from the Multi-State Information and Sharing Analysis Center. 

July/August Obituaries

AEP Service Corporation

Philip Campanella, 91, retired, AEP Headquarters, died Aug. 5.

Craig Cramer, 75, retired, AEP Fuel Supply-Lancaster, died July 10.

Norris Lewis Jr., 68, retired, CSW Center, died July 28.

Appalachian Power

Billy Chase, 83, retired, St. Albans Service Center, died Aug. 13.

Roger Fink, 74, Sporn Plant, died Aug. 19.

Kyle French, 76, retired, Roanoke Main Office, died Aug. 26.

Charles Harrison, 73, retired, Amos Plant, died Aug. 19.

Harry Jackson Jr., 86, retired, Glen Lyn Plant, died July 9.

David Langford, 55, Beckley Service Center, died Aug. 25.

Frances Melton, 85, retired, St. Albans Service Center, died July 29.

Robert Miller, 95, retired, Kanawha River Plant, died July 25.

William Scott. 65, Amos Plant, died Aug. 15.

Arthur Sneed, 96, retired, Roanoke Main Office, died Aug. 3.

Columbus Southern Power

Clifton Allton, 79, retired, 850 Tech Center, died Aug. 2.

Barbara Gianvito, 76, retired, 850 Tech Center, died Aug. 10.

Richard Herd, 69, retired, 850 Tech Center, died Aug. 26.

James Lawler, 74, retired, Conesville Plant, died Aug. 6.

Merrill Mann, 78, retired, Mound Street Service Center, died July 29.

Bruce McCoy, 78, retired, Conesville Plant, died July 3.

Thomas Webb, 71, Conesville Plant, died Aug. 9.

Wilbur Wolf, 83, retired, Conesville Plant, died Aug. 17.

Indiana Michigan Power

Arnold Graber, 82, retired, St. Joseph Service Center, died July 10.

Judith Heyde, 70, South Bend Service Center, died July 5.

Richard Jones Jr., 63, Muncie Service Center, died July 28.

Robert Lohr, 76, retired, Northeast Service Center, died Aug. 19.

Donald Matthews, 82, retired, Buchanan Service Center, died July 15.

Charles Streu, 62, St. Joseph Service Center, died Aug. 23.

Bertil Svensson, 83, retired, Cook Nuclear Plant, died Aug. 23.

Robert Tanner, 87, retired, One Summit Square, died Aug. 22.

Wilbur Willman, 98, retired, Marion Office, died Aug. 15.

John Zuber, 62, Decatur Service Center, died Aug. 9.

Ohio Power

Joanne August, 80, retired, Steubenville Service Center, died July 12.

Michael Clifford, 68, Portsmouth Service Center, died Aug. 23.

Steve Condor, 85, retired, Mitchell Plant, died July 30.

Ruth Criswell, 75, retired, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died July 7.

Robert Dennis, 78, retired,  Steubenville Service Center, died Aug. 6.

Donald Fisher, 71, retired, Muskingum River Plant, died Aug. 27.

Harry Garnes Jr., 65, retired, Gavin Plant, died Aug. 25.

Robert Lane, 80, retired, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died Aug. 26.

Jack Porter, 84, retired, Zanesville Office, died July 6.

John Redding, 67, Portsmouth Service Center, died Aug. 25.

Mary Tennent, 89, retired, Steubenville Service Center, died July 2.

Larry Williams, 82, retired, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died Aug. 26.

Linda Williams, 73, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died July 13.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

David Ahrendt, 71, Tulsa General Office, died July 20.

Laura Finley, 84, retired, Tulsa General Office, died Aug. 30.

Betty Gee, 89, retired, Tulsa General Office, died Aug. 22.

Dubbie Graham, 68, McAlester Operations Center, died July 7.

Claude Morrow, 79, retired, Tulsa General Office, died July 8.

Eric Raines, 49, Tulsa General Office, died Aug. 16.

Richard Sinclair, 88, retired, Tulsa General Office, died July 24.

Roger Vandervort, 71, retired, Tulsa General Office, died July 20.

Southwestern Electric Power Company

Irma Alexander, 64, Shreveport Office, died Aug. 11.

James Bandy, 71, Shreveport Operations, died July 18.

Albert Coleman Jr., 70, Shreveport Office, died Aug. 27.

William Owens, 75, retired, Longview Operations, died July 20.

Willis Pullig, 67, Haughton Operations Center, died July 9.

Texas Central

Jack Ballew, 74, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died July 27.

Luis Fernandez, 84, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died Aug. 29.

Reynulfo Ramos, 89, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died July 8.

Jerry Sons, 73, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died Aug. 23.

William Zella, 87, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died Aug. 28.

Texas North

Dorothy Boulter, 92, retired, Abilene General Office, died Aug. 3.

Scott Smith, 83, retired, Abilene General Office, died Aug. 8.

SWEPCO lineman helps injured senior citizen

Southwestern Electric Power Company line mechanic David Savell came to the rescue of an elderly woman who had fallen and broken her hip.

(Story by Kacee Kirschvink)

You never know when you might be in the wrong place at the right time.

Southwestern Electric Power Company line mechanic David Savell was responding to a work order and was having trouble finding the correct location. It was raining outside, and Savell had his window rolled down to enjoy the cool air.

As he was putting his truck in reverse, he heard a noise. He couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. He listened again and heard a low voice that said, “Help me.”

Unsure of the situation, he asked, “Where are you?” The person responded, “On the porch.”

Savell got out of his truck and looked around some cars that were parked in front of the porch. He found an elderly woman who had fallen and broken her hip. She had been lying on the porch for two hours.

Savell got the woman some water, called an ambulance and stayed with her until the ambulance arrived.

“I am very proud of the caring and responsible people I work with,” said co-worker Joni Waddle. “David doesn’t believe he did anything worth talking about, but he was truly this lady’s hero and possibly saved her life. Who knows what could have happened to this lady if David hadn’t been there.”

 

Annual Circuit Riders Retiree Association Luncheon

The annual business meeting and luncheon of the statewide PSO Circuit Riders retiree association was held in Tulsa Sept. 10.  Nearly 200 attended to rekindle relationships, catch up on news, and have an enjoyable time.  The main speaker at the luncheon was Bobby Mouser, director of Customer Services & Marketing, shown here with Bette Davidson, retired manager in Henryetta, and Ken Roberts, retired accounting manager in PSO’s former Eastern Division (now McAlester District).

The annual business meeting and luncheon of the statewide PSO Circuit Riders retiree association was held in Tulsa Sept. 10. Nearly 200 attended to rekindle relationships, catch up on news, and have an enjoyable time. The main speaker at the luncheon was Bobby Mouser, director of Customer Services & Marketing, shown here with Bette Davidson, retired manager in Henryetta, and Ken Roberts, retired accounting manager in PSO’s former Eastern Division (now McAlester District).

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