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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).

AEP Benefit Center webinars for retirees are Sept. 23-24

AEP is offering AEP Benefit Center webinars for retirees on Tuesday, Sept. 23, and Wednesday, Sept. 24.

These 60-minute webinars will provide a guided “how-to” tour of the AEP Benefits Center website (http://www.ibenefitcenter.com/aep). Learn to log in to the website; access information about your Health & Welfare benefits; elect and update your life insurance beneficiaries, if applicable; access information about your Pension benefit; and use online tools and resources.

Webinars will take place at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Eastern time both days.

NOTE: Although these webinars are now completed, to access a recorded version of the webinar, please go to this link.

 

August Retirements

AEP Ohio

William Hewitt, Columbus Southeast Service Center, retired Aug. 2 after 34 years of service.

Charles Liegl, Lancaster Service Building, retired Aug. 1 after 34 years of service.

Ronald Winrod II, Newark Service Building, retired Aug. 2 after 37 years of service.

AEP River Operations

Melvin Harville Jr., AEP River Operations-Paducah, retired Aug. 21 after 19 years of service.

Eddie Owen, AEP River Operations-Paducah, retired Aug. 1 after 22 years of service.

AEP Service Corporation

Pam Belcher, AEP Headquarters, retired Aug. 1 after 28 years of service.

Manojit Sukul, AEP Headquarters, retired Aug. 1 after 28 years of service.

AEP Utility Operations

Jackie Cobb, Central Machine Shop, retired Aug. 30 after 38 years of service.

John Custer, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired Aug. 28 after 14 years of service.

Timothy Godwin, Gavin Plant, retired Aug. 1 after 35 years of service.

Stephen Greenlee, Mountaineer Plant, retired Aug. 1 with 40 years of service.

Charles Grimes, Mitchell Plant, retired Aug. 1 after 25 years of service.

William Kittle Jr., Mitchell Plant, retired Aug. 1 after 31 years of service.

Gregory Linn, Rockport Plant, retired Aug. 1 after 30 years of service.

Edward McGrain, retired Aug. 1 after 34 years of service.

Robert Sprinkle, Rockport Plant, retired Aug. 22 after 30 years of service.

James Stewart, Cardinal Plant, retired Aug. 1 after 28 years of service.

Charles Swisher, Amos Plant, retired Aug. 1 after 38 years of service.

Appalachian Power

Garry Carroll, Huntington Service Center, retired Aug. 23 after 25 years of service.

Daniel Robinette, Kingsport Service Center, retired Aug. 1 after 33 years of service.

Indiana Michigan Power

Edward Thomas, St. Joseph Service Center, retired Aug. 1 after 46 years of service.

Kentucky Power

Denzil Smith, Pikeville Service Center, retired Aug. 26 after 34 years of service.

Policy, Finance and Strategic Planning

Robert Stender, South Bend Service Center, retired Aug. 1 after 26 years of service.

William West, Catoosa Hub, retired Aug. 23 after 10 years of service.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Clarence Postier, Vinita Service Center, retired Aug. 26 after 33 years of service.

Shared Services

David Gomez, Harlingen Service Center, retired Aug. 29 after 34 years of service.

Jerry Williams Jr., Roanoke Main Office, retired Aug. 19 after 34 years of service.

Southwestern Electric Power

Lee Brooks, Shreveport Operations, retired Aug. 20 after 35 years of service.

Allen Wiltz Jr., Natchitoches Service Center, retired Aug. 2 after 25 years of service.

 

Comment to EPA and Congress about carbon emission regulations

AEP is asking for your help to contact the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Congress about an issue that is critical to all of us — the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.

The proposed rule is built on flawed assumptions and overly aggressive timelines that will raise electricity costs for our customers, threaten reliability and force the retirement of additional coal-fueled generation. We need to urge the EPA to develop more realistic emission reduction targets and timetables.

You will find everything you need to submit comments to the EPA and your lawmakers at the AEP Action Network website. Through the site, you can register as an AEP Advocate and send a pre-written letter or craft your own message if you wish. Please feel free to share the link with your family and friends, who can also register on the site and send their own letters to the EPA and to their representatives in Washington. The deadline for comments is Dec. 1.

Your voice can make a big difference in helping the EPA and Congress understand the impact of this proposed rule.

AAERG and Project Mentor team up to provide school supplies

 
The stack of notebook paper collected during a school supplies collection drive was nearly as tall as organizers Coyla Black (left) and Shermetre Pollard (right).

The AEP African-American Employee Resource Group (AAERG) and AEP Project Mentor partnered to collect school supplies to provide to AEP Project Mentor schools Georgian Heights Alternative Elementary School, Starling Middle School and Yorktown Middle School in Columbus.

The school supplies collection drive, which took place July 14 through August 8, gathered wide-ruled notebook paper, crayons, pencils, pens, pocket folders, glue sticks, scissors, erasers and more. Supplies were delivered to the schools during the week of August 11.

Employees participated at AEP Headquarters and the Arena building in downtown Columbus; 700 Morrison Road and 850 Tech Center Drive in Gahanna; the Groveport Operations Center; the A. Ray King Transmission Training Center and the Columbia Center Transmission Service Center in Pataskala.

In addition to Coyla Black, project coordinator III, Transmission, who coordinated the initiative, employees who provided key support included Sagata Bhawani, Danya Bristol, John Cronin, Marketta Franklin, William Gardiner, Jodi Heck, Bianca Hill, Kim Hughes, Michelle Kinds, Jacquelyne Martin, Jacob Pearson, Shermetre Pollard, Nataria Scales, Barry Schumann, Charlisa Stirtmire and Kristen Thompson.

“This was a remarkable year for our back to school drive, as we received 10 times as many supplies this year compared with last year,” said Shermetre Pollard, regulatory analyst I and Chair of the AAERG. “We appreciate the employees who made this investment into our local community.”

Black was pleased as well. “I took on the role of Community Chair for the AAERG this year not realizing how much of an impact AEP truly makes in the community,” she said. “I’m honored to be a part of the AEP organization and its philanthropic endeavors. Next year, the goal is double!”

Each school received 17 medium-sized boxes of school supplies. In all, 6,124 pieces of supplies in 38 different categories were collected and tallied up in the effort, including 556 packages of pencils, 527 pocket folders, 331 packages of notebook paper and 145 packages of crayons. 

Jacquelyne Martin, IT manager, said one employee in particular made an extremely generous donation of supplies, consisting of many boxes. “We owe her a huge thank you,” she said. “I’ve never seen anyone do this.”

The good feelings came not only from the joy of providing needed supplies. Bianca Hill, energy coordinator III, Market Operations Energy Supply, reported that while she was counting supplies while shopping, she was observed by a gentleman who asked about the effort, then spontaneously handed her a $20 bill as a donation. “There are still some good people in the world,” she said.

Shermetre Pollard and William Gardiner are shown with some of the school supplies collected, sorted and counted for delivery to three Columbus area schools.

The organizers thanked AEP Workplace Services employees for delivering supplies collected at various facilities to a central location for sorting and counting by AAERG members. Workplace Services then delivered the boxes of supplies to the schools.

Ron Brown, principal at Yorktown Middle School, reflected some of the excitement that the schools responded with upon receiving the supplies. “Thank you SOOOOOOO much for the donations,” he said. “Our kids and teachers were super excited to see all the materials and distribute them to the students. Our staff members have been using their own resources to cover such materials for the kids, and having such a fruitful donation from AEP was right on time.”

The principals at Starling and Georgian Heights also expressed great appreciation for the donated supplies.

AEP’s Project Mentor program arranges for volunteer mentors from AEP to visit these three and other schools during the school year to mentor students one-on-one, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Trained employee volunteers work with a BBBS coordinator at each school, and meet with students once a week during lunchtime or after school.

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