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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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.
(Story by Scott McCloud)
The Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) leadership team recently recognized George Craig, welder machinist at SWEPCO’s Pirkey Power Plant, with a Good Samaritan Award during a recent Strategic Road Show employee meeting.
Richard Morris, maintenance supervisor at Pirkey, told the story:
“George was sent to town to pick up parts for a job. On his way back to the plant he noticed a woman on the ground in her front yard. George stopped to check on the lady, who was 82 years old. She had fallen down and injured her knee. She had been trying to crawl back to her house. George called an ambulance and the woman’s daughter. George stayed with her until the daughter and the ambulance arrived on the scene.”
Reflecting on the incident, Morris added: “This woman lives on a country road. Who knows how long she would have been there if George had not come through that morning. We need more people in this world like George that are willing to get involved and help people when they are in need. I’m proud that this man works on my crew.”
America celebrates the spirit of volunteerism this year on Make a Difference Day, Saturday, Oct. 25. The 24th annual “national day of doing good” is sponsored by USA WEEKEND Magazine in partnership with Points of Light/HandsOn Network.
AEP’s Make a Difference Day grants range up to $300 to help fund local projects that involve at least five active or retired AEP employees in partnership with a school or nonprofit organization.
Projects can be as simple as helping a family in need or may be a coordinated effort serving an entire community. To learn more about national Make a Difference Day, including getting started, entering your project on-line, an idea generator, examples of past projects, and past award winners, visit makeadifferenceday.com.
Application deadline for mini-grants is Sept. 25.
Complete an online application at AEP.com/MDDgrant.
(Story by Tammy Ridout)
Working in the nation’s capital, the staff at AEP’s Washington office is constantly immersed in the latest policy debates – on topics ranging from environmental regulations to tax law to health care. They are also keenly aware of the impact AEP employees, contractors and retirees can have on shaping those policy outcomes.
“The knowledge and passion of AEP’s work force and our retirees comes through loud and clear to lawmakers,” said Tony Kavanagh, senior vice president of governmental affairs in the Washington office. “That’s why it is important that more AEP employees, contractors and retirees get involved in our policy efforts, including our most recent campaign, We Stand for Energy. I hope everyone will sign up and stay informed of the industry-wide issues we are facing that will affect our customers and our company.”
Employees, contractors and retirees are urged to join this online community and help share the industry’s critical messages with policy makers at the state and national levels.
“Members of Congress need to hear from the public and especially from those who are responsible for providing the safe, reliable and affordable electricity that powers our economy,” Kavanagh said. “Whether it’s by voting in the election, participating in AEP’s political action committees, sending a letter to lawmakers about a specific issue or sharing stories about the value of electricity in our communities, our engagement in the political and policy making process is critically important to our future.”
Kavanagh added that employees, contractors and retirees will have an upcoming opportunity to share AEP’s messages with the U.S. EPA and members of Congress on the EPA’s proposed Carbon Pollution Guidelines for Existing Power Plants before the public comment period ends Oct. 16. Employees should look for more information on that campaign in September.
Every fall, hundreds of Appalachian Power Company employees and retirees fan out across Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia to read the same book to schoolchildren as part of Read to Me Day.
Last year, about 420 schools participated in the annual event that promotes reading and gives volunteers the opportunity to give back to their communities. There is no cost to schools or volunteers to participate. While volunteers say the event is one of the best things they do each year, areas remain where finding volunteer readers can be a challenge. That’s where retirees can help, said Jeri Matheney, Appalachian Power’s communications director.
“Scheduling readers at nearly 450 schools in three states is big job,” Matheney said. “We start planning months before the event and have volunteers who love visiting the same school year after year. But we could use some additional volunteers in southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia, particularly in the Beckley and Bluefield areas and in the Lynchburg area.”
This year’s event is slated for Nov. 20. The book is “When Charlie McButton Lost Power” by Suzanne Collins, author of the Hunger Games series. The clever, humorous story in rhyme with bold cartoon illustrations takes us through a day when Charlie’s techno-driven world comes crashing down after a thunderstorm causes a power outage. It’s a modern-day story that explores sibling relationships and making good choices. After reading the book, a copy is donated to each school’s library to give students a chance to check the book out on their own.
Retiree Jon Atchley has participated in Read to Me Day for 12 years and remains one of its biggest supporters.
“I enjoy all their little faces and their enthusiasm,” Atchley said. “The children make it worthwhile. I look forward to it every year.”
Appalachian Power began its Read to Me Day program in West Virginia in 2001, and expanded to Virginia and Tennessee two years ago. Since that first day in 2001, Appalachian Power has donated more than 4,400 books to school libraries and read aloud to nearly 200,000 students. Readers are usually asked to read to two classrooms per school.
If you are interested in participating in Read to Me Day 2014, please complete this information form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/retiredreaders.
AEP River Operations
Jason Barnes, 36, AEP River Operations-Paducah, died July 29.
Noe Hogeda, 57, Ballinger Office, died July 20.
Alan Robinson, 55, Big Sandy Plant, died July 23.
Rosa Villarreal, 55, Electric System Operations, died July 20.
AEP Utility Operations
John Merlina, AEP Headquarters, retired July 29 after 29 years of service.
Indiana Michigan Power
Theodore Melnyk, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired June 30 after 29 years of service.
Policy, Finance and Strategic Planning
Debra Flesher, Minerva Annex, retired July 27 after 17 years of service.
Public Service Company of Oklahoma
Roger Forte, Lawton Operations Center, retired July 31 after 35 years of service.
Southwestern Electric Power Company
Michael Young, Shreveport General Office, retired July 30 after 40 years of service.
|The Electric Universe is an educational website targeted toward students and teachers of grades K-12 and includes information on electricity, electrical safety, generation/ transmission/ distribution, energy and energy careers.
(Story by Barry Schumann)
Louie the Lightning Bug, the Power Bandit and Professor See are getting updated Internet spaces on the new AEP Electric Universe®.
The Electric Universe is an educational website developed and maintained by Moore Syndication — best known as creator of Louie the Lightning Bug, safety spokesbug for AEP operating companies and other electric utilities. Louie features prominently on the website, particularly in the Louie’s Space section on electrical safety including a safety pledge and printable certificate of completion.
The site has sections targeted toward students and teachers of grades kindergarten through 12, and includes information on electricity, electrical safety, generation, transmission, distribution, energy and energy careers.
The site also features online games, videos, downloadable activities for students, lesson plans, experiments, a reference section and glossary for educators and other adults interested in teaching kids about electricity and electrical safety.
The Power Plus section covers general and home electrical safety for adults.
The updated Electric Universe site has these benefits compared to the previous site, which was last upgraded in late 2011:
- Modern, new graphic look
- One-page scrolling
- New animation
- Simplified, easier organization
- New search engine
- Condensed content
- Educational Resources tab (available after opening any section) with links to the AEP.com For Teachers and Students webpage and to each AEP operating company and AEP River Operations website.
AEP employees and contractors are encouraged to check out the updated website with their children or grandchildren, and to share the Electric Universe URL – aep.electricuniverse.com – with teachers and other adults who educate youngsters about electricity and electrical safety.