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April Retirements

AEP Service Corporation

Danny Boston, AEP Headquarters, retired April 3 after 43 years of service.

David Conover, John E. Dolan Lab, retired April 28 after 38 years of service.

David DiGeronimo, AEP Headquarters, retired April 21 after 36 years of service.

Mary Dishon, AEP Headquarters, retired April 3 after 38 years of service.

Jerry Durst, AEP Headquarters, retired April 5 after 39 years of service.

Michael Giardina, Arena Building, retired April 28 after 15 years of service.

Timothy Held, AEP Headquarters, retired April 21 after 15 years of service.

John Hendricks, AEP Headquarters, retired April 28 after 38 years of service.

AEP Ohio

Steven Deskins, 700 Building-Gahanna, retired April 20 after 41 years of service.

Irene Hamilton, Canton South Service Center, retired April 7 after 41 years of service.

Daniel Kirkendall, Canton Eastern Regional Office, retired April 1 after 10 years of service.

Leonard Lammlein, Fostoria Service Center, retired April 28 after 38 years of service.

Charles Sturgill, Grandview Service Center, retired April 28 after 19 years of service.

AEP Texas

David Cullins, Southwest Distribution System-San Angelo, retired April 28 after 35 years of service.

Robert Dunning, Electric System Operations, retired April 18 after 34 years of service.

Kenneth Koenig, Kenedy Service Center, retired April 7 after 32 years of service.

J.D. Martinez, Uvalde Service Center, retired April 21 after 36 years of service.

Mario Mendiola, Pharr North Service Center, retired April 7 after 25 years of service.

Oscar Salinas, Pharr North Service Center, retired April 7 after 35 years of service.

Joe Smith, Childress Office, retired April 28 after 31 years of service.

Appalachian Power Company

Carl Anderson, North Charleston Service Center, retired April 7 after 40 years of service.

James Atkins III, Glade Spring Service Center, retired April 1 after 40 years of service.

Barry Hainer, Logan Service Center, retired April 1 after 29 years of service.

Toni Henson, Roanoke Main Office, retired April 1 after 39 years of service.

Generation

Randy Bordenet, Mountaineer Plant, retired April 18 after 40 years of service.

Santiago Buitron, Welsh Plant, retired April 4 after 36 years of service.

Andrew Castilow, Mitchell Plant, retired April 24 after 34 years of service.

James Chambers Jr., Cook Nuclear Plant, retired April 3 after 28 years of service.

Mark Clegg, Mitchell Plant, retired April 3 after 39 years of service.

Robert Darwish, Mitchell Plant, retired April 17 after 37 years of service.

Kim Gioannini, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired April 10 after 25 years of service.

Brent Haynes, Conesville Plant, retired April 1 after 32 years of service.

David Honaker, Amos Plant, retired April 1 after 31 years of service.

James Jones, Amos Plant, retired April 14 after 40 years of service.

J.M. Jones, Northeastern Station 1&2, retired April 13 after 36 years of service.

Andrew Kivela, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired April 26 after 32 years of service.

William Martin, Amos Plant, retired April 7 after 38 years of service.

William McAllister, Mitchell Plant, retired April 13 after 33 years of service.

Daniel Moyer, Amos Plant, retired April 1 after 37 years of service.

Andrew Newsad Jr., Conesville Plant, retired April 21 after 10 years of service.

Robert Patt, Mitchell Plant, retired April 1 after 43 years of service.

David Rodriguez, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired April 6 after 37 years of service.

Ronald Ruckman, Mitchell Plant, retired April 28 after 11 years of service.

Ricky Whitlatch, Mitchell Plant, retired April 1 after 39 years of service.

Bryan Wiley, Dresden Plant, retired April 1 after 21 years of service.

Indiana Michigan Power Company

Ricky Christie, Muncie Service Center, retired April 14 after 39 years of service.

Robert Craig, Marion Service Center, retired April 28 after 40 years of service.

Terri Larsen, Cook Material Center, retired April 8 after 38 years of service.

Sandra Schlemmer, One Summit Square, retired April 28 after 28 years of service.

Kentucky Power Company

Christopher Deskins, Pikeville Service Center, retired April 1 after 31 years of service.

Danny Traugott, Robert E. Matthews Service Center, retired April 19 after 40 years of service.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Daniel Blackwell, Energy Control Center, retired April 3 after 43 years of service.

Gregory Ebisch, Lawton Operations Center, retired April 1 after 41 years of service.

James McDonald, Duncan Office, retired April 1 after 33 years of service.

Randy Price, Okmulgee Operations, retired April 7 after 40 years of service.

Southwestern Electric Power Company

Mary Davis, Environmental Lab, retired April 13 after 39 years of service.

David Dukes, McNeil Street Center, retired April 11 after 38 years of service.

Robert Ford, Longview Operations, retired April 4 after 35 years of service.

Lou Moore, Shreveport General Office, retired April 19 after 44 years of service.

Jeffry Strange, Longview Operations, retired April 14 after 37 years of service.

George Youngblood, Dolet Hills Lignite Mine, retired April 9 after 27 years of service.

Transmission

Bruce Braswell, Tulsa General Office, retired April 1 after 26 years of service.

Mark Caudle, South Bend Service Center, retired April 25 after 30 years of service.

Tamara Dull, One Summit Square, retired April 7 after 10 years of service.

Kevin Ervin, Minerva Annex, retired April 21 after 40 years of service.

David Kilbane, John W. Vaughan Center, retired April 3 after 38 years of service.

Linda Peoples, Roanoke Main Office, retired April 3 after 25 years of service.

Lee Sloffer, One Summit Square, retired April 6 after 36 years of service.

Greg Sparano, 700 Building-Gahanna, retired April 21 after 45 years of service.

Gerald Steele, Tulsa Transmission Office, retired April 28 after 40 years of service.

 

AEP Employees Help With Traveling World War II Memorial

A number of AEP employees have been involved with a non-profit group, Freedom’s Never Free, that organizes appreciation celebrations for military veterans.

A number of AEP employees have been involved with a non-profit group, Freedom’s Never Free, that organizes appreciation celebrations for military veterans.

The Freedom’s Never Free group, based in central Ohio, has also helped build a number of traveling memorials to service members who died in World War II, the Korean War, and Small Wars and Conflicts from the 1950s to now.

“From participating in the monthly planning meetings to volunteering their time and manual labor helping build the traveling memorials, we’ve been blessed with a small handful of AEP employees who have donated their help,” said Jeannie Phillips-Ball, president of the organization.

Employees Aaron Baker, designer principal; Kyle Edwards, designer principal; and Susan Acton, project coordinator senior, all of whom work for AEP Transmission in New Albany, have provided their time and talent to help create the memorials over the past few years.

Baker and Edwards drew up plans for various segments of the World War II memorial, and Acton helped paint and attach stars, and brought her father, a Korean War veteran, to help as well.

Phillips-Ball, IT support technician principal, IT Depot, Groveport, worked on the memorial from start to finish, helping drill holes, paint, cut wood, attach stars and put together panels.

The Freedom’s Never Free group organizes and carries out an annual military veterans recognition event each November, held in Lancaster, Ohio.

The Traveling World War II Memorial, modeled after the permanent National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., was built in 2015. It is now taken around the country to events that honor veterans and the military. The memorial consists of a Wall of Stars, Atlantic and Pacific Pavilions; 56 pillars reprsenting the states, districts and territories in existence during the World War II era, with oak and wheat wreaths, and granite slabs with quotes from President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Gen. Douglas McArthur. The World War II memorial will be in southeast Missouri July 3-8.

This year, the organization will display five traveling memorials to honor the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country at the annual Freedom’s Never Free appreciation celebration: the Traveling WWII Memorial, the Traveling Korean Memorial, the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall, the Traveling Lima Company’s Eyes of Freedom, and the Traveling Small Wars and Conflicts Memorial. These memorials have never appeared together before.

The National World War II Memorial, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., includes 56 pillars representing the unity of all U.S. states and territories at the time of the war; the Freedom Wall including 4,048 stars each representing 100 U.S. soldiers who died in the war; and pavilion-like arches commemorating victory in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of the war.

AEP Announces National Merit Scholar Award Winners

Ben Hawkins was one of four students to receive a National Merit AEP Scholarship for 2018.

(Story by Barry Schumann)

AEP has partnered with the National Merit Scholarship Corp. to provide four Merit Scholar® awards this year to children of AEP employees. Recipients of the National Merit AEP Scholarships for 2018 are:

  • Ben Hawkins, son of Renee and Peter Hawkins. Renee is Managing Director, Corporate Finance, in Columbus, Ohio. Ben is a graduate of Wellington School in Columbus and will be studying electrical engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
  • Isaac Hopwood, son of Todd and Theresa Hopwood. Todd is a SWEPCO Manager of Distribution System in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Isaac is a graduate of Haas Hall Academy in Fayetteville and will be studying chemistry at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
  • Rohith Paidikondala, son of Murali Paidikondala and Lakshmi Kosuri. Murali is an IT Senior Project Manager in Gahanna, Ohio. Rohith is a graduate of New Albany (Ohio) High School and will be studying chemical engineering at The Ohio State University.
  • Danielle Veigel, daughter of Stephen and Gina Veigel. Stephen is an AEP Ohio Line Crew Supervisor in Canton, Ohio. Danielle is a graduate of Jackson High School in Massillon and will be studying chemical engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

 

Each scholarship winner will receive a $1,000 college undergraduate stipend payable annually for up to four years. Up to five graduating high school students are awarded scholarships each year.

To be eligible for the scholarships, a high school senior must attain Finalist standing in the National Merit Scholarship Program and be a child of an employee of AEP or one of its subsidiaries. To enter the National Merit Scholarship Program, high school juniors (11th grade/third year students) must take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Some 16,000 students annually are designated National Merit Program Semifinalists, representing the highest scores in every state.

Winners of 2019 National Merit AEP Scholarships will be selected by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. beginning in the spring of 2019 and announced publicly in April of that year. Awardees are chosen by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. based on its criteria. See additional information about the National Merit AEP Scholarship Program or the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The National Merit AEP scholarship program is separate from the AEP Educational Trust Scholarship Program that annually provides scholarships to 44 children of AEP employees on a competitive basis.

AEP Announces 2018 AEP Educational Trust Scholarship Winners

Forty-four sons and daughters of employees throughout the AEP System have been named recipients of 2018 AEP Educational Trust Scholarships.

Forty-four sons and daughters of employees throughout the AEP System have been named recipients of 2018 AEP Educational Trust Scholarships.

Each of the winning scholars will receive $8,000 over a three-year period: $3,000 for the freshman year in college, $2,500 for the sophomore year and $2,500 for the junior year.

A total of 219 students throughout the AEP System applied for the 44 available scholarships, which were open to employees’ children who are seniors in high school and plan to enter college this fall.

Winners were selected by two independent scholastic judges based on each student’s class rank, grade point average, test scores, recommendations, autobiographical presentation, special qualities or talents, leadership abilities, extracurricular activities and citizenship.

AEP has given 1,997 educational awards totaling $9.2 million since the program began in 1955 with a single $500 award. If a student receives a full scholarship to the institution of choice, he or she will give up the AEP award and an alternate will be selected.

This year’s winners are:

Jessica Burton, daughter of James and Trina Burton. James is a plant reliability optimization manager for Fossil and Hydro Generation in St. Albans, West Virginia. Jessica is a senior at Boyd County High School in Ashland, Kentucky.

Joshua Coffey, son of Don and Katy Coffey. Don is the director of Telecom Enterprise Operations in Gahanna, Ohio. Josh is a senior at Westerville South High School in Westerville, Ohio.

Chase Colvin, son of Dale Colvin. Dale is a customer service engineer principal for Southwestern Electric Power Company in Shreveport, Louisiana. Chase is a senior at C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport.

Connor Colvin, son of Dale Colvin. Dale is a customer service engineer principal for Southwestern Electric Power Company in Shreveport, Louisiana. Connor is a senior at C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport.

Matthew Davis, son of Scott and Melissa Davis. Scott is a general supervisor in the Chemistry Department at Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Michigan. Matthew is a senior at Coloma High School in Coloma, Michigan, and the Berrien County Math and Science Center in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

Lauren Frank, daughter of Nate and Tricia Frank. Nate is a nuclear specialist at Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Michigan. Lauren is a senior at Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana.

Kassie Frohnapfel, daughter of Patrick and Lisa Frohnapfel. Pat is an energy production supervisor senior at the Mitchell Plant in Moundsville, West Virginia. Kassie is a senior at John Marshall High School in Glen Dale, West Virginia.

Zarah Fulay, daughter of Anthony and Maria Fulay. Anthony is an IT systems analyst specialist senior at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Zarah is a senior at Hilliard Davidson High School in Hilliard, Ohio.

Benjamin Hancock, son of Todd and Barbara Hancock. Todd is a distribution system inspector for the Roanoke Service Center. Benjamin is a senior at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, Virginia.

Daniel Hancock, son of Todd and Barbara Hancock. Todd is a distribution system inspector for the Roanoke Service Center. Daniel is a senior at The Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, as well as Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, Virginia.

Cole Hoffman, son of Dave and Kathie Hoffman. Dave is the managing director of Field and Support Services in Columbus, Ohio. Cole is a senior at Meigs High School in Pomeroy, Ohio.

Isaac Hopwood, son of Todd and Theresa Hopwood. Todd is a manager distribution system for Southwestern Electric Power Company in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Isaac is a senior at Haas Hall Academy in Fayetteville.

Will Hoyer, son of William and Christine Hoyer. William is a trading manager at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Will is a senior at Bexley High School in Bexley, Ohio.

Eric Johnson, son of Bill and Kim Johnson. Bill is an attorney in the Legal Department in Columbus, Ohio. Eric is a senior at Gahanna Lincoln High School in Gahanna, Ohio.

Lauren Johnson, daughter of Woody and Tina Johnson. Woody is an equipment operator at AEP’s Conesville Plant in Conesville, Ohio. Lauren is a senior at River View High School in Warsaw, Ohio.

Jeremiah Kincaid, son of Jack Kincaid and Cheryl Rossel. Jack is a senior manager in Accounting Operations in Canton, Ohio. Jeremiah is a senior at Jackson High School in Massillon, Ohio.

Lindsey Kovach, daughter of Mike and Tonia Kovach. Mike is the plant manager at the Cook Coal Terminal in Metropolis, Ilinois. Lindsey is a senior at McCracken County High School in Paducah, Kentucky.

Seth Lawhon, son of Ryan Rupp and Sara Lawhon. Ryan is an IT architect for the Corporate Projects Team in Columbus, Ohio. Seth is a senior at Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

Rachel Morgan, daughter of Randy and Sandy Morgan. Randy is a deck engineer for the AEP River Transportation Division. Rachel is a senior at East Ridge High School in Lick Creek, Kentucky.

Sreekar Miriyala, son of Venkat and Saritha Miriyala. Venkat is the managing director of Enterprise Resiliency in Columbus, Ohio. Sreekar is a senior at Gahanna Lincoln High School in Gahanna, Ohio.

Marisa Nicol, daughter of Mark and Jennifer Nicol. Jennifer is a tax analyst principal at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Marisa is a senior at Fairbanks High School in Milford Center, Ohio.

Osheen Oommen, daughter of Thomas and Sheeja Oommen. Sheeja is an IT business systems analyst at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Osheen is a senior at Dublin Scioto High School in Dublin, Ohio.

Rohith Paidikondala, son of Murali Paidikondala and Lakshmi Kosuri. Murali is an IT senior project manager in Gahanna, Ohio. Rohith is a senior at New Albany High School in New Albany, Ohio.

Natalie Payton, daughter of Gary and Crystal Payton and Joanna and Michael Binegar. Gary is an IT leader senior at the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Michigan. Natalie is a senior at St. Marys High School in St. Marys, West Virginia.

Angela Rios, daughter of Duve and Sandra Rios. Duve is a transmission dispatcher in Corpus Christi, Texas. Angela is a senior at Bishop High School in Bishop, Texas.

Brock Rosenquist, son of Bart and Mary Rosenquist. Bart is a customer service account representative principal in San Angelo, Texas. Brock is a senior at Wall High School in Wall, Texas.

Landen Ross, daughter of Bernard and Lisa Ross. Bernard is the manager of distribution design for AEP Texas in Corpus Christi, Texas. Landen is a senior at Richard M. King High School in Corpus Christi.

Karthik Sastry, son of Ram and Pallavi Sastry. Ram is vice president of Enterprise Innovation and Resiliency. Karthik is a senior at Dublin Coffman High School in Dublin, Ohio.

Abby Schaefer, daughter of Ben and Jeanne Schaefer. Ben is a fossil plant quality control manager at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Abby is a senior at Christifideles School in Granville, Ohio.

Wade Seidel, son of Drew and Heather Seidel. Drew is plant manager at the Welsh Power Plant in Pittsburg, Texas. Wade is a senior at Pine Tree High School in Longview, Texas.

Corey Sparkman, son of Greg and Tina Sparkman. Greg is a manager distribution system for Kentucky Power Company in the Hazard District. Corey is a senior at Letcher County Central High School in Whitesburg, Kentucky.

Andrew Steele, son of Randy and Gretchen Steele. Randy is manager of protection and control engineering standards at the AEP Transmission Headquarters in New Albany, Ohio. Andrew is a senior at Davidson High School in Hilliard, Ohio.

Benjamin Stillions, son of Gary Stillions and Senti Longkumer. Gary is a lab technician at the Dolan Laboratory in Groveport, Ohio. Ben is a senior at Cambridge High School in Cambridge, Ohio.

John Stimpfl, son of Joe and Karen Stimpfl. Joe is an IT manager at the AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. John is a senior at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Ohio.

Shrayes Sunkum, son of Sreehari and Shalini Sunkum. Sreehari is an IT business systems analyst specialist senior at the AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Shrayes is a senior at Dublin Jerome High School in Dublin, Ohio.

Lynsey Taylor, daughter of Rod and Patty Taylor. Rod is a fleet technician A for Fleet Services at the John W. Vaughan Center in Salem, Virginia. Lynsey is a senior at Craig County High School in New Castle, Virginia.

Aren Thompson, son of Chris and Jenny Thompson. Chris is a distribution engineering technician senior located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Aren is a senior at the Tulsa School of Arts and Science in Tulsa.

Raven Vance, daughter of Christopher and Erika Vance. Christopher is a control technician senior at the John Amos Plant in St. Albans, West Virginia. Raven is a senior at Nitro High School in Nitro, West Virginia.

Alexis Veigel, daughter of Steve and Gina Veigel. Steve is a line crew supervisor in Canton, Ohio. Alexis is a senior at Jackson High School in Massillon, Ohio.

Danielle Veigel, daughter of Steve and Gina Veigel. Steve is a line crew supervisor in Canton, Ohio. Danielle is a senior Jackson High School in Massillon, Ohio.

Anna Wells, daughter of Tim and Susan Wells. Tim is the manager, Economic & Business Development for AEP in Ohio. Anna is a senior at Rutherford B. Hayes High School in Delaware, Ohio.

Jaret Wilcox, son of Eric and Linda Wilcox. Eric is director of transmission estimating at the AEP Transmission Headquarters in New Albany, Ohio. Jaret is a senior at Pickerington High School North in Pickerington, Ohio.

Andrew Williams, son of Mark and Dawn Williams. Mark is an HR business partner senior in Kingsport, Tennessee. Andrew is a senior at Gate City High School in Gate City, Virginia.

Haylee Zigmund, daughter of Bob and Lisa Zigmund. Bob is an IT systems analyst at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Haylee is a senior at Dublin Jerome High School in Dublin, Ohio.

AEP Ohio Celebrates Economic Development Week with $122,000 in Community Giving

Jeffry Harris (left), president, Area Development Foundation, Inc., and Tim Wells, manager of economic and business development for AEP Ohio, visit an Ohio economic development site.

(Story by Scott Fuller)

AEP Ohio announced 15 economic development organizations who were awarded $122,030 in Local Economic Assistance Program (LEAP) grant assistance in 2018.

The announcement comes as part of National Economic Development Week, a celebration of more than 500 groups in the United States and Canada recognizing the work economic development groups are doing to make their communities stronger.

Awarded annually since 2005, AEP Ohio’s LEAP grants have provided more than $1 million funding to help local communities grow. The grants focus on retaining and expanding manufacturing jobs. The funds can be used for a variety of purposes including corporate expansion, employee retention, wages and benefits surveys, research studies and attracting new business.

“By investing in new workforce and economic development programs locally, we hope to spur job creation and opportunities in the communities we serve,” said Tim Wells, manager of economic and business development for AEP Ohio. “When these areas grow and thrive, it’s good for the people who live there and it’s good for our business, too.”

This year’s LEAP grant dollars will be used for a variety of projects – everything from business incubators to engineering and technology camps to industrial site preparation. Wells sees three emerging trends in the applications AEP Ohio Economic and Business Development received this year:

  • Workforce development. “With the overall economy looking good and unemployment down, finding workers to fill positions can be a challenge. Companies and communities are working to promote a career in manufacturing as a viable alternative to a four-year college.”
  • Site readiness. “We want to help communities get ready so that when a business does come knocking on their door, they’re prepared. It’s something we’ve promoted in the past and we’re really starting to see it get traction,” Wells said.
  • Makerspaces. “These are the next generation of business incubators,” said Wells. “They’re collaborative work spaces where people can come together to create or build their products. For small businesses, entrepreneurs and startup companies it’s a great option and we’re seeing an increased demand for this kind of shared space, equipment and education.”

 

In an increasingly global economy, local communities are continuing to think of innovative ways to tackle business obstacles. AEP Ohio’s support is a great way for them to get a leg up by increasing their competitiveness and readiness in a competitive economic environment.

2018 Winners

  • Knox County Area Development: CNC lathe for business incubator ($16,250)
  • Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development: manufacturing site prep ($10,000)
  • Grow Licking County CIC: multimedia campaign ($10,000)
  • Kent State Tuscarawas: advance manufacturing equipment ($10,000)
  • Lawrence County Economic Development: site marketing ($10,000)
  • City of Pataskala: land use plan for industrial park ($10,000)
  • Paulding County Economic Development: engineering surveys ($10,000)
  • Fairfield 33 Development Alliance: engineering and technology camp ($9,670)
  • McComb Economic Development: site prep ($8,500)
  • Wyandot County Office of Economic Development: multimedia campaign ($5,900)
  • Athens County Economic Development Council: makerspace ($5,000)
  • Defiance Economic Development Office: industrial site work ($5,000)
  • Van Wert County Economic Development: economic development website ($5,000)
  • Gallia Count Economic Development: two years of client management database ($4,660)
  • Lancaster Port Authority: manufacturing site prep ($2,050)

 

For more information, including how we can help build businesses in your community, visit the AEP Economic & Business Development website.

Three AEP Companies Recognized as ENERGY STAR® Partners of the Year

Receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year awards for their company’s programs were (left to right) Kent Tomlinson of SWEPCO, LaQuisha Epps of PSO, Jim Miller of AEP Ohio and Sherry McCormack of SWEPCO. Photo courtesy of the Department of Energy.

(Story by Peter Main)

Three AEP companies were recognized for their energy efficiency program achievements during an April 20 ceremony in Washington, DC.

AEP Ohio, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) and Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) were honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year awards for energy efficiency programs that are saving money, saving energy and protecting the environment.

 

According to the ENERGY STAR website, the 2018 ENERGY STAR Award winners lead their industries in the production and sale of energy-efficient products and services, and in the development and adoption of strategies that provide substantial energy and money savings in the buildings where we live and work. The winners were selected from a network of thousands of ENERGY STAR partners.

Distribution Dispatcher Pulls Mother, Baby From Fiery Car Crash

AEP CEO Nick Akins (left) presents the Chairman’s Life Saving Award to Ian Koblitz. Also attending the ceremony were Julie Sloat (second from right), AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer, and Randy Knight, distribution dispatching manager.

(Story by Scott Fuller)

Two people were killed in a car crash earlier this year on Interstate 270 in Columbus, Ohio. That number may have been higher were it not for the quick response of Ian Koblitz.

Koblitz, a distribution dispatcher for AEP Ohio at the Groveport Operations Center, was one of the first people on the scene after an eastbound car struck a barrier March 1. The car was on fire, and several passengers were still inside, non-responsive.

An Air Force veteran, Koblitz used his military training to act swiftly and take control of the situation. First, he instructed another driver to grab his fire extinguisher and put out the blaze. Next, he checked the conditions of the driver and the front-seat passenger. (He felt no pulses.) That’s when he heard the whimpers of an 18-month-old girl, who was trapped under her mother in the back seat.

With the help of other Good Samaritans, Koblitz was able to remove both the baby and the injured woman through the back window of the still-smoldering car, saving their lives.

For this act of heroism, AEP CEO Nick Akins recently presented Koblitz with the Chairman’s Life Saving Award.

“It’s just an amazing display of selflessness. Events like this happen not only because of the experience that our employees have, but because we care about the communities we serve,” Akins said. “When we come upon these kind of situations, it takes a special person to respond and ensure that the lives of others are safe.”

Fellow employees at the Distribution Dispatching Center talk about Koblitz’s high-energy, lighthearted personality. But that fails to paint the full picture.

“Most people think of Ian as a jokester and someone who only lives to have fun, but those who know him well and are close to him understand how much he cares and how well be performs his job,” said Randy Knight, distribution dispatching manager. “Ian is very conscientious and is an excellent trouble dispatcher. He willingly goes out of his way to help others whenever possible.”

Koblitz says his military service prepared him for the fact that bad things can happen on any given day, and you have to be ready.

“After my deployment, seeing something like that was less of a shock. I saw stuff other people don’t have to,” he said. “But you learn you have to get your stuff together. You’re given the tools to do what you can. You just have to keep a calm head and be present in the situation.”

Though Koblitz appreciates the award, he’s also uncomfortable with the recognition.

“It’s a little awkward to be honest. I just did what I was supposed to do – what anyone else would do,” he said. “I believe that God put me on that road at that time. He put me there to help. I was his tool in that situation.

“I wish everyone could have made it out OK, but at least two people were saved.”

South Texas Press Association Recognizes AEP Line Crews for Hurricane Harvey Restoration Effort

Larry Jackson of STPA (center) presented the award to Omar Lopez (left) and Larry Jones (right) of the AEP Texas Corporate Communications Department during the President’s Reception.

(Story by Larry Jones)

During its annual conference, the South Texas Press Association (STPA) recognized the line crews of AEP for their outstanding and dedicated service during the Hurricane Harvey restoration effort.

Larry Jackson of STPA presented the award to Omar Lopez and Larry Jones of the AEP Texas Corporate Communications Department during the President’s Reception. AEP Texas sponsored the opening event of the conference, which is attended by weekly and bi-weekly newspaper publishers, editors, staff and family members from throughout the Central Division service territory. AEP Texas or its predecessor has been a supporter of the STPA since the very first conference was held in 1927.

“Today, if we don’t have electricity, we’re dead in the water,” Jackson said. And that phrase has seldom been more appropriate than this past year, when Hurricane Harvey left so many of use in south Texas without power in the aftermath of wind and rain, with stories to tell, but no way to tell them. We needed a lineman to turn the lights back on.

“No matter the time—day or night, weekday or weekend—if the lights go out, so do the line crews,” Jackson continued. “You’ve seen them, rising up in their bucket trucks in howling winds or torrential rains or in freezing, icy conditions—working around the clock near high-voltage power lines, until electricity is restored to every customer.

“Each year, we select a special friend of the South Texas Press Association to be the recipient of the Red Gibson Award for service,” Jackson added. “Last year was the year of Hurricane Harvey, the year of flooding, the year of displaced newspapers, the year of lost homes, lost jobs, of lost schools of lost businesses. This was also a year of compassion, a year of courage, a year of heroes. For these reasons, this year’s Red Gibson Award is presented to the dedicated line crews of AEP in recognition of their outstanding and dedicated service.”

AEP Employees Adapt Toys for Children with Differing Abilities

Forty-three AEP employee volunteers participated in a workshop at the Transmission Training Center in Pataskala to adapt electronic toys for children with special needs. Here, Daniel Headapohl (left), Transmission Right of Way agent, and Karmyn Wilford, an engineering co-op student, display the toy they modified.

(Story by Shawna Hansen)

AEP’s ADAPT Employee Resource Group (ERG) and AEP Transmission employees teamed up with staff and students of The Ohio State University Department of Engineering Education’s Toy Adaptation Program on April 10. Forty-three AEP employee volunteers participated in a workshop at the Transmission Training Center in Pataskala to adapt electronic toys for children with special needs. Working in teams, they modified new toys, purchased with funds donated through the AEP Toy Drive.

“Adapting toys is the process of changing them to allow people with special needs to use and play with them. The activity involves adding switches, buttons or other devices that allow the toy to be more fully and easily used,” explained event organizer, John Vargo, contract analyst, Transmission procurement.

“What you’re doing is making a toy usable for a child with different abilities than others. It is the circumstances and environment that are disabling. Today we are changing the environment for the kids, so they are no longer disabled and can play and learn independently,” said Jim Brosnahan, ADAPT ERG Chair, IT Continuous Improvement manager. Brosnahan shared touching stories about his niece who has severe brain trauma, his son who has Downs Syndrome and his older daughter who works in adaptive physical therapy, inspiring him to get more involved with this program.

OSU intern Emily Curtiss instructed volunteers to play with their switch-activated, battery-operated toy first to see what it is supposed to do. Adapting the toys to talk, spin, light up and move around successfully with their adaptations in about two hours takes careful planning, attention to detail and teamwork.

Workshop participants carefully disassembled the toys to uncover the circuit board and figure out where to install plug-in ports that allow the use of alternate switches and push buttons or even adaptive gear that allows children to use their head or mouth to operate the toys once connected to the new port. The toys were then taken to the workshop bay, where volunteers (experienced and trained in soldering) attached the wires for new switches. Once the toys were tested, they were carefully reassembled back in their original packaging to look brand new.

Rachel Kajfez, OSU assistant professor, explained that adaptive toys can also be used for therapy. Adapted versions from manufacturers typically cost two to four times more than the same toy bought normally. Volunteers watched a video from Liz Reiter, academic advisor, civil environmental engineering, who developed toy lending libraries where families can try different toys for as long as they want to keep them for free.

Completed toys will be donated directly to families of children with special needs and to adaptive toy lending libraries, such as the one at Ohio State’s Nisonger Center. “Families of children with different abilities are always looking for ways their child can just play like a normal kid and it is pure joy to be able to help them,” said Kajfez.

Workshop participants carefully disassembled the toys to uncover the circuit board and figure out where to install plug-in ports that allow the use of adaptive solutions.

“Anyone could do this. I work in Procurement, I’m not an engineer, but once we took things apart, it started to make sense,” said Andrea Cuthbert, contract analyst, who partnered with Tram Trinh, Transmission project management senior, to adapt some toys.

“It feels good doing something for other people and this puts things into perspective on things we might sometimes take for granted,” added Trinh.

“By giving up a little of our time, we are giving a child a lot of play time with a brand new toy,” said Cuthbert.

Read more – https://www.osu.edu/features/2016/toys-that-touch-hearts.html

Learn more – http://u.osu.edu/osutap

 

Murphy Brothers Total 94 Years at AEP … and Counting

Dave (left) and Jack Murphy have combined for 94 years of dedicated service at AEP.

(Story by Scott Fuller)

Dave Murphy, an equipment operator at AEP’s generation plant in Conesville, Ohio, was hired in 1973. His 45 years with the company put him squarely among the 100 longest-tenured employees, and he has no plans to retire.

Impressed? His brother isn’t. That’s because Jack Murphy, a line mechanic for AEP Ohio in Coshocton, has been here for 49 years.

If the brothers’ combined 94 years of service isn’t evidence of a deep-rooted commitment to their jobs, here’s more: They rarely, if ever, call off work.

Dave’s current manager, Jeff Queen, can’t recall a time when Dave didn’t show up for work. Neither can his longtime supervisor, Rich Rollison. “If Dave took a day off it was a very long time ago,” Rollison says.

With Jack, it’s an identical story. “AEP is his life. It’s just what he does,” says Jack’s manager, David Burkholder, distribution system supervisor in Coshocton. “He’s never taken a sick day, and he’s been here for almost 50 years. I don’t know it for a fact, but I heard he was never sick in elementary and high school either. That says a lot.”

Burkholder says Jack’s work ethic is unmatched. He’s been a lineman his entire career, a physical job that wears down even the fittest and most dedicated workers. As a line servicer for the past six years, Jack has fielded about 300 trouble calls each year. By comparison, the average lineman receives maybe 50.

Believe it or not, Jack does take vacations from this heavy workload … but only during his scheduled day-to-day hours. If a trouble call comes in at night while he’s on vacation, Jack won’t miss the opportunity to respond. Failing to respond simply isn’t an option for him. (Burkholder can remember Jack missing only a couple calls out of more than a thousand.)

“I know only one or two people in the entire company who are that dedicated,” Burkholder says. “Jack climbs poles just like the young guys. I’m sure they could outwork him now, but he puts in as much effort as anyone.”

Another of those hard-working folks is Dave, who has been keeping pace by quietly racking up years of service at Conesville. Colleagues say Dave is meticulous, safety-conscious and quiet – not extroverted like his brother, Jack, who seemingly can’t go anywhere around town without knowing someone. But Dave matches his brother in tireless dedication.

Dave started his career with the station construction group, painting substation equipment in the Mount Vernon area. Over the years, he’s carved out an essential role as a jack-of-all-trades who takes care of the plant’s material handling shop, cleans vehicles, salts the roads and sidewalks during the winter, paints and handles custodial duties, completes odds-and-ends-type jobs and generally maintains the building in whatever ways are needed.

Dave Murphy celebrates 45 years at AEP.

“Whatever you tell Dave to do he’ll do it,” Queen says. “He’s one of those employees who a lot of time will give you a lot more than what you asked for. He’s just a joy to work with.”

Dave’s co-workers tell stories about all kinds of tasks Dave has diligently accepted, including lugging heavy jugs of water upstairs, stringing up Christmas lights in the plant and sprucing up rusty, worn out vehicles into shiny new shape. (He’s so well known for this skill that many employees specifically request his help on their vehicles.)

“Everybody knows that if you call Dave, whatever it is will be done and it will be done well. And I have never, ever heard Dave Murphy complain,” says Erich Skelley, an energy production superintendent at Conesville. “He goes out of his way to help people out. Let me tell you, when he hasn’t been around he has been missed. That’s when we realized there will be a big hole to fill.”

For co-workers who universally say the service-oriented brothers live and breathe AEP (“they’re either at work or bowling”), it’s hard to imagine them retiring. Burkholder chuckles when thinking about Jack’s obsessive commitment, but pauses and gets quiet when considering what it would be like without having the ever-reliable lineman around. “It’s going to be a loss when he finally does retire,” Burkholder says.

Skelley works with Dave in Conesville and lives next door to Jack. He knows the extreme dedication of both men. He has witnessed Jack leave his house over and over again, at all hours of the night, to respond to trouble calls. Skelley finally asked him how he keeps at it so persistently, and if he’s ever going to retire.

“I can’t,” Jack responded. “Customers need me.”