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AEP Named on New List of Best Places to Work for Women

AEP has been named on a new list of the best places to work for women.

Forbes’ inaugural look at the nation’s best employers for women includes 300 corporations, universities and organizations. The magazine came up with the ranking working with market research company Statista by anonymously surveying 40,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees.

Respondents were first asked to rate their organizations on criteria such as working conditions, diversity and how likely they’d be to recommend their employer to others. These responses were reviewed for potential gender gaps. So if women, for example, rated an organization poorly on diversity, but men rated it highly, Statista would take that into account and adjust the company’s score accordingly. Statista then asked female respondents to rate their employers on factors such as parental leave, discrimination and pay equity. These respondents were also asked to nominate organizations in industries outside their own. The final list ranks the 300 employers that both received the most recommendations and boast the most gender diverse boards and executive ranks.

“Over the past five years, the work of all of our employees on our cultural transformation broadly with a focus on diversity and inclusion has led to us being named to this prestigious list of companies,” said Lana Hillebrand, executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “While we still have much work to do, being named on the list of best places to work for women validates that we are heading in the right direction as we continue our transformation to the utility company of the future.”

AEP ranked No. 193 overall and was third on the Forbes list in the Utilities category behind Sacramento Municipal Utility District (No. 146) and Consumers Energy (No. 151).

The No. 1 company on this list was Principal Financial Group, an investment management and insurance firm based in Des Moines, Iowa.

 

Obituaries

AEP Service Corporation

Miriam Boyer, 84, retired, AEP Headquarters, died July 8.

John Struyk, 91, retired, AEP Headquarters, died July 1.

AEP Texas

Jose Arredondo, 95, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died July 18.

Appalachian Power Company

David Brown, 70, Three Rivers Service Center, died July 23.

Bobby Hobbs, 82, retired, Clinch River Plant, died July 8.

Nell Noe, 92, retired, Clinch River Plant, died July 21.

Douglas Ratcliff, 71, Pulaski Service Center, died July 13.

Edward Sheets, 76, retired, Kanawha River Plant, died June 28.

Hobert Taylor, 96, retired, Lebanon Service Center, died July 12.

Columbus Southern Power Company

Marilyn Ashcraft, 88, retired, Coshocton Office Building, died July 10.

Melvin Bell, 79, retired, 700 Building-Gahanna, died July 11.

Merrell Carter, 80, retired, 850 Tech Center, died July 16.

Norman Helser, 87, retired, 850 Tech Center, died July 10.

Arthur Rhoades, 76, 850 Tech Center, died July 7.

Ruth Starr, 82, 850 Tech Center, died July 22.

Indiana Michigan Power Company

Richard McLemore, 82, retired, Cook Nuclear Plant, died July 4.

Bruce Radde, 65, Cook Nuclear Plant, died July 6.

Lois Riddle, 97, retired, One Summit Square, died July 19.

David Woerner, 69, Tanners Creek Plant, died July 15.

Ohio Power Company

Bernard Butcher, 95, retired, Southern Ohio Coal Company, died July 5.

Harold Elliott, 75, retired, Cardinal Plant, died July 11.

Anna Graves, 90, retired, Southern Ohio Coal Company, died July 12.

Walter Grover, 91, retired, Lancaster Office Building, died July 19.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Michael Bernart, 69, Tulsa Power Station, died July 12.

Oliver Moss, 86, retired, Tulsa General Office, died June 26.

Bobby Perry, 73, retired, Chickasha Office, died July 18.

Roberta Vaught, 84, retired, Tulsa General Office, died July 19.

Duane Woodson, 84, retired, Tulsa General Office, died June 29.

Southwestern Electric Power Company

Douglas Bonner, 99, retired, Shreveport General Office, died July 5.

William Lawrence, 42, Haughton Operations Center, died July 10.

Transmission

Dusty Pittman, 36, South Bend Service Center, died July 1.

July Retirements

AEP Ohio

Mark Burfield, Canton General Service Center, retired July 1 after 20 years of service.

Howard Ervin Jr., Pomeroy Service Building, retired July 7 after 34 years of service.

Craig Holmes, Marietta Service Center, retired July 14 after 33 years of service.

Dawn McHenry, Delaware Service Center, retired July 17 after 30 years of service.

Brian Morris, 850 Tech Center, retired July 6 after 27 years of service.

Jeffrey Prisner, Wheeling Service Building, retired July 14 after 38 years of service.

AEP Service Corporation

Jeffrey Brubaker, AEP Headquarters, retired July 7 after 36 years of service.

Kristi Giordano, John E. Dolan Lab, retired July 14 after 12 years of service.

Thomas Mitchell, AEP Headquarters, retired July 7 after 36 years of service.

David Moore, AEP Headquarters, retired July 10 after 37 years of service.

Mark Price, AEP Headquarters, retired July 7 after 15 years of service.

John Woellert Jr., AEP Headquarters, retired July 14 after 21 years of service.

Peggy Wright-Kneisel, AEP Headquarters, retired July 21 after 10 years of service.

AEP Texas

Nathan Hires Jr., Southwest Distribution System-San Angelo, retired July 4 after 12 years of service.

Rex McIntosh, Meter Services, retired July 28 after 35 years of service.

Larry Railsback, Vernon Office, retired July 1 after 32 years of service.

Appalachian Power Company

Kevin Gallatin, Rocky Mount Service Center, retired July 28 after 38 years of service.

Rebecca McAlister, Hurricane Call Center, retired July 14 after 26 years of service.

Teresa Topham, Hurricane Call Center, retired July 2 after 20 years of service.

Generation

Robert Bogard Jr., Mitchell Plant, retired July 28 after 37 years of service.

Randall Broome, Wilkes Plant, retired July 26 after 29 years of service.

Lloyd Burton Jr., Cook Nuclear Plant, retired July 20 after 10 years of service.

Grafton Buzzard, Amos Plant, retired July 1 after 29 years of service.

Jerald Habursky, Mitchell Plant, retired July 1 after 36 years of service.

Philip Hudnall, Amos Plant, retired July 21 after 27 years of service.

Larry Longenette, Rockport Plant, retired July 10 after 39 years of service.

Debra Poupard, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired July 13 after 19 years of service.

John Powell, Conesville Plant, retired July 1 after 38 years of service.

Erich Skelley, Conesville Plant, retired July 24 after 41 years of service.

John Stover, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired July 26 after 36 years of service.

Michael Sullivan, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired July 13 after 10 years of service.

Carl Warner, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired July 19 after 38 years of service.

Indiana Michigan Power Company

Gary Amick, Baer Field Service Center, retired July 5 after 38 years of service.

Robert Bournique, One Summit Square, retired July 28 after 32 years of service.

Neil Conlon, Cook Material Center, retired July 13 after 22 years of service.

Larry Evans, Buchanan Service Center, retired July 17 after 45 years of service.

Ronald Kable, One Summit Square, retired July 11 after 10 years of service.

Paul Zoschke, Buchanan Service Center, retired July 11 after 32 years of service.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Kimberly King, Tulsa General Office, retired July 24 after 18 years of service.

Floyd Schulte, Alsuma Meter & Substation, retired July 7 after 39 years of service.

Southwestern Electric Power Company

Ronald Cosby, Shreveport General Office, retired July 7 after 41 years of service.

Thomas Farnham, Longview Operations, retired July 14 after 46 years of service.

Transmission

James Garrett III, AEP Transmission-New Albany, retired July 14 after 39 years of service.

Richard Vance, North Charleston Service Center, retired July 24 after 34 years of service.

Kenneth Walker, AEP Transmission-New Albany, retired July 17 after 20 years of service.

Appalachian Power Employee Recognized for Pulling a Stranger From a Burning Car

Appalachian Power Company Technician Fred Bryant (second from left) received the AEP Chairman’s Life Saving Award from (from left) Appalachian Power President and COO Chris Beam, AEP Vice President for Safety and Health Natalie McCord and Appalachian Power DIstribution Vice President Phil Wright last week in Lynchburg.

(Story by Teresa Hall)

There are many words that one could use to describe Fred Bryant’s actions when he risked his own safety to pull a stranger from a burning car, but Bryant isn’t comfortable with being singled out or called a hero. A humble man, Bryant said what he did that June day is what anyone would have done to help a person in need.

The longtime Lynchburg, Va., technician was headed to a dental appointment last year with his wife, Angie, when they noticed a crashed vehicle in a ditch along a rural road near Forest.

“I saw the car and just reacted,” said Bryant, a former volunteer firefighter, who is CPR and first aid certified through the company.

When Bryant approached the car, he saw that the sole occupant was a male driver. Bryant and a second man who stopped to help tried to coax the driver out of the car, but Bryant said the motorist appeared to be in shock.

Bryant was on the passenger side communicating with the driver when he saw flames starting to form beneath the car. As a former firefighter, Bryant knew the outcome could be deadly if they didn’t act fast to distance themselves from the vehicle.

The smoke and flames soon forced Bryant and the other Good Samaritan to the driver’s side of the vehicle.

The driver’s side door was jammed and the situation was growing more intense by the second. “The smoke was thick, the flames were getting hotter and being this close to the car, we were having a hard time breathing,” Bryant said.

Fred Bryant and several bystanders tend to a crash victim while awaiting fire and rescue personnel. Photo courtesy of Bryant’s wife, Angie.

By now, the victim was feeling the effects of the heat and flames on his skin. Fortunately, another person who had stopped had a sharp knife to cut the man’s seatbelt. Bryant and the second man he’d been working with together pulled the driver through the window and away from the burning car. From there, two other bystanders helped the pair drag the crash victim as far from the car as possible.

“I was very nervous when the fire erupted and he wouldn’t leave the car,” the Appalachian Power technician recalled. Within minutes of getting the driver out, Bryant said he heard a loud bang as the tires and car exploded.

The situation could have easily had a tragic outcome. “I’m just thankful it worked out like it did,” Bryant said.

The driver suffered second and possibly third degree burns to the back of his arms and on his legs and was taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center for treatment.

“I just did what anyone would have done that day,” said Bryant after he received the AEP Chairman’s Life Saving Award last week in Lynchburg. Earlier this year, Bryant also received an American Red Cross Hero Award in the Emergency Response category for his actions. “I’m not a hero. I’m just someone who was there and helped another person in need.”

River Division Vessel Receives COI From U.S. Coast Guard

The crew of the Capt. James Anderson celebrates receiving a certificate of inspection from the U.S. Coast Guard. From left to right: Chris Blank-USCG, Dale Nedrow, Danny Marr, Mike Rogers, Bill Null, Matt Rieger, Juanita Landes, Jonathan Jordan, James Northup, Cmdr. Paul Mangini-USCG, and Troy Akers. Photo by Dee Harbrecht.

The U.S. Coast Guard (Huntington District)  issued the first certificate of inspection (COI) for a previously uninspected line boat for Subchapter M compliance July 20 at AEP’s River Transportation Division headquarters in Lakin, W.Va.

Coast Guard Commander Paul Mangini presented the COI to River Division Captain Troy Akers for the towing vessel Captain James Anderson.

A COI is issued to a vessel after the vessel has completed a thorough examination of safety equipment, machinery, pollution prevention equipment, navigation equipment, life-saving equipment and more. Approximately 6,000 towing vessels across the country will become inspected by the Coast Guard under these new requirements.

All AEP boats will eventually receive their COI’s and become inspected vessels. Companies have five years to get their COI’s completed. The Captain Gerald Boggs has completed its official inspection and will file for its COI in the fall. Next year, two more River Division vessels will be inspected for their COI application and certificate.

“I am proud of the entire crew of the m/v Capt. James Anderson for their commitment to excellence and continuous improvement efforts to meet these new sub-M regulations,” said Jeff Keifer, AEP managing director-boat operations.

 

Rogina King Saves Infant From Overheated Vehicle

Rogina King (second from right) is recognized by (left to right): Joseph Snow, project manager, ABM; Michelle Kinds, manager – Workplace Services, AEP; and Christopher Lindner, senior regional director, ABM.

Rogina King, a contract custodial employee of ABM working at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, is well-known on the floors where she works. A petite woman, she has a positive, energetic attitude and an infectious laugh.

She also has a heart of heroic proportions.

One day in early July, with temperatures hovering around 90 degrees, she got out of her car at a local grocery store parking lot to do some routine shopping. Nearby, from within a parked vehicle, she heard whimpering and crying.

She walked over to the car and was shocked to see a baby strapped in the back seat of the car with no one around. A window was barely cracked open.

King immediately tried to open the window but was unable to do so. While she was attempting to gain access, a man nearby saw what she was doing, came over and began to help. He took a shopping cart and broke the window so they could get to the child. They took the baby into the store and contacted store security and emergency medical personnel.

“I just saw that helpless baby, and I knew I had to do something,” King said. “I just reacted.”

Michelle Kinds, manager – Workplace Services, recognized King for being observant and taking quick action, and presented her with a gift from AEP. “We always talk about safety with our employees and contractors, and we want to recognize you for making safety a priority and taking action in this situation,” she said.

The entire custodial team at the AEP Headquarters building enjoyed a pizza lunch from ABM in recognition of King’s actions.

King, a member of the team that does general cleaning building-wide, has worked for ABM for 13 years.

How high can temperatures climb inside a vehicle?

The National Weather Service conducted a test on a recent summer day. A car with a dark color and untinted windows was parked facing south with a sunny sky, with temperatures in the 90s and climbing at midday. The air conditioner was run until the interior of the car reached 82 degrees and remained steady. Then a digital thermometer was placed in the rear seat. The air conditioner was turned off and temperature readings were taken every 10 minutes.

Within 20 minutes, the temperature had climbed to 87 degrees. In another 10 minutes, it reached 93, and 10 minutes later it hit 100 inside the car. An hour after starting the test, it was 104 inside the vehicle – 11 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. When the test concluded about 2 hours after it began, it was a blistering 124 degrees inside the car.

The NWS noted that “A child’s body temperature warms much more quickly than an adult’s. Conditions can get deadly relatively quickly, so never take a chance. Never leave children, pets, or even the elderly in a parked car for even short periods of time.”

‘I Was Beyond Dehydrated’: Lineman Helped from Extreme Heat

Thanks to concern for his partner and quick action, Zac Caron (left) helped Dustin Reyna out of a potentially dangerous situation involving heat illness.

(Story by Scott Fuller)

The first week of July brought searing heat and several strong storms to Columbus, Ohio. Line Mechanic-C Zac Caron and Line Mechanic-D Dustin Reyna were among the crews working quickly to repair damage and restore power to thousands of customers.

Caron and Reyna climbed two poles in quick succession and, 20 feet in the air, Caron looked over at his partner and knew something was wrong. Caron has been with AEP Ohio for four years and is accustomed to working in hot weather; his partner was not.

“I kept asking Dustin, ‘Are you all right? Are you all right?’ I could tell he wasn’t comprehending what I was saying. He just couldn’t put it together,” Caron said.

Reyna was not all right. He was pale. An indoor electrician before joining the company in January, he hadn’t experienced extreme summertime heat and wasn’t prepared.

“This was the first time I had felt like that. I used to play sports and stuff so I thought I’d be fine,” Reyna said. “But Zac noticed it pretty quick. My muscles started to cramp up and my legs felt like Jell-O. I was beyond dehydrated.”

Caron knows the signs of heat illness and he grew increasingly firm in urging Reyna to climb down. Reyna was reluctant but, when he struggled to lift 20-pound equipment he normally handles with ease, Reyna finally agreed. He shifted into the shade, drank plenty of water and very slowly made his descent. The trip down the pole – normally accomplished in a minute or two – took close to 20. Caron went above and beyond to continually check on the well-being of his partner and communicate what was going on to crew members below so precautions could be taken … all while continuing to make repairs.

It’s been a learning experience for Reyna, and he knows the result could have been worse.

“A good warning sign is someone telling you that you don’t look right. If that happens, don’t try to be a macho man. There’s a time and a place for that but it’s better to be safe,” Reyna said. “We all could do a better job of policing each other. I’m definitely taking that responsibility a lot more seriously now.”

AEP to Sell Land in Ohio’s Muskingum County

The land being auctioned offers recreational opportunities including camping, hiking, trail riding, and fishing.

(Story by Tracy Simons)

AEP’s Ohio Franklin Realty, LLC, will be offering, by auction, 1,050 acres of land divided into 21 tracts, located in Muskingum County, Ohio. Tracts will range in size from 14 to 190 acres and feature a variety of mixed hardwood and pine forests, ponds, and trails. Also being offered is a 450-acre hunting lease.

This property offers recreational opportunities including camping, hiking, trail riding, and fishing. For those who love hunting, the property features a diverse mix of wildlife habitats, streams, and meadows. Some tracts have electric available for potential home sites.

The auction will be managed by Schrader Auction Company/Murray Wise & Associates and will take place on Saturday, August 18, 2018, at 9 a.m. at The Pavilion at Lake Park Complex, 23253 SR. 83 N., Coshocton, OH 43812. Inspection of the property will be held on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, between the hours of 4-6 p.m. Meet at the Adamsville Community Fire Department and EMS – 5345 Mollies Rock Rd. (located 1 block north of the intersection of St. Rd. 93 & Hwy 208).

For more information, terms and conditions, visit http://www.schraderauction.com/auctions/?id=7319.

13,000 Acres of ‘ReCreation Land’ Becomes Ohio’s Newest State Park

AEP CEO Nick Akins (seated left) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich dedicate the new Jesse Owens State Park & Wildlife Area during ceremonies July 17 in Ohio.

(Story by Scott Blake)

Restoring former mining sites to land that can be enjoyed by animals and people is a tremendous effort. For decades, this 60,000 acre swath of land in eastern Ohio provided fuel that powered the state. This week, a portion of that site was turned into Ohio’s newest state park.

Beginning in 1947, surface mining operations helped convert millions of tons of coal into electric power for Ohio customers. When the mining stopped in the early 2000s, AEP began efforts to reclaim the land and turn it into ReCreation Land, a place that attracts 100,000 visitors each year for fishing, canoeing, hiking, camping and other outdoor activities.

More than 63 million trees were planted. A system of 350 lakes and ponds were created and stocked for fishing, and 380 campsites were built to help visitors experience nature. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has helped AEP manage the land. They ensure campers are following the rules and help maintain a network of hiking and horse trails.

A few years ago, AEP and ODNR began talks about how the land and the public would be better served if the state of Ohio purchased the land and turned it into a state park. The first step in that process took place July 17 when Nick Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer, and Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer, joined Gov. John Kasich to complete the sale of a portion of 13,000 acres of land the state has agreed to purchase.

In addition to the new state park, visitors can experience the “Big Muskie” bucket, on display as part of the Miner’s Memorial, which was used in the mining operation.

“The Big Muskie could move 325 tons of dirt in a single bite,” said Sloat. “I recall seeing photos of the bucket with an entire high school marching band standing inside it. The Miner’s Memorial has been donated by AEP in recognition of the achievements of the men and women of AEP.”

The park, Jesse Owens State Park and Wildlife Area, is poised to become one of the state’s largest parks once future sales are complete. Jesse Owens, an African American track and field athlete, won international attention for winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. His wins came in the face of Nazi rule under Hitler. Owens grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, after moving there at age 9. He was a dominant Ohio State University track athlete.

Two of the four campsites were included in this part of the sale. The two remaining campsites, as well as other areas of ReCreation Land, will remain free for public use. Those using ReCreation Land must have a permit and keep the permit with them while they are on AEP property.

Obituaries

AEP River Transportation Division

Ronald Frazier, 63, River Transportation Division, died June 8.

AEP Service Corporation

Robert Johnston, 90, retired, AEP Headquarters, died June 6.

Bernard Zickefoose, 61, United Science Testing, Inc., died June 25.

AEP Texas

Forrest Carter, 92, retired, Abilene General Office, died July 1.

Louise Mohr, 91, retired, Abilene General Office, died July 2.

Virginia Matheny, 99, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died March 16.

Margaret Sens, 88, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died June 10.

Robert Weaver, 76, Paint Creek Power Plant, died June 4.

Appalachian Power Company

Wayne Bailey, 76, retired, Beckley Service Center, died June 3.

Franklin Esterly, 72, retired, Amos Plant, died June 2.

Alfred Fauver, 51, Amos Plant, died May 31.

Willie Feazelle, 76, retired, Roanoke Service Building, died June 27.

Raymond Finnearty, 77, retired, Mountaineer Plant, died June 30.

Patrick Hunter, 67, North Charleston Service Center, died June 27.

Abner Jacobs, 82, retired, Rocky Mount Service Center, died July 1.

Ralph Jones, 79, retired, Pulaski Service Center, died June 11.

Ruby Lawson, 66, Clinch River Plant, died June 30.

Jack Pippin, 88, retired, Kingsport Office, died June 14.

David Willard Sr., 76, Roanoke Service Building, died June 21.

Charles Williams, 75, Amos Plant, died June 30.

Columbus Southern Power Company

Wayne Armstrong, 95, retired, 850 Tech Center, died June 24.

Richard Bachman, 74, Conesville Plant, died June 16.

Raymond Kirker, 67, Conesville Plant, died July 2.

Dale Priddy, 84, retired, Athens Service Center, died June 7.

Helen Shepherd, 83, retired, 850 Tech Center, died March 20.

Larry Spohn, 64, 850 Tech Center, died June 21.

Indiana Michigan Power Company

Gaylord Bliss, 89, retired, One Summit Square, died June 26.

John Custer, 74, Cook Nuclear Plant, died June 7.

Virgil Geisleman, 83, retired, South Bend Office, died June 8.

Clifford Hammers, 85, retired, Muncie Office, died May 25.

David Lake, 79, retired, Baer Field Service Center, died July 3.

Norman Luttman, 74, retired, Spy Run Service Center, died June 11.

Carlos Roahrig, 87, retired, St. Joseph Service Center, died June 13.

Donald Starker, 74, retired, Tanners Creek Plant, died June 9.

William Whipkey, 91, retired, South Bend Service Center, died May 25.

Kentucky Power Company

Calvin Burnett, 90, retired, Robert E. Matthews Service Center, died June 7.

David Compton, 68, Big Sandy Plant, died April 17.

Ohio Power Company

Judith Brown, 74, retired, Cardinal Plant, died June 5.

Frederick Davis, 88, retired, Central Ohio Coal Company, died May 26.

Jeffrey Earnest, 65, Cardinal Plant, died June 9.

James Edson, 87, retired, Lima Service Center, died June 10.

Jerry Glore, 78, retired, Findlay Office, died June 19.

Gilbert Fisher, 72, retired, Muskingum River Plant, died June 23.

Raymond Harless, 89, retired, Lancaster Office Building, died June 21.

John Lennon, 85, retired, Wooster Office Building, died June 4.

Patricia Sharkey, 78, retired, New Philadelphia Service Center, died February 28.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Ervin Ellis, 87, retired, Tulsa General Office, died June 2.

Robert Hale, 89, retired, Tulsa General Office, died June 14.

Darrell Mills, 64, Snyder Office, died May 21.

Walter Shields, 89, retired, Tulsa General Office, died July 6.

Julianne Stacy, 47, CSW Tulsa, died May 12.

Southwestern Electric Power Company

Douglas Bonner, 99, retired, Shreveport General Office, died July 5.

Tracy Brittain, 58, Wilkes Power Plant, died June 18.

Leon Kelly, 63, Dolet Hills Lignite Mine, died June 19.

Robert Rogers, 69, Greenwood Service Center, died May 26.

Transmission

Larry Smith, 69, John W. Vaughan Center, died June 19.