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Did You Hear? AEP Launches New Employee Podcast

by on May 5, 2021

“I remember the boom. I remember the light and I just remember falling to the ground,” said Michele Ross, distribution dispatching manager at AEP Ohio, as she tells the story of being in an underground vault with a co-worker when an arc flash occurred. “I could see him, his face, and it just wasn’t good.”

Ross’s story is in one of the premier episodes of a new podcast series for AEP employees. Four episodes are included in the initial launch of The AEP Employee Podcast. You will hear your co-workers explain issues or tell stories in their own voices.

In the first episode, CEO Nick Akins discusses leading a major corporation through unpredictable and tumultuous times.

“I think everyone was pushed out of their comfort zone. If they weren’t, they really weren’t human,” Akins said of the past year. “I think one of the central issues that a CEO needs to understand and exhibit is what they don’t know.”

The new podcast will focus on a range of topics, from massive changes in our industry, to individual stories of interest, to confronting difficult truths that will illuminate our work and our co-workers.

Henry Brown, director of grid modernization at SWEPCO, speaks out about the stark prejudice he experienced as a black employee in 1975, and the things that still need to change at AEP.

“I began to learn very quickly that minorities didn’t go very high at SWEPCO,” Brown said. “I didn’t have a problem speaking up and voicing my opinion about that. And sometimes that wasn’t very well received. Well, often it wouldn’t be well received.”

In another episode, we learn what AEP’s cyber security employees are up against as they protect the company and its critical infrastructure from a cast of real threats.

“Ukraine was cyber compromised two years in a row,” said Steve Swick, vice president and chief security and privacy officer for AEP, “and threat actors, Russia, turned off the power each time. One year they shut it off twice.”

Future episodes will also take us outside of AEP to stories in the communities we serve and care about. New episodes are released every two weeks. To subscribe to the podcast, point your phone or other podcast listening device at AEP.com/EmployeePodcast. You’ll find links there to the Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher podcast services.

New to podcasting? Here’s information on getting started with podcasts.

Or if you just want to listen to the current episodes, you can do that at [http://corpcomm/podcast] or externally at https://theaepemployeepodcast.buzzsprout.com.

The series is hosted by Bailey Cultice, communications consultant principal. Cultice has led communication efforts for Safety and Health since she joined the company in 2017. This work has taken her to every part of AEP’s territory to film videos for the Safety and Health Channel. She’s also been heavily involved in AEP’s efforts to make driving safer through projects like The Driving Summit. Cultice is a second generation AEP employee. Her parents met while working at the Tanners Creek Plant in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and her father, Jim, worked in Generation for more than 40 years.

You can also play a part in the AEP podcast. Do you have an interesting story related to your time with the company? Is there a topic you’d like to know more about? If so, send us an email at podcast@aep.com.

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One Comment
  1. Lynn Bailey permalink

    Thank you to my friend, Henry Brown, for sharing his comments. Glad you are still an encouragement to others, even those of us who are now retired.
    Lynn Bailey

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