GOVERNMENT & COMMUNITY RELATIONS MANAGER, DUKE ENERGY
Q: What is your role at Duke Energy? How long have you been with the company?
A: I manage Duke Energy’s relationships with local elected officials, schools, nonprofits, small business accounts and our residential customers. I also have the key role in our local philanthropic investments and volunteer activity. I have worked with Duke Energy my entire career. For the past 13 years I have served as the Government & Community Relations Manager, serving six counties (including Hamilton) in Central Indiana. Prior to this role, I served in a variety of roles in engineering. I pursued my current role because I really enjoy working with people and helping communities.
Q: What initiatives is Duke Energy most engaged with in Hamilton County?
A: Duke Energy is working on a number of initiatives that impact Hamilton County. The three I think are the most important are:
- Strengthening the Grid – improving the reliability of our energy and making strides to make it a self-healing system. Self-healing is created by automating the processes in place for recovery after an outage.
- Transitioning to Cleaner Energy Sources – Duke Energy is working to expand solar and wind energy. The company’s goal is to have a 50 percent reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050.
- Promoting Workforce Opportunities – Duke Energy is actively involved in the local community attending career fairs and educating students, teachers, and parents about workforce opportunities. Duke Energy provided grant funding to The Pursuit Institute to help develop pathways and opportunities for students to consider occupations like being a lineman. With a high school diploma and a Duke Energy paid apprenticeship, linemen in Indiana will earn a six-figure salary after just 4 years.
Q: What have you learned as an active part of the county’s growth over the last 35 years?
A: Hamilton County is phenomenally blessed with a concentration of leaders that are passionate about the whole county and are big thinkers. The Hamilton County Leadership Academy (HCLA) really opened my eyes to how fortunate we are as a county to have such amazing, forward-thinking leaders. I am confident our communities will continue to thrive and move forward with ongoing, well-planned, sustainable growth.
Q: You served as the chair of Invest Hamilton County’s board. Why did you learn in that role?
A: I have served on the economic development board since 2009 when it was the Hamilton County Alliance. I was fortunate to serve as Chair of Invest Hamilton County from 2019 through 2021. While serving on this board, I learned there are many community leaders, form a wide variety of sectors, who are invested in moving the county forward through economic development and workforce attraction. It is inspiring to see how the communities, government, schools, developers, energy providers and others are engaged in making Hamilton County a world class place to live, work, play and visit.
Q: What economic development initiatives do you think are most urgent for our community?
A: Attracting and skilling up a diverse workforce is necessary to make and keep Hamilton County a world class location. It is equally important to attract new and develop existing businesses in Hamilton County to keep this community vibrant for years to come.
Q: You’ve served Hamilton County in many different roles, tell us about some of them.
A: In my role, I am fortunate to be able to play a part in grant making and sponsoring events in our local communities. Duke Energy knows we are only successful if the communities we serve are successful. I’ve been able to be a part of and learn about a number of non-profit and local arts and education organizations through our grant making process. I have had the pleasure of serving on the board and as President of Hamilton County Leadership Academy, Invest Hamilton County, and currently serve on the Westfield Economic Development Foundation, the Northern Hamilton County Chamber Board of Directors and the Fishers YMCA Advisory Board.
Q: Why do you feel drawn to serve our community?
A: I enjoy being engaged in the community. I want Duke Energy to be a good corporate citizen and I appreciate the opportunity to represent Duke Energy in many ways in Hamilton County. I always want to do my part to make a difference for others.
Q: What leisure activities do you enjoy most about Hamilton County?
A: I am a foodie. I enjoy the vibrant food scene in Hamilton County. I won’t divulge favorites, but I will say I like all the Thai restaurants across our communities. I also enjoy seeing the growth of agri-tourism, like West Fork Whiskey Co., in Hamilton County. I love to motorcycle with friends and am known to take a spin on the multitude of trails throughout the county on my e-bike!