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President’s Message

APSO is fun, fellowship and giving – PASS IT ON!

Steve Spencer

‘You Color Our Communities With Service’ There’s no bigger value-add than 66,000 hours of volunteer service. That selfless giving, said Executive Vice President Steve Spencer, demonstrates the strength of employees’ commitment to the people of Alabama. “I’m your biggest fan,” said Spencer, who thanked members of the Alabama Power Service Organization for the continued support of their communities. ‘Coloring Our Communities’ is such a great theme – it creates a great picture of what we do, because we paint every community in the state with service. In order to be 100% Connected, you’ve got to be 100% Committed.” Recalling the destruction caused by a series of tornadoes on April 27, 2011, he said many residents would not have made it through without the help of Alabama Power. The company faced more destruction of its electric system – with more than 400 downed transmission structures and 6,000 downed distribution poles – than before seen in a single day. “You think about the April storms, so huge and so horrendous,” Spencer said. “You restored power in less than seven days. It was phenomenal. But beyond that, you spread hope to people to move forward. You were there.” APSO members bring much more to customers and communities than electric service, Spencer said. That ability is “part of employees’ DNA – it’s in our company.”

Spencer said the company’s employees are like a large, extended family. “It’s a phenomenal effort, and it comes from within,” he said. “We inherited it from those who came before us. The drive to serve has been in this company since it was founded in 1906 for the service of Alabama.” Spencer said Alabama Power’s culture is what makes it stand apart from other businesses. He said the company offsets the price of electricity with the value added by employees, including the additional value of economic development and jobs. “Value is what you create every day,” he said. “Your volunteerism is something you do because you enjoy it. You wouldn’t do this work year after year if you didn’t love it and care about it.” Spencer said Alabama Power is doing well, with a top reliability rate of 99.97 percent – one of the best in the industry – and an extremely low, 1.08 percent equivalent forced outage rate, meaning that an outage is a rare occurrence for most customers. “Employees at our plants do a great job maintaining them, and the power is on when customers need it,” he said. “Alabama Power is No. 1 in J.D. Power and Associates’ large utility survey.” In 2011, the company’s biggest issues were the economy and increasingly tight regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency, and Alabama Power will likely face the same pressures in 2012, Spencer said.

It’s 2012 and the year is moving right along … we’re well into the first quarter, with lots of great things happening across the state for the Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO). Our 10 chapters are scheduling fishing tournaments, clay shoots and Relay for Life fundraising, to name a few events planned for 2012. Throughout the years, APSO members have done extremely well in coloring their communities each and every day with service. I’ve been an APSO member since 1994, so I have had a chance to learn a lot about our members: You are passionate, caring individuals who always find the time to help out in your communities even after working your normal jobs. You get the rewards that are rare: the smiles, the thank you’s and the good feeling of knowing that you made a difference. We are fortunate to work for such a great company that encourages and allows us to do this. During 2011, APSO members gave more than 66,000 volunteer hours throughout communities in Alabama. Without each and every one of you, APSO would not be the great organization it is, and we would not be able to accomplish this work. Our members are hard-working, and are willing to go that extra mile. You are certainly an asset to our communities and to our state. You love doing what you do! I encourage anyone who is not a part of the APSO team to please join the fun and fellowship. Sign up today, you won’t be disappointed! PASS IT ON – not only in safety – but also in APSO. You can show your true colors by being a part of this great organization, APSOlutely Making a Difference in our Communities! In closing, I wish the following for every APSO member during 2012: “May God give you: For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sign a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.” – An Irish blessing

2012 APSO state president


APSO ‘face’ of company, Smith said Throughout the years, Executive Vice President of External Affairs Zeke Smith has learned the full affect of the Alabama Power Service Organization on the company’s business, and its standing in Alabama and across the nation. Zeke Smith

That was Smith’s message to about 200 employees during APSO’s Feb. 23-24 Conference in Point Clear, where members took a brief respite to reminisce, recharge and rebound to meet the service organization’s coming challenges in 2012. Smith said he learned firsthand the immeasurable value of employees’ service, particularly when dealing with financial entities. Those conversations, he said, do not always center on dollars and costs, but instead focus on Alabama Power’s 6,500 employees and

their continued response in assisting with community needs during times of crisis. And, Smith said, they are surprisingly aware about the dedication of APSO members and the work they perform. “They always ask ‘How do you do it?’” he said. “They want to know how Alabama Power has managed to grow this kind of culture. Our employees are the face of our company.” It is a given fact, Smith said, that in External Affairs, the company must establish and maintain

positive relationships with stakeholders – both state and federal. In that vein, people always want to know about Alabama Power employees. “You make my job easy,” he said. “I know the value APSO brings to the table, to our customers. They see a difference in Alabama Power they don’t see in other companies.” External entities are sometimes skeptical about the company’s culture,

Smith visits with Alabama Power Board Member David Cooper (center) and Bill Frederick, Governmental Relations project manager. he said. But, as they learn more about how Alabama Power employees do business, a subtle change occurs. “They know we mean it when we say customers and communities come first,” Smith said.

Mobile’s Silbernagel earns Topazi Leadership Award When Christi Silbernagel’s name was called as recipient of the 2012 Patsy Topazi Award, she was “floored” – and humbled. Though Silbernagel has busied herself the past six years by working for many diverse charitable groups, she hadn’t expected to receive the Alabama Power Service Organization’s top award. “It is such a great honor, and I was so surprised,” Silbernagel said. The award was presented by 2011 Topazi Award recipient Lance Crowe. Now an Operations team leader at Plant Nacogdoches in Texas, Crowe traveled some 500 miles to bestow the honors on Silbernagel. “It was amazing for Lance to come back and give the award,” said Silbernagel, who admires Crowe. “I have met him in the past at APSO events, and he is such a wonderful Christian man.” Named in honor of Patsy Topazi, wife of former APC executive Anthony Topazi, the award is given to a chapter president who has exhibited outstanding leadership throughout the year. The recipient exemplifies the spirit of APSO by remaining focused and dedicated to community service. Silbernagel has worked for the American Heart Association, Junior Achievement, Ronald McDonald House, American Red Cross and other community groups. She said taking the role as APSO president for the Mobile Chapter benefitted her with many leadership opportunities, allowing the chance for personal growth and gaining confidence in dealing with others.

A great feeling of accomplishment was Silbernagel’s reward for helping build a home for needy family.

Silbernagel (left) receives APSO’s top leadership award from Crowe.

Most recently, Silbernagel joined a team of five women from Alabama Power in Women Build, a Habitat for Humanity group that brings together women from all walks of life to address

the housing crisis facing millions. Silbernagel and her team helped build a house in Mobile’s Hillsdale neighborhood. With guidance from contractors, Silbernagel and her team worked from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to frame the home. “It was a great opportunity that gave us all a sense of accomplishment,” said Silbernagel, who years ago worked for a contractor. “I like giving back to the community and lending a hand where possible.” Like many dual-career couples, Christi and Barry Silbernagel coordinate their after-work schedules around their children’s activities. Both believe in APSO’s mission of service to the community, and Barry often stays with their two daughters so Christi can participate in APSO activities. When possible, the family is engaged in APSO. “I’m trying to teach my girls to give back, too,” she said. “They love getting involved so much. My littlest one says she wants to work at Alabama Power when she grows up. After helping with APSO, she thinks it is all fun and games!” Silbernagel said APSO has helped her step out – and into her expanded leadership role – enlarging her comfort zone with others. This busy administrative assistant in Energy Sales and Efficiency-Mobile Division, wife and “soccer mom” will continue her high involvement in APSO. “I really love volunteering,” Silbernagel said. By Donna Cope


Taking the C hallenge in 2012 ‘C oloring Our C ommunities With Service’ Dr. Susan Pruet, director, Engaging Youth in Engineering, said APSO volunteers assist teachers, students and communities in Mobile.

Photos by Dan Anderson


Andrea Rhem, St. Mary’s Home, Mobile, thanked APSO and the Foundation for their continuing support.

Photos by Dan Anderson

Serving With Hearts and Hands APSO’s Service in 2 01 1 by the Numbers: 66,000+........................ Volunteer hours on behalf of communities in 2011, a 24% increase over 2010 5,200+.......................... APSO members statewide, a 12% increase over 2010 190+............................. Projects 100+.............................. Charities served 10.................................. Chapters statewide 1................................... Company’s top rank by J.D. Power & Associates’ large utility survey 100%............................ Committed and Connected.


State and Chapter Awards 2011 Chapter Presidents BARRY CHAPTER Joe Giles EASTERN DIVISION CHAPTER Noah Rocker E.C. GASTON CHAPTER Mike Martin GORGAS CHAPTER Fred Nixon MAGIC CITY CHAPTER Tracy Click MILLER CHAPTER Ben Creel MOBILE DIVISION CHAPTER Christi Silbernagel SOUTHEAST/FARLEY CHAPTER Katrina Haynes/Paula Autrey SOUTHERN DIVISION CHAPTER Chris Barnes WESTERN DIVISION CHAPTER Russell Hill

Award of Excellence

Eastern Division was honored for outstanding achievement in community service. (Accepted by Noah Rocker.)

Volunteer of the Year Awards (left to right)

Mobile Division.......................Tasha Sullivan Southeast/Farley.......................Katrina Haynes Magic City...............................Bill Pockstaller Gaston.....................................Melissa Williamson Southern Division....................Michelle Smith Barry........................................Lisa Palmer Eastern Division.......................Darin Brown

Chapter Spirit Award Winners (left to right)

Eastern Division.................. George Hightower E.C. Gaston........................ John Woods Miller.................................. Cassandra Wheeler Mobile Division ................. Bill Henderson Southeast/Farley................. Shannon Brown Southern Division............... Chris Barnes Western Division................. Larry Keith (Not shown: Carlton Stephens, Magic City; Edward Holmes, Barry; and Hal Miller, Gorgas.)


2012 Slate of Officers & Board Officers PRESIDENT Brenda Blanton PRESIDENT-ELECT Cherie Hill SECRETARY LaShaunda Blair-Sullens ASSISTANT SECRETARY Kay Worley TREASURER Richard King EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Alisa Summerville ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR Tan Grayson PAST-PRESIDENT ADVISER Paige Lake

Outstanding Member Participation

Southeast/Farley’s Co-president Katrina Haynes accepted honors for her chapter’s 74 percent increase in volunteer hours per member, the highest percentage among all chapters.

Outstanding Member Participation & Member Growth Awards E.C. Gaston Chapter won the Member Participation Award for 33 volunteer hours per member and the Membership Growth Award for a 30 percent increase in membership. Accepted by Chapter President Mike Martin.

Community Spirit Award

Southeast/Farley won for its 80 percent increase in volunteer hours, accepted by Co-president Paula Autrey. Miller, Gaston and Barry chapters also made impressive gains over 50%.

Board Members At Large Tracie Click Salena Cook Palmer Gatlin Justin Harrison Katrina Haynes Joey Phifer Noah Rocker Lori Stamper Karen White Ken Williams Tammie Williams

2012 State Officers/Directors at Large

2012 State Board/Chapter Presidents

ALABAMA POWER SERVICE ORGANIZATION Editor: Art Director: Charitable Giving Consultant: Donna Cope Tim Towns Tan Grayson 205-257-1951 205-257-2326 205-257-4611

In Touch

Charitable Giving Manager: Alisa Summerville 205-257-4722


APSO Newsletter Convention Election 2012