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Wrangling the Wires

Contents On the cover: Rick Baxter of the Blair office, left, and Jerry Kruse of the Elkhorn Center compete at the APPA Lineworkers Rodeo.


Safety: Our Golden Rule


Health Focus


Grant Wishing

Zero injuries. OPPD has set that as a safety goal. Kevin McCormick, division manager of Safety & Technical Training, said reaching that goal will require every employee to get involved. As health care costs continue to rise, employees need to make sure they are doing all that they can to take care of themselves and their families. SimplyWell is one tool that can help.


In less than two years as OPPD’s “grant guru,” Karisa Vlasek has helped the company obtain $617,313 in federal, state and other grant money. And, there’s more in the works.



Dale Widoe’s Legacy


Hansen and Doghman new VPs


Wrangling the Wires



OPPD’s two largest coal-fired generating units serve as bookends to Vice President Dale Widoe’s career. He retired May 1 after nearly 36 years. Jon Hansen and Mo Doghman are named vice presidents. OPPD hosted the 10th annual American Public Power Association’s Lineworkers Rodeo on March 27. Service anniversaries, retirements, deaths, sympathies and retiree club notes.

Vol. 90, No. 3, May/June 2010 Published bimonthly by the Corporate Communications Division, Flash magazine provides OPPD employees and retirees with strategic industry- and job-related news, and human-interest articles about associates and their families. Flash is one of several tools that comprise our communication strategy. Employees and retirees can access timely OPPD news weekdays via OPPD News – ON. See page 1 for portal instructions. Flash Editor ............................... Paula Lukowski Creative Director..........................Joe Comstock To contact the Flash editor: phone.............. 402-636-3759 email .............. address ............ OPPD, Flash, 3E/EP1 444 S. 16th St. Omaha, NE 68102-2247

Contributing Staff Chris Cobbs Jeff Hanson Mike Jones Gary Williams Laurie Zagurski

Django Greenblatt-Seay Sharon Jefferson Vicker Sykes Kyle Wullschleger Terry Zank

Reporters Randy Alsman Tim Ash Kim Barnes Karma Boone Katie Brenneman Joanne Brown Judy Brugger Cec Christensen Jeannie Corey Sharon Dickman Rebecca Finn Kelly Fleming Anne Forslund Jennifer Gardner Karen Gertz Natalie Ging Nancy Goddard Barbara Gullie Jill Hanover

Ed Howell Traci Hug Sharon Jefferson Debbie Jensen Karissa Johnson Terri Kelly Shelley Kendrick Melinda Kenton Suzanne Krajicek Becky Kruger Julie Kuhr Sharon Melody Doug Mickells Jamie Moore Shawn Moore Shelly Mruz Beth Nagel Karen Nelson Chris Norris

Rick Perrigo Trudy Prather Pam Price Lana Pulverenti Heather Rawlings Kathy Royal Terri Salado Peter Schiltz Diane Schroder Karen Schutt Jim Shipman Jammie Snyder Kathy Stolinski Clint Sweet Vince Timmerman Dennis Vanek Dawn Varner

Senior Management

W. Gary Gates ........................................President Dave Bannister ................................Vice President Timothy J. Burke ..............................Vice President Mohamad Doghman .......................Vice President Edward Easterlin ..............................Vice President Jon Hansen ......................................Vice President Adrian J. Minks ................................Vice President

Board of Directors

John K. Green ....................Chairman of the Board N.P. Dodge Jr............. Vice Chairman of the Board John R. Thompson. ................................. Treasurer Michael J. Cavanaugh .............................Secretary Geoffrey C. Hall .............................Board Member Anne L. McGuire. ..........................Board Member Fred J. Ulrich..................................Board Member Del D. Weber. ................................Board Member

Line Items New State Law Protects Public Power’s Interests

Portal Allows Access to OPPD Publications and Benefits from Home Computer

Under a legislative bill signed into law by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman in April, OPPD and other large public power utilities have several options when transmission lines are built in their service area to carry electricity from new renewable energy facilities. “The law relates to development of wind, solar, biomass and landfill gas-fueled generating facilities, but the lion’s share of this over the next several years will be wind power,” said Marc Nichols, division manager of Sustainable Energy & Environmental Stewardship. For example, when a developer comes in to fund construction of a wind farm and related transmission lines, large public power utilities – defined in the bill as those that have transmission lines of 115-kilovolt or larger capacity – can sign an agreement with the developer that enables the utility to build and/or own and/or operate the transmission lines that are in the utility’s service area, explained Larry Ciecior, division manager of System Planning & Work Management. “Having those options is a huge win for OPPD and other large public power utilities,” Larry continued. “The gist of the new law is that private investors can develop renewable energy facilities in Nebraska and sell the power out of state,” noted Vice President Adrian Minks. “Also, area utilities can opt to buy up to 10 percent of the renewable facilities’ output.” Several employees worked hard to make sure L.B. 1048 protected the interests of OPPD and its customer-owners.

Retirees and employees who wish to view OPPD News, Flash, Reporters Notes and certain benefits information on their home computers can do so through a securedaccess portal. Information Technology implemented the portal in February. To access this portal from home, type (make sure to spell out the word “at”) in your Internet browser, then follow the instructions for creating a user ID and password. Active employees will need to create a new user ID. Your network log-in will not give you access. This user-friendly portal features an easy way to reset a forgotten password. If you have difficulty signing on, contact the IT Help Desk at 636-3748 during business hours.

Excerpt from ON (OPPD News online) April 14, 2010

The June Bugs and the May Flies, rival gangs, were about to rumble when they were interrupted by their mutual nemesis… the spring chicken. May/June 2010 Flash 1

Line Items Goal is to End Fees for Nuclear Waste Disposal OPPD and other utilities have joined the Nuclear Energy Institute in a lawsuit that seeks to end federal government fees for disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel is the responsibility of the federal government. “Since the federal government is no longer supporting work on a long-term storage facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, OPPD and other utilities are challenging the continued funding of a government-developed permanent storage solution,” explained Vice President Dave Bannister, OPPD’s chief nuclear officer. “In fact, the nuclear industry – including Fort Calhoun Station – has had to implement a spent fuel storage solution, with dry cask storage on site at U.S. nuclear plants,” Dave continued. “This was necessary due to the delays in building a permanent storage facility as promised.” Nuclear operators aren’t the only ones going to court on this matter. The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners filed a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals. The association stated that until a new path to storage is charted, “. . . there is no need to assess these fees on our consumers. . . .” Through March 31, OPPD and its customer-owners have paid about $108 million into the DOE’s fund for spent fuel disposal. These payments are based on the amount of electricity produced by Fort Calhoun Station, and have been approximately $4 million per year. Under terms of the settlement of another lawsuit against the DOE reached in 2006, the DOE agreed to reimburse OPPD for the cost of managing and storing spent fuel and high-level nuclear waste. To date, OPPD has received $21.9 million from the DOE to reimburse OPPD for the Excerpt from ON (OPPD News online) majority of its dry cask storage costs.

April 8, 2010

Grad Photos Due June 1 OPPD again will honor graduates with a special section in the July/August Flash. Graduates must be an OPPD employee or retiree, or their spouse, child or grandchild. If you have a graduation photo to be included, send it to Vicker Sykes in Corporate Communications at 3E/EP1 by June 1. If no photo is available, we can publish the graduate’s name and info. Please provide the following: • Graduate’s name • School name and location • Graduate’s relationship to employee or retiree • Related employee’s name and division or related retiree’s name • Related employee’s work address (home address for retirees) Important guidelines: • Email high-resolution digital photos to Please send your photo in jpeg or tiff format as an attachment. • If sending a print photo, wallet-size is preferred, with only one person per photo All print photos will be returned (please provide your address). If you have questions, call Vicker at 636-3743 or Sharon Jefferson at 636-3751. 2 Flash May/June 2010

Annual Report Provides Snapshot of 2009 The cover photo of Troubleshooter Bruce Hamel walking through knee-deep snow pretty much summarizes 2009: challenging. Despite that, the report, titled “Your Energy Partner,” recounts highlights of last year, including a detailed financial report for 2009. In their message, President Gary Gates and Chairman of the Board John Green tell how we got back to the basics as the economy posed challenges for the utility and many of our customers. In an effort to save money and resources, OPPD is offering its annual report to most audiences in an online format. By not mailing the report to employees, retirees and minibond holders, OPPD saved more than $5,000 on postage and mail house costs alone. OPPD saved thousands more in reduced printing costs. In addition to the Chairman and CEO message, highlights of the year and the financial report, readers can find a page full of statistics that go back 10 years. The full report is available at, under the Investors & Finance tab. If you would like a hard copy of the report, contact Sharon Jefferson at or at 636-3751.

Safety personnel include, from the left, Bill Banks, Shon Bourke, Greg Ging, Rod Drake, Cindy Hornback, Mark Seip, Bob Gruber, Jamie Moore, Mike Butt (partially hidden), Jerry McCaw, Mike Cavanaugh, Dick Varner and Kevin McCormick, foreground. Not pictured, Tim Gleason.


Our Golden Rule In our quest to provide reliable and affordable service to our customers, we will not compromise safety. During May, National Electric Safety Month, OPPD is reminding employees and customers to always keep safety in the forefront. Safety remains OPPD’s most closely held value. Kevin McCormick, division manager of Safety & Technical Training, said we need to protect our most valuable asset – the employees who provide our essential service. That’s why the utility stepped up its emphasis on safety in 2008, creating the division to focus on injury-prevention and safety training.

“We want employees to think safety at work, at home and on the road,” said Kevin, who has been with OPPD since 1987. “Our mission is to promote an environment where safety and the behaviors necessary to be injury-free are built into everything we do, from engineering to administration, and personal protective equipment to job execution.” The nature of work performed by many May/June nnee 22010 00110 Flash 3

Policies Ensure Safe Practices The nature of work performed by electric utility personnel requires specialized training in many areas. OPPD has policies in place to address such work. The following policies follow federal and Occupational Safety & Health Administration guidelines. Impacted employees receive training in these areas, and OPPD Safety personnel routinely review the policies to make sure they are up-to-date. • Respiratory protection • Hearing conservation • Chemical hazard communication • Heat stress • Asbestos • Confined space/enclosed space • Safety glass • Blood-borne pathogen • Flame-resistant clothing

employees, combined with the fact that they may be doing their work in bad weather and extreme temperatures, means that employees must always be aware of their surroundings. “Safety really is a 24-7 initiative,” added Jerry McCaw, manager of Injury Prevention. “We certainly want to avoid on-the-job injuries, but if an employee gets hurt at home or on vacation, it has the same outcome – that person may not be able to perform his or her duties at work or at home.” “When I come to work, I come to make money so I can support my family and do things with the people I love,” said Jerry. “If I don’t come home, I can’t spend time with them – the whole purpose of going to work falls apart.” Striving for Zero Injuries OPPD is striving for zero injuries. “The way to achieve this is to make sure employees have the right tools and training,” Jerry said. “With that, employees have to be accountable for their own safety and that of others around them. They have to be aware of their surroundings and not leave out critical steps.” To achieve this, Jerry said it’s necessary to in-

Training Partner All OPPD training is coordinated through Training Partner, the new learning management system. You can access Training Partner on the OPPD intranet homepage under Corporate Systems. To access related tutorials, click on emPOWER Yourself under Corporate Systems, then scroll down to Training Partner.

4 Flash May/June 2010

Through the end of March, OPPD recorded three DART cases, including one day-away case. In 2009, OPPD recorded 26 DART cases, three dayaway and 23 restricted cases.

vestigate when accidents and injuries do occur, then track data. “We need to get data on how they get hurt so we can avoid future accidents or identify and remove hazards,” said Jerry. “We investigate knee, back and shoulder injuries, which

“We want employees to think safety at work, at home and on the road.” – Kevin McCormick

Division Manager – Safety & Technical Training

are the most common injuries at OPPD and nationwide. We may determine there is a better way to perform the work, or we may need to revise a procedure." One performance indicator measures daysaway, restricted or transferred (DART) cases (previously tracked as lost-time incidents). Through the end of March, there were two restricted cases and one days-away from work case. In 2009, OPPD had 26 total cases, three in which the employee was away from work. The number has dropped annually since 2007, when there were 51 total DART cases, 13 of those days-away cases. As the DART indicators show, the increased emphasis on safety has made a difference throughout OPPD, according to Jerry. One reason is the creation of five injury prevention supervisor positions in the Safety division. “In recent years, it became obvious that OPPD needed more people out in the field,” said Jerry. “Statistics show that the more visible and available safety personnel are, the better the injury rate.” Greg Ging, Mike Cavanaugh, Bob Gruber, Rodney Drake and Bill Banks work as injury prevention supervisors. In their role, they rotate through different areas of the company, serving as a resource in the field to answer safety-related questions and make sure employees have the tools and knowledge to follow safety guidelines. So far this year, Safety has identified and removed 76 hazards from OPPD workplaces. These range from tripping hazards, machine guarding, hand protection, barricading and shoring issues to storage of flammable materials and proper lighting.

Emphasizing Safety Training Shon Bourke, manager of Safety & Technical Training, said OPPD has adopted a system approach to training, and his area has been expanding the safety courses offered onsite. (See Training Partner box.) Much of the training is conducted at three trailers at the Elkhorn Center. One trailer houses a lab for computer-based training. A second houses a technical lab for use on apprentice evaluations, hotline work, padmount transformer setup and other field situations. A third trailer is used for general safety training. “We have numerous employees who require a wide range Through March, OPPD recorded 21 vehicle accidents, 10 of those of safety training to be able to preventable. In 2009, OPPD recorded 64 vehicle accidents, with perform their jobs,” said Shon. 31 preventable. That number has been consistent since 2006. “We are building a corporate-wide safety program from a mix of training that “We encourage safety meetings throughout used to be spread throughout different areas the company,” said Jerry. “ In some areas of of the utility. As we move forward, we will be the company, they are held daily at start of continually evaluating all of our training.” shift. Others have monthly safety meetings. Mark Seip, Mike Butt and a few contractors The important thing is keeping the message in serve as technical trainers. front of people.” In addition to offering the training at the In order to reach the goal of zero injuries, Elkhorn Center, they also conduct it at other it takes every employee to get involved with OPPD sites when it makes sense. For example, safety. “Some employees help with safety in April, they conducted forklift training at meetings, some do safety observations, some Nebraska City Station and at Metering Services help with training, and others remove hazards in Omaha. from the workplace,” said Kevin McCormick.

Pay Attention to Safety on the Road The graphs show workplace injuries are declining, while vehicle accidents are trending upward. Employees need to take steps to drive safer. Safety is confident a new National Safety Council defensive driving program will help.

By Paula Lukowski

Testimonials “The Line Department worked with Safety to expedite training for apprentices. We were concerned that line apprentices, who were due to take their Journey level tests, were not going to receive a necessary URD class, which was being reviewed and updated. We accelerated the review process and concentrated our efforts to produce a product that would teach these apprentices what they needed to learn prior to their test dates. “With the efforts of Mike Butt, Rod Drake, Ernie Ross and me, we spent well over 100 hours going over the existing class, doing research on new material, and we put together a fresh class that we gave these apprentices in April. “Feedback from the apprentices has been great. They are learning new things and new ways of doing tasks that they have already been exposed to on the job. Ernie Ross (line technician) volunteered his time to be our subject matter expert, and Mark Naslund (retiring Papillion Center manager) excused him from his regular duties to assist us.” – Mike Palmisano, Field Supervisor – T&D “Employees should feel safe and comfortable in their working environment, and with the help of the Safety & Technical Training Division, we are accomplishing more of that. Our department receives monthly safety training. This partnership has created a heightened awareness of safety in our department.” – Ben Koziel Supervisor – Facilities Operations & Maintenance

May/June 2010 Flash 5

Health SimplyWell Offers Tools to Better Manage Our Health As health care costs continue to rise, employees need to make sure they are doing all that they can to take care of themselves and their families. SimplyWell is one tool that can help.

6 Flash May/June 2010

It’s important for employees to manage their health and take care of themselves as health care costs continue to rise. Employees covered by OPPD’s health insurance plans pay 20 percent of the expected insurance costs, while OPPD pays the balance of the actual cost. In 2009, OPPD health insurance expenses totaled $42 million, up 20 percent from $35 million in 2008. To help control escalating costs, OPPD provided extra incentive – $50 Visa® gift cards – for employees who completed the health risk assessment and took part in the SimplyWell health screenings this year. Nearly half of all OPPD employees (46 percent) participated in 2010, up from 27 percent last year, according to Angela Siebert, wellness specialist in Human Resources. OPPD Wellness switched to SimplyWell to administer the screenings this year because the Omaha-based health solutions organization offers online personal health records and action steps. Active employees who took part in OPPD’s 2010 health screenings received personal wellness profiles that show areas of high

risk and increased risk, as well as areas where employees are doing well. They have access to these and numerous other health guides and practical information to manage their health at “Founded by doctors at The Nebraska Medical Center, SimplyWell provides sound medical advice that is clinically based,” said Angela. “We hope that anyone who had data in a red high-risk area has started work to remove that risk.” The top three areas for change among the OPPD participants were weight, with 81 percent; physical activity, 71 percent; and nutrition, 51 percent. Employees who participated in the health screenings received $50 Visa® gift cards. OPPD is incenting those employees to continue to log points onto the website by offering chances to win one of 20 $100 gift cards by logging 7,500 points by July 31, or one of 10 $300 gift cards by logging 10,000 points by Dec. 15. Kathy Duckworth, supervisor of administrative services in Production Operations, had logged 8,850 points by mid-April. Kathy logged appointments, blood pressure, seat belt use, videos and exercise. Part of her

SimplyWell Point System Lab and test results .......................2,500 Health Risk Assessment ..............2,500 Doctor appointment ........................500 Education modules (4 @ 250) .......1,000 Health trackers (30 @ 50) .............1,500 Wellness Events ............................2,000 (Step-by-Step, skin cancer screenings, blood drives, etc. Points for each varies.) Only active employees who completed the health risk assessment and screening are eligible for SimplyWell participation in 2010.

Focus drive was for the gift cards, but she said family health risks have prompted her to be more proactive with her own health.

“You never know when your life can be turned upside down due to a health issue showing up,” Kathy said.

The Best Money I Never Spent My doctor once called me a “non-compliant” patient because I hadn’t come in for a “quarterly” blood pressure check for about a year. When I asked, “Since when do I need quarterly checks?” he said, “Since you got as old as you are.” The point here is that 1) I’ve never been particularly finicky about my health, and 2) maybe I need a younger doctor. Regardless, with all this in mind, I decided to participate in the recent SimplyWell health screening. It was fast, easy, painless and free (three things I like), until I printed out the results and took them to my doctor, as OPPD Wellness Specialist Dave Williams suggested we all do. I dropped the report off at my doctor’s office one morning, and stopped at a nearby donut shop on my way to work. By about noon, he called and said, “I see something I want to follow up on. We should do more testing.” A couple of weeks later, I did that followup, and he called me at home with the results. Doctor: “Hey, Gary, how are you?” Me: “Shouldn’t you know that?” Doctor: “Okay – there’s a problem. You have Type II diabetes.” Me: “What’s that mean?” Doctor: “Diet, exercise, lose weight.” (three things I don’t like so much)

He then went down a list of food I shouldn’t really eat any more, at least not as often as I have. I call that list, “My basic food groups.” He called them, “Really bad.” Me: (loudly, for the benefit of my wife who was listening nearby) “So, I can still eat Krispy Kremes, cake, potato chips, all those things, right? Doctor: (apparently having heard this kind of thing before) “Put your wife on the phone.” Me: “Yeah, right.” Bottom line, this appeared to be a very early diagnosis that doesn’t require me to take medicine. But if I don’t diet, exercise and lose weight, I likely will wind up on meds, which I don’t want. For one thing, I don’t want to pay for them. My grandfather died of diabetes (type I, I think), and my younger brother has type II. He takes a lot of pills for it. Because of the SimplyWell screening and heads up, I have a good chance to avoid all that and the various other complications diabetes can cause. I think that’s a pretty good deal, and I’m a SimplyWell fan. Why bring it up now? Well, there are skin cancer screenings coming up all during May, and as somebody who has had small pieces of my face and ears (they were a little big, anyway) carved out due to skin cancer, I’m going to attend. Plus, there will be other wellness activities scheduled for all us. I’m a believer now, and the price really is right.

Gary Williams Division Manager – Corporate Communications

May/June 2010 Flash 7

A New Resource Before Karisa Vlasek’s arrival, OPPD lacked a central source to pursue and coordinate grant development. Various individuals were involved in authoring grants. For example, Information Specialist Marilou Mally and Manager of Emergency Preparedness & Business Continuity Mary Finley spent nearly a year working on a hazard-mitigation plan that led to a $181,000 grant. “I had boxes of spreadsheets and printouts on engineering paper, where transmission lines were marked with crayons,” Marilou said. The decision was made to adopt a more sophisticated approach than crayons. “We had been seeing an uptick in the availability of grants, a lot of them around disaster recovery and emergency response,” said Deeno Boosalis, manager, Business Strategy & Analysis. “We realized the magnitude of the work required a specialized talent to put it together and coordinate it because we had no real process. We had some successes, but some of our efforts foundered.” After Karisa was hired in July 2008, one of the first objectives was to introduce her to a broad segment of the company and spread the word about the new resource. “We did a lot of road shows,” Karisa said. The timing was ideal from the standpoint of a huge pot of federal (continued on right margin)

8 Flash May/June 2010

Grant Wishing Karisa Vlasek mixes art and science as she makes a case for each grant proposal. In just 21 months, she has helped OPPD get $617,313 in funding, with $6.1 million pending. In less than two years as OPPD’s “grant guru,” Karisa Vlasek has helped the company obtain $617,313 in federal, state and other grant money. If you include all the grants OPPD has partnered on, the district has been involved in applications totaling $56 million. The grants have brought funding for programs as diverse as the building of more energy-efficient homes, modernizing of farm equipment and retrofitting of OPPD vehicles for cleaner diesel emissions. Always on the lookout for new sources of funding, the grant guru has even found a way to obtain a grant for a trip to a conference on solar energy that will provide networking opportunities essential to maximizing the stimulus pipeline.

In a time of budgetary constraints for OPPD, Karisa received a $2,000 grant to attend a conference sponsored by the Solar Electric Power Association. The conference, to be held in Denver in May 2010, will be the first out-ofstate meeting at which Karisa has represented OPPD, and it won’t cost the company hardly any money. “She is going for free because she was resourceful enough to apply for a scholarship covering travel, hotel and registration,” said Mary Finley, manager, Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity. Mary, along with Alison Rider and Deeno Boosalis, were instrumental in the creation of the fulltime position Karisa holds, and sometimes refers to her as “grant guru.”

Karisa Vlasek and Jim Krajicek pose with one of the new can-puncturing units purchased with grant money.

To show the value of networking, Karisa pointed to a $13,160 grant OPPD received to retrofit 10 utility service trucks with updated engine exhaust systems and other parts. On the project, she consulted with Gerry Allen, Program Manager for the Nebraska Clean Diesel Grant program. They had met previously at a public meeting and stayed in touch. She also worked with Mike Donahue, manager, Transportation & Construction Equipment, and Shane Stock on the diesel truck grant. “Karisa helped make sure we met all the deadlines and asked for revisions when parts of the applications needed it,” he said. Her patience and sense of humor also helped with “the sometimes painstaking and frustrating process of grant-writing,” Mike said. The diesel engine grant is one of 15 funded grants OPPD has received in the past two years. Others highlighted by Karisa and Mary include: • Energy Audits for Irrigation and GrainDrying. The $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture helps to pay for the cost of performing energy audits for energy-efficient improvements by agricultural producers. Typically, the improvements consist of converting diesel irrigation motors to electric pumps and also improving grain-drying equipment. “Karisa developed a scope of work, plan of implementation, detailed cost estimate, budget and marketing plan,” said Bob Snyder, supervisor, Consumer Sales & Service. “I would never have been able to complete this grant application on my own, especially with the short lead time we had. This program has allowed us to promote and advertise the benefits of electric irrigation pumps, plus we are increasing OPPD’s load growth in the rural areas.”

• ENERGY STAR and Energy Challenge Program. A one-year, $15,000 grant has helped subsidize a variety of activities for OPPD’s Commercial and Industrial ENERGY STAR efforts. “The results have been fantastic,” said Judy Sunde, project manager – Market Strategies. She pointed to a big increase in ENERGY STAR participation in OPPD service territory and a national Special Recognition Award from the ENERGY STAR program. “You can have a great idea, but without a great grant writer you won’t get funded,” Judy said. Altogether, OPPD and its partners have applied for over $56 million in 37 grants since Karisa’s hiring, said Deeno Boosalis, manager, Business Strategy & Analysis. OPPD is involved in several grants with partners such as the City of Omaha and Nebraska Workforce Development, and the exact amount of the grants to OPPD is still being determined on some of the funded projects. There is approximately $6.1 million in direct funding to OPPD still pending. For OPPD, grant money can almost be considered “found” money. “As a public utility, nobody expects us to be able to get a grant, which is usually associated with nonprofits,” said Marilou Mally, information specialist, who worked with Mary Finley to write several grants before Karisa came to OPPD. “The mindset is, if we don’t have it in the budget, our people tend not to think about it. Now that is changing, as we have a new way to get funds.” Karisa’s job entails sifting through dozens of daily emails from state and federal agencies in search of possible grant leads. It also requires exhaustive analysis of every detail, as finegrained as submitting an application with the specified type font. Finally comes persuasive, creative writing to sell OPPD’s story. “My favorite thing about the job is telling the story, pulling all the pieces together, and selling your story to the funder,” she said. “It’s a mix of art (the creative writing) and science (the technical details).” By Chris Cobbs

stimulus money available after the economic downturn that hit the national economy in 2008. Even now, nearly two years later, there is still a lot of stimulus money remaining in federal coffers. The Department of Energy has only doled out about 59 percent of the stimulus money it has for grants, and Karisa is hot on the trail. “One area we are looking at is solar energy,” she said. “We applied for a grant and didn’t get it, but now we are going for another solar grant when we find the right funding source.” Before coming to OPPD, Karisa spent six years at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she was Assistant Director of the Nebraska Space Grant and EPSCoR Program. She was attracted to OPPD by the chance to branch out and assume a wider range of responsibilities. “It was something I could take and make my own, break new ground,” she said. “It had all the things I like: finding new grants, writing the grants, reporting and managing the grants. I’m responsible for all of it.” The presence of a fulltime grant writer has brought new money and a new approach to OPPD, said Deeno. There has been a mindset that it can be difficult to add an item to a budget, given the difficult economic conditions. “Now we are thinking of a grant, especially when there is new technology,” he said. “It’s not business as usual.”

May/June 2010 Flash 9

Dale Widoe’s Legacy Tied to Nebraska City Station OPPD’s two largest coal-fired generating units serve as bookends to Vice President Dale Widoe’s career. The year after he started with OPPD in 1974, Dale was asked if he wanted to be part of the startup of Nebraska City Station Unit 1. Exactly one year after Nebraska City Station Unit 2 began commercial operation, Dale retired from OPPD, effective May 1, 2010. Dale said there are many things he will miss about OPPD. “I’ll miss seeing my many friends, dealing with the day-today challenges, and helping set goals for the company.” He will not miss getting up at 5 a.m. for the Dale Widoe 45-minute drive from Nebraska City to Omaha. So how did this Bellevue boy end up working for OPPD and moving to Nebraska City? In late 1973 and early 1974, Dale was finishing up his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He was 22 years old and engaged to be married. Betty was a teacher with the Omaha Public Schools. Dale was setting up numerous interview trips. One of Dale’s college roommates, Dave Kulisek, recommended OPPD because his dad worked for the utility. “The fact that Betty was already working in Omaha was a major factor in why I applied at OPPD,” Dale noted.

Visiting North Omaha “I interviewed with Don Moucka, Ted Harding, Jim Comstock, Marvin Blair and Bill Jones in a wooden building outside North Omaha Station called the pentagon. I also had a short interview with Ted Short, who was the Production Operations division manager at the time.” Dale’s visit included a tour of the plant. 10 Flash May/June 2010

Career Highlights May 1974 Joins OPPD as an engineer in Production Operations 1974-76 Test engineer 1976-77 Production Operations engineer 1977-84 Supervisor of Operations at Nebraska City Station May 31, 1979 NC1 starts commercial operation 1984-97 Manager of Nebraska City Station 1997 to April 1999 Division Manager – Production Operations April 1999 to April 2010 Vice President July 2007 Adds T&D Operations, Engineering, and System Planning & Work Management to his responsibilities May 1, 2009 NC2 starts commercial operation May 1, 2010 Retires, with nearly 36 years of service

“It was hot and loud, with all this activity going on. I was awe-struck by the plant. Being mechanically inclined, I was immediately enamored with it,” Dale said. When OPPD offered Dale a position as a test engineer, he had received several job offers, including one from Northern Natural Gas. “Northern actually offered more money and better benefits, but I didn’t feel that excited about it. I felt so much more connected with what was going on at OPPD. “Short of my decision to marry Betty, working for OPPD is the best choice I’ve ever made,” Dale said. “I’ve been very satisfied with my career here, and I feel very fortunate.” Dale’s first day of work at OPPD was May 20, 1974. His wedding date was three weeks later, on June 15. “I had to ask Bill Jones if I could take two weeks of unpaid leave to get married.”

Firing Up NC1 “I’ve had great mentors at OPPD. Norm Marfice and Bill taught me a lot about managing people. I recruited the first shift supervisors for Nebraska City. Norm and I interviewed employees at North Omaha and Fort Calhoun for those spots. “I was 26, and these candidates were 45 to 50, with years of power plant experience. They In 1989, NCS underwent a major conversion and maintenance outage. From left are the main players: Rich Kotan, Dave Campbell, Brad Kaufman, Don Flegle and Dale Widoe.

were remarkably tolerant of my lack of knowledge. They were very talented people, and they helped me greatly. “In 1977, we built our core staff and were housed at North Omaha. We moved to the NC1 site in the spring of 1978 and worked out of a storeroom. It was the first building done, and it had heat. “It was a difficult plant startup. We were a relatively young staff, and we tackled lots of technical problems. In that concentrated period, a lot of learning took place,” Dale recalled. “That was some of the most satisfying work I’ve done at OPPD. To see NC2 come online near the end of my career is also very satisfying. “During the NC1 startup, Norm was the plant manager, and I was the operations supervisor. We were working 12-hour days, coordinating startup activities. One day, shortly after the unit went online, we asked ourselves, ‘Do you suppose this unit will ever run for a week straight?’ Sure enough, it did. Over time, things got better and better.” Things got so much better that NC1 eventually ranked among the least-cost steam electric plants in the U.S. for many years. Dale said that’s a tribute to the commitment to excellence of the plant staff and Central Maintenance employees who operate and maintain the station, and the outstanding support of people in Production Engineering & Technical Support.

Facing Major Challenges One of the biggest challenges the NC1 staff faced was keeping the plant compliant with emissions standards. “It took 10 years of study, and trial and error, to convert the precipitators from hot-side to cold-side design,” Dale said. (In a hot-side design, the precipitators are ahead of the air-preheaters, but in cold-side, they are after the preheaters.) “NC1 was one of only two U.S. plants that were using lowsulfur western coal with this design, which had worked well with eastern coal. “We tried all kinds of things to stay in compliance. We were having four or five maintenance outages a year to clean the precipitators by sandblasting. In 1989, we had a nearly fivemonth scheduled maintenance outage to move the air heaters to change to a cold-side design and replace major parts on the precipitators. “This period was a great challenge, and our people rose to the occasion. One of them was

Reflections on Dale Widoe’s Tenure From President Gary Gates The first time I met Dale was at Jones Street Station. We both attended an OPPD basic supervisor’s course. Bill Jones mentored us to help make us better supervisors and managers. Our careers were parallel, in that he oversaw Nebraska City, and I managed Fort Calhoun. We both had similar experiences of working through problems at the plants and working through budget issues. Dale was always the most direct, candid and knowledgeable. He is the most steady and thoughtful person and leader I’ve known. His responses are always measured, and he knows what he’s talking about. His leadership and vision are excellent. I think of a line spoken by Pharaoh in the film, The Ten Commandments, “So let it be written, so let it be done.” When Dale wrote it, it would be done. He oversaw the building of more than half the megawatts that OPPD has right now. He set us on a course that we will continue to follow in the production area, and in the T&D area. He left May 1, In 2005, OPPD broke ground for Nebraska City Stabut what he’s done here will tion 2. From left, Gary Gates, Ken Roth, Dale Widoe and Bob Wicina, of Black & Veatch (former OPPD keep going for a long, long employee) took the first scoops. time. Going forward, he will be mentioned in so many conversations. It’ll start out with, “What would Dale do?” To me, that’s the mark of a leader who has had a real impact on an organization. There’s a lot of pressure on us to keep his record of excellence going.

From Ken Roth, division manager of Projects & Construction Dale has always impressed me with his incredible memory, especially the ability to remember names. For example, during construction of NC2, Dale and I traveled to Japan to meet with vendors that were manufacturing equipment for our plant. At the end of each day trip, Dale and I would often reflect on the experience and review the numerous people (sometimes up to 20 or 30 folks) that we had met. Without benefit of business cards, Dale not only could recall the last names of every person (some of which were quite long), but also usually knew the first names and many personal stories and experiences those individuals had shared. Dale has an equally incredible ability to remember jokes. And in his 30-plus years, there are not too many that he has forgotten. One of my favorite things to do is prod Dale into retelling jokes that are several decades old, because whenever he tells them, he still can bring me to tears with laughter. Dale has always been a great leader, a master in the operations of power plants, professional and very caring about employees. His concern for the continued success of OPPD is paramount. He leaves behind a great legacy at OPPD. May/June 2010 Flash 11

Ken Roth, who was on the engineering side at the time. We solved the problem, but we had lots of help throughout the organization to make that happen.” OPPD ended up winning a lawsuit against the plant design firm and equipment suppliers, which paid OPPD $10 million to help pay for converting the precipitators to cold-side. “Another tremendously challenging time for the plant was a boiler feed pump turbine accident, which took place May 7, 1982. I remember the exact date because my third child was born on May 4 that year,” Dale explained. No one was seriously injured in the accident, but there was major equipment damage. “It happened during startup after an overhaul. This was a very difficult, trying time for us, but we learned a lot from it. We were under a lot of pressure, but we had to get the courage and stamina to rebuild this piece of equipment and rebuild our confidence. ”

Enjoying Great Support “The trust that Norm Marfice, Bill Jones, (former President) Fred Petersen and Gary Gates showed in me has been instrumental in my time here,” Dale emphasized. “All of that reflects this company’s commitment to family values. We really care about people and always have. “Bill Dermyer and Tim Burke were great mentors to me in my role as a VP. I also enjoyed

Dale and Betty Widoe with their children (right to left), Russell, Ann, Rebecca and James.

“In all the roles I’ve held at OPPD, I’ve been blessed to have strong staffs of people who are committed to doing great work, but who also know how to have fun.” – Dale Widoe retiring Vice President

President Gary Gates honored retiring Vice President Dale Widoe with OPPD’s Presidential Award on April 22.

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great administrative support from Joy Hall, Mary Brazeal and Sharon Melody. They always made me look better than I was. “At home, Betty’s support has been tremendous over the years. She has been extremely understanding that, due to the nature of my work, things can come up on holidays, weekends and in the middle of the night. “In all the roles I’ve held at OPPD, I’ve been blessed to have strong staffs of people who are committed to doing great work, but who also know how to have fun.”

Passing the Baton With Dale’s retirement, Jon Hansen has been named vice president of Energy Production & Marketing, and Mo Doghman has been named vice president of T&D Engineering & Operations. “I have complete confidence in Jon and Mo. Both have completed executive MBA degrees, and both have years of experience with progressive levels of responsibility. They have excelled and will excel in their new roles.” And what will Dale do in his new role as a retiree? “Betty recently retired as a vision specialist with Bellevue Public Schools. We have four grandkids now, most of whom live in the Lincoln area. We’ll spend more time with them, maybe travel a bit more. I plan to stay close with people here at OPPD.”

By Terry Zank

Jon Hansen is always pushing toward the next goal. Recently named vice president - Energy Production Marketing, Jon is an OPPD veteran of 27 years. Previously, he served as division manager – Production Operations and manager – North Omaha Station. His advancement has come in part from people skills and technical savvy. At least as important has been determination, which has been on display in sports all his life. As a wrestler at Ralston High School, he weighed only 178 pounds, “wringing wet,” yet he elected to compete in the 185-pound class against bigger opponents. “To make their weight, the others on our team were spittin’ and sweatin’,” Jon said. “I was the only guy who could eat whatever he wanted.” The same competitive appetite could be seen when he took up boxing as a club sport at the

University of Nebraska - Lincoln. For conditioning, he would jog to the gym for sparring practice, then run up and down nine flights of stairs where the club was located. Afterward he would stay up late studying as he moved toward a degree in mechanical engineering. Mountain climbing has served as yet another outlet for his competitive juices. Four times he has scaled Long’s Peak, a 14,255-foot mountain in the Colorado Rockies. Most recently, the 16-mile roundtrip began at 3:45 a.m. and ended about 2:30 p.m. The goal is to make it back below the timber line before the arrival of thunderstorms around 1 p.m. Once, however, his party was caught in the middle of a storm, with lightning striking all around. Jon’s response? An all-out dash to safety down the rocky terrain. The proactive style is a key part of his

When Mo Doghman first arrived in Omaha in 1980, he was fluent in two languages, but English was not one of them. At 21, he had left his home in Beirut, Lebanon, and came to America to learn English and earn an engineering degree. This was a young man in a hurry. With a 12-month deadline to learn English before his visa expired, he studied hard and passed the language exam after just eight months. He never left the fast track. Where he grew up, there were two jobs that were regarded as representing true success: a medical doctor or an engineer. Mo became an engineer and worked for 3M and Black & Veatch for five years. He embarked on a career at OPPD in 1989, starting as an engineer in the Substation Engineering Department. He later served as a system protection engineer, principal substation engineer and department manager of Substation and System

Protection. In 2006, he was named division manager of Engineering. Along the way, he continued to heed his parents’ emphasis on learning, earning both a master’s of science in electrical engineering and a master’s of business administration. By continuing to broaden himself, Mo was wellpositioned for advancement, capped by his being named vice president, Transmission & Distribution Engineering and Operations, in February. Retiring Vice President Dale Widoe took note of the preparation by both Mo and Jon Hansen, new vice president, Energy Production & Marketing. “Their readiness to step in as vice presidents is a tribute to their commitment to OPPD’s work on succession planning,” Dale said. “With what they bring to the table, OPPD will reap a great return on its investment in their development.”

“I’m a firm believer in listening to people and using them as a sounding board.” -Jon Hansen

Continued on page 14

Continued on page 15

“I always try to be friendly and treat everyone with respect. My door is always open.” -Mo Doghman

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The Hansen family includes, front from the left, Anna, Beth, Pierce; back, Gracie, Jon and Emma.

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managerial manner at OPPD. He prefers to initiate rather than to wait. For example, he led a team that implemented a new planning and scheduling process for maintenance in plants last year to move from a highly reactive environment to a more proactive approach. “With the new process, we try to do the right work at the right time. By effectively utilizing resources and planning the work, more emphasis can be placed on preventative and predictive maintenance activities which would reduce the amount of breakdown, reactive maintenance.” The new improved process was adopted only after careful study. Prior to executing the new strategy, Jon deployed three teams and benchmarked several high-performing power plants around the country to establish an understanding of industry-best practices. As the process rolled out, many individuals and work groups have made valuable contributions to its implementation. This is one of many ways Jon intends to focus on managing and reducing costs in Production Operations. In addition, he said his goal is to use the Lean process to help eliminate waste. “We will be looking at the process and making it better,” he said. “Also, we will hold people accountable and work with others to be more efficient and effective.” Also reflected in the new approach to maintenance is Jon’s desire to stay in close touch

with staff. As an Operations Engineer, he had opportunities to oversee startup activities that followed work done at North Omaha and Sarpy County stations. “Coordinating and leading startup activities between several groups and individuals was the best part of the job,” Jon said. “I’m a firm believer in listening to people and using them as a sounding board,” he said. His emphasis on working closely with staff hasn’t changed over the years, said Greg Krieser, formerly manager, North Omaha Station, who was named division manager – Production Operations to replace Jon. “Back in 1985, it was Jon who served as my ambassador before we had an ambassador program,” Greg said. “He took me under his wing and trained me in the ways of the company. Fastforward 25 years and you can see Jon has not changed.” Jon traces his emphasis on people skills to his relationship with his parents. “Their approach was, ‘We know what you are capable of. We expect you to do your best.’ I was not inclined to let them down.” Jon paid homage to his and Beth’s parents at a family dinner after his promotion to vice president. Also attending were his wife, Beth, and two of their children. At the dinner, he read from an old note his dad had given him along with a book about Lee Iacocca, who recognized “the benefits of working with people, learning from others, planning, work ethic and luck.” Helping other people is important to the Hansens, who have been married 25 years. They are active in volunteer efforts through their church, including their efforts to strengthen marriages for seven couples by conducting a study on love and respect. The blend of a personal touch and a spiritual foundation as companions to hard work is illustrated by the photo montage in Jon’s office at Energy Plaza. There are pictures of four generations of family, going back to his great grandparents, who emigrated to Nebraska from northern Germany and Denmark. “My grandfathers and father were always very hard workers,” Jon said. “That contributed to my own work ethic. I’ve always tried to go the extra mile and take pride in work.” Spoken like a guy who just won’t ever quit. By Chris Cobbs

In his first major initiative as a senior manager, Mo is planning a reorganization of his business unit, part of which will include strategies for keeping costs under control and improving efficiency. The way he is going about the reorg plan says much about his growth since arriving in America three decades ago. He likes to sit and think, tapping notes on his laptop, asking many "what if" questions, analyzing impacts, considering the input he has gathered from formal and informal chats with key employees, including direct reports and crews working in the field. He wouldn’t be where he is without the dedication and hard work of many employees who supported him along the way. Mo believes in being open and flexible to ensure a teamwork environment that fosters learning and growing for everyone. Armed with solid experience and input from many leaders at all levels, he engages in long-term strategic planning, trusting that decisions he makes now will shape OPPD’s future and stand up to decades of scrutiny. Mo strives to be respectful and friendly in dealings with everyone he meets. But he doesn’t compromise on his high expectations for achievement. Similarly, he doesn’t waver in his standards for employees, whom he regards as OPPD’s lifeblood. “I always try to be friendly and treat everyone with respect,” he said. “My door is always open. But it is important to understand that being friendly doesn’t mean I am always a friend. If an employee is not performing at a high level, I have to communicate that OPPD’s success depends on everyone exceeding customers’ expectations.” His options would have been limited if he hadn’t set an ambitious agenda for his life as a young man in Beirut. The product of what was considered a middle-class upbringing by Lebanese standards, life was precarious and the future uncertain. He wanted more. The year 1980 was a time of uncertainty and tension. Remaining in Beirut was not a good option. Civil war raged, and the sounds of gunfire were all too familiar. He drew a contrast with life in Omaha. “During severe weather, we figure out what we need to do to ensure

our safety,” he said. “In Beirut, we had to try to determine the safest route to the university during fighting.” There were many obstacles when he first came to the U.S. He didn’t know much about the new culture. Even obtaining a visa to come to the U.S. had been difficult. He had to prove he had the financial means to support himself. The money came from his father and two brothers, who also had left Beirut and were living in foreign countries to earn livings. Mo was more than up to the challenge. Attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha, he took 30 hours of classes a week in the Intensive English Program for International Students. After successfully completing the English requirement, he enrolled at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln to major in electrical engineering. One day while playing touch football outside a dorm, he noticed a female student watching the game. He walked over and introduced himself. Soon, he and Mary were dating. At first, her parents were a bit reluctant to accept him as a suitor. They thought he might eventually move back to Lebanon, and they wouldn’t see much of their daughter. However, he won them over with the way he treated Mary. “They could see that I had a big heart,” Mo said. A big heart – and the will to take on big obstacles. By Chris Cobbs

The Doghman family includes Sara, Mo, Maya and Mary.

May/June 2010 Flash 15

APPA Lineworker's Rodeo Nation’s best show the ropes in Omaha A soggy start failed to dampen competitors’ spirits at the American Public Power Association’s Lineworkers Rodeo on March 27. OPPD hosted the 10th annual event at Levi Carter Park. The strongest endorsement on OPPD’s planning and execution of this event came from a visiting APPA official, who said it will serve as the template for future APPA rodeos. Nearly 200 participants from across the country competed, including 39 three-person journey lineworker teams and 49 apprentice line technicians, who competed individually. A total of 24 OPPD employees competed, and many others worked hard to make it happen. Working Line Crew Leader Steve Frederick of the Papillion Center served on the “fix-it team” during the rodeo, and was one of several line workers who climbed poles and placed flags at the top during the opening ceremony. Steve has participated in many linemen’s rodeos over the years. “It was the best rodeo setup I’ve seen,” Steve noted. “How could you beat a grass field by a lake?” Special thanks to everyone who helped make the rodeo a reality, including the crews who did a magnificent job of setting up the rodeo grounds, those who worked at the various events, those who served as judges, and all of the OPPD volunteers who pitched in.

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OPPD competitors included Joe Krivolavek, facing page, and Chris Coniglio, bottom right.

May/June 2010 Flash 17

People March-April Service Anniversaries

Stanley Crites 40 Years Facilities Management

Ronald Boro 35 Years Fuels

Terry Johnson 35 Years Facilities Management

Steven Bottum 30 Years Engineering

Deborah Carter 30 Years Corporate Auditing

Melva “Mel” Champion 25 Years Facilities Management

Harvey Gifford 25 Years FCS Plant Operations

Edward Gleisberg 25 Years Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support

Damian Gomez 25 Years FCS Plant Operations

Theresa Herman 25 Years Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support

David Koch 25 Years Information Technology

James Major 25 Years System Planning & Work Management

Ruth McKay 25 Years Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support

Douglas Mickells 25 Years Production Operations

Floyd Prine 25 Years Customer Sales & Service

William Woodward 25 Years Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support

William Epps 20 Years Customer Sales & Service

Anton Jensen 20 Years T&D Operations

Sheila Love 20 Years Human Resources

Adolph “Ernie” Parra 20 Years Fuels

William Parrack 20 Years Customer Service Operations

Timothy Potts 20 Years T&D Operations

Roger Schwindt 20 Years T&D Operations

Larry Carmine 15 Years Customer Sales & Service

Jennifer Collier 15 Years Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support

Bernard Schenkelberg 15 Years T&D Operations

Angela Flemmings 10 years Information Technology

Ahmed Mohsen 10 Years Information Technology

Karen Parrish 10 Years T&D Operations

Marna Porter 10 Years FCS Plant Operations

18 Flash May/June 2010

Service Anniversaries Not Pictured 35 Years

10 Years

Anthony Costanza, FCS Plant Operations James Erhart, T&D Operations

Kelly Daughenbaugh, FCS Plant Operations Kranthi Adidam, Information Technology Aaron Chladil, FCS Plant Operations Bengt Embrey, T&D Operations William Harrison, Information Technology Anthony Messer, T&D Operations Kyle Sears, T&D Operations Gary Wohlman, System Planning & Work Management

30 Years Timothy Merrick, FCS Plant Operations Bryan Stavneak 10 Years FCS Plant Operations

25 Years Matthew Anielak, FCS Plant Operations Shawn Dungan, Customer Service Operations Gayle Erhart, T&D Operations Steven Moore, T&D Operations

20 Years Mark Chapman, Facilities Management Tony Contreras, Production Operations Todd Koeppe, T&D Operations Thomas Omer, Production Operations Douglas Tesarek, Production Operations

15 Years Todd Ethofer, T&D Operations Diana Inzauro, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support Irvin Jones, FCS Plant Operations Gary “Blaine” Peterson, System Planning & Work Management

5 Years Frederick Christensen, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support Christopher Doner, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support Marcus Faltys, Engineering Brian Fimbres, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support Stacey Gasson, Customer Service Operations Cindy Godfrey, Customer Service Operations James Hatcher, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support Courtney Jennum, Customer Service Operations Jennifer Kirschman, FCS Plant Operations Rock Kunneman, FCS Plant Operations Christopher Masters, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support Brian Muhs, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support James Pinger, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support William Poppleton, Production Operations Korey Wells, Nuclear Engineering

Retiree Club News High Voltage Club


Green attire was in the air for the March meeting, where St Patrick’s Day was celebrated… The club welcomed new members Bill Dahl and Mike Allan. We were privileged to have Anne McGuire speak on district happenings. A couple of items touched on were the new look on electric bills and the OPPD website videos on energy efficiency… Elaine and Harold Williamson spent February in Florida. The bad news is that Harold suffered a stroke while there; however, he is doing well… Jo Wiman, the wife of Richard Wiman (deceased), visited her son and family to celebrate the first birthday of her granddaughter, Josie Lee. Jo reports that Wisconsin had less snow than Omaha did this year so the two weeks with family were enjoyed… Dick Liebentritt opened the April luncheon with 136 members… Sharon and Don Hutson enjoyed two weeks in Aruba. This was their fourth annual trip… Fran and Dick Boeck returned to Nebraska after spending the winter at their Arizona home. While in Arizona they enjoyed a cruise out of San Diego… Dave and Sharon Dickman enjoyed a short get away to Colorado Springs. Where are Reporters’ Notes? While there they were privileged to get stuck Reporters’ notes are now available online in a spring snowstorm… Retirees, if you do each month. Go to (be not belong to this group you are missing out. Consider it by calling Dick Liebentritt sure to spell out “at”). In Flash, we are providat 333-6742 or Ron Mortensen at 895-4692. ing club news that pertains to retirees, since The club meets on the third Wednesday of the many do not have access to a computer. month. To view the notes online, you must register - Sharon Dickman the first time you visit. Once you log in, click on OPPD News, then click on the Reporters’ Notes link in the blue bar. On that same bar, you’ll find links to employee birthdays, Trading Post and more.

What a great way to kick off the warm weather for those who attended the first party of 2010 on April 8 at Horseman’s Park… Congratulations to those members with recent anniversaries: Kathy Duckworth – 35 years, Deborah Carter – 30 years, Gayle Erhart, Ruth McKay and Mary Brazeal – all with 25 years… From Mary Brazeal: “Thanks Energizers for the beautiful flowers I received for my OPPD 25-year anniversary. They were beautiful and very much appreciated!”… Our condolences go out to Leslie Nano for the loss of her father and Kathy Deleon for the loss of her mother. Club officers are Cec Christensen, president; Sandy Kautzman, vice president; and Josie Lopez, treasurer. - Cec Christensen

El-Po-Co The Spring Outing was April 8 and a great success. Eddy’s again served fabulous food, and the crowd really enjoyed it… Congratulations to February, March and April retirees: Mike Menke, Gary Hobbie, Bill Dahl, Bob Adair and Dave Wees… We welcomed new members Janet Bozarth and Jude Lui. - Chris Flash Norris 19 May/June 2010

People April Retirements Robert H. Adair, senior line crew leader - Papillion Center, T&D Operations, retired April 1 with 38 years of service. Bob joined OPPD in 1972 as a utility man in the Rural Division. Robert W. Baye, customer specialist Customer Information Systems, Customer Service Operations, retired April 1 with 31 years of service. Bob joined OPPD in 1979 as a cash clerk in Cash Collections. Sheila A. Love, recruiting specialist - Human Resources, retired April 1 with 20 years of service. Sheila joined OPPD in 1990 as an accounting clerk in Corporate Accounting. David B. Wees, field representative - Metering & Collections, Customer Service Operations, retired April 1 with 28 years of service. Dave joined OPPD in 1981 as an account service clerk in Account Services. Robert F. Zbylut, working line crew leader - Papillion Center, T&D Operations, retired April 1 with 31 years of service. Bob joined OPPD in 1978 as a utility man in the Underground Department. James E. Zelfel, senior quality assurance lead auditor - Nuclear Quality & Performance Improvement, retired April 1 with 32 years of service. Jim joined OPPD in 1977 as an engineering aid in the Quality Assurance Department.

20 Flash May/June 2010

May Retirements

Bruce R. Kies, transportation working crew leader – William A. Archbold, Transportation & Construcsystem software specialtion Equipment, Facilities ist - Enterprise Operations, Management, retired Information Technology, May 1 with 36 years of retired May 1 with 20 years service. Bruce joined OPPD of service. Bill joined OPPD in 1973 as an apprentice auto mechanic in the in 1989 as a security systems Transportation Department. specialist in Nuclear Operations. Karen L. Bonenberger, customer care representative - Customer Service Operations, retired May 1 with 24 years of service. Karen joined OPPD in 1986 as an operations clerk in the Central District Department.

Frank J. Kovar, cable splicer working crew leader, T&D Operations, retired May 1 with 37 years of service. Frank joined OPPD in 1972 as a utility man in the Underground Department.

Michael G. Michalski, working crew leader – steamfitter mechanic, Central Maintenance Pressure Equipment, Production Operations, retired May 1 with 33 years of service. Mike joined OPPD in 1976 as a helper in CenStanley R. Crites, manager – tral Maintenance, Production Operations. Facilities Maintenance Joseph D. Minardi, workand Operations, Facilities ing machinist leader – FC Management, retired Maintenance, FCS Plant May 1 after 40 years. Stan Operations, retired May 1 joined OPPD in 1970 as a with 34 years. Joe joined junior engineering aid in OPPD in 1976 as a first Production Engineering. class machinist at Fort Calhoun. Thomas “Jeff” Hix, diviIgor Cherko, manager Environmental & Regulatory Affairs, retired May 1 with 35 years of service. Igor joined OPPD in 1974 as a chemist in the Chemical & Environmental Department.

sion manager – Production Engineering & Technical Support, retired May 1 with 36 years of service. Jeff joined OPPD in 1974 as an engineer in the Operations Department. Mark O. Johnson, working crew leader – material handling, North Omaha Operations, Production Operations, retired May 1 with 35 years of service. Mark joined OPPD in 1974 as a helper in the Materials Handling Department.

Mark E. Naslund, manager – Papillion Center, T&D Operations, retired May 1 with 34 years of service. Mark joined OPPD in 1975 as an engineer in the Substation Department. Steven J. Newland, senior production operations engineer – Test and Performance, Production Engineering & Technical Support, retired May 1 with 32 years of service. Steve joined OPPD in 1978 as an engineer in Production Operations.

Gene R. Parrish, equipment operator - nuclear, FCS Plant Operations, retired May 1 with 31 years of service. Gene joined OPPD in 1979 as a helper.

Dale F. Widoe, vice president – Operations, Executive, retired May 1 with 35 years of service. Dale joined OPPD in 1974 as an engineer in the Operations Department.

Ronald A. Marshall, right-of-way coordinator Real Estate, Facilities Management, retired May 1 with 18 years of service. Ron joined OPPD in 1992 as a land rights specialist in Facilities Management.


Services were held March 12 in Omaha for Frank N. Bousha, 84, shown in a 1991 photo. Frank joined OPPD in 1985 and retired in 1991 as manager – purchasing & contracts. Frank was preceded in death by his wife, Jackie, and son, Dr. David Douglas L. Wolfe, manager Bousha. He is survived by a brother-in-law, Richard Donald L. Sands, manager – (Julie) Foll; nieces and nephews. – Blair Area, T&D OperaSyracuse Center, T&D OperaServices were held April 24 tions, retired May 1 with tions, retired May 1 with 36 in Omaha for Dorothy C. 37 years of service. Doug years of service. Don joined Young, 95, shown in a 1970 joined OPPD in 1972 as a OPPD in 1974 as a utility photo. Dorothy joined OPPD utility man in the Underman in the Central Departin 1960 in the Home Service ground Department. ment. Department and retired in that same department in John O. Wright, working Kurt M. Schreiter, shift 1977. Dorothy is survived by a son and daughtermachinist leader – Central supervisor – Nebraska City, in-law, James and Shirley Young; grandchildren, Maintenance Machine Production Operations, Kathy and husband, Jim Zurek, Jamie Young and Shop, Production Operaretired May 1 with 31 years Kris Vacek, and Tori and husband, Rick Hanson; and tions, retired May 1 with of service. Kurt joined eight great-grandchildren. 36 years of service. John OPPD in 1978 as a helper in joined OPPD in 1973 as Nebraska City Operations. an apprentice machinist in the Machine Shop Sympathies Department. Richard A. Short, working Wanda and Rick Ruhge, retired, for the death of their machinist leader – Central Linda L. Ziemba, admingrandson, Rowan Ruhge. Maintenance Shop, Producistrative clerk – Nuclear Patty Vacanti, Customer Service Operations, for the tion Operations, retired Administrative Services, death of her father. May 1 with 35 years of Nuclear Performance Leslie Nano, Planning & Budgeting Services, for the service. Rick joined OPPD Improvement & Support, in 1974 as a utility man in retired May 1 with 29 years death of her father. the Pressure Equipment Department. of service. Linda joined Blaine Peterson, System Planning and Work ManageOPPD in 1980 as a stenographer in the Engiment, for the death of his father. Mary A. Tesar, division neering Division. Carla Fitzpatrick, Energy Marketing & Trading, for the manager - Nuclear Support death of her father, Paul Fitzpatrick. Services, retired May 1 with William W. Bornhoft, steamfitter mechanic – NC Maintenance, Production Operations, retired Jeff Wollenburg, Substation & System Protection, for 36 years of service. Mary May 1 with 30 years of service. Bill joined OPPD the death of his grandmother. joined OPPD in 1973 as a in 1980 as a utility man in Production Operahelper in the Chemical & Shawn Smith, Substation & System Protection, for the Radiation Protection Depart- tions. death of his grandmother. ment. Thomas P. Cole, chemist, retired March 1 with Mark Gragert, Protection & Automation Engineering, Alison V. Rider, division manager – Facilities Management, retired May 1 with 30 years of service. Alison joined OPPD in 1979 as Flash editor in the Publications Department.

Calvin L. Webster, crew leader, Substation & System Protection, T&D Operations, retired May 1 with 30 years of service. Calvin joined OPPD in 1979 as an apprentice serviceman in the Service Department, Electric Operations.

Margaret C. Williams, operations clerk – Elkhorn Center, T&D Operations, retired May 1 with 26 years of service. Marg joined OPPD in 1983 as an operations clerk.

32 years of service. Tom joined OPPD in 1977 as a chemist in the Chemical & Environmental Department.

for the death of his grandmother.

Lyudmila Goldman, senior distribution planning engineer – Transmission & Distribution Planning, System Planning & Work Management, retired May 1 with 18 years of service. Mila joined OPPD in 1991 as an engineer in the System Planning Division.

Rich Roenigk, Nuclear Engineering, for the death of his father-in-law, Leland Shepard Sr., on April 11.

Marcia Booth, Papillion Center, for the death of her brother, Steve Booth.

Jim Erhart, Louisville, and Gayle Erhart, Syracuse Center, for the death of Gayle's mother.

May/June 2010 Flash 21


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A Bird’s-Eye View

George Sinos had a bird’s-eye view of the APPA Lineworkers Rodeo hosted by OPPD in March (See page 16). That’s because he perched in the basket of OPPD’s 170-foot-high Condor truck to photograph part of the event. The rodeo attracted nearly 200 lineworkers from across the country, so Corporate Communications needed additional help photographing the event. They asked George, a photography enthusiast and a member of the Omaha Camera Club, to photograph the rodeo, and he enlisted a few of his fellow club members (Sue Baxter, Theresa Cassaday, Brian Alspaugh and Mel Mann). Corporate Communications personnel Gary Williams, Jeff Hanson, Mike Jones and Terry Zank also shot photos and video. George, manager of emerging technologies in Information Technology, has been with OPPD for 29 years. To go up in the Condor, the highest reaching boom truck in the OPPD fleet, George had to go through a safety course given by Mike Sip, Training Coordinator at North Omaha Station. “The best part of the day was going up in the Condor. I had a good angle, and the view was amazing because of how far I could see,” he said. Jeff Hanson used the images to produce a slideshow for the award’s banquet that evening. George became interested in photography when his father gave him a camera when he was young. He took pictures for his high school newspaper and worked part-time for a camera store. His interest grew when digital cameras came of age, and five years ago, he joined the club. “I was impressed by the participants,” said George. “It was a ball to be there, taking pictures and going up in the Condor. I would be willing to travel to shoot future rodeos.” By Sue Perkins

George Sinos of Information Technology, above left, shot photos at the Lineworkers Rodeo, such as the one at left, from the basket of the 170-foot-high Condor truck. For safety reasons, Doug Pitt, working line crew leader, accompanied him. Photo of Condor by Brian Alspaugh.

Flash May-June 2010  
Flash May-June 2010  

OPPD Flash magazine May-June 2010