On the cover: From guarding high-level prisoners and rebuilding Iraq infrastructure to feeding thousands of military personnel, OPPD reservists and national guard members are making OPPD proud.
Saluting the Sacrifice
Several men and women who work at OPPD proudly serve the nation in Reserve and National Guard units. A series of articles salutes these employees, their families and their co-workers for the sacrifices they make to preserve freedom.
Nebraska City Homecoming
Dark Time Leads to ‘Light’ Award
Something to Cheer About
A Successul Partnership
25-Year Service Club Banquet
While Nebraska City Station 2 was being built, a contractor who had served in the Air Force in the area in the 1960s undertook his own building project.
It’s a bit early to be thinking about New Year’s resolutions, but here’s one: during 2011, make wellness a lifestyle by signing up for a SimplyWell health screening. Judi Martin has been selected by the OPPD Wellness Counts program to receive the Light of Wellness Award.
Two OPPD employees beamed with pride for their cheerleaderdaughters this fall, eyes welling with joy.
Training Partner, OPPD’s learning management system, fulfills a long-standing goal. More than 1,100 attend the annual service club banquet. Anniversaries, retirements, deaths, sympathies and more.
Vol. 90, No. 6 November/December 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 online. Flash Editor ............................... Paula Lukowski Associate Editor .............................Vicker Sykes Creative Director..........................Joe Comstock To contact the Flash editor: phone.............. 402-636-3759 email .............. firstname.lastname@example.org address ............ OPPD, Flash, 3E/EP1 444 S. 16th St. Omaha, NE 68102-2247
Contributing Staff Chris Cobbs Jeff Hanson Mike Jones Gary Williams Terry Zank
Django Greenblatt-Seay Sharon Jefferson Althea Pietsch Laurie Zagurski
Reporters Randy Alsman Tim Ash Kim Barnes Sara Biodrowski Karma Boone Joanne Brown Cec Christensen Jeannie Corey Sharon Dickman Neal Faltys Rebecca Finn Kelly Fleming Anne Forslund Jennifer Gardner Natalie Ging Nancy Goddard Barbara Gullie Jill Hanover
Ed Howell Traci Hug Sharon Jefferson Debbie Jensen 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
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 Portal Provides Access to OPPD Info from Home Retirees and employees can access certain beneﬁts information, OPPD News and other info on their home computers through a secured-access portal. To access the portal, type oppdathome.com in your Internet browser (be sure to spell out the word “at”), then follow the instructions for creating a user ID and password. Information Technology recently upgraded the portal so that the information you access is customized, based on whether you are a retiree or an active employee. Active employees must create a new user ID to access the portal. Network log-ins will not give you access. The portal features an easy way to recover your user ID or reset a forgotten password. If you need help, please call the IT Help Desk at 402-636-3848.
Special Interest Rate Offer for Energy Efﬁciency The Nebraska Energy Ofﬁce, along with Nebraska lenders enrolled in the Dollar and Energy Saving Loan program – a revolving loan program for energy-efﬁciency improvements – have lowered interest rates to 2.5 percent. The effort, effective through Dec. 31, is intended to help stimulate the economy and help Nebraskans make energy-efﬁciency improvements to homes and businesses. The 2.5 percent interest rate applies to energyefﬁciency, renewable energy and telecommunications projects, and to ENERGY STAR-certiﬁed home electronics and ofﬁce equipment. For more information, go to www.neo.ne.gov/loan/index.html.
Ten for Ten This year marks the tenth consecutive year OPPD residential customers have placed the utility among the best in the nation in providing top quality and reliable customer service. Respondents to the J. D. Power & Associates 2010 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Survey recently ranked OPPD highest among midsize utility companies in the Midwest region. “Winning an award like this does not just happen,” noted OPPD Vice President Tim Burke. “It happens because of all the hard work and effort put in by those who have made exceeding the expectations of OPPD customers a priority. “And, when you win something like this for 10 straight years, other people, especially those in the industry, notice,” Tim added. “We have set the bar high, and others are asking how we did it.”
EAP Online Auction is Nov. 5-12 Here’s a chance to start your Christmas shopping, support a good cause and have fun at the same time. As a fundraiser for the Energy Assistance Program, the EAP Online Auction takes place Nov. 5-12. OPPD’s Corporate Communications Division coordinates the auction, with support from employees and area businesses that donate auction items. Auction item categories include: Apparel & Accessories, Collectibles, Dining, Entertainment Packages, Health/Beauty/Spa, Hotel Getaways, Home, Jewelry, Pet, Sports, Sports Memorabilia, Services and more. • To view sale items or make a bid, type http://eapauction.cmarket.com in your Internet browser. • Create a user ID and password the ﬁrst time you log on, then continue to use these on return visits to the site. • Your user name will be visible to others. If this is a concern, please create a user name other than your real name. • You also must enter valid credit card information on this secure site. However, OPPD will NOT process the payment on your card. • After you bid on an item, you will automatically be notiﬁed if someone outbids you. • You can bid on multiple items without leaving the site. • High bidders will be notiﬁed when the auction closes. • Items will be available for pick-up the week of Nov. 15. • If you have questions, call Judi Martin of Corporate Communications at 402-636-3654.
Two Changes Made to 401(k)/457 Plans Effective Oct. 22, OPPD changed the share class of the Blackrock Inﬂation Protected Bond Portfolio to reduce the expenses associated with the fund. The fund remains the same, but because the share class changed, the stock ticker symbol changed from BPRAX to BPLBX. Also effective Oct. 22, OPPD replaced the American Funds Money Market Fund with the Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund. Thus, the American Funds Money Market Fund (AFAXX) automatically transferred over to Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMRXX) on that date. You can access your account online at go-retire.com/investmentgoldonline or by calling the automated voice response unit at 1-800-716-3742. If you have questions about these changes, call First National Bank at 1-866-290-1134. If you have investment allocation questions, call The Regency Group at 402-445-6464. November/December 2010 Flash 1
Freedom isn’t free. Thousands of men and women pay the price so that their families, and countless others, can continue to enjoy liberty and freedom. Among those brave souls are several men and women who work at OPPD and are members of Reserve or National Guard units. In fact, since August of 2005, 19 current employees have been called to serve – or are currently serving – their country. This service comes with great personal sacrifice. It means chunks of time away from their families and jobs. It means missing family milestones, such as births, birthdays, graduations and all the little ‘firsts’ when young ones are left behind. It means putting their lives on hold. “While we have an important mission serving our more than 343,000 customers, we fully support employees who must take time away from OPPD to serve the nation and fight for freedom around the world,” said Vice President Tim Burke. “These employees sacrifice a great deal. They leave behind the comforts of home and a host of responsibilities that their families, friends and co-workers manage to pick up. We are proud of our military personnel, as well as their support networks,” added Tim. This issue of Flash salutes the sacrifices made by these men, women and their supporters. One story tells how the Nuclear Security Department has managed with 14 employees deployed in recent years. Another tells how Transmission Engineering has coped when their principal engineer was called away twice, for a year each time, in one case charged with guarding Saddam Hussein at a secret prison. Others tell why employees take on the dual roles, and another takes a look at how some Nebraska City Station employees paid tribute to some military personnel who served decades ago. OPPD is proud of the impact these employees have made on our nation and the world. A sincere thank you goes out to these employees and to those who have served before them. 2 FFl Flash las a h No November/December N veemb m er/Dec ecembe ber 20 2010
Bill Epps Helped Rebuild Infrastructure, Spirits in Iraq An electrical service designer working out of the Elkhorn Center helped rebuild infrastructure in Iraq earlier this decade. And, he’s done much more than that since 1997 as a member of the U.S. Naval Reserves – Seabees, which is a construction battalion. “We rebuilt seven schools and two water treatment plants in 2003,” said Bill Epps, chief petty officer E-7. “We also found the first mass grave, and as a result, we helped the locals recover from that. Bill Epps “I was in Iraq in 2003 as a machine gunner on convoy/ project security missions. We were stationed out of Babylon, Iraq, travelling all over. I’ve been to Baghdad, Fallujah, Al Kut, An Nasiriyah, Ad Diwaniyah, Karbala, Najaf, Tikrit, Safwan, Samarra, Al Hillah, and a bunch of other places I can’t pronounce. “We saw some combat, so the highlight was bringing everyone home,” Bill said. Deployed again in 2007-2008, Bill served as the convoy commander for Security Element, stationed out of Fallujah, Iraq. They handled security and transport for civilian and military materiel and personnel. Bill says he has remained in the unit “to serve my country and the man next to me.” “It’s always been an honor and a privilege to serve,” Bill said.
Bill Epps’ Naval Reserves unit rebuilt schools and water treatment plants in Iraq.
Don Casey Left Huge Mark on Army, Reserves before Retiring in July Don Casey spent 38 years serving the country, until he had to retire this past summer. He volunteered for the Army during the draft in August 1969 and retired from the Army Reserves on July 2, 2010. The nuclear security officer at Fort Calhoun Station, who has been with OPPD since 2000, made it to the top rank of E-9 sergeant major, which fewer than 1 percent attain. He also served as a nuclear weapons specialist, military police, armored cavalry scout, first sergeant, command sergeant major and medical instructor. Don Casey, left, greets son, Jon, “I was in Okinawa during the Vietnam War and upon Jon’s return from Afghanistan. then was brought back on orders in 2003,” said Don. “I served in Ft. Bliss, Texas, for a year, then starting in 2006, I spent four years at the Army Medical Center & School at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio.” The highlights of Don’s military career have been serving as reserve liaison at the Army medical school and being a drill sergeant. “Five of my eight children went into the Army,” said Don. The fact that his children followed in his footsteps makes him extremely proud. “My wife deserves the credit for my successful career, since she was responsible during my absence for raising eight children,” said Don. “She always supported me.” Before he came to OPPD, he had to use his vacation to attend weekend drills or to go beyond his two-week orders. “Times have changed since 1996, and employers now support the military much better,” said Don. November/December Nove No v mber mber/Decem mber 2010 10 Flash 3
“It’s a very solid unit,” said Linda Kuhlenengel of the 439th Military Police Detachment, above, led by her husband, Mark.
Mark Kuhlenengel Earns Place in History Mark Kuhlenengel, principal engineer in Transmission Engineering, has a keen interest in history. Some of that stems from a rich family history of military service. Some comes from having a deep pride in his country. And some comes from serving in the Army Reserves for 27 years. “He can tell you anything about World War I, World War II, the Civil War, even just skirmishes,” said his wife, Linda. “We have a large library in our home, filled with history and military history books. He says there is so much we can and should learn from our forefathers.” But Mark, himself, has earned a place in history. A year’s deployment during 2004 and 2005 put him in charge of guarding a highlevel Iraqi detainee: Saddam Hussein, who the U.S. military referred to in code as “Victor.” Speaking from Afghanistan, where he is currently deployed, Mark said that assignment was the pinnacle of his military career. His job was
4 Flash November/December 2010
to protect Saddam. As ironic as that was, Mark did so in a stoic, professional manner. Mark had strict orders to shield the former dictator from harm if trouble broke out, risking his own life, because the military wanted Saddam to stand trial. Top-Secret Mission
“We knew this was a no-fault mission, and we could not mess this one up,” said Mark, lieutenant colonel in the 439th Military Police Detachment. Mark and the detachment’s dozen Midwestern soldiers spent that year running a secret prison that housed notorious war criminal “Chemical Ali,” several former Iraqi cabinet ministers and more than 100 other high-level detainees. Sgt. Robert Ellis, one of the men in the unit, co-wrote a book about their experience, Caring for Victor: A U.S. Army Nurse and Saddam Hussein.
“Mark has worked long and hard for our country and its liberties,” said Linda, who said she isn’t privy to what he is doing when he is away, due to his top-secret clearance. “I’ve accepted that. Mark has a Bronze Star, and I don’t know why. I may never know why.” However, when Linda spotted one of the men from Mark’s unit on MSNBC with one of the high-level detainees, she knew something big was happening. In addition to serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mark has served shorter stints in Germany, Korea and at several bases in the continental U.S. “I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be when I grew up – an engineer, a farmer or a soldier, so I have dabbled in all three,” said Mark, who grew up on a farm near Syracuse. Family Matters
“When he is home, he doesn’t really want to talk about what he was doing while serving,” said Linda, who has been married to Mark for 26 years. They have three children. “Our oldest son, Mathew, was a godsend to me when Mark was deployed in 2004,” said Linda, who works as a pharmacist. Their youngest, Michael, was just 10 and Elizabeth, their special needs daughter, was 18. “Mathew and I operated the whole house, and we even built a pond and waterfall together that year.” Linda said her family, Mark’s family, their daughter Liz’s extended family, friends, and people from their church have been supportive over the years. The military’s Yellow Ribbon programs also offer relief. At work, the Transmission Engineering group kicks into high gear when Mark is gone for long stretches. This group designs all of OPPD’s medium and small transmission line projects. Mark was the primary designer on the large transmission line from Nebraska City to Lincoln, along Highway 2, that was necessary to bring Nebraska City Station 2 online. “We knew far in advance that Mark was going to be gone for the year,” said Dan Witt, manager of Transmission Engineering. “We worked together to prepare, and we got as much work done ahead of time as possible. But we have a small department. When you have a full-time guy gone for a year, you feel
“I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be when I grew up – an engineer, a farmer or a soldier, so I have dabbled in all three.” Mark Kuhlenengel is currently serving in Afghanistan.
- Mark Kuhlenengel
the effect. Everyone here realizes that his duty away from OPPD is important, and we do what we have to do.” Greg Givens and Dave Huston, both senior designers, Russ Placke and Brian Wahl, both senior engineers, and supervisor Kent Herzog all pitch in. Brian, perhaps is most affected by Mark’s absences.
“I get it on both ends, at home and at work,” said Brian, who is married to Linda Kuhlenengel’s younger sister, Sandy. “We’ll always find a way to make it work.” That’s what Mark would want to hear. “I am serving because of my family,” said Mark. “I want to make sure the U.S. stays a free country for them.” By Paula Lukowski
The entire Kuhlenengel family has made sacrifices so that Mark could serve. The family includes Michael, Elizabeth, Mark, Mathew and Linda Kuhlenengel. Photo courtesy Johnston Portrait Studio.
November/December 2010 Flash 5
Nuclear Security Group Committed to Protecting Plant and Nation
FCS nuclear security officers on the practice range.
The numbers may seem surprising. During the last five years, at least 14 security officers at Fort Calhoun Station have had to split their duties at the plant with military duties. They have been called up and placed on active military leave. For those assigned to the military, it is an opportunity to serve their country. For those left behind, it means picking up the slack, because plant security remains one of Fort Calhoun Station’s main priorities. Al Clark, manager of Nuclear Security, said you never know when you are going to be hit hard by deployments and lose some officers. “Obviously, there have been some times, immediately and soon after 9-11 for example, where we were in a tight spot from a staffing standpoint,” Al said. “A number of folks were out on military duty, but we still had to protect the plant. When that happens, we have to find a balance for accommodating those affiliated with the
6 Flash November/December 2010
military and continuing to do our job. “We have a protective strategy in which we are committed to a certain number of officers to protect the plant. Beyond that, you have normal plant operations that you have to support, getting folks in and out, compensatory measures for doors that are open, day-to-day work, that sort of thing. Then there are the new work-hour rules, where officers can only work so much time. We have to manage all that well to make sure we don’t exceed legal restrictions.” According to Al, it takes a team effort to successfully accomplish that goal. He noted that those called to duty can be gone anywhere from one to two years. He said, fortunately, OPPD currently has the numbers to absorb the loss of those temporarily assigned to the military. However, that does not preclude the possibility that other staff officers may be required occasionally to work some overtime to get work done.
Al said he has received very little negative feedback from either staff officers or other plant personnel when people have been called away. “I make the assumption that they all understand these guys are providing a vital function for our country, and understand that their part is to sometimes take up the slack while those guys are away, performing their duty,” Al said. Al noted that he likes to think that OPPD goes beyond what is simply required by law when it comes to supporting those assigned to military duty. Certain benefits remain intact, such as vacation and the employee electric rate. So, too, do benefits such as health and dental benefits for dependents and dependent life insurance. A random sampling of opinions at Energy Plaza’s deli indicates that a lot of OPPD employees feel that is the way it should be. “These men and women give up an awful lot when they are called up, so we should go that extra mile for them,” said one respondent. Another said, “These people are protecting our country. That makes them all heroes in my book.”
“I served in the military and therefore I have the utmost respect for anybody who wears a military uniform. They need to know that we’ve got their back when they get called up and when they come home,” said another. Al said he thinks those called to active duty do appreciate the support they receive. “Yes, I think there is some appreciation. We try to work with them in a lot of different ways. When they come home, if they want a little extra time, we understand. Folks may have been away for a long time and maybe feel they need a little more time to get re-acclimated and reintroduced to family. We understand and try to work with them.” “It’s a juggling act, it really is, but it is one that we have been able to handle.” By Mike Jones
November/December 2010 Flash 7
Rusty Zortman Fed the Forces and Boosted Troops’ Morale If you think cooking for your family is a challenge, how about drumming up healthy meals for hundreds of military personnel and civilians off the flightline? That’s what Rusty Zortman, technical sergeant in the Nebraska Air National Guard’s 155th Refueling Wing, was tasked with earlier this year. He was the facility manager of Roy’s Flight Kitchen at a nondisclosed base in Southeast Asia. “The facility and its staff prepared and provided more than 90 different options of food and meals every day,” said Rusty, a nuclear security officer at Fort Calhoun Station. “Without us, morale and health would likely have been an issue, because meals ready to eat (MREs) would be the only option.”
Rusty Zortman grills a meal that offers much more flavor than an MRE.
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Rusty also led a karaoke night for deployed personnel, which he said is a great morale booster. In addition to these roles, he also assisted the USO tours of bands, comedians and stage shows. He helped design new logos and new PhotoShop wall art to decorate buildings inside and out, and he created memorabilia of the tour. Rusty enlisted in April 1998 and he plans to stay enlisted “until they kick me to retire.” “I have remained in the military for not just the benefits, or the family history, but for the honor of serving this great nation,” said Rusty. “I have friends and family counting on me to be their support, and there is nothing like being there for them with the honor of being in the Air Force. “The challenges are extremely tough, but luckily, I have a great wife who supports me for what I stand for,” Rusty said. “Most importantly, I have a civilian employer that has been supportive in this role, as well.”
Cary Hayes Proudly Serves Nation Cary Hayes deploys Nov. 30 for six months in Iraq, then another six months in Afghanistan. The operations procedure writer in Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support joined the National Guard three years ago, after serving for 10 years in the Air Force. “I joined with my son, who is now in a different National Guard unit,” said Cary, who appreciates support for the men and women who are serving the country. “Now, when I walk around in uniform, it’s not uncommon for women to run up and give me a hug or for men to reach out their hands to thank me for my service.” He said it wasn’t always that way. Cary Hayes “It’s nice to have the support,” said Cary, who added that OPPD works with reservists to provide the balance of benefits that is due to them and to ensure smooth transitions back into their jobs. “The American flag and the bald eagle represent America and all that I stand for and am willing to defend with my life. I am proud to serve in the U.S. military, to fight for my country, defend the honor of a nation, protect the freedoms of those who cannot or choose not to. As an American soldier, I don’t look for a fight or war to participate in, but if called upon, I will proudly go and stand side-by-side with my brothers and sisters in arms and defend the United States of America and all that the American people stand for.” By Paula Lukowski
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Big Red Sub Club Retiree Rick Scoﬁeld, right, is one of several people with OPPD ties who belong to the Big Red Sub Club, an extension of a Nebraska committee that was organized to support the USS Nebraska. “The state’s support of and relationship with the USS Nebraska is unique – and other subs’ crews are jealous,” said Rick. “The Lake Manawa Sailing Association (LMSA), of which my son, Chris, and I are members, hosts the Big Red Sub Club members and the delegation of sailors from the boat during the crew’s Nebraska visits in June and September for an afternoon of sailing under wind power (for the sailors, a very rare experience) and a cookout. Generally the senior naval ofﬁcers at Stratcom also attend the cookout. “The sailors actually compete during the previous patrol for the privilege of coming to Nebraska, even though for some it means another week away from families. After meeting the sailors for so many years when they visited here, it was a very awesome experience to be invited to visit the USS Nebraska, tour the sub, and meet many of the crew members.” The picture was taken in the command center. Retiree Dan Stoney and President Gary Gates have also been involved with the group.
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Nebraska City Homecoming Nebraska City Station employees, from left, Brad Josoff, David Hume, Troy Crook and Ed Stukenholtz, stand near the historical marker.
45 years later, a memorial to the dead – and a release from guilt.
death of an Air Force crewman in a plane crash near the Nebraska City missile silo in November 1964. Some 45 years after the crash that killed six, As a young Air Force sergeant in the mid1960s, Rudy Burd spent parts of two years under- Rudy was finally able to rid himself of the sense of guilt that had bothered him for so long. It ground in a nuclear missile silo, not far from was this guilt that drove his efforts to have a Nebraska City. Little could he imagine that he historic marker put in place near the site, now would one day return to the same locale and occupied by OPPD’s facilities. find himself as a technician, helping to bring While working with the office of Gov. Dave Nebraska City Station 2 online in 2009. Heineman and others, Rudy said he did extenOne point of overlap was the look-and-feel sive research on that long-ago crash of a plane of where he worked – in the instrumentation and control area. Despite the huge gap in time, transporting a crew from the Lincoln Air Force Base to the silo site near Nebraska City. He Rudy’s environment didn’t seem that much discovered that he had been wrong in believing different. A far bigger change resulting from his Nebras- he had been ordered to be aboard the doomed aircraft. He thought he had disobeyed an ka City “homecoming” occurred on the inside. order that led to another man’s death, but Through what turned out to be a colossal misunderstanding, Rudy had blamed himself for the it turned out his name actually was not on
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Missile Silos A ring of 12 Atlas missile sites encircled Lincoln, ready for launch in case of nuclear war. They looked similar to the one at left. Rudy Burd was assigned to the 551st Strategic Missile Squadron of the U.S. Air Force. The squadron operated 12 launch sites, with one missile at each site. Each Atlas F missile, armed with a nuclear warhead, was stored in a vertical position inside an underground concrete and steel silo. The Atlas missile was designed to strike at the Russians in the event of nuclear war. The missile sites: Avoca, Eagle, Firth, Ellis, Nehawka, Nebraska City, Palmyra, Tecumseh, Wilber, Bradshaw, Tamora and Brainard.
Rudy Burd, today and as a young the list of crewmen assigned to the flight. died for their country,” said Rudy by phone airman. The historic marker, which was dedicated in from his home. November 2009, holds special meaning for Rudy, In 2008 and 2009, he worked at NC2 while 71, who now lives in Mayfield, Ky. Rudy had employed by Black & Veatch Corp., based in Kansas City. While working at NC2, Rudy spent time with David Hume, senior instrument & control technician at Nebraska City Station. “I wanted to see a memorial “He was here during installation and checkout for the men who died for of our control systems,” David said. “He got along well with everyone. He reminded everytheir country” one of their grandpas.” – Rudy Burd, former staff sergeant Grandpa’s story has a happy ending, but he 551st Strategic Missile Squadron regrets that today’s young generation may not Lincoln, NE truly appreciate how close the world came to nuclear armageddon in the 1960s. “If there had been a war, the Russians served as a staff sergeant with the 551st Strategic would have sent a barrage of nuclear missiles Missile Squadron based at Lincoln. Members of to destroy Offut Air Force Base,” Rudy said. the squadron were assigned to help man “Omaha would have looked like a lunar land12 Atlas-F ICBM silos that encircled Lincoln from scape. Younger people today may not fully com1961-1965. prehend how frightening it was to live through “I wanted to see a memorial for the men who those times.” By Chris Cobbs
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Be a Picture of Health
Start the new year off right with a health screening. They take place in January and February, and OPPD encourages everyone to take part.
A health screening started Judi Martin down the path of a healthier lifestyle. See story on page 15.
An Omaha-based health solutions organization, SimplyWell was founded by doctors at The Nebraska Medical Center, and provides clinically based medical advice.
It’s a bit early to be thinking about New Year’s Active employees who get a screening not resolutions, but here’s one: During 2011, move only get their results online, they gain access toward making wellness a lifestyle. One big step to the SimplyWell website. This robust site we can take is to sign up for a SimplyWell health includes: screening. We can’t set a goal for improved • My Information: A place to store your health without knowing where we stand today. medical history, lab and test results, etc. “When you get a SimplyWell screening, you • My Action Plan: Suggestions for pursuing a don’t just get a blood draw, a blood pressure healthier lifestyle. check and a printout,” said Angela Siebert, well• Healthy Living Education: A wealth of ness specialist in Human Resources. info on topics such as blood pressure, cho“Based on your personal results, SimplyWell lesterol and stress. provides good advice and practical steps you can • Health Guides & Tools: Details on comtake to improve your health. That’s one of the mon health issues. greatest things about this program.” • News & Online Resources: Links to current health-related articles and websites.
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• Chart My Screening History: Charts that show your potential health risks.
Employees Get Visa Gift Card
Active employees who sign up for a health screening will again receive basic blood work (lipid panel) for free, and will have their height, weight and blood pressure collected. Employees who complete an online Health Risk Assessment (HRA) prior to their screening and who complete the screening will receive a $50 Visa® gift card. Because SimplyWell provides the gift cards, they are not considered taxable income.
all medical information collected is subject to HIPAA privacy laws and will be kept strictly confidential. OPPD will see only overall group results, which will be used to help provide relevant wellness programming to employees.
Spouses and Retirees
Employee spouses and retirees are welcome to get a screening on a walk-in basis, but they will not have access to the SimplyWell website. Their results will be mailed to their home within seven days. Spouses and retirees are not eligible for a gift card. Their cost for the lipid panel is $27. Employee spouses are to pay via the employee’s What About Cutting the Budget? Some of you may question the gift card incen- payroll deduction and retirees will need a check payable to OPPD. tive during these budget-cutting times. “The targeted wellness programs we’re now offering are aimed at helping employees achieve or maintain good health,” noted Sherrye Hutcherson, division manager of Human Resources. “Over the long run, this will positively impact health care costs, both for employees and OPPD. “In this case, if we spend $50 on employees so they know their cholesterol, blood pressure and other important numbers, we expect they will use that information to help head off potential health conditions.”
Additional Blood Tests
Additional blood tests, such as PSA (prostate), Hemoglobin A1c (diabetes), TSH (thyroid) and CRP (inflammation) also will be available, which employees can pay for via payroll deduction. These tests also may be eligible for 100 percent reimbursement via medical insurance. Full details and forms will be available at the screenings. By Terry Zank
Health Screenings by Employees who cannot attend one of the OPPD onsite health screenings can have their blood work done at Bergan Mercy or Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha. This must be done between Jan. 3 and Feb. 28. For details, call OPPD Wellness Specialists Angela Siebert at 636-3058 or Dave Williams at 636-3374.
SimplyWell Health Screening Schedule
Signing Up for a Screening
Starting Dec. 1, employees can visit simplywell.com to choose a screening date and access the online HRA, which must be completed before the screening. More sign-up details will be available via the Wellness intranet site, OPPD News and the employee/retiree outside portal, oppdathome.com (be sure to spell out “at”). As in past years,
Jan. 18 Jan. 20 Jan. 25 Jan. 27 Feb. 1 Feb. 3 Feb. 8 Feb. 10 Feb. 15 Feb. 16 Feb. 17 Feb. 22 Feb. 23 Feb. 24 Mar. 1
6:30-9 a.m. 6:30-9 a.m. 7:30-9:30 a.m. 6:30-9:30 a.m. 6:30-9:30 a.m. 6:30-9:30 a.m. 7:30-10 a.m. 7:30-9:30 a.m. 7-10 a.m. 6:30-8:30 a.m. 6:30-8 a.m. 6:30-9 a.m. 6:30-8:30 a.m. 7-9 a.m. TBA
North Omaha Nebraska City Papillion Center Energy Plaza Fort Calhoun Elkhorn Center Syracuse Center Omaha Center Energy Plaza North Omaha Nebraska City Fort Calhoun Energy Control Ctr. Elkhorn Center TBA
Roger Perrigo 636-2746 Patty Coates 514-8143/David Hume 636-8143 Brian Dvorak 552-5310 Melissa Hansen 636-3339 Lori McEvoy 533-6533/Amy Hansen 533-6679 April McClemons 552-4961/Deb McDonnell 514-1617 Chris Ryan 557-1486 (pager) Jeremy Bryant 552-5452 Melissa Hansen 636-3339 Roger Perrigo 636-2746 Patty Coates 514-8143/David Hume 636-8143 Lori McEvoy 533-6533/Amy Hansen 533-6679 Jackie Jensen 552-5629 April McClemons 552-4961/Deb McDonnell 514-1617 (To be announced, if needed.) November/December 2010 Flash 13
14 Flash November/December 2010
Dark Time Leads to Light of Wellness Award Judi Martin, coordinator - Community Support & Consumer Relations in Corporate Communications, has been selected by the OPPD Wellness Counts program to receive the Wellness Council of the Midlands’ William L. Kizer Light of Wellness Award. Here’s her story, in her own words. Out of sadness and tragedy, often come positive life changes. My life changed dramatically due to a health screening I had through OPPD in 2009, after the death of my husband, Paul. Paul died a little over two years ago, about two years after we were married. He was the love of my life. I waited so long for my soul mate, and I had him for such a short time. After he died, I walked around in a daze, like a heavy cloak of sadness covered me. All I did was eat, sleep and work. I had not been feeling well, and I participated in the OPPD health fair. When I got the results of my blood work, my C-reactive protein (CRP) level was high. When I went to my doctor, she put me in the hospital. After two days of stress tests and a heart catheterization, they said I did not have heart problems, just “a broken heart.” In a follow-up visit with the heart doctor, I was told point-blank: “I know you lost your husband and you are still grieving, but what you are doing is killing you. You are overweight and you don’t exercise. You decide. Do you want to live or die?” I chose to live, and to live a well-balanced life. Over the past year or so, I began making changes to live a healthy life. I know Paul, who was so supportive and proud of me, would say, “Go and just do it!” I have found out that there is more to living a healthy, well-balanced life than just dieting, and that I needed to seek out people to help me. For more than a year, I have been participating in a Weight Watchers at work program, and working out twice a week with a personal
trainer, Keith. He has given me the confidence to try new things. Keith says you can become stronger and physically fit at any age – it’s never too late. I needed to develop a stronger relationship with my Lord, and I found a small group of ladies from church who are single and widowed. They have been there for me. I began to realize how blessed I am, even though I don’t have my Paulie. I realized I needed to give back from my heart, and not just as part of my work. In April, I went to Judi Martin went on a short-term mission trip to Jamaica in April. She has since become a sponsor of the boy in the middle, Trad. the Childrens Refuge Home in Jamaica to help with the kids Light of Wellness and with outreach in the community. I got involved with a Christian singles group, Award Nominees took kayaking lessons, and just completed my Don Blair first-ever Corporate Cup walk. I regularly take Facilities Management walks through the neighborhood and at area Steve Bottum gardens. I used to do this with my husband, Retired, Nov. 1, from T&D Operations and now I go by myself. Angela Chrystal After Paul died, I found myself putting every- Information Technology thing into work, and I felt totally unbalanced. Matt Harman My journey has brought balance to my life. I Production Operations know I have lots more weight to lose, but if I can continue to lose 50 pounds a year, that will Tim Miller FCS Plant Operations go a long way toward staying on track. Judi is to formally receive the Light of Wellness Award at a Nov. 4 banquet. She was one of several OPPD employees who were nominated for their adoption of healthy behavior.
Mark Purnell Customer Sales & Service Tom Sandoz Energy Marketing & Trading
November/December 2010 Flash 15
Excitement is building at Omaha’s Westside High. You can see it in the hallways, in the classrooms and at sporting venues. It’s growing in the hearts of students, faculty and their families. It’s called the Sparkle Effect, and sophomore Kailey Siebert gets credit for igniting the spark at the school.
mily Janiak looked a little hesitant as she waited on the sidelines of the Westside High School football field in early September. She wore a new red cheerleading outfit emblazoned with a large black W, sported a sparkly bow in her hair and clutched her red and black pom-poms tightly. Though kickoff was about a half hour away, hundreds of fans were filing into the stands. Many of them were wearing black T-shirts that read “Sparkle Effect.” A squad-mate gently led Emily to the cluster of cheerleaders, and they began doing warm-up stretches and yells to get fired up for the game. Emily’s hesitation turned to excitement, and a smile crossed her face. Finally, it was time to show what she had been practicing all summer. Emily, a senior, is one of six Sparkle cheerleaders at the midtown Omaha high school with nearly 2,000 students. The squad is made up of special needs students, who practice and cheer alongside the regular cheerleading squads. It’s modeled after a similar squad formed a few years ago in Bettendorf, Iowa, which was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show. Kailey saw that episode, and she instantly put the wheels in motion to give the students at her school the same opportunity. She approached Lori Huffman, Westside’s cheerleading sponsor, who is also on the faculty. Huffman sent letters to parents of students she thought might be interested in the program. Six signed up to participate, and the parents were thrilled for their daughters to be involved.
Tears of Joy
Emily Janiak, left, and Kailey Siebert get ready to cheer at a Westside football game.
16 Flash November/December 2010
From the sidelines that evening, two OPPD employees beamed with pride for their cheerleader-daughters. Angela Siebert had tears of joy for her daughter, Kailey, whose volunteer work with special needs children at Monroe Meyer had laid the groundwork for bringing the
Sparkles to Westside. Ray Janiak’s joy resulted from seeing his special needs daughter, Emily, doing something he never dreamed possible. Emily is the youngest of Ray and Diane Janiak’s five children. She was born premature, with multiple handicaps. As a result, she was delayed developmentally and faced numerous health issues, including seizure disorders. A stroke at the age of 5 affected her left side and took away some of her physical abilities. She spent the next 10 years trying to gain some of those back. “When you become a parent of a special needs child, you realize that your life has changed. It isn’t that it’s worse or better, but you know that it will be different forever,” said Ray, supervisor of Facilities Services & Space Planning. “We appreciate the efforts of Kailey and the other cheerleaders for giving her the opportunity. I’m not sure they realize just how much the special needs parents appreciate what they are doing. “When we started down this road with Emily,
“Angela has been encouraging and supportive of Kailey in this endeavor, and Kailey is so open to receiving the encouragement. Mothers and daughters don’t always have that relationship.” It’s hard for Angela to hide her feelings about what Kailey has accomplished. “It’s unbelievable that she helped make this a reality,” Angela said. “We try to instill inclusion in our home, but she has a real gift for compassion and that is now spreading to other students.” Angela saw that firsthand when she attended the Sparkles’ first pep rally at the school. “It was so crowded that I had to crane my neck to watch what was happening,” said Angela. “One of the Sparkle cheerleaders threw a sparkle T-shirt into the student-crowd, and one of the star football players caught it. He ran up and gave the cheerleader a big hug, and the crowd went wild.”
Both Ray and Angela said that the Sparkle Effect is making a big difference. Students are more accepting of others, and the special needs kids feel more a part of the school. Before the pep rally, the cheerleaders were treated to cookies. Angela got concerned when she saw Emily holding one, as she knew that Emily only ate from a feeding tube. When she approached Emily, she learned that Emily just wanted to hold it, to be like the other kids, to be a part of the group. Westside’s Sparkle cheerleaders are one of just 15 Sarah, Emily, Diane and Ray Janiak cheer on the Westside Warriors. Sparkle squads nationwide, we were touched by so many special people: and the first in the metro area, but Kailey hopes nurses, doctors, teachers, clergy and other speother schools follow suit to benefit families like cial needs parents. They were there to offer care, the Janiaks. comfort and encouragement,” said Ray. “Now, “Our former priest, Father Mac, used to say after 18 years, we can look back and begin to see that ‘God writes straight with crooked lines.’ all the lives that Emily has touched. If in some So it has been with Emily. For all the twists and small way, she touched Kailey’s heart and helped turns in her life and health, she is doing pretty in her decision to start the Sparkles, then Emily darn well,” said Ray. “We will have memories of has achieved something very special. As parents, the Sparkles that we’ll never forget. It’s a great we couldn’t be prouder.” way to end her high school career.” Ray also credits Angela for Kailey’s efforts. By Paula Lukowski
A squad-mate gently led Emily to the cluster of cheerleaders, and they began doing warm-up stretches and yells to get fired up for the game. Emily’s hesitation turned to excitement, and a smile crossed her face.
Cheerleaders sold out of the 800 Sparkle Effect T-shirts before the first game. Many people’s shirts were decorated with jewels and sparkles.
November/December 2010 Flash 17
A Successful Partnership Training Partner, OPPD’s learning management system, fulfills a long-standing goal. The effort to implement an online system for coordinating training companywide dates back at least 10 years.
Your Training Partner is Ready to Go to Work • Employees can access Training Partner to coordinate all their OPPD training via the intranet home page.
• To get to the system, click on Training Partner under Corporate Systems.
• To access Training Partner tutorials, click on the links under Videos on the right side of the system’s home page, or click on emPOWER Yourself under Corporate Systems on the intranet home page.
• If you have questions about Training Partner, contact Cindy Hornback at ext. 4950 or Kristin Alexander at ext. 4976 in Safety & Technical Training.
• If you have technical problems, contact the Information Technology help desk at ext. 3848.
As more employees start to use OPPD’s online learning management system (LMS), they’ll find Training Partner to be a powerful and userfriendly ally. Employees can use the system to: • Review a list of OPPD training classes they’ve already taken • Get updates on classes they’re currently taking • View course offerings for future classes • Request training classes “Training Partner is a robust, but easy-to-use system,” said Shon Bourke, manager - Safety & Technical Training in the Safety & Technical Training Division. “For example, when employees request a training class that requires their supervisor’s approval, the system automatically emails the supervisor and notifies him or her of the required approval. “In cases where classes are offered via computer-based training, Training Partner will send an email notification to employees who have been approved for the class. They can then use Training Partner to access that CBT.” Shon served as the project supervisor for the team (see sidebar at far right) that got Training Partner off the ground. Vice President Tim Burke was the project sponsor, Kevin McCormick, division manager of Safety & Technical Training, was the project owner, and Mike Osborn, software engineering specialist in Information Technology, was the project manager.
One-Stop Shopping “Training Partner enables employees to manage all of their training courses through one system,” said Tim. “This includes training from Customer Service Operations, Fort Calhoun Station, Human Resources, Information Technology, T&D Operations, Production Operations, and Safety & Technical Training. 18 Flash November/December 2010
“Once employees get comfortable with navigating the system, they’ll find it to be an invaluable tool for coordinating their professional development,” Tim said. Kevin added, “We implemented this system with help from people all over the company. It’s satisfying to offer employees this new tool. “The LMS concept fulfills a recommendation from the High-Performance Organization effort. The idea was to consolidate all OPPD training offerings into one integrated system.” The Training Partner project got under way in the spring of 2009. Shon said major steps in the process included: • “Shopping” for systems • Developing related processes • Importing data • Testing data • Testing processes • Placing system online • Going live in February 2010 • Finalizing system by adding Fort Calhoun Station-related training in May 2010
Training Partner Project Team Jody Cain, Information Technology Deb Emerson, Executive office Phil Ferrone, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support Angela Galloway, Human Resources Mike Godfrey, Substation Operations Ruth Jamieson, T&D Operations Jim Kucera, Production Operations Cheryl Limbach, T&D Operations Nicole Luna, Customer Service Operations Jamie Moore, Safety & Technical Training Mike Palmisano, T&D Operations Kim Wear, Customer Service Operations Patrice Wolf, T&D Operations Shon Bourke, left and Mike Osborn are part of the Training Partner project leadership team.
Sue Wymore, Information Technology
Project Leadership Team employees’ progress efficiently,” according to Nicole Luna, performance improvement specialist Tim Burke, executive sponsor in Customer Service Operations. Kevin McCormick, project owner “Training Partner has given the Downed Wires Mike Osborn, project manager Team the ability to quickly obtain an accurate list Shon Bourke, project supervisor of all employees certified to participate in stormrestoration efforts as part of a downed wires crew,” noted Cheryl Limbach, manager – DistriOPPD Ideal Culture OPPD Ideal Culture bution Services in T&D Operations. “The team’s work exemplified several of the • I take a district-wide focus in Recent regulations from the North Amerikey behaviors we’re striving for in OPPD’s Ideal all I do. can Electric Reliability Corporation and the Culture,” emphasized Kevin. (See sidebar.) “The • We talk straight to one another. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission require team, as part of its project goals, took a districtutilities to document training. Training Partner • I provide exceptional service wide focus. We talked straight to one another to both internal and external enables OPPD to comply with these new require– there was a lot of give and take as we rolled customers. ments. together content from across the company. “Although the LMS implementation is com• I manage accountability “The team provided exceptional service to its effectively. plete, the project team continues to meet periinternal customers by delivering a great endodically, as we consider ways to improve the • I attract, develop and am product. We would not have gotten this done as system,” Shon said. “For example, we want to enriched by a diverse, engaged effectively without holding each other accountworkforce. make more CBT courses available and continue able to our commitments.” to minimize the amount of content that is dupliPractical Applications cated between courses. “Training Partner has enabled the training “Our goal is for Training Partner to be a team for the new Customer Information Sysdynamic system that continually evolves as the tem (iCIS) to deliver courses to more than 300 training needs of OPPD change over the years.” employees in a timely manner and to track the By Terry Zank November/December 2010 Flash 19 “The team completed the project under budget and on time,” Shon noted. “The original estimate for an LMS, including direction from the vendor to get us up and rolling, was nearly $936,000. The overall cost for implementing Training Partner, including estimates for OPPD labor, came in at about $270,000.”
Below: Grenal Jackson, who marks 25 years in December, left, shares a laugh with Retiree Doug Roberts. Right: Board Chairman John Green, center, and President Gary Gates, behind, congratulate Mary Brazeal, executive secretary, who marked 25 years in January. She is seated with her husband, Pete.
Stephen Miller, Nuclear Engineering, marked 25 years with OPPD in July. He enjoyed the banquet with his wife, Linda.
20 Flash November/December 2010
Service Club Banquet Attracts Hundreds They came from as far as Bella Vista, Arkansas, and Las Vegas, Nevada, to catch up with former co-workers and to celebrate a new class of service club inductees. The 2010 25-Year Service Club Banquet, held Oct. 11 at the Embassy Suites in LaVista, marked the 25-year anniversaries of 70 current employees who were hired in 1985. More than 1,100 employees and retirees who had attained the 25-year service mark attended the dinner. A booklet prepared for the event shows that Lynn Sauer, Production Operations, is the longestterm current OPPD employee, with 39 years. John Casey had the most years of service – 48 years – of all the retirees listed. The award ceremony also took a look back at highlights of 1985, which saw the ﬁrst registration of a dot-com domain name, introduction of compact discs, the ﬁrst million dollar TV ad during the Super Bowl, premier of the Golden Girls TV series and the addition of Elmo to Sesame Street. It also was the year OPPD began planning to expand its headquarters with the Energy Plaza addition. Top: Guests ﬁlled the banquet hall. Middle: Diane and Matt Anielak visit with Cathy and Woody Goodell. Woody reached 25 years in September. Bottom: Carl Rennerfeldt and Viola Bannister visit at the banquet.
November/December 2010 Flash 21
People September-October Service Anniversaries
Susan Arndt 30 Years Information Technology
Delores Jacobberger 30 Years Executive
Edward Thiele 30 Years Facilities Management
Thomas Vincent 30 Years T&D Operations
Richard Bennett 25 Years T&D Operations
Paul Domina 25 Years Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support
Kevin Faust 25 Years T&D Operations
Ellen Goetzinger 25 Years Finance
John â€œWoodyâ€? Goodell 25 Years Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support
Anthony Green 25 Years FCS Plant Operations
Jeffrey Hartung 25 Years T&D Operations
Sandor Chomos 20 Years Nuclear Engineering
Joseph McBride 20 Years Quality Assurance & Quality Control
Joseph Willett 20 Years FCS Plant Operations
Ronald Dick 10 Years Planning & Budgeting Services
Ursula Hill 10 Years Information Technology
John Kuzela 10 Years Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support
Diane Moore 10 Years Customer Sales & Service
September-October Service Anniversaries Not Pictured 25 Years John Damato, T&D Operations Frederick Klauzer, FCS Plant Operations Ernie Sears, Information Technology
20 Years Gail Pashchenko 10 Years T&D Operations
Patricia Baye, Customer Service Operations Lloyd Buchmeier, Production Operations Otis Cooper, T&D Operations Allen Parette, Production Operations Douglas Pitt, T&D Operations Lloyd Williams, T&D Operations
22 Flash November/December 2010
Anthony Bohaty, Substation Operations Jeffrey Craig, T&D Operations Nancy Goddard, T&D Operations Gary Martin, T&D Operations Brandon Rietz, FCS Plant Operations James West, System Planning & Cost Management
10 Years Daniel Deschamps, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support James Dortch, FCS Plant Operations Teddy Hrdy, Facilities Management William Johnston, Production Operations Michael McKinley, FCS Plant Operations Christopher Palmer, Information Technology Kevin Pirnie, FCS Plant Operations Hallie Rodis, Customer Service Operations Joshua Sell, Substation Operations
Keith Bahr, Production Operations Michael Beck, Information Technology Joshua Bernasek, T&D Operations Brandon Berner, T&D Operations Jarod Buckley, T&D Operations Joseph Campbell, T&D Operations Donald Clark, T&D Operations Keelyn Davis, T&D Operations Christopher De George, Facilities Management Mark Doeppers, Production Operations John Drelicharz, Information Technology Susan Harder, Facilities Management Charles Hill, T&D Operations Treva Isenhower, Customer Service Operations Brian Krejci, T&D Operations Joseph Krivolavek, T&D Operations Chad Kuchta, FCS Plant Operations Scott Kuhl, T&D Operations Jacob Lang, T&D Operations Daniel Larrick, T&D Operations Nicholas Lorkovic, Nuclear Engineering Michael Love, Information Technology David Mead, Production Operations Chad Mefford, T&D Operations Ryan Meisinger, T&D Operations Aaron Mercer, T&D Operations Chad Metschke, T&D Operations Dawn Petrus, Planning & Budgeting Services Aaron Prohaska, T&D Operations Chad Reed, T&D Operations Jessie Robinson, T&D Operations Anthony Scaia, Quality Assurance & Quality Control Nicholas Shanks, FCS Plant Operations Kevin Schulze, T&D Operations Brian Tedesco, T&D Operations Cole Tibke, T&D Operations Martin Wetenkamp, Production Operations Cody Woodworth, T&D Operations Michael Wright, T&D Operations
Deaths Services were held Sept. 10 in Omaha for Raymond A. “Ray” Borg, 86, shown in a 1988 photo. Ray joined OPPD in 1949 as a junior engineering aide in the Engineering Division and retired in 1988 as division manager – Customer Service Operations. Ray was preceded in death by his wife, Eloise “Elly”; son, Alan; brothers, Carl Borg and Charles Borg. He is survived by sons, Ruth and Bryan Borg, OPPD retiree, David (Nanci) Borg; daughter, Cynthia (Don) Hiltgen; grandchildren, Deanna, Aaron, Richard and Jeromy; and great-grandchildren, Johnathan, Cidnee, Lilly, Madeline and Malia. Services were held Sept. 25 in Nebraska City for Charles C. Finley, 79, shown in a 1982 photo. Chuck joined OPPD in 1952 in the Underground and Streetlight Department and retired in 1986 as an architectural engineering senior designer. Chuck is survived by his wife, Connie; sons, Dave Finley (Cathy), Gregg Finley (Mary Finley, OPPD employee), Doug Finley (Michelle), and John Finley (Jana); daughters, Tammy Secord (Jim), and LuAnn Snyder (Mitch); 16 grandchildren, ﬁve great-grandchildren; brother, Thomas Finley; other family and friends. Services were held Sept. 16 in Omaha for Edgar G. Harding, 75, shown in a 1994 photo. Edgar joined OPPD in 1957 as a utility worker and retired in 1994 as a working line crew leader at the Irvington Center. Edgar was preceded in death by his parents, Clayton and Doris Harding; and brother, Irwin Harding. He is survived by daughters and sonsin-law, Donda and James Bissen, Kathy and Scott Coufal, Bobbie and Steve Blankenship; son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Joan Harding; 12 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; siblings, Donald, Douglas, Darrell, Clifford, Gordon Harding, and Carol Morton.
Raymond A. “Ray” Borg
Charles C. Finley
Edgar G. Harding
David E. Kuony passed away on Oct. 1 at the age of 93. Dave joined OPPD in 1939 as a screenhouse operator at the Jones Street Station and retired in 1980 as a mechanic ﬁrst class at North Omaha. Dave was preceded in death by his wife, Helen. He is survived by children, Doug and Debra (Dennis) Wolsleben. Services were held Sept. 10 in Omaha for Richard A. Long, 92, shown in a 1978 photo. Dick joined OPPD in 1938 repairing watt-hour meters under a work study program from the University of Omaha and retired in 1980 as a section manager in Technical Services. Dick was preceded in death by his parents, A. E. and Myrtle Long; brother, Robert Long; and sister, Virginia Saari. He is survived by his wife, Roberta; sons, Charles Long and Robert Long; several nieces and nephews.
David E. Kuony
Richard A. Long
Donations Sought for New Omaha Center Wall of History The new Omaha Center will include a Wall of History, dedicated to telling the story of the center from its origins at the Electric Operations Headquarters at 43rd and Leavenworth, to its Saddle Creek location, and to its new location, near Eppley Airﬁeld. The move to the new location is currently scheduled for March 2011.
The idea is for a display containing historic photographs and items. Suggestions for what to include and donated items are greatly appreciated. If you have a suggestion or something to donate, please contact Ray Janiak of Facilities Management at 402-636-3386 or rjaniak@oppd. com.
November/December 2010 Flash 23
People October Retirements Robert S. Moreno, steamfitter mechanic – FC Maintenance, FCS Plant Operations, retired Oct. 1 with 23 years of service. Bob joined OPPD in 1987 as a laborer in FC Maintenance.
Darrell K. Bender, plant engineer – North Omaha, Production Operations, retired Nov. 1 with 34 years of service. Darrell joined OPPD in 1976 as an engineer in Production Operations.
Randall L. Samson, manager – Substation & System Protection, retired Oct. 1 with 24 years of service. Randy joined OPPD in 1985 as a junior engineer in Transmission Engineering.
Steven H. Bottum, senior design engineer – Distribution Engineering, T&D Operations, retired Nov. 1 with 30 years of service. Steve joined OPPD in 1980 as an engineer in the Engineering Division.
James A. Walker, senior electrician – FC Maintenance, FCS Plant Operations, retired Oct. 1 with 20 years of service. Jim joined OPPD in 1990 as a utility worker in FCS Maintenance.
Lawrence J. Brown, electrical service designer – Key Account Sales & Service, Customer Sales & Service, retired Nov. 1 with 37 years of service. Larry joined OPPD in 1973 as a junior engineering aide in the Transmission Line Department.
Mark S. Buckley, working line crew leader – Omaha Center, T&D Operations, retired Oct. 1 with 32 years of service. Mark joined OPPD in 1977 as a utility man in the North District, Electric Operations
November Retirements Beverly J. Adams, managerial accountant – Asset Accounting, Corporate Accounting, retired Nov. 1 with 34 years of service. Bev joined OPPD in 1976 as a keypunch operator in Data Processing. Jimmie W. Bassinger, working crew leader – Material Handling, Nebraska City Operations, Production Operations, retired Nov. 1 with 30 years of service. Jimmie joined OPPD in 1980 as a helper in Nebraska City Operations.
24 Flash November/December 2010
Judith K. Brugger, operations clerk 1 – Elkhorn Center, Blair Office, T&D Operations, retired Nov. 1 with 34 years of service. Judy joined OPPD in 1976 as a junior clerk in Account Services. Melva L. Champion, manager – Planning & Administration, Facilities Management, retired Nov. 1 with 25 years of service. Mel joined OPPD in 1985 as a stenographer in Material Management. Lawrence E. Ciecior, division manager – System Planning & Cost Management, retired Nov. 1 with 37 years of service. Larry joined OPPD in 1973 as an engineer in the Substation Department.
Joseph L. Connolley, principal engineer – electrical, Nuclear Engineering, retired Nov. 1 with 11 years of service. Joe joined OPPD in 1989 as a system engineer in Production Engineering. Craig R. Crawford, business process analyst – Business Application Delivery, Information Technology, retired Nov. 1 with 22 years of service. Craig joined OPPD in 1978 as an assistant analyst in Chemical & Radiation Protection. Patrick Cronin, manager – Operations FC, Plant Management, FCS Plant Operations, retired Nov. 1 with 25 years of service. Pat joined OPPD in 1985 as an auxiliary operator in Nuclear Production. Michael J. Czerwinski, collections specialist – Finance & Investor Relations, Finance, retired Nov. 1 with 33 years of service. Mike joined OPPD in 1976 as an accounting clerk in Corporate Accounting. Roger W. Gaebel, electrical service designer – Consumer Sales & Service, Customer Sales & Service, retired Nov. 1 with 37 years of service. Roger joined OPPD in 1973 as an apprentice auto mechanic in the Transportation Department. Joseph K. Gasper, manager – Design EngineeringNuclear, Nuclear Engineering, retired Nov. 1 with 36 years of service. Joe joined OPPD in 1974 as a senior engineer in Technical Services, Production Operations.
Karen J. Gertz, senior staffing coordinator – Service, Human Resources, retired Nov. 1 with 31 years of service. Karen joined OPPD in 1978 as a stenographer in the Employment Department. Linda S. Hutchens, supervisor – Executive Office Administration, Executive Office, retired Nov. 1 with 22 years of service. Linda joined OPPD in 1988 as a stenographer in the Quality Assurance Department. Michael D. Kenealy, supervisor – Material Handling NC, Production Operations, retired Nov. 1 with 34 years of service. Mike joined OPPD in 1976 as a utility man in the Materials Handling Department. William K. Kermoade, senior production planner – Work Management, FCS Plant Operations, retired Nov. 1 with 34 years of service. Bill joined OPPD in 1976 as a helper in Production Operations. Julie B. Kuhr, senior clerk – Plant Management, FCS Plant Operations, retired Nov. 1 with 33 years of service. Julie joined OPPD in 1977 as a stenographer in the Fort Calhoun Administrative Department. Thomas P. Matthews, junior engineer – Nuclear Training, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support retired Nov. 1 with 28 years of service. Tom joined OPPD in 1982 as a junior engineering aide in the Licensing Department.
James T. McLochlin, operations system administrator – T&D Computing, System Planning & Cost Management, retired Nov. 1 with 32 years of service. Jim joined OPPD in 1978 as an apprentice relay specialist in the System Protection Department.
Cindy Hornback, Safety & Technical Training, for the death of her father. Mark and Sandi Vote, Nuclear Engineering, for the death of Sandi’s father. Gordon Hansen, retired, for the death of his wife, Rita, on Sept. 11. Carl Belt, retired, for the death of his wife, Naomi, on Sept. 10.
Terry L. Rowell, senior production planner – North Omaha Maintenance, Production Operations, retired Nov. 1 with 34 years of service. Terry joined OPPD in 1976 as a helper in Production Operations.
Brad Almquist, Production Operations, for the death of his grandmother.
Diane K. Schroder, financial planning analyst – Corporate Budgeting, Planning & Budgeting, retired Nov. 1 with 36 years of service. Diane joined OPPD in 1974 as a keypunch operator in Data Processing.
Christy and Nick Daniel, Elkhorn Center, for the death of Christy’s sister, Carla James.
Leo P. Walling, supervisor – Plant Projects, Work Management, FCS Plant Operations, retired Nov. 1 with 29 years of service. Pat joined OPPD in 1981 as an administrative clerk in Nebraska City Administration. David A. Brown, shift security supervisor – Security Services, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support, retired Nov. 1 with 12 years of service. Dave joined OPPD in 1997 as a security officer in the Nuclear Assessments Division. Gary C. Chaka, transportation working crew leader – Transportation and Construction Equipment, Facilities Management, retired Nov. 1 with 33 years of service. Gary joined OPPD in 1977 as an apprentice auto mechanic. Leo C. Wallace, stores clerk 1st class – Procurement Service, Nuclear Engineering, retired Nov. 1 with 29 years of service. Leo joined OPPD in 1991 as a laborer in Nuclear Operations.
Alice Dworzack, Substation Operations, for the death of her mother-in-law on Sept. 21. Julia Victor, Substation Engineering, for the death of her father. Larry Kilpatrick, Sarpy County Peaking Plant, for the death of his mother on Sept. 18.
Gordon Hansen, retired, for the death of his wife, Rita, on Sept. 11. Tom Shudak, Nuclear Engineering, for the death of his father. Gregg and Mary Finley, Facilities Management, for the death of Gregg’s father, Chuck Finley, OPPD retiree. Kathy and Lou Mrla, T&D Operations, for the death of Kathy’s mother, Mary Lou Callahan. Lynn and Kevin Holthaus, Nuclear Engineering, for the death of Lynn’s father.
Retiree Club News High Voltage Club Marilyn and Tom Urwin visited friends and relatives in Wyoming, Idaho and Washington. Marilyn’s highlight of the trip was riding the Zip Idaho zip line. Tom enjoyed fishing in the mountains… Mary and Frank Johnson spent Sept. 10-12 in the Amana Colonies to celebrate 45 years of wedding bliss. The weather was gorgeous, and the shopping and dining were fabulous… Kathy and Reinhard Lindner spent a few weeks in southern Wyoming and northern Colorado, pulling their new travel trailer. Camping is a new experience for both, and they plan to use the trailer for many more trips, with Florida and the west coast on the list… Fran and Dick Boeck flew to New York and toured for two days. They also took a seven-day cruise that stopped at Halifax, St. John, Portland and Boston. - Sharon Dickman
November/December 2010 Flash 25
PRESORTED STANDARD US POSTAGE PAID OMAHA NE PERMIT NO. 97
444 South 16th Street Mall Omaha, Nebraska 68102-2247 Address Service Requested
Windy Forecast The 40-turbine Flat Water Wind Farm project is nearing completion. Progress is sprouting up all over the Flat Water Wind Farm site on the state lines of Nebraska and Kansas.
Two cranes were used to lift and guide the massive turbines into place.
As of mid-October, all 40 1.5-megawatt (MW) turbines were standing. Don Dison, vice president of Engineering & Construction at Potro Power (formerly Gallup Power) said he is optimistic about the project’s progress. “We erected these turbines at a pace of about one or one and a half per day,” said Don. Potro Power has been contracted by Flat Water Wind Farm LLC to complete the wind farm by Dec. 31. OPPD has signed a power purchase agreement
with Flat Water Wind Farm LLC to buy the total 60-MW output of the company’s wind energy facility in Richardson County, Neb. OPPD completed a new substation, substation 1399, adjacent to a Flat Water sub on the site. OPPD’s substation has switches and circuit breakers to isolate the wind farm if it needs to be electrically isolated for safety, said Melissa Lester, T&D project engineer. Flat Water Wind Farm LLC’s substation will take power generation from the 40 wind turbines and step it up to be fed onto the grid via OPPD’s substation 1399 and transmission line. “The entire project team worked hard to keep construction on schedule,” said Melissa. “We had a contractor who provided special equipment to deal with the rocky ground and help with pouring concrete all winter. Even now, a lot of team members are working to ensure commissioning goes smoothly.”