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A monthly publication for the men and women of TECO Energy

October 2010

Ramil focuses on future “Do you want to go for a Sunday afternoon sail or do you want to roll up your sleeves and step onto an America’s Cup racing boat?”

TECO Energy CEO John Ramil addresses a packed house of team members attending the 2010 Leadership Dinner at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

Speaking about the future of TECO Energy, new Chief Executive Officer John Ramil posed that question to team members at the 2010 Leadership Dinner Sept. 16 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. He asked team members to get ready to face challenges and opportunities ahead in a more complex and difficult business environment. Ramil gave heartfelt thanks and a commemorative plaque to former TECO Energy CEO Sherrill Hudson for his leadership from July 2004 to August 2010. Ramil listed some of the company’s successes during Hudson’s tenure as CEO: • Reduced company debt by more than

$1 billion. • Improved TECO Energy net income and

stock price.

TECO Energy

• Improved credit ratings for TECO

Energy and Tampa Electric. • Decreased number of short sells in

TECO Energy stock.

Sherrill Hudson, in his words . . . . . Inside front cover IT Expo packs TECO Plaza. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 IT Portfolio Committee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Seasonal healthcare news . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Bright Ideas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Performance Sharing Program update. . . . . . . . . . . 4 Values Recognition winners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Heywood Turner talks about the past . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Safety Milestones and Safety Awards. . . . . . . . . . . . 5 JA BizTown builds kids’ business skills. . . Back cover

Turning to 2010, Ramil talked about the year going well for TECO Energy’s core companies, and he thanked team members for their hard work. Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas enjoyed higher sales during a cold winter, and Tampa Electric benefited from a hot summer. “Somebody once said, ‘the harder I work, the luckier I get,’” Ramil said about the weather. “We’ll take that.” He cited the record year TECO Coal is having, thanks to cost controls, higher sales

prices and demand for coal. And TECO Guatemala is having a successful year because of high reliability and availability of its power stations, Ramil said. He then shifted to the future. Ramil stressed the importance of performing well operationally and financially, saying his goal is to see TECO Energy’s stock price and dividend in the top quartile of 53 peer utilities. “If we can stay in that sector, we will have the ability to raise and deploy the capital we need to provide the services we want to provide to our customers,” Ramil said. “And – and this is really important – to provide us the flexibility to choose what we want to do in the future.” To do this, Ramil said TECO Energy must excel in three areas. First, it must provide good customer service. Second, it also must continue to strengthen its balance sheet, in part by eliminating $300 million more in debt over the next five years. And third, it must follow through on the company’s strategic initiatives. Those initiatives include establishing a strong technology platform; pursuing environmentally responsible initiatives, such as renewable energy and electric and natural gas vehicles; and looking for electric and gas growth and acquisition opportunities. Ramil asked team members to realize this vision – and to continue to serve shareholders, customers and each other – with the following guidance: • Take responsibility for yourself and for

communicating with those in your area.

(Continued on inside front cover)

Sherrill Hudson, in his words Sherrill Hudson stepped down as TECO Energy chief executive officer, but he’s as committed as ever to the company’s success. In August, the TECO Energy board of directors named Hudson executive chairman, a post he’ll hold through 2012. Hudson spoke recently with Insight about his time as CEO from July 2004 until two months ago and about how he plans to help new CEO John Ramil – and the company as a whole – any way he is asked to. Sherrill Hudson, executive chairman, TECO Energy board of directors

What were some of the first issues you tackled as TECO Energy CEO? We acted very decisively in getting problem investments behind us early. That was a key decision. We made it and we moved fast to execute it. It helped us get back to what John Ramil calls “TECO Classic.” With a sense of urgency, we got there. We spent a lot of time on our mission, our vision and our values; we’ve come a long way in becoming a truly value-driven company. Team members understand our values, they buy into them and they strive to live them. We also established a very comprehensive succession process. What were you and the executive team able to do that really stands out to you now?

Insight Team Editor

Brian Lott


Sharon Espinola, Sheryl Long, Brian Lott

One thing I’m really proud of is what we’ve done with succession planning. We’ve worked hard to build depth. We identified those team members we thought had the potential for a certain position, we identified their strengths and we identified what they needed to work on so that when the opportunity came, they were ready. We made some lateral moves to give people

Photography Bob Waselewski Design

Belinda Brown


Crissy Boyd

Thanks to our correspondents: Peoples Gas System Devon Rudloff

more cross-training so they would become more broad-gauged executives. I think our succession planning, and this is a reflection of the quality of the people here, is second to none of any company in the world, quite frankly. We haven’t had to go outside to fill any key position, we’ve changed senior team members in almost every key position and we haven’t missed a beat. How did you see yourself as CEO? Something I truly emphasize is that in restoring our financial balance sheet, in getting us back to investment-grade status, getting our stock price up significantly, all of that was a team effort. We did it together, and everybody in the company should feel very proud about what we’ve achieved. I was very lucky to be CEO, and I always looked at myself as the head cheerleader. I thought my No. 1 job was to help other people succeed, and I think our executives have really embraced the importance of helping other people be successful. The more strong people you have on the team, the more you’re able to achieve. How will your role at TECO Energy change now? For a little over two years, I’m going to be executive chair. I’m going work to make sure the board is supportive of the things that John as CEO and the management team want to achieve. I will be working closely with the board to make sure they’re involved in what’s going on so that they’re fully aware and endorse the strategy we execute. I will

(Continued on next page)

Ramil focuses on future (Continued from front cover)

TECO Coal Paul Matney, Pam Croley, Dave Blankenship

• Be unhappy with the status quo; always

Tampa Electric Jerri Carlson, Rebecka Kelleher, Cynthia Calhoun, Mike Dubchy, Tracy Mortellaro, Victor Velasco

• Trust others and work in ways that earn

TECO Guatemala Edgar Barillas de Leon

• Give feedback often and always be open

Published monthly by Corporate Communications. Comments and suggestions are welcome. Call Brian Lott at ext. 34924, fax him at ext. 34259 or (813) 228-4259 or e-mail

• Live the company values.

strive to improve. the trust of others. to it. • Encourage a culture of open discussion – seek ideas and solutions together.

• Support the community, both

individually and as a company. After Ramil spoke, senior officers answered questions from team members, and then, Ramil closed the 2010 Leadership Dinner. “We’re in as good a place as we can be,” he said, “but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.” ■

(Continued from inside front cover)

work with John to help him in any way that I can. He’s been very successful, and I want to help him be even more successful. And I’ll continue to help other executives in any way that I can. I’ll do some meetings with our big institutional investors, to help out in a supportive role. A lot of our institutional investors have wanted some exposure to boards. In my role, I can give those investors another dimension in the appropriate cases, working closely with Mark Kane (director of Investor Relations) and John to do that. What aspects of the experience you brought with you to TECO Energy do you think helped you the most? In my time at (Deloitte & Touche), I focused on developing people. I had a variety of experiences in public accounting. Over 37 years, you become familiar with hundreds of companies, thousands of executives. I saw some things done exceptionally well, I saw some things done poorly, and I tried to take what I learned and apply it to my role as CEO. First and foremost was a focus on people, on developing people and helping them be successful. One thing I’ve learned is that if you have a problem, you’ve got to hit it head-on, you’ve got to deal with it decisively and put it behind you. That’s one of the things we did as a team. We said, “Here are all the things we have to do,” and we went out and did them. We executed with a sense of urgency to get back to the great TECO of old days. What kind of advice do you like to give frontline team members? I believe in what people can do. I believe everyone can and should focus on being the best they can be. The message I deliver is: Everybody in the company is important. In business or anything, whatever field you’re in, whether it’s academia, sports or whatever, you always need to be alert, in a learning phase, always trying to improve yourself, always figuring out what you need to do better. If you want to move into a management or supervisory position, you need to be great at what you do currently. You know the people who say, “I’m not happy doing this, but if I can get another notch up, I’ll really do well there.” It just doesn’t happen. Each step along the way, you have to be a

“Everybody is a leader in some way. Everybody is and can be an example for someone else. You can motivate other people, no matter what job you do. When they see you being the best you can be, it’s going to motivate others.” Sh e r r i l l H u d s o n Execut ive Chair man, TECO Energy

significant contributor. If you can do that, it’s amazing how quickly you move ahead. How does that advice differ from the kind you give those in supervisory positions? One of the things very important in management is to make sure we have an environment where people can be the best they can be and where they’re happy, because people who are happy are the most productive people in the world. I think a lot of companies miss out on tremendous abilities of people because they really do not strive to help those people be successful. Everybody is a leader in some way. Everybody is and can be an example for someone else. You can motivate other people, no matter what job you do. When they see you being the best you can be, it’s going to motivate others. What are some key areas of focus that you see for TECO Energy in the months and years ahead? The biggest thing is to be on the forefront of recognizing changes and to take advantage of opportunities presented to us as a result of the changes. The biggest challenge we have, quite frankly, is government regulation. Our hope is that our political leaders are fair and objective, as far as our business and industry are concerned. We’ve worked hard to support people who have an understanding of business and are very objective. And, of course, the whole concept of renewables is vitally important.

During your time at TECO Energy since 2004, what kinds of things have made you smile on your way in to work? TECO Energy has as much of a family atmosphere as any good company you’re going to find. It’s the sense of partnership, teamwork, cooperation and a singular focus on winning as a team, not any individual winning. I think a big part of that is the values we set that we’re living by. Over the last few years, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to meet with more than 250 team members from across the company, in groups of six or seven at a time, at the networking luncheons we held. The luncheons gave me the chance to hear about what was happening in various departments within the company and to meet some of the people that make TECO Energy such a great place to work. I think I have the best of both worlds, to be part of two great communities – I’m a resident of Miami and my business focus is in Tampa. I’ve made a lot of great friends here. I really like the friendliness of the people in Tampa; they’re very warm and receptive, and I’ve found it easy to develop a core group of friends. But I have to mention that I never switched my allegiance from the Miami Hurricanes! The thing I’m proudest of, though, is the incredibly strong and cohesive team we’ve built, to see everybody really working together as a unit to make sure TECO Energy as a whole is successful. ■


IT Expo packs TECO Plaza with technology and team members theft. And team members got a head start on training for the Microsoft Windows 7 and Office 2010 upgrades coming this fall and next year to computers companywide. Many who attended the IT Expo shared enthusiastic words about the event.

At left, TECO Energy Corporate Cash Manager Kathleen Waligore speaks to Thomas Lord, Information Technology’s director of Enterprise Architecture and Information Systems, at the IT Expo.

The 2010 IT Expo turned the TECO Plaza atrium into a technology emporium Sept. 22. The expo brought together team members and TECO Energy’s Information Technology staff as well as representatives from Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless. The FBI offered tips for team members to protect themselves from identity

“This is the best expo I have ever been to at TECO Plaza,” said Sue Connell, senior coordinator for Emergency Management. “The biggest thing for me is I went from dreading next week’s computer system change to being really excited about it!” Brian Buckley, manager of Operations Planning with Energy Supply, said, “I found it creative and inspiring to learn how we leverage different software as tools to work more efficiently, saving time and money.” Expo coordinator Lisa Hall, manager of subsidiary systems in the Business Relationship Management area of IT, said the event served multiple company needs. “In addition to helping team members get familiar with the technology-based solutions IT provides, our hope is that team members still interested in learning more about how

Office 2010 will help them at work will take advantage of the home-use program offer.” TECO Energy team members who wish to buy Office 2010 through the home-use program should follow these steps: Step 1: Go to Step 2: Enter your work e-mail address and program code. Your program code is 99F8AA7562. Step 3: Buy the software and download Microsoft Professional Plus 2010. The cost for a team member under the home-use program is $9.95, a $490 savings. The home-use program applies to one purchase of Office 2010 per active TECO Energy team member only; TECO Energy retirees and those outside the company cannot receive the discount. Office 2010 will install on Windows XP. Learn more about the home-use program for Office 2010, as well as the upcoming Windows 7 and Office 2010 upgrades, by clicking on the 7-10 = The New Easy! link under Quick Clicks on MyTECOnet. ■

Information Technology seeks to better leverage technology To support its business activities companywide, TECO Energy relies on a portfolio of information technology applications. As the company’s business evolves, it is necessary to update those applications to align with business changes. To help it get the most from its IT investment with limited resources, TECO Energy last year launched an IT Portfolio Committee (ITPC). “As with most things these days, there seems to be more things needing attention than there are resources to address them, and TECO’s information technology area is no different,” said Lisa Hall, a manager in IT’s Business Relationship Management group with responsibility for the ITPC. “This group came together with a big task – to create a portfolio for IT investments – and as a result, we’re better able to consistently


evaluate how those investments can help TECO Energy and prioritize their funding.” The ITPC is 14 manager- or director-level team members from across the company. They meet weekly to evaluate proposed projects that require technology investments. The committee uses a process to consistently assess project values, including cost-tobenefit ratio, operational effectiveness, and how projects support the company’s strategy. “The ITPC greatly enhances efficiency across the board by enabling IT to quantify how much work is out there and the best way to get that work done,” said ITPC member Terry Schramm, assistant controller with TECO Guatemala. “Because of it, in theory, business will get better and customer service will improve.” Schramm said a new SharePoint site – a central source for team members to educate themselves about information security – is

an example of a major project the ITPC helped guide. Now that the committee has mapped out its processes and with the SharePoint success behind it, the ITPC will hit its stride in 2011, he said. “We’re just hitting the crest of the wave now,” Schramm said. “Next year, the process should roll forward on its own momentum.” Patrick Shell, manager of technical services in Energy Supply, Generation Engineering, designed the ITPC’s project tracking system. He said the need for the committee is clear. “Our world and technology are changing, and as a result, our business must change,” Shell said. “We must continue to become more interconnected to remain competitive, and how well we plan these interconnections will help define our competitive advantage in the future.” ■

Healthcare benefits: seasonal news Flu shots are coming! Each year, the flu sends 200,000 people to the hospital and takes 35,000 lives. That’s why TECO Energy is providing worksite flu shot clinics in November at no cost to team members. This year, the shots will include the H1N1 vaccine. In October, visit the Health section of the TECOedge website ( for more details and to schedule an appointment. Spouses and dependents participating in a company-sponsored health plan can get their flu shot, covered at 100 percent under preventive benefits, by seeing an in-network provider. Visit Aetna Navigator ( for a list of in-network providers and clinics. Team members seeing a primary care physician should ask to see the nurse instead of the doctor when scheduling an appointment.

Open Enrollment 2011 Between Oct. 5 and Nov. 5, 2010, team members should evaluate, plan and make their healthcare plan elections for 2011. In addition to the Open Enrollment newsletter mailed to team member homes in early October, the new TECOedge website ( features an Open Enrollment section under the Health link that provides helpful tools and resources team members can access from work and home.

Due to few health plan changes, Human Resources will not hold Open Enrollment meetings, but healthcare benefits analysts will answer benefit questions submitted by e-mail to and the HR Service Desk at ext. 26000, 813-314-4222 or 1-800-204-1769, ext. 26000.

Dependent eligibility This year, dependent children up to age 25 are eligible for benefits if they are full-time students and claimed on the team member’s tax return. For 2011, a new federal healthcare reform provision enables team members to cover their adult children up to age 26, even if the children are not students. Team members participating in the health savings account benefit plan option and healthcare flexible spending account in 2011 should note that they cannot use their funds to pay for the healthcare expenses of a child unless the child is listed as a dependent on the team member’s tax return. To add a child or children to the company-sponsored benefits plan, team members should provide proof of relationship (birth certificate, court order, etc.) by fax to 813-314-4257 or e-mail at with a pdf document attachment no later than Dec. 5, 2010, for the 2011 benefits plan year. ■ – Sharon Espinola

Bright Ideas: Team members make an impact through the Continuous Improvement program Improvement link under Quick Clicks on MyTECOnet.

In this series, Insight looks at team members’ ideas that are helping TECO Energy save money and increase efficiency. As of Sept. 13, team members have submitted a total of 85 ideas worth $9,872,777 in savings. Of those 85 ideas, the company has completed 31 to save $1,436,298. Find out how you could earn up to $1,200 for your cost-saving ideas by clicking the Continuous

CIP Idea #80: In Energy Accounting – which handles the energy accounting and billing of all Tampa Electric and Hardee Power Plant interchange, cogeneration, wheeling and transmission customers – team members produce billing reports. But when Energy Accounting Analyst Jennifer Jackson determined her business partners no longer needed some of the information her team was compiling, she simply eliminated two reports to save $330 annually. “We’re always looking for ways to be more efficient because a majority of what we do is manual,” Jackson said. “More than anything, this idea saves us the time it takes to compile the unneeded reports, so we can focus on other work. Every minute we save makes a big difference for our team of three.”

CIP Idea #89: A team at the Peoples Gas Channelside office is saving time and money by combining two jobs. One is to install remote meter reading devices on all commercial gas meters in the Tampa area. The other is to replace old meters with advanced models. James Billington, division supervisor for Peoples Gas at Channelside, created a report showing the overlap in the jobs, and turned two trips to upgrade a customer’s meter or meters into one. The anticipated one-time savings: more than $7,500. “The important thing to stress is that this is a team effort,” Billington said. “Finding new ways to be efficient and save costs is what we’re doing together – and looking ahead, we should have more opportunities to do just that.” ■


Performance Sharing Program August 2010 Update AUGUST YTD TARGET


Companywide Incidence Rate: 1.40 Near Misses: Energy Supply: 667 Electric & Gas Delivery: 867 Support Services: 533

Companywide Incidence Rate: 1.02 Near Misses: Energy Supply: 1,670 Electric & Gas Delivery: 1,490 Support Services: 1,493

Reliability – Achieve a gas emergency response rate of 96 percent or better (.33%). Achieve a generation EAF (Equivalent Availability Factor) of 79.3 percent or better (.33%). Achieve an electric SAIDI(System Average Interruption Duration Index) of 108 minutes or less (.33%).

Emergency Response Rate: 96.00% EAF: 77.90% SAIDI: 76.27 min.

Emergency Response Rate: 96.84% EAF: 79.70% SAIDI: 63.03 min.

Yes Yes Yes

Customer Favorability – Achieve a yearly average favorability rating of 93 percent.





Compliance – Limit internally assessed FERC compliance events to 12 (.5%). Limit preventable environmental events to three (.5%).

FERC: 8 Environmental: 2

FERC: 2 Environmental: 2

Yes Yes

Up to 1%*

$161.6 million

$179.7 million*** $152.5 million – 2nd Qtr.

Yes Yes

Up to 5% Up to 2%


Safety – Limit companywide OSHA recordable incidence rate to 1.40 (1%). Achieve Near Miss reports by business unit. Energy Supply, 1,000; Electric & Gas Delivery, 1,300; Support Services, 800: (1%).

Net Income** Tampa Electric/Peoples Gas TECO Energy


Up to 2%

Yes Yes

Maximum Payout Percentage *Operational goal payouts (other than Safety) are tied to exceeding a combined Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas Net Income target and will be funded on a $1.00 for $1.00 basis to the extent there remains a surplus above the Net Income target.


Up to 1%*

Up to 12% **By achieving better than target and covering all operational goal payouts, any upside in Net Income will be funded $0.50 on the $1.00.

***Actual year to date Net Income before accruals for additional PSP payout over budget.

2010 August Values Recognition winners The Values Recognition program is designed to encourage, recognize and reward team members for demonstrating our core values. TECO Guatemala

Tampa Electric

Milton Velazquez – Community Support

Energy Supply (non-TECO Plaza): Paul Lofton – Achievement with a Sense of Urgency, Customer Service; Dale Wise – Achievement with a Sense of Urgency; Wes Thornburg – Achievement with a Sense of Urgency, Customer Service

Peoples Gas West Region: Kari Brooks – Customer Service East Region: George Halpern – Integrity, Achievement with a Sense of Urgency


Energy Delivery (non-TECO Plaza): Eddie Jones – Customer Service; Rick Jackson – Achievement with a Sense of Urgency, Customer Service; Anita Colvin – Safety; Lee Isham II – Safety

TECO Plaza: Alex Cuevas – Achievement with a Sense of Urgency, Customer Service Shared Services (non-TECO Plaza) Rondy Moore – Integrity, Respect for Others; Chas Ackerman – Achievement with a Sense of Urgency; Victoria Peterson – Achievement with a Sense of Urgency, Customer Service

This article is part of an Insight series in 2010 celebrating TECO Energy’s anniversary of more than 110 years of service.

Heywood Turner talks about Tampa Electric’s past Retired Tampa Electric team member Heywood Turner joined Tampa Electric in 1947 as an “oiler” at Peter O. Knight Power Station in Tampa, part of a team that oversaw the burning of oil to generate electricity. In 1989, Turner retired as senior vice president of Production. Earlier this year, at the 2010 Retiree Heywood Turner Rendezvous, he shared memories of his Tampa Electric experience with COMcentral. Here is an excerpt from that conversation:

What was one of the most challenging projects you worked on? The most challenging project was when we moved the system dispatching office from the 11th Avenue substation to the then-new Palm River location. Some few years before we did it – “we” being my guys, if I may – the decision was made that we can’t do that. But we did it, and it was one of the more challenging, and rewarding, jobs. The interesting thing about that was this was built during the Cuban (Missile) Crisis. In part of that building, we had a bomb shelter. It was a neat place. It had … a handoperated air machine with a filter system on

it so we could go in there if we had to and hunker down in case it was necessary. That was later found to be not necessary, fortunately. They removed the interior wall of the double wall and used the shelter as office space later on. On the final day of the (dispatching office) cutover, we started the morning dispatching the system from 11th Avenue and we ended the day dispatching the system from Palm River. It was a long day, but we got it done and it worked well. To view the full interview, visit TECOtube on COMcentral. ■

SERVICE ANNIVERSARIES – September 2010 35 Years Tampa Electric: Wayne Bledsoe, Laura Brown, Albert Chavez 30 Years Tampa Electric: Joe Cacciatore Jr., Debbie Fagan, Buddy Findley Jr., Pam Peurrung, Ron Waller 25 Years Peoples Gas: Angel Quant Tampa Electric: Terry Booth, Dave Gondreau, Steven Krautheim, Beverly Morgan TECO Partners: Glenn Wilt

20 Years Tampa Electric: Carrie Amerson, Kevin Brannon, Rita Burnette, Robert Connelly, Lou Dicesare, Marion Kittle, Mike Lindo, Jim Rothrock, Ed Turnipseed, Joe Tuzzolino, Joe Williams TECO Energy: Edsel Carlson 15 Years Tampa Electric: Richard Douglas, Marty McDowell, Wallace McLeroy TECO Coal: Delbert Ison Jr.

5 Years Tampa Electric: Darlene Aschwanden, Spivey Sikorsky, Belinda Montes Deoca, Rondy Moore, Cassandra Nealy, Paulette Plumeri-Miller TECO Energy: Katie Guice TECO Coal: Eileen Bostic, Teddy Dotson, Joey Lewis, Dustin Maggard, Charles Morgan, Terry Rice, Shelby Ritchie, Kevin Roberts, Darrell Wooton

10 Years Peoples Gas: Anthony McIntyre, Denise Villalobos TECO Coal: Christopher Bingham


Tampa Electric Safety Awards

The time periods below represent how long all the team members of that particular division or group at Peoples Gas have gone without a preventable vehicle accident or lost-time accident. Congratulations!

September 2010

Lakeland – Six months Daytona – Three months West Administration – Nine months Ocala – Nine months

35 Years: Albert Chavez 30 Years: Buddy Findley Jr., David Nelson, Pam Peurrung, Ronald Waller 25 Years: Terry Booth, Steven Krautheim, Carl Montalbano, Beverly Morgan, D.W. Ripple

20 Years: Carrie Amerson, Kevin Brannon, Rita Burnette, Robert Connelly, Lou Dicesare, Marion Kittle, Joe Tuzzolino, Joe Williams 15 Years: Wallace McLeroy 10 Years: Lawrence Snook 5 Years: Rondy Moore



TECO Energy, Inc. PO Box 111 Tampa FL 33601-0111


OUR PURPOSE A commitment to inspiring trust, achieving excellence, providing environmental leadership and rising to any challenge we face, which will benefit our customers, team members and shareholders, and the communities we serve. OUR VISION A company where people want to work, an organization that is an asset to the community, and a business in which investors want to invest. OUR VALUES > Safety > Integrity > Respect for Others > Achievement with a Sense of Urgency > Customer Service

JA BizTown builds kids’ business skills by working in storefronts of companies such as TECO Energy, Bank of America and Publix. Some of the students may be future Tampa Electric or Peoples Gas customers and even team members one day, and all are getting a better view of how electricity and natural gas serve the community, thanks to new wall displays and more.

New displays at TECO Energy’s JA BizTown storefront show students how Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas serve the community.

Team members from TECO Energy, Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas spruced up the TECO Energy “storefront” at JA BizTown earlier this year, giving a whole new look to the workplace for fifth graders who will develop business skills there this school year. JA BizTown, an education center in north Tampa, is a Junior Achievement program that lets children get to know the business world

Designed by Corporate Communications, the displays highlight plug-in electric and natural gas-powered vehicles, Tampa Electric’s energy-efficiency programs and more. “Junior Achievement’s BizTown is a great program that educates the youth of today and provides a unique insight to the business world,” said Kim Estrada, administrator for the TECO Energy Foundation. “The engaging and vibrant new displays showcase how TECO Energy serves the community for the more than 12,000 students that participate in BizTown each year.” Students assigned to the TECO Energy storefront work as customer service

professionals, energy analysts, engineers, executives and meter readers. Through these roles, the children do business with those working at other companies. Junior Achievement of West Central Florida operates the 15,000-square-foot facility through the generosity of volunteers and teachers as part of a worldwide organization that teaches kids work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Dee Brown, vice president of Business Strategy and Compliance, and a JA board member, applauded JA BizTown and the new displays. “JA BizTown represents a commitment to the community and to the kids who one day will be part of the business world,” Brown said. “TECO Energy team members who volunteer at JA BizTown talk about how wonderful an experience it was for them and their children, and how proud they are that Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas are represented in the BizTown community so well.” ■

Insight - October, 2010  

Internal newsletter for TECO Energy.

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