Darian Pompey, engineer-PPL Electric Utilities
Darian Pompey, engineer-PPL Electric Utilities, was a junior at Temple University when he first crossed paths with PPL, leading him from an internship to a promising career in power engineering.
As a leader of the National Society of Black Engineers, a student organization that provides leadership training, professional development activities and mentoring opportunities for African Americans, Pompey attended a resume workshop that PPL sponsored. “I spoke with PPL employees about the opportunities in the energy industry and they recommended that I pursue an internship with PPL,” Pompey said.
In the summer of 2015, Pompey worked at PPL as an intern in the Civil Structural engineering group where he analyzed equipment located at PPL’s substations. His curiosity about power and energy was piqued. “The experience made me realize that utilities are taken for granted,” he said. “People just don’t realize all of the work that goes into switching on the lights, for example.
“At the end of my internship, PPL offered me a position in the engineering rotation. Going into my senior year of college, I already had my job lined up – it was pretty awesome,” said Pompey.
The following year, after graduation, Pompey was one of the first employees to begin the engineer rotation program. The rotational period lasts 12-24 months, and each rotational path is customized to the individual and the role that they will land in at the end of the program.
“My rotation will cover Transmission Standards, Engineering Maintenance and the Construction Management groups and I will begin and end in the Civil Structural department,” said Pompey. “The program is definitely making me a more well-rounded engineer. I get exposure to all of the different groups and learn what they need from me and also what I will need from them.”
After completing the engineering rotation program, Pompey plans to continue his education and pursue his Professional Engineering license and a master’s degree.
“I am a big believer in education and I know that PPL is flexible and supportive of employees who want to further their education,” said Pompey. “As far as my long-term goals at PPL, I am always looking up. I want to constantly improve and make myself a better engineer and maybe go into management as well.”
Victoria Diaz, Distribution Operations Scheduler – PPL Electric Utilities
When Victoria Diaz joined PPL six years ago, she already knew that electricity was an essential service powering our lives and communities. What she didn’t know was how rewarding a career in energy could be.
As a distribution operations scheduler for PPL Electric Utilities, Diaz interacts with customers daily, helping to schedule service or turn power on or off for customers.
“I love that my job allows me to interact with customers. Recently, I helped an expectant mother get the power turned on in her new home before her baby arrived – giving her much needed peace of mind,” Diaz recounted. “My work has a big impact on customers’ lives and it gives me great satisfaction when I can help make their lives a little easier.”
She learned that making a big impact on customers isn’t just one person’s job and that the culture at PPL relies on teamwork to find the best solution to challenges.
“There is a great sense of camaraderie with my co-workers and I enjoy working with them. When challenges arise, I know that I can count on my team to help solve the problem with the best possible outcome for the customer in mind.”
Watch more of her story here.
Enrique Rodriguez-Arce, senior staff engineer, PPL Electric Utilities
When Enrique Rodriguez-Arce accepted a position with PPL after graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute more than 16 years ago, he never dreamed of the multitude of opportunities that would come his way – opening the door to an engaging career with the company.
“When I reflect on my career at PPL so far, one word comes to mind – opportunities. I have worked in four different engineering departments and been given great opportunities to work on special projects, like the implementation of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) hardware. I value these diverse learning experiences and working with so many talented and intelligent people.”
Soon after joining PPL, he had the opportunity to travel to Chile to assist with a project, which remains a highlight of his career to this day.
“Just a few months after joining PPL, I was given the opportunity to travel to Chile, along with other team members, to support an engineering project. Even with limited work experience, PPL recognized that my educational background, cultural knowledge and ability to speak Spanish would be an asset in helping to facilitate effective communication across a diverse team of people.”
While electrical and power engineering takes years to perfect, his willingness to try new things and collaborate with other engineers helped open the door to new opportunities. With these new doors opening, his depth of knowledge grew exponentially and he is now one of the most experienced engineers in his department.
“These opportunities have allowed me to grow and become a well-rounded electrical engineer. I have had great experiences and mentors at PPL and know that there is much more to come. I am excited to pass my knowledge on to a new generation of engineers at PPL.”
Anthony Pearson, senior business analyst – PPL Corporation
After working as a consultant for PPL, Anthony Pearson gladly accepted a full-time job offer in 2000.
“I loved the close-knit culture of PPL, the diversity of their business portfolio, and being in a position that allowed me to meet with and build creative solutions for the different departments within the company.”
Pearson was able to stretch his creativity beyond his job description and founded PPLVETS, one of PPL’s business resource groups. The group seeks to honor those employees who have served or are serving and to foster an environment of understanding, patriotism and involvement. The company’s nine business resource groups support a diverse and inclusive workforce and culture that offers something for everyone, Pearson adds. Pearson also admires the company’s community involvement and the measures taken to ensure PPL is a good corporate citizen.
“For PPL, these aren’t just words on a paper to sound good. The company backs these words up financially, but even more importantly, by encouraging and enabling employees to get out into the community and make a difference. Prior to working for PPL, I never experienced this type of culture and didn’t know it existed. Once I got a taste for what it meant to be an employee of PPL, I never looked back and really don’t want to be anywhere else.”
Katie De Luca, reliability supervisor – PPL Electric Utilities
What started as a summer internship at PPL in 2008 and 2009 turned into a full-time job for Katie De Luca. The Lehigh Valley native always knew that PPL had a reputation as a great employer and was thrilled to experience it firsthand through the company’s internship program. The internship program opened doors for De Luca to land a permanent role with the company.
“PPL has given me the opportunity to move into different groups and get a broad experience, learning many different functions within the organization,” De Luca says.
Along with the job came educational opportunities. Through PPL’s educational assistance program, De Luca was able to obtain her Master of Business Administration degree. She also continues to take classes to maintain her Professional Engineer license.
“I received great support from the company – from the financial standpoint of tuition reimbursement, as well as moral support from my supervisors while I was pursuing the advanced degree,” she says.
Though it wasn’t the only reason she took the PPL job, De Luca says knowing that the company had an educational assistance program made the decision easy.
Donald Ferguson, project engineer with Grantham Major Projects Team – WPD
At one point in time, Donald Ferguson owned a wholesale fruit and vegetable store and two florist shops. But he found himself looking for a new challenge. He went back to school to study electrical and electronic engineering. He applied to the Power Academy, an engineering scholarship program in the U.K. that links eight universities and 13 industrial companies to provide financial support, work experience and educational support for students. Ferguson received a scholarship with WPD, and was offered a placement after completing his degree. He joined WPD in 2012. Today, he’s working on construction projects to deliver the company’s maintenance program. But he’s not done learning or taking on new challenges. In the future he plans to further his education to gain more insight into protection systems and equipment.
Laura Mohn, engineering group leader at Trimble County Station – LG&E and KU
Laura Mohn started at LG&E and KU 15 years ago as a co-op. Today she leads a group of 10 engineers and three co-ops. Her team monitors day-to-day operations of the plant, runs projects and continually looks at how they can improve performance. Her team has spent time recently working to install a baghouse at the plant as part of the company’s environmental requirements.
“Another big project is the installation of a natural gas pipeline so we can convert our start-up and stabilization fuel to natural gas, which is a great savings for our customers,” Mohn said.
Her work has her always facing new challenges, and looking for creative solutions.
“We don’t deal with customers on a day-to-day basis. But the things we do to make our units run better is a direct cost savings to our customers.”
Ian Evans, engineering specialist – WPD
Ian Evans worked his way up from an apprentice to a supervisor, then a project manager and eventually an engineering specialist. Today he’s managing a small team that looks after the underground cable network across the Birmingham and Tipton regions of the U.K. Though the job keeps him busy – sometimes balancing up to 10 projects at a time – it’s the diversity of work and people that keep him motivated in his career.
Melinda Maldonado-Stumpf, Manager – Regulatory Programs & Business Services – PPL Electric Utilities
As the manager of regulatory programs and business services for PPL Electric Utilities’ 29-county service area in Pennsylvania, Maldonado-Stumpf is the link between PPL Electric Utilities and high level state policy makers and regulators regarding low-income programs and PUC regulations. Her role includes implementing low-income programs, ensuring compliance with the PUC regulations and managing quality assurance efforts. What she loves about the company is the heart it shows in each and every community it serves – awarding millions in assistance to help our low-income customers in Pennsylvania.
“What I like most, though, is that PPL employees are personally committed to making a difference,” Maldonado-Stumpf said. “I come from a nonprofit background, so helping people is in my nature.”
Recently Maldonado-Stumpf joined more than 100 PPL employees to raise more than $21,000 for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley through the group’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake event. It’s just one of many events the company’s employees support throughout the year.
“PPL is customer- and community-driven. We continually seek out opportunities to make the customer experience better or find ways to enrich our community.”
Shannon Haggard, electrical engineer – LG&E and KU
Shannon Haggard’s job covers both the analytical and the practical. His job is to meet with customers to help plot out designs for new business – whether that’s residential, industrial or commercial. But the bottom line is Haggard sees his role about giving something back.
He said it’s about “making people’s lives a little easier – it’s the most rewarding thing about this position.”
His time as a sergeant and a helicopter mechanic with the Marines taught him leadership and communication skills that have served him well in his role at LG&E and KU.
“You have to be sociable and have good communication skills. I deal with many different types of customers – from residents to CEOs. You have to be able to understand what the customers’ needs are and their point of view.”
Simon Richards, helicopter unit observer – WPD
People might not think of a career in energy taking one up in the air, but that’s exactly where Simon Richards found his calling. Before joining WPD in 2006, Richards was a Marine Engineer with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Now his typical day at WPD includes at least five hours in the sky, along with an operations briefing session, patrol planning and reporting. Richards’ job is challenging, requiring him to stay alert – navigating, pinpointing hazards, checking for faults and logging updates while in midair. But those challenges are what Richards enjoys.
“It’s also very rewarding patrolling a line post fault and being able to pinpoint the cause of a power cut and help get the lights back on.”