Awards & Accomplishments
The American Public Power Association (APPA) recently recognized Greenville Utilities as a Smart Energy Provider (SEP) for demonstrating commitment to and proficiency in energy efficiency, distributed generation, and environmental initiatives that support a goal of providing low-cost, quality, safe, and reliable electric service.
The SEP designation, which lasts for two years (December 1st, 2020 to November 30th, 2022) recognizes public power utilities for demonstrating leading practices in four key disciplines: smart energy program structure; energy efficiency and distributed energy programs; environmental and sustainability initiatives; and the customer experience. This is the second year APPA has offered the SEP designation.
GUC joins 27 public power utilities nationwide that received the SEP designation in 2020. In total, 94 public power utilities nation-wide hold the SEP designation.
GUC’s environmental and sustainable initiatives noted in the designation include: DEED Grant for Utility-Scale Battery Storage Program, energy efficiency improvement funding for low-income to medium-income residents in the City of Greenville, supply-side energy efficiency programs, demand-side “Beat-the-Peak” load management program, an extensive offering of customer incentive programs promoting energy conservation, public electric vehicle charging stations as well as residential and commercial charging station rebates, a solar generation program, and a variety of environmental sustainability programs like paperless billing, voluntary green pricing, and land management to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous runoff, to name a few.
GUC was also recognized for a number of local collaboration initiatives to improve environmental performance. A few examples include our Compressed Natural Gas Fueling Station that partners with groups like East Carolina University to reduce emissions, an initiative to install solar panels at a high school, a conservation and wildlife refuge at our Wastewater Treatment Plant, natural gas peak shaving generators, and much more.
The American Public Power Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. They represent public power before the federal government to protect the interests of the more than 49 million people that public power utilities serve, and the 93,000 people they employ. (12/20)
Gas Planning Engineer Charles Buck was recently elected to serve on the North Carolina 811 (NC 811) Board of Directors. GUC is a charter member of the organization, which started in 1978. NC 811 is a non-profit organization funded by its member facilities. (11/20)
GUC’s Public Information Office received two 2020 Excellence in Public Power Communications awards from the American Public Power Association (APPA) in the Video and Web/Social Media categories for our Here For You campaign. To help customers continue to feel “connected” to GUC during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Information Office created a digital campaign for our community so they would know that while things are very different, one thing remains the same: we were still here, working for them.
The American Public Power Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. They represent public power before the federal government to protect the interests of the more than 49 million people that public power utilities serve, and the 93,000 people they employ. The association advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training, and operations. (11/20)
Water Treatment Plant Receives Two Awards
Our Water Treatment Plant (WTP) recently received two awards, the North Carolina Area Wide Optimization Award, as well as the national Partnership For Safe Water Directors Award.
North Carolina Area Wide Optimization Award
This marks the fifth year in a row that our WTP has received the state award. The NC Division of Water Resources has included Greenville Utilities among the 55 out of 149 water treatment plants in the state honored for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards in 2019. The award recognition is a state effort to enhance the performance of existing surface water treatment facilities.
In 1998, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed new regulations to reduce the risk of biological contamination. The EPA then partnered with states to form the Area Wide Optimization Program (AWOP). This program introduced more stringent water quality goals and helps water systems meet those goals. North Carolina has participated in AWOP since 2000 and is one of 23 states involved in the program.
National Directors Award
Our WTP also received the “Directors Award” from the Partnership for Safe Water. This is a program developed by the EPA and American Water Works Association (AWWA) to guide water suppliers towards improving water quality by optimizing system operations. It is similar in nature to AWOP, but goes a step further with a four-phased approach and a peer review, with Phase IV being the highest level of achievement.
GUC was the only award recipient from North Carolina this year and the eighth water treatment plant from the state to ever receive this prestigious award. (11/20)
GUC Receives State Safety Awards
Greenville Utilities received safety awards from the NC Department of Labor (NCDOL). For some of our departments, this was the 13th consecutive year earning awards. In all, we were honored with 16 safety awards.
Gold Level Awards were presented to companies with days away from work, job transfers, or restricted time rates at least 50% below industry average. Awards at this level went to Administration (13th year), Human Resources (13th year), Wastewater Treatment Plant (13th year), Administration Building (12th year), Customer Relations (7th year), Red Banks (6th year), Meter (6th year), GUC (the organization, 3rd year), Water Treatment Plant (3rd year), Gas and Utility Locating (2nd year), Electric (1st year), Engineering/Operations Center (1st year), and Finance (1st year).
Silver Level Awards were presented to companies with days away from work rates at least 50% below industry average. Awards at this level went to Water Resources (2nd year), Information Technology (1st year), and the Express Office (1st year).
GUC was also recognized for working 3 million hours without a lost workday due to injury.
NCDOL’s Safety Awards Program was established in 1946 and recognizes private and public organizations throughout the state that maintain good safety records. (10/20)
Carrie Peed Receives Certifications
E-Learning Instructional Designer/Trainer Carrie Peed completed Cornell University’s Diversity and Inclusion for Human Resources Certification. The online program involved six courses, each lasting two weeks and covering a variety of topics. In addition, Carrie received a Facilitator Certification from Totally Responsible Person (TRP) Enterprises. Because of the pandemic, Carrie participated in TRP’s first-ever virtual certification process, which included a three-day “train the trainer” course via Zoom. Carrie is now able to share TRP’s training materials with GUC employees. TRP’s learning objectives are recognizing moments of choice and exercising courage and self-control in the face of adversity. (8/20)
Karin Fullington Receives Remote Pilot License
Communications Specialist Karin Fullington received her Remote Pilot License from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). To obtain this certification, Karin passed the Aeronautical Knowledge Exam. Karin obtained this certification to fly a drone for GUC to shoot aerial video and photo footage of our facilities and projects. (8/20)
Jeff McCauley Appointed Chair of APPA Section
Chief Financial Officer Jeff McCauley has been appointed the Chair of the Business and Finance Section of the American Public Power Association (APPA). APPA’s Annual Business and Finance Conference offers more than 60 educational sessions for public power professionals in key areas such as accounting and finance; customer accounting and services; human resources and training; information technology; pricing and marketing analysis; and risk management and insurance. The APPA is an association of more than 2,000 not-for-profit community-owned utilities across the nation. (6/20)
Finance Receives State-Wide Award
For the ninth year in a row, the purchasing section of GUC's Finance Department received the Sustained Professional Purchasing Award (SPPA), presented by the Carolinas Association of Governmental Purchasing (CAGP). GUC is one of 13 member agencies throughout North Carolina and South Carolina to receive this designation. To earn the award, GUC had to demonstrate its ability to meet the complex criteria and high standards for utilization of technology, minority outreach, staff certification, customer training, vendor training, and the use of recycled products.
CAGP is a professional non-profit organization devoted to improvements in governmental purchasing, the exchange of ideas, promoting procurements rules and procedures, professional development, and purchasing certification through its affiliation with the UNC School of Government. Earning this award reflects GUC's commitment to conducting business in both a professional and ethical manner. (4/20)
Cleve Haddock Receives Industry Award
Procurement Manager Cleve Haddock was presented with the prestigious Hall-Wicker Award in March. The Hall-Wicker Award, which was established in 1996 by the Carolinas Association of Government Purchasing (CAGP), recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions and service to the cause and advancement of the purchasing profession. Cleve has served as President, Past President, and Conference Chair of the CAGP and also serves on various committees for the Association. (3/20)
Lou Norris Named Ambassador of the Year
Lou Norris, Secretary to the General Manager/CEO, was named Ambassador of the Year by the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber Commerce during the group’s Annual Membership Celebration.. Lou was voted on by her peers in the Chamber’s Ambassador Program. The program consists of volunteers from the Chamber’s membership who donate their time to assist in various activities and encourage participation in Chamber-related programs. (2/20)
Chris Padgett Elected Chamber Chair
Chief Administrative Officer Chris Padgett was elected as Chair of the Board for the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is a recognized leader for business success, strategic economic growth, and community development in Pitt County and eastern North Carolina. Chris began his term as Chair on January 1st. (1/20)
Tony Cannon Elected to ElectriCities Board
General Manager/CEO Tony Cannon has been elected to the Board of Directors of ElectriCities of NC, an organization that represents cities, towns, and universities that own their electric distribution systems. GUC is a member of ElectriCities, along with more than 90 other members in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Tony was also elected to serve as Secretary to the Board. (1/20)
Operator of the Year Award
Chad Flannagan, Water Treatment Plant (WTP) Operator, received the A-Surface Operator of the Year Award from the NC Waterworks Operators Association (NCWOA). This award recognizes at each level of certification (A Surface, B Surface, C Surface, A-Well, B-Well, C-Well, D-Well) a waterworks operator who has demonstrated outstanding ability, devotion, and technical expertise in the operation of a water treatment facility. The Association recognized Chad for his outstanding proficiency in plant operations, his exceptional organizational skills with GUC’s asset management program, and his commitment to educating the next generation of Operators by teaching at NCWOA’s annual certification schools. (11/19)
Gas Department Earns Safety Award
Geenville Utilities’ Gas Department was one of 32 gas systems from across the country awarded the 2018 American Public Gas Association (APGA) Safety Award for an outstanding safety record. This makes the 9th year that our Gas Department staff has exemplified worker safety at a national level. APGA’s safety award winners are determined by their overall incident (lost work time) rates in a calendar year. Public gas systems are divided into six groups based on the annual number of man-hours worked. GUC falls within Group E with 70,001 or more man-hours. (11/19)
GUC Competes in Operations Challenge
A group of Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) employees competed at the 19th annual Operations Challenge at the North Carolina Section of the American Water Works Association and Water Environment Association (NC AWWA-WEA) conference in Raleigh and came in third overall with a second place finish in two out of five events.
“Chris Hill and I were watching the competition last year and saw how those teams used their industry skills,” said Jason Manning, WWTP Superintendent, “and we knew we had the knowledge and talent among our staff to compete at the highest levels. I talked to other GUC departments that compete in the rodeos and heard how it was a catalyst for skill development, increased safety awareness, and teamwork. Chris and I wanted that for our staff as well.”
Our team -- the Smooth Operators -- included Pump Station Maintenance Crew Leader Corey Mills, along with Operators Bryon Orr, Kyle Meeks, Travis Lancaster, and Steve Hedgepeth.
The October competition in Raleigh included events in collections (pipe tapping), lab, safety, pump maintenance, and process control (WWTP simulator and exam). Our team placed third Overall, second in Collections (pipe tapping), and second in Process Control (simulator & exam). (11/19)
Wastewater Treatment Plant Receives Safety Award
For the second time, our Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) received the George W. Burke, Jr. Safety Award from the NC American Water Works Association/Water Environment Association for the plant’s “active and effective safety program and safety record.” The first time GUC received this award was in 2008.
The purpose of this award is to encourage an active and effective safety program in municipal and industrial wastewater facilities, and to encourage the collecting and reporting of injury data. The minimum criteria for receiving the award is reported lost workdays and OSHA reportable incidents, and GUC’s WWTP had none. In addition, the Plant was recognized for shifting from a “transactional safety culture” (rules, policies, and procedures) to a “transformational safety culture” where everyone is personally invested in their own, and their co-worker’s, safe work.
“At GUC, safety is not something that is being done to employees or just rules to follow, it is a commitment from every level, to every employee’s safety and well-being. It’s great for GUC to be recognized for creating a safe work culture that is based on relationships,” said WWTP Superintendent Jason Manning. (11/19)
Public Power Communications Awards
GUC’s Public Information Office received two 2019 Excellence in Public Power Communications awards from the American Public Power Association (APPA). One award was for a video campaign and the other was for our newly redesigned website.
The video campaign emphasized the value of GUC. Each video in the campaign (a total of eight) focused on one of our utilities (electric, water, wastewater, and natural gas), as well as customer service. We featured some of our employees’ children in the videos to explain how we help our customers and the community. Each video opens with one or two children stating what they think their parent does in their career at GUC. Then the video elaborates on the message, describing how our service is of value to our customers and community. Videos.
Our redesigned website was launched in December 2018. With a goal of making the site as customer-focused as possible, we studied analytics of the previous site. Using that, we designed an engaging new website with multiple pathways to give our customers the information and services they wanted and used the most. Customers and staff alike have given positive feedback about the site’s new online chat feature where employees handle questions from customers quickly, easily, and efficiently. We also made sure that the new site works equally well on desktop computers and mobile devices, with full responsiveness. (10/19)
APGA Safety Award
Greenville Utilities’ Gas Department was one of 32 gas systems from across the country awarded the 2018 American Public Gas Association (APGA) Safety Award for an outstanding safety record. This makes the 9th year that our Gas Department staff has exemplified worker safety at a national level. APGA’s safety award winners are determined by their overall incident (lost work time) rates in a calendar year. Public gas systems are divided into six groups based on the annual number of man-hours worked. GUC falls within Group E with 70,001 or more man-hours. (10/19)
Backhoe Rodeo Challenge
A team of Water Resources employees competed in the Eastern Water and Wastewater Network Backhoe Rodeo at the Bell Arthur Water Corporation Operations Center on October 11th. This annual event gives equipment operators from Eastern North Carolina the opportunity to show off their talents in operating a variety of excavating equipment like rubber tire backhoes and small trackhoes. It’s also a great way for operators to test their ability in performing tasks safely and quickly. Six different events took place, and scoring was based on the time taken to complete each one. Penalties were added to the time if the operator dropped a ball or pipe, touched or knocked over a cone, spilled too much water out of the bucket, etc. Representing GUC this year were Water Resources Equipment Operators Michael Silverthorne, Dean Roberson, Derek Averill, Bennie Pittman, and Water Resources Systems Maintenance Crew Leader Josh Setzer. Congratulations to Josh on placing second in the Slam Dunk Event and Michael on placing second in the Ball & Cone Event. (10/19)
NC Area Wide Optimization Award
GUC’s Water Treatment Plant received the prestigious North Carolina Area Wide Optimization Award for the fourth year in a row. The NC Division of Water Resources included Greenville Utilities among the 57 out of 149 water treatment plants in the state honored for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards in 2018. The award recognition is a state effort to enhance the performance of existing surface water treatment facilities.
In 1998, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed new regulations to reduce the risk of biological contamination. EPA then partnered with states to form the Area Wide Optimization Program (AWOP). This program introduced more stringent water quality goals and helps water systems meet those goals. North Carolina has participated in AWOP since 2000 and is one of 23 states to participate. (6/19)
American Gas Association Safety Achievement Award
Greenville Utilities’ Gas Department was awarded the 2018 American Gas Association (AGA) Safety Achievement Award for excellence in employee safety. Award recipients are determined based on the lowest incident rate for the number of restricted or transferred days away from work. Companies are placed into different categories based on their size and type. GUC was recognized as one of the best in the Small Local Distribution Company category. “GUC is grateful to the AGA for the recognition of this significant safety achievement,” said Anthony Miller, Director of Gas Systems. “We are proud of this accomplishment because safety is our top priority.” (5/19)
Communicator of the Year Award
Steve Hawley, Communications Manager/Public Information Officer (PIO), was named 2019 Communicator of the Year by the North Carolina City & County Communicators (NC3C). The award is named in honor and memory of Chris Coulson, a founding member of NC3C, and is presented to a member who demonstrates a passion for making a difference in the profession and in the lives of citizens. Steve was recognized not only for his work with Greenville Utilities, but also his success as PIO for the City of Greenville. (5/19)
Onslow Water and Sewer Authority Thanks
Jeffrey L. Hudson, the CEO of Onslow Water and Sewer Authority (ONWASA) attended GUC's September Board of Commissioners meeting to thank Greenville Utilities for sending an 11-member team to replace broken water mains and make repairs at the authority's water and wastewater treatment plants following Hurricane Florence. He presented GUC with a ceremonial canoe paddle with a handle wrapped in a flag motif and a plaque that stated "for assistance following Hurricane Florence."
AMWA Gold Award
Greenville Utilities received one of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies’ (AMWA) most prestigious awards -- the 2018 Gold Award for Exceptional Utility Performance. AMWA recognized GUC for its strategic plan and goals, employee workforce development, financial stability, water supply sustainability, exceptional customer service, water quality and environmental leadership, and infrastructure investment and management. Also noted was GUC’s commitment to exceeding Environmental Protection Agency regulations and achieving higher levels of water quality. GUC is one of 14 public water systems nationally, and the only one in North Carolina, to be recognized with the AMWA’s top utility management awards. (10/18)
Finance Department Awards
GUC received three awards from the Government Finance Officers' Association (GFOA). The Distinguished Budget Presentation is for the in-depth reporting of our budget. This is the second year we received this award. The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence is Financial Reporting is given in recognition of our Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Organizations prepare a CAFR as a review of the previous fiscal year. We were also recognized for our Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR), a document designed to make the CAFR easier to understand for those without a finance or accounting background. This is the third consecutive year we received the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Financial Reporting. For the seventh year in a row, GUC's Finance Department received the Sustained Professional Purchasing Award from the Carolinas Association of Governmental Purchasing (CAGP). (8/18)
American Pubic Gas Association SOAR Award
GUC's Gas Department was presented with the American Public Gas Association (APGA) System Operational Achievement Recognition (SOAR) Award. SOAR recognizes a utility’s demonstrated commitment to excellence in four areas required to safely deliver natural gas to its customers: system integrity, system improvement, employee safety, and workforce development. Out of approximately 750 APGA members, Greenville Utilities was one of eighteen SOAR recipients recognized this year. We originally received this award back in 2015. (7/18)
APPA Board Representation
GUC’s General Manager/CEO Tony Cannon was re-elected to serve another three-year term on the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Board of Directors. APPA is a national organization that provides a range of services and representation for publicly-owned electric utilities. He has also previously served as Chair of the APPA Economic Development Committee and Chair of the Customer Connections Conference Committee. (6/18)
GUC received the prestigious Expanding Excellence Finalist Award under the category of Best Customer Information System Implementation from CS Week, an international customer service conference organization serving electric, gas, water, and wastewater utility professionals. This award is designed to acknowledge excellence in utility customer service and serves as recognition for a highly successful CIS project implementation. Nominated projects are evaluated on adherence to budget and schedule, operational efficiency after go-live, innovation, and improved service levels. (7/17)
The Government Finance Officers’ Association (GFOA) presented Greenville Utilities three awards related to how the Finance Department communicates financial information -- Distinguished Budget Presentation, the Certificate of Excellence for CAFR, and the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting for PAFR. (7/18)
Cigna Carolina’s Well-Being Award
The wellness program at Greenville Utilities and the City of Greenville was selected as the Cigna Carolina’s 2017 Well-Being Award recipient. GUC was chosen for its commitment to building a culture of well-being. (9/17)
HR Excellence Award
GUC’s Human Resources Department received the Agency Award for Excellence from the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR). This award was established to recognize the overall quality, accomplishments, and contributions of a human resources program that exceeds the normal operation of a good government human resources program. (10/17)
Outstanding Service Awards
Water Resources Systems Superintendent Troy Perkins received several national and state honors on November 14th from the North Carolina American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Association (NC AWWA-WEA). Troy was inducted into the nationally recognized NC Chapter of Five S Society, which honors those in the wastewater field who have made a particular contribution to the industry. Only a few members are selected each year for membership in this prestigious group. He also received the Donald Francisco Educator of the Year Award and the Arthur Sidney Bedell Award for extraordinary personal service to a member association. (11/17)
NCDOL Safety Awards
The NC Department of Labor (NCDOL) and the Greenville-Pitt Chamber of Commerce recognized GUC’s efforts to work safely. For some of GUC’s departments, this was the eleventh consecutive year earning awards. In all, GUC was honored with 17 safety awards during the NCDOL annual safety banquet. (4/18)
GUC received Awards of Excellence in the following five categories from ElectriCities of North Carolina: Grid Modernization, Wholesale Power Cost, Workforce Development, Value of Public Power, and Continuous Improvement. (4/18)
STEM Outreach Award
GUC’s Human Resources Department received the STEM Career Outreach Award from the International Public Management Association for Human Resources in North Carolina (NC- IPMA-HR). HR was recognized for its focus on educating schools and colleges about the diverse set of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers that we have at GUC. (4/18)
Electric Department employees brought home trophies from the 57th Annual NCAMES (North Carolina Association of Municipal Electric Systems) Lineman’s Rodeo in Morganton, NC. Public power teams from around the state competed in events that test their knowledge and ability to perform tasks safely and quickly.
In the Apprentice competitions, Overhead Lineworker Jordan Hill brought home the first place trophy for the Hurt Man Rescue. Tree Trimmer Spencer Corey placed fourth in the Rope Toss and fifth in the Sidewalk Guy, while Tree Trimmer Matt Board placed 5th in Hurt Man, and Substation Lineworker Remington Gaskins placed 8th Overall. In the Journeyman Division, Underground Lineworker David Guy placed second Overall by placing third in both the Crossarm Change Out and the Jumper Replacement, and an overall perfect score of 400. (5/18)
Water Treatment Excellence Award
The N.C. Division of Water Resources has honored GUC for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards. This is the third time GUC has received the prestigious N.C. Area Wide Optimization Award (AWOP), which is part of a state effort to enhance the performance of surface water treatment facilities. (6/18)