July 2009


Salute to excellence

Bringing jobs to the Valley


When Volkswagen began its search for an assembly plant for a new vehicle, it didn’t take long for a team of TVA Economic Development employees to put into action what they know best — innovation, teamwork, worldwide competitiveness, quality, collaboration with regional, state and community partners, and adaptability to the needs and time pressures of a client’s fast-moving decision schedule.


From left, VW Project Team members Ed Cooper, Brian Steffey and Thomas Nantz have received this year’s Salute to Excellence President’s Award.

And, because of the tireless work of the VW Project Team — Ed Cooper, Thomas Nantz and Brian Steffey — as well as many others, including EPB of Chattanooga, Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, city of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, elected officials and countless other TVA employees, VW plans to bring 2,000 direct jobs and $1 billion in capital investment to the Chattanooga area. Tennessee estimates another 9,500 indirect jobs and additional capital investment will be created by supplier and related business.

For their efforts, TVA recognized the team with the 2008 Salute to Excellence President’s Award. This award recognizes outstanding achievement, commitment to excellence and demonstration of TVA values.

Here’s what they did, in part:
• Produced a movie to orient the German business leaders to Tennessee’s location and appealing geography, capping the story with the megasites.

• Created 3-D animation and modeling effects showcasing Tennessee and the TVA Megasites at their best.

The field was narrowed to three states, and the intensity heightened. TVA promoted benefits that were more local and personal: Chattanooga was a good place to live and Tennessee a good place to be.

With the deal closed, on July 15, 2008, VW announced to the national media that Chattanooga would be home to its new plant.


Recognizing jobs well-done

The Salute to Excellence awards spotlight outstanding achievements by individuals, teams and work groups. Each nominee has made significant contributions that have added value for TVA and for its customers. This year, there were 146 nominations for these awards. The following are other Salute to Excellence award winners:


Fossil Power Group Employee of the Year
Breeanna Hill, assistant unit operator,
Colbert Fossil Plant

TVA Trades & Labor Trainee of the Year
Derrik Siems, combustion turbine
technician trainee, Columbus, Miss.

Nuclear Power Group Employee of the Year
Richard Bookout, nuclear mechanical
tech III, Sequoyah Nuclear Plant

Power System Operations Employee of the Year
Craig McClure, electrical engineer, Electric System Projects, and project lead of TVA Bradley 500kV Substation, Chattanooga

Hydro Plant Quarterly Award
Dan Sheehan, hydro tech III, Kentucky
Hydro Plant

Environmental Excellence of the Year
Gordon Park, manager, Fossil Power
Group Environmental Affairs, Chattanooga

TVA Police Officer of the Year
James C. Holland, Nashville

Internal Customer Focus Award
Kenneth Holmquist, geographic analyst, Office of Environment & Research, Chattanoooga

External Customer Focus Award
Anthony Murphy, power utilization system engineer, Customer Service, Cleveland

Individual Innovation/Cost Saving Award
Bo Hadjerioua, civil engineer, River
Operations, Knoxville

Individual Performance Award
Valerie Crockett, senior energy market
& policy specialist, Power Supply & Fuels, Chattanooga

STAR 7 Spirit Award
Elisa McDole, business support rep-multi, Customer Resources, Nashville

Diversity Leadership Award
John Underwood, manager, Site Nuclear Assurance, Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant



Team Performance Award
The Liquid Radwaste High Impact Team from Sequoyah Nuclear Plant

Team members: Van Ford, Mike Halter, Ken Kimsey, Pat Leahy, Blake Nida, Diedre Nida and William McMillon

Team Innovation/Cost Saving Award

The Chattanooga Workplace
Decision Team

Team members: Brian Child, Rick Eason, Peggy Jenkins, Doug Johnson, Nick McCall, Kim McDowell, Kathy McGinley, Jackie Parks, David Smith, Tina Tomaszewski and Tonya Underwood

STAR 7 Spirit Safety Award

The Sequoyah Outage Safety Team/Behavioral Science Technology Inc. Pilot 

Team members: Don Clift, Scott Greason, Phil Johnson and Shane Varner