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  • Students Driven to Succeed

  • ContentsOn the cover:

    Hundreds of students, teachers, parents and others have been

    impacted by Power Drive.

    2 Engineering ModelTechnical savvy and people skills define Tom Burton, the OPPD Soci-ety of Engineers’ Engineer of the Year.

    4 FCS Receives CAL from NRCServing as another milestone in the road to restart and recovery at Fort Calhoun Station, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a Confirmatory Action Letter to OPPD on June 11.

    6 Driven to Success For 13 years, the Power Drive program has given students an outlet to showcase their ingenuity and creativity.

    10 Rebuilding the PastIn retirement, Dick Varner continues in his role as a caretaker for the land and structures of southeastern Nebraska.

    12 Running Wild in Warrior DashA group of OPPD employees were among the 20,000-plus individu-als who participated in Nebraska’s a first-ever Warrior Dash.

    15 Graduate SectionAn impressive number of OPPD employees and their families made fashion statements in caps and gowns at commencement exercises this summer.

    23 PeopleAnniversaries, retirements, deaths, sympathies and club notes.

    Back cover Flood of MemoriesThe one-year anniversary of the Missouri River flood of 2011 served as a reminder of all the hard work by employees.


    Senior ManagementW. Gary Gates ........................................PresidentDave Bannister ................................Vice PresidentTimothy J. Burke ..............................Vice PresidentMohamad Doghman .......................Vice PresidentEdward Easterlin ..............................Vice PresidentJon Hansen ......................................Vice PresidentSherrye Hutcherson .........................Vice President

    Board of DirectorsN.P. Dodge Jr .....................Chairman of the Board John R. Thompson. .... Vice Chairman of the BoardMichael J. Cavanaugh ............................. TreasurerAnne L. McGuire ....................................Secretary John K. Green ................................Board MemberLloyd Scheve .................................Board MemberFred J. Ulrich ..................................Board MemberDel D. Weber .................................Board Member

    ReportersRandy Alsman Tim AshKim BarnesSara BiodrowskiKarma BooneJoanne BrownCec ChristensenJeannie CoreySharon DickmanNeal FaltysKelly FlemingAnne ForslundNatalie GingNancy GoddardBarbara GullieJill Hanover

    Margine HenryEd Howell Traci HugSharon JeffersonDebbie JensenTerri KellyShelley KendrickMelinda KentonSuzanne KrajicekBecky KrugerDoug MickellsJamie MooreShawn MooreShelly MruzBeth Nagel Rick Perrigo

    Trudy PratherPam PriceLana PulverentiHeather RawlingsKathy RoyalTerri SaladoPeter SchiltzJim ShipmanJammie SnyderJennifer St. Clair Kathy StolinskiClint SweetVince TimmermanDennis VanekDawn Varner

    Contributing StaffDJ Clarke Paula Lukowski Django Greenblatt-Seay Lisa Olson Jeff Hanson Althea PietschJeni Hoffman Laurie ZagurskiSharon Jefferson Terry ZankMike Jones

    Published bimonthly by the Corporate Commu-nications 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 .................................... Chris Cobbs Creative Director..........................Joe Comstock

    To contact the Flash editor:

    phone .............. 402-636-3757

    email .............. [email protected]

    address ............ OPPD, Flash, 3E/EP1 444 S. 16th St. Omaha, NE 68102-2247

    Vol. 92, No. 4, July/August 2012



  • July/August 2012 Flash 1

    The federal courthouse, located at 111 S. 18th Plaza in downtown Omaha, has 356,873-square-feet of space. GSA personnel worked with OPPD, as well as specialized subcontractors Bes-Tech and Engineered Controls Inc. on improvements in the building’s energy systems. GSA’s op-erations and maintenance contractor LB&B also played a critical role in the project because of their knowledge of the building.

    By taking these steps, the GSA reduced annual HVAC chilled water consumption by 33.5 percent, steam consumption by 24.4 percent, electricity consumption by 13.6 percent and electricity demand by 17.7 percent, based on 12 months of utility data.

    The building has achieved ENERGY STAR status with a rating of 87 percent. This the fourth consecutive ENERGY STAR award for the courthouse.

    Line Items

    OPPD Team to Carry United Way Torch

    OPPD’s 2012 United Way cam-paign, with a theme linked to the Olympic Games in London, is sched-uled to run from Monday, Sept. 10, through Friday, Sept. 21.

    A kick-off breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 6, featuring this year’s chairman Bill Lenagh, division

    manager of Customer Sales & Service, and others on the United Way team.

    The OPPD goal for 2012 is $355,000, with a stretch goal of $360,000. Last year’s goal was $350,000 with a stretch goal of $355,000.

    As usual, anyone contributing to the campaign will be eligible for raffle prizes, including gift cards for area entertainment and restaurants. Prizes are being donated.

    “Thanks for all your support in the past, it will be needed again to reach our goal and help make our community a better place,” said Bill. “The team that is working on this will do all we can to carry the torch of the United Way spirit in our 2012 campaign.” Oh, my, this ceremony is flying by. They're already

    on the "C's" and it's only been a week.


    General Services Administration Recognized for Energy Savings

    This spring, OPPD officials recognized the General Services Administration Region 6 for its commitment to efficient energy management at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Courthouse.

    OPPD Vice President Sherrye Hutcherson presented a check for $48,800 to Mary Kosmicki, Director, GSA Nebraska Office. The check represents energy savings that the GSA realized at the facility as a result of several energy commissioning and optimization projects. Built in 2000, the six-story building has become a model for how to get the most from energy management systems.

    “GSA will see an actual utility cost savings of $173,670 annually at the courthouse, based on 12 months of utility data,” said Sherrye. “The results speak for themselves, but OPPD applauds the GSA for its good stewardship of reducing energy demand and cutting its energy bill, thus saving taxpayer dollars. The project serves as a successful example to others.”

    Roman L. Hruska U.S. Courthouse.

  • 2 Flash July/August 2012

    Engineer of the Year

    EnginEEring ModEl

    Tom Burton’s involvement with the North Omaha Station Coal-Handling

    Upgrade Project in 2000 illustrates many of the qualities that led to

    his selection as the OPPD Society of Engineeers’ Engineer of the Year for 2012. His contribution to that project also contains the DNA of his current work on proposed federal air quality

    regulations at fossil plants.For the coal-handling project, Tom

    served as project manager on a $10 million overhaul that included upgrad-

    ing all coal belts, chutes and drive motors, replacing the stockout structure and rail car thawing equipment, changing to comput-erized controls and making changes to the rail tracks to accommodate longer trains on site.

    Even while working to develop the tech-nical solution for an aging plant, Tom also was listening to concerns of plant operators

    and maintenance staff to make certain he had a grasp of their concerns. Equal empha-

    sis on both the technical and subjective sides of engineering are at the core of Tom’s ap-

    proach, and have been since he came to OPPD in 1980.

    “It was an important modification that modernized the system and gave us the abil-ity to move coal faster,” said Jon Hansen, vice president, Energy Production & Marketing, who served as operations manager during the North

    Omaha project. “Despite all the work involved, it didn’t affect production or operation of any units.”

    In the midst of the massive project, Tom still found time for volunteering two nights a month

    at the Stephen Center homeless shelter, a role in which he continues to serve. Above all, he

    was and is a devoted father to three sons and a daughter (Ben, Christopher, Peter and Angela), with an extended family that now includes six grandchildren. Tom also is a deacon at Holy Cross Catholic Church.

    “Tom is a highly committed, high-integrity, common-sense engineer,” said Jon. “All of that, in one neat package. He’s a great role model for others at OPPD.”

    Modest in the extreme, Tom jokingly said, “What were they thinking?” of his selection as Engineer of the Year. In a serious vein, he also said he was deeply honored and flattered by the award.

    The OPPD Society of Engineers Board and a se-lection committee of five engineers involving dif-ferent areas of the company selected Tom from a field of eight nominees, said Mike Herzog, senior transmission planning engineer and chairperson of the OPPD Society of Engineers. Following are some of the criteria used in the selection process:

    • Significant achievement in the engineering field

    • Behaviors that create and support the OPPD ideal culture

    • Innovative solution to solve a technical problem where attributes of the ideal utility are displayed

    • Community involvement• Continuing competence

    “Tom has demonstrated he is a go-to engi-neer,” said Mike. “There is no doubt he will get the job done. He is also very good at working with young engineers. There are 430 engineers at OPPD, and we wanted to recognize someone for others in the company to emulate.”

    In addition to Tom, the following individuals were nominated for the OSE Engineer of the Year award:

    Joel Haskins, Senior Design Engineer, T&D Operations

    Technical savvy and people skills define Tom Burton, the OPPD Society of Engineers’ Engineer of the Year for 2012. He is regarded as a role model for younger employees and a beacon of excellence among OPPD’s 430 engineers.

  • July/August 2012 Flash 3

    Landy Jacobson, Manager of T&D Projects, Substation Operations

    John Mayhan, Principal Transmission Planning Engineer, System Planning & Cost Management

    Tom Mayhan, Principal EMS Engineer, System Planning & Cost Management

    Ron McIvor, Principal Protection Engineer, Substation Operations

    Terry Pirruccello, Manager of Records and Standards, T&D Operations

    Randy Veik, Superintendent Technical, Production Operations

    Tom’s selection as Engineer of the Year was

    influenced in part by his community involve-ment, centered on his volunteer work at the Stephen Center homeless shelter for the past 21 years. Two nights a month, he sleeps over at the center, which houses about 60 homeless individuals. “I sleep with one eye open, so I can help if someone has issues,” Tom said. “The program’s function is to help them understand why they are homeless and how to stop being homeless.”

    Additionally, his selection reflects his work with young engineers and efforts to support the

    OPPD ideal culture. “As a manager, my role is to make sure people can learn to do my job some-day to help keep the company going,” Tom said. “I try to guide others through the path of using their technical skills within OPPD’s parameters of doing business.”

    Along with his work on the North Omaha proj-ect, evidence of Tom’s “continuing competence” can be found in his contribution to the 1993 rail spur to Nebraska City Station project and the 1997 Nebraska City Station Upgrade Project (new HP/IP turbine) and a number of other smaller projects along the way.

    Now on his agenda is involvement – along with senior managers and many others – with responding to the challenge of proposed Environ-

    mental Protection Agency air quality regulations. “We have been tracking this issue since well

    before 2000, and it’s one of the biggest challenges the fossil generating stations have ever faced,” Tom said. “I am not the lead, but I am provid-ing input. We’re looking for a balance between low-cost energy for our customers and respond-ing to government regulations. It’s a very difficult balance, and the challenge could result in the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

    All In The FamilyEngineering is in the blood of Tom Burton and his family.Selected by the OPPD Society of Engineers as Engineer of the Year for 2012, Tom is the son of an electrical engineer (1920-2005) who worked his entire life for the telephone com-pany. And two of Tom’s four children are in the field:

    Oldest Child: Angela graduated from Creighton, married to another Creighton graduate and stays home with her 3 sons

    2nd Oldest: Ben, graduated from University of Nebraska – Omaha; works as a CPA in town (married with 3 sons)

    3rd oldest: Chris, graduated from University of Nebraska – Lincoln; works as a Mechanical Engineer in Lincoln (Cleaver-Brooks);  getting married this summer

    Youngest:  Peter, one year left in engineering (mechanical) at the University of Tulsa, currently working a summer internship at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Mich.

    By Chris Cobbs

    Tom Burton and his extended family

  • 4 Flash July/August 2012

    Dan Montez, Lisa Olson, Jeff Hanson and Judy Sunde were among those representing OPPD at the open house.

    Serving as another milestone in the road to re-start and recovery for Fort Calhoun Station (FCS), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a Confirmatory Action Letter (CAL) to OPPD on June 11.

    The CAL, which includes a restart checklist, documents the actions OPPD has committed to taking before restarting FCS. The plant has been safely shut down since April 9, 2011, for the start of a planned refueling and maintenance outage.

    “The CAL confirms that we are working on the appropriate issues in our FCS Integrated Perfor-mance Improvement Plan, which we released publicly in February,” noted Gary Gates, president and CEO.

    The CAL also formalizes commitments OPPD has previously made to address all of the issues that prompted the NRC to place FCS into Inspec-tion Manual Chapter 0350, a special category calling for additional NRC oversight for plants in extended shutdown.

    “As recent conversations between OPPD and the NRC have indicated, we have made substantial progress in recovering FCS and returning the sta-tion to a high level of performance,” Gary said.

    Fort Calhoun Station Receives CAL from NRC

    “I appreciate the hard work of everyone on site and all the support FCS has received company-wide in pursuing those goals,” Gary emphasized. “While some things remain unknown, such as the scheduling of upcoming NRC inspections and any additional items that may arise during discovery, we continue to work the plan.”

    Employees can access the CAL by visiting the FCS button on the intranet home page.

    NRC and OPPD Hold Open Houses

    To give the public a chance to talk informally with NRC regional representatives on the status of FCS, the NRC hosted an open house at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Omaha on May 31. In addition to members of the public, media representatives from all the local TV stations and a few radio stations attended.

    In a break from its series of formal public meetings, the NRC answered questions from visi-tors one-on-one. Questions revolved around NRC policies, how those policies pertain to FCS, how the agency was going to ensure the safety of the public, and when the plant would return to operation.

  • July/August 2012 Flash 5

    By Terry Zank

    Above, employees at various information booths talk with customers who attended the event.

    At left, Channel 3’s Fatima Rahmatullah interviews Jeff Hanson.

    Fort Calhoun Station Receives CAL from NRC

    OPPD simultaneously hosted an open house, giving the public a chance to ask questions of OPPD at various stations set up in another room. Employees staffed informational tables on the Integrated Performance Improvement Plan, plant status and “Nuclear Power 101.” OPPD also had informational tables on renewable energy, envi-ronmental stewardship and energy efficiency.

    Plant Work in Full Swing, Fukushima Project Getting Started

    The pace of outage-related activities picked up in early June, as FCS workers tackled a number of maintenance tasks and modifications at the plant.

    “We will not sacrifice safety or quality for production, but we have a passion for fixing the plant and completing this outage,” said Deb Matthews, manager – Outage.

    Putting passion into your work is a strong ex-pectation of Plant Manager Mike Prospero. “We are committed to avoiding anyone getting hurt, and focusing on the things we can control on the job, with passion and a sense of urgency,” Mike said.

    From an industry-wide perspective, FCS has started a long-term project to comply with orders and information requests from the NRC related to the incident at the Fukushima nuclear facility, which was caused by an earthquake and resulting tsunami in 2011.

    The NRC orders focus mainly on being able to safely deal with conditions caused by an event that exceeds what the

    plant was designed to withstand. The specifics include installing a system to remotely monitor spent fuel pool levels and reevaluating potential flooding and earthquake hazards.

    The Fukushima response project is being designed to minimize its impact on the plant-restart effort and day-to-day plant operations. The NRC has issued a detailed schedule for providing the industry additional guid-ance on this topic over at least the next five years.

  • 6 Flash July/August 2012

    Ayrton Kuzela grew up around the Power Drive Program. He capped his senior year with a big victory for Elkhorn High and by winning the Paul High Memorial Scholarship.

    he 2001 snapshot shows an impressionable first grader, mugging for the camera at the

    Power Drive championship course at OPPD’s Elkhorn Service Center.

    Dressed in his Little League baseball uniform, that was the beginning of something very special for Ayrton Kuzela, son of John Kuzela, senior operations engineer at Fort Calhoun Sta-tion and a long-time Power Drive volunteer.

    “We went to our first Power Drive championship in 2000, and we were both hooked,” said John. “Ayrton loved the cars, they were more his size. We both counted laps and knew we would be back volunteering.”

    For 13 years, the Power Drive program has given students an outlet to showcase their ingenuity and creativity.

    Hundreds of students and countless teachers, parents and others have been impacted by the program, which debuted in the 1998-1999 school year.

    Power Drive encourages student interest in energy- and automotive-related industries by bringing a practical focus to students' math, science and/or vocational educa-tion. They work in teams, under the direction of instructors who have been trained at Power Drive workshops. Instructors report the

    And return they did, year after year. That eventually led to Ayrton competing on Elkhorn’s Electric Vehicle Team (EEVT) all four years of high school.

    The Kuzelas did a lot of lap counting initially, but as time went on, they got more and more in-volved with other duties, such as judging maneu-verability and braking.

    “One year, when the championships were held at the Qwest Center, Ayrton was assigned directly

    to Steve Anderson (Power Drive coordinator) as his runner and to help enter the event data into Steve’s laptop. He absolutely was beaming, especially when it turned very cold and rainy, and he got to stay in the warm van with Steve,” John said.

    “It was so cool,” said Ayrton of tagging along during the early years of the program. “I couldn’t wait to participate.”

    “Ayrton and I would draw pictures of what his

    Driven to Success


    Kids Building Cars, Program Building Leaders

    Kids Building Cars, Program Building Leaders

    The Elkhorn team celebrates its 2012 Power Drive championship. Ayrton Kuzela is holding a trophy at his side.

  • July/August 2012 Flash 7

    John and his wife, Dawn, are among the many parents who value what Power Drive has given to their son. As important is the com-mitment by the partici-pating schools that allow the instructors to share their time and talents with the EV teams.

    The EEVT met every Tuesday and Thursday from the beginning of the school year until the end, and it’s the only program that allows a

    student to earn a letter in Power Drive. This year, Joe Lee, a math teacher at Elkhorn South, served as the school representative. Craig Vinopal held

    Power Drive car would look like and debate the pros and cons of various designs,” added John.

    His exposure to Power Drive in these early years let him see how the competition was judged. “Before he ever joined the EEVT, he had a strong understanding of the technology, rules, safety, driving skills and what made an electric car fast,” said John.

    “I watched the skill levels improve. Cars used to go fewer laps and there were more ac-cidents,” said Ayrton, who will attend South Dakota State University in the fall and work toward a degree in electrical engineering.

    “I gained valuable experience in Power Drive,” said Ayrton. “I have done a lot of fabrication, problem-solving and documenta-tion. We went through three different steering prototypes. We worked as a team and shared a lot of ideas.”

    Plus, racing was “a blast,” he said.“It’s not like driving a normal car,” added

    Ayrton. “You have to really know the car and the track. You have to plan, watching the amps and making

    turns as smooth as possible, coasting in the right places.”

    program boosts academics, school spirit and community interest and support.

    “The vehicles and talent have re-ally improved over the years,” said OPPD President Gary Gates. “But this program goes beyond techni-cal skills, also giving the kids orga-nizational and leadership skills.”

    The Power Drive championship was held May 5. Prior to the cham-pionship, five rallies were held at various sites across the state.

    Power Drive is currently co-sponsored by Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Public Power Dis-trict, the Nebraska Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Program.

    Power Drive events competed with Ayrton’s baseball, but the family made efforts to do both. Sometimes it was Power Drive events in the morning and baseball practice or games later that day. Lower left, Ayrton is at the 2001 Power Drive championships, ready for a ballgame.

    Ayrton’s 2012 lucky shoes were retired and hung in the EEVT shop after the finals.

    Ayrton Kuzela stands at the lap-counter table at the 2003 Power Drive championships.

  • 8 Flash July/August 2012

    By Paula Lukowski

    that role Ayrton’s first three years. Both men were aided by three experienced parent

    volunteers: Tom Scott, a professional auto body technician; Steve Fluer, an electrician; and Jim Morrow, a software engineer.

    “Ayrton and the EEVT learned from the previ-ous years, and they made a whole-out effort to

    dominate this year,” John said. Not everything went perfect, but the minor setbacks they

    encountered were approached with the team’s casual approach and

    resolved in a scientific manner.

    Their determination paid off big. Elkhorn’s S01 car won the standard class, with 1153.1 points, and the team’s exhibition and advanced cars finished in the top five of their respective classes.

    “This year, all three EEVT cars (S01, E05 and A51) ran every event, the entire 1-hour rally without one on-the-track failure,” said John. “We had never seen this type of consistent high per-formance in the Power Drive. The information on car characteristics, battery performance, driving experience and confidence in the team played a big role in the EEVT’s success this year.”

    Fittingly, Ayrton was awarded the Paul High Memorial Scholarship at the championship award ceremony. Paul, a long-time OPPD transportation employee, was instrumental in the early years of Power Drive.

    Power Drive showcases bothindividual skill and teamwork.

  • July/August 2012 Flash 9

    Kids Rally Together at Power Drive ChampionshipsThose who attended the Power Drive Finals at Werner Park on May 5 were treated to an impressive show.On display were light electric vehicles designed and built by students from high schools across Nebraska

    and Iowa, plus another one from Watertown High School in Wisconsin. Lining the course, spectators settled in for the day with chairs, shade umbrellas and stocked coolers.

    Teams transformed the parking lot into a series of pit areas, where kids made last-minute tweaks to cars and teams finalized their strategies. A steady buzzing of battery chargers overtook the silent countryside sur-rounding the ball field.

    In all, more than 50 cars from 40 high schools participated in the championships. Dozens of OPPD and Nebraska Public Power District employees and retirees ran the event.

    “We hear over and over again how much the students, teachers and parents appreciate the event and the effort that all of the volunteers put into the Power Drive Program,” said OPPD retiree Steve Anderson, who oversees the program.

    The Watertown Wisconsin team traveled more than eight hours to attend.“The endurance runs at Power Drive are a higher caliber because there are a lot more teams,” said Jesse

    Domer, who teaches engineering and welding at Watertown High. “We have a couple of events in Wisconsin that attract about 25 electric cars.”

    The top five finishers by class, with car numbers and total points, include:

    Standard ClassElkhorn, car S01, 1153.1

    Bancroft Rosalie, car S20, 1053.1

    Raymond Central, car S55, 1031.3

    Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Iowa, car S50, 962.5

    Winside, car S80, 896.8

    Exhibition Class Bancroft Rosalie, car E21

    Raymond Central, car E118

    Wayne, car E107

    Elkhorn, car E5

    Friend, car E87

    Power Drive finals were held at Werner Park, with specta-tors lining the course.

    Advanced ClassWayne, car A39, 1060.5

    Columbus Lakeview, car A104, 1051.1

    Elkhorn, car A51, 890.9

    Raymond Central, car A57, 844.9

    Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Ia., car A40, 751.1

    A special thank you to the following photographers, who provided Power Drive photos: Sue Baxter, Dhruba Chakravarti, Don Cross, Rich Fiddelke, Retiree George Sinos and Employee John Kuzela.

  • 10 Flash July/August 2012

    In retirement, Dick Varner con-tinues in his role as a caretaker for the land and structures of southeastern Nebraska.

    Dick Varner has devoted nearly 25 years to making OPPD a safer, more environmentally- friendly place all across its service territory.

    His focus won’t wander far with his Sept. 1 retirement. Using flooring, trim and windows from another old home destined to be torn down, Dick plans to restore a tumbledown farmhouse that’s been in his family since the late 1800s.

    Along with redoing the 1.5-story farmhouse, he also will nurture the 160-acre spread on which it stands, planting native grasses to pro-vide feed and shelter for area wildlife.

    Dick, supervisor – Environmental Health and Safety, has been at OPPD since 1988, fol-lowing 14 years with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Control.

    For his departure, he has assembled a transi-tion plan covering PCB management, electri-cal equipment spills, respiratory fit tests and sundry other tasks. In addition, he will provide

    some hands-on guidance for his replacement, who is to be hired before Dick’s retirement.

    “The biggest handoff will be PCBs, which is an acronym for polychlorinated biphenyls,” Dick said. “PCBs were banned by Congress in 1979, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was given delegated authority to establish specific-use authorizations and restrictions for products containing PCBs.”

    PCBs are a man-made chemical that was manufactured and used in various applications because of its stability and fire resistance. For this reason, PCBs were a natural fit as a fluid insulator for various electrical equipment, such as transformers, capacitors and regulators.

    Although classified as a toxic substance, the EPA still allows utilities to use equipment con-taining PCBs to the extent the equipment fluid (oil) remains contained inside the equipment. If spilled into the environment, there are spe-cific cleanup requirements in addition to the record-keeping of all PCBs that are disposed of

    Rebuilding the Past

    Dick Varner plans to restore a farmhouse that’s been in the family for more than a century.

  • July/August 2012 Flash 11

    annually. Spills to a customer’s property and possessions can result in extensive cleanups and can be expensive.

    With the amount of older electrical equipment still in service, OPPD will have to contend with PCBs for some time to come. The EPA is looking at tightening the regulations on PCBs and may set a defined schedule for finding and remov-ing regulated equipment from service. This too will be costly.

    Along with managing PCBs, Dick devotes a big chunk of his time to medi-cal monitoring, respirator physicals, res-pirator fit tests and audiograms. He also coordinates some workplace sampling areas for dangerous substances dating back to the 1950s, including lead, asbes-tos and hexavalent chromium.

    One of the things Dick enjoys most about his work is the time he spends out-doors. In fact, he is out of the office so often, he usually wears jeans rather than business attire when he heads out to the plants, substation operations and line crew locations.

    “I love working with crafts people,” he said. “I’m going to really miss the atmosphere and the contact with the field peo-ple. What I won’t miss are the 2 a.m. call-outs.”

    The hours will be more hospi-table, but Dick will still be plenty busy after leaving OPPD.

    He believes it will take several years to complete the restoration of the old farmhouse that’s been abandoned since 1963, when his grandfather passed away. Dick has a picture of his grandpa as a little boy on the farm in 1910.

    Dick cherishes childhood memo-ries of visits to the farm, which is located between Syracuse and Tecumseh. “Sometimes when I slept upstairs, it was so cold you could see your breath,” he said. “The only heat was from a stove on the first level.”

    The place is nearly as old as Nebraska as confirmed by an abstract that docu-ments family ownership of the quarter-section of land going back to 1873. For nearly a half century, the chief inhabit-ants of the land have been deer, raccoons and turkeys, but Dick will make it home to quail and pheasants, grasses and other favorable habitats.

    In order to make the farmhouse new again, Dick will have to first gut it. Then he will repurpose flooring, trim and windows given to him by his son-in-law. Dick will build and install new cabinets. Just about the only element from the old place will be the plank pine on the upper level. Dick also plans to fill the house with the antiques he has passionately col-lected over the years.

    And so the past will live on for perhaps another century or so.

    EPA IMPACTSHere is a list of impacts from future

    PCB regulation, published in the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule-making” (ANPR)

    • Establish a deadline to phase out all PCB and PCB-contaminated equipment which, under the current regulation, is allowed to remain in service for the remain-der of the equipment’s useful life. Preliminary deadline is 2025.

    • Before the phase-out deadline, prohibit the use of known or assumed PCB-contaminated transformers near high-risk food and feed areas.

    • Initiate a program to remove PCB fluorescent light ballasts in public buildings.

    The Varner farm as it appears today (above) and as it looked about 100 years ago.

    By Chris Cobbs

  • 12 Flash July/August 2012

    20,000 People Run Wild at

    Particpants gather for the start of the Warrior Dash.

  • July/August 2012 Flash 13

    everal OPPD employees participated in Nebraska’s first-ever Warrior Dash on

    June 9 and 10 in Cedar Creek. The race, organized by Red Frog Events, is an extreme 5-6 kilometer run with obstacles, which have com-petitors hurdling rows of fire, scaling cargo net walls and crawling under barbed wire in a pool of mud.

    “It was horrible, it was fast, it was hard,” Market Research Specialist Tammy Briganti said after she finished the race. “It makes you feel younger than I am, although tomorrow morning I’ll feel a lot older.”

    More than 20,000 people competed in the race, which was held on Operations Worker Bill Metzger’s property – also home to his family business, Madcow Paintball.

    s The Warrior Dash is an extreme running series that takes place all over the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, including Australia, Ireland and the UK.

    Above left, Machinists from Central Maintenance are coated in mud. Left to right are: Andy Frye, Josh Lemay, Mark Patach, Rob Christainson and Trevor Fiala.

  • 14 Flash July/August 2012

    “They (Red Frog Events) contacted us in Feb-ruary,” said Bill. “They came out and did a site visit and liked the property. It took them about a week to plan the exact route and set every-thing up.”

    Madcow Paintball started 10 years ago, after Bill realized how quickly his kids were going through the compressed air that assists in firing paintballs out of markers (also known as paint-ball guns).

    “Every time their CO2 cartridges ran out, we’d have to drive to Omaha. So one time I got

    a larger container and other kids began stop-ping by for a refill,” said Bill. “The business just kind of grew naturally from there.”

    Madcow Paintball, is the largest range in Nebraska, holds several tournaments each year and is also home to professional team Vicious.

    “My sister, Linda, and I were excited because Cedar Creek is our hometown,” said Tammy. “I only fell at the very end, in the mud. It was about completing, not competing.”

    By Django Greenblatt-Seay

    Tammy Briganti dove head first into the Warrior Dash. She is pictured with her son Rosario, below left.

  • July/August 2012 Flash 15

    Sam AdamsWestside High

    Son ofJohn Adams


    Paige AzureAshland-Greenwood

    HighDaughter ofCraig Azure

    T&D Operations

    Taylor BaggettA-H-S-T HighAvoca, Iowa

    Granddaughter ofBeverly Baggett


    Kevin BahrNebraska City High

    Son ofKeith Bahr

    Production Operations

    Stephen BaileyBurke High

    Son of John Bailey

    Substation Operations

    Mark BarrientosCentral High

    Son ofMargie BarrientosCustomer Service


    Thomas BeebeBlair HighStepson ofRod McKee

    Nuclear Engineering

    Joseph BenesCentral High

    Son ofJoseph Benes

    FCS Plant Operations

    Stephanie BeyeaGretna HighDaughter of

    Tammy BeyeaCustomer Sales

    & Service

    Jessica BlumMillard North High

    Daughter ofPhilip Blum

    T&D Operations

    Austin BradyWestside HighGrandson of

    Rich ClemensRetiree

    Michael BrigantiCreighton Prep

    Son ofRick Briganti

    Production Engineering & Technical Support

    Dakota BrownBenson High

    Stepson of Joanne Brown

    Substation Operations

    Robyn BurnisonLouisville High

    Daughter ofRandall BurnisonT&D Operations

    Derrick ByersBennington High

    Son ofLarry Byers

    Production Operations

    Connor CallahanSyracuse High

    Son ofGaylene CallahanT&D Operations


    An impressive number of OPPD employees and their families made a fashion statement in caps and gowns at commencement exercises this summer.

    There were 128 sons and daughters of employees who received high school diplomas. Another 68 graduated from college.

    A total of 20 employees and 48 children and grandchildren of employees received college degrees, including undergraduate and advanced.

    2012 High School

  • 16 Flash July/August 2012

    Dakota CollierMissouri Valley HighMissouri Valley, Iowa

    Daughter of Jennifer Collier

    Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support

    LaMar ConnerLewis Central HighCouncil Bluffs, Iowa

    Son ofRissa Conner

    Material Management

    Lindsey CorkGross HighDaughter ofNyla Cork

    Human Resources

    Nick CoyneMillard South High

    Son ofDan Coyne

    Facilities Management

    Mary Kate CroninFremont HighDaughter of

    Patrick CroninRetiree

    Zachery CrooksMillard West High

    Son ofAnthony CrooksT&D Operations

    Shelby DechowGretna HighDaughter ofPhil Dechow

    FCS Plant Operations

    Meagan DeMeulmeesterShawnee Mission West

    HighOverland Park, Kan.Granddaughter of

    Bob DeMeulmeesterRetiree

    Jordan DinwiddiePapillion-LaVista

    South HighSon of

    Blaine DinwiddieT&D Operations

    Andrew DreyBlair High

    Son of Ron Drey

    Substation Operations

    Drew DunganCreighton Prep

    Son ofKristine Dungan, FinanceShawn Dungan, Custom-

    er Service Operations

    Shelby EasleyNorthwest High

    Granddaughter ofBernie Livingston


    Mackenzie EdwardsLincoln North Star High

    Lincoln, Neb.Granddaughter ofBernie Livingston


    Daniel FechnerBlair High

    Son ofAdrian Fechner


    James FoleyBlair High

    Son ofJim Foley

    System Planning & Cost Management

    Ashley FrolioNorth High

    Granddaughter ofRon Baldwin


    Brandon FrolioNorth HighGrandson ofRon Baldwin


    Kelly GeschwenderNorth HighDaughter of

    James GeschwenderNuclear Engineering

    Ganon GorsethMillard South High

    Son ofMark Gorseth

    T&D Operations

    Cole GruberPapillion-LaVista High

    Son ofBob Gruber

    Safety & Technical Training

    Jamon HamptonCreighton Prep

    Grandson ofKen Borkowski

    Information Technology

    Grace HansenMillard North High

    Daughter ofJon HansenExecutive

    Alex HarrisBurke High

    Grandson ofSteve Meisinger


    Drake FanslauUnderwood HighUnderwood, Iowa

    Son ofSteve Fanslau

    Customer Sales & Service

  • July/August 2012 Flash 17

    Reagan HuberBurke High

    Granddaughter ofDon McMullen


    Kelcie HuebnerAbraham Lincoln High

    Council Bluffs, IowaDaughter ofBob Huebner

    Information Technology

    Blaise HugAuburn High

    Son ofTraci Hug

    Production Operations

    Joe ImigBryan High

    Son ofJohn Imig

    Customer Sales & Service

    Caileigh JanicekPapillion-LaVista

    South HighDaughter ofLee Janicek

    T&D Operations

    Lyndsey JanousekGretna HighDaughter of

    Joanne BrownSubstation Operations

    Andrew JohnsonMillard West High

    Grandson ofFrank Johnson


    Drew JohnsonFort Calhoun High

    Son ofRandy Johnson

    Customer Sales & Service

    Elliot JohnsonMillard North High

    Son of Randol Johnson, Production Operations Grandson of the late

    Alfred Cattano, RetireeGreat-Grandson of the lateHarry Hildebrand, Retiree

    Jill JorgensenBurke HighDaughter of

    Don JorgensenNuclear Performance

    Improvement & Support

    Monica KeenanMercy HighDaughter of

    Brian KeenanCorporate Accounting

    Zachary KochSkutt High

    Son of David KochInformation Technology

    Paul KurttiBlair High

    Son ofDonald Kurtti, Jr.

    FCS Plant Operations

    Amanda KussPlattsmouth High

    Daughter ofKelley Kuss, Production

    OperationsPhill Kuss, Facilities


    Ayrton KuzelaElkhorn South High

    Son ofJohn Kuzela

    FCS Plant Operations

    Trevor LarsenGretna High

    Son ofTom Larsen

    T&D Operations

    Alexandra Leaver Arlington High

    Granddaughter of Jerry Leaver


    Cameron HayesBlair High

    Son ofScott Hayes

    Nuclear Performance Improvement &


    Bethany HeitkampWilson Creek Home School

    Dunbar, Neb.Daughter of

    Tom HeitkampProduction Operations

    Erin HelmbergerPapillion-LaVista High

    Daughter ofJim Helmberger

    Substation Operations

    Alex HoskovecBlue Valley High

    Overland Park, Kan.Grandson ofJerry Leaver


    Greg HouserRoncalli High

    Son of Julie Houser, Finance

    Nephew ofLiz Goodroad,

    OPPD Credit Union

    Jaclyn HartungPapillion-LaVista South High

    Daughter ofJeff Hartung, T&D Operations

    Granddaughter ofJames Hartung, Retiree

    Trent LambertFort Worth HighFort Worth, Texas

    Grandson of the lateCharles “Swede” Lambert,

    RetireeNephew of

    Craig Lambert, Production Operations

  • 18 Flash July/August 2012

    Jessica LevineMillard West High

    Daughter ofDouglas Levine

    FCS Plant Operations

    Nicole LevineMillard West High

    Daughter ofDouglas Levine

    FCS Plant Operations

    Jordane LinhartRalston High

    Granddaughter ofLawrence “Butch” Clark


    Braxton LindhorstAshland-Greenwood

    HighSon of

    Tom LindhorstT&D Operations

    Rachel LukowskiMarian HighDaughter of

    Paula LukowskiCorporate Marketing &


    Christa ManningPlatteview High

    Daughter ofLaura Manning

    System Planning & Cost Management

    Sarah MartinBellevue West High

    Daughter ofJason Martin

    Production Operations

    Reagan McCormickElkhorn HighDaughter of

    Kevin McCormickSafety & Technical


    Dillon McCoyBlair High

    Son of Susan McCoy

    Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support

    Kari McDermottAbraham Lincoln High

    Council Bluffs, IowaDaughter of

    Pat McDermottCustomer Service


    Emily McEvoyDC West High

    Valley, Neb. Daughter of Lori McEvoy

    FCS Plant Operations

    Katie McGuireMillard West High

    Stepdaughter ofSharyl McGuire, T&D

    OperationsNiece of

    John DeBoer, Retiree

    Claire McKamyMillard West HighGranddaughter ofVerdell Goldberg


    Megan McNurlinPapillion-LaVista

    South HighDaughter of

    Bob McNurlinT&D Operations

    Noelle MillerHome SchoolDaughter of Ron Miller

    Production Operations

    Elizabeth MoranMillard North High

    Daughter of Ruth Moran


    Hanna MorrisonSyracuse HighDaughter of

    Keith MorrisonProduction Operations

    Kalyn MowreyElkhorn HighDaughter of

    John MowreyT&D Operations

    Dan MrlaCreighton Prep

    Son of Lou Mrla

    T&D Operations

    Dylan NastaseGretna High

    Son ofDeb Nastase-Quade,

    Customer Sales & ServiceStepson of

    John Quade, Customer Sales & Service

    Elizabeth NekolaBryan HighDaughter of

    Donald NekolaT&D Operations

    Andrew M. NelsonMillard North High

    Grandson ofDonald Nelson


    Brady OakesNebraska City High

    Son ofDan Oakes

    Production Operations

    Ashlyn OcanderMercy HighDaughter of

    James Ocander, T&D Operations

    Granddaughter of the lateTed Ocander, Retiree

  • July/August 2012 Flash 19

    Nick PerkinsMillard West

    Son ofCharles PerkinsT&D Operations

    Ryan PinkertonTri-County High

    DeWitt, Neb.Son of

    Roberta PinkertonEconomic Development

    Lindsey QuaasLewis Central HighCouncil Bluffs, Iowa

    Daughter ofStew Quaas

    Customer Sales & Service

    Ashley QuadeMillard South High

    Daughter of John QuadeCustomer Sales & Service

    Stepdaughter of Deb Nastase-Quade, Customer

    Sales & Service

    Cassidy RellerArchbishop Bergan High

    Fremont, Neb. Son of Melanie Gade, Nuclear Performance

    Improvement & SupportMark Reller, Nuclear Perfor-

    mance Improvement & Support

    Emily RenoBlair High

    Daughter ofRayford Reno

    FCS Plant Operations

    Jordan PalmisanoPapillion-LaVista

    South HighSon of

    Mike PalmisanoT&D Operations

    Lindsey PateBurke HighDaughter of

    Jeff PateCustomer Service


    Nicholas PaulsenPapillion-LaVista

    South HighSon of

    Mike PaulsenProduction Operations

    Katelynn PerdueElkhorn South High

    Daughter of Kathleen Perdue, Information Technology

    Doug Perdue, Substation Opera-tions, Granddaughter of

    Arlo Perdue, Retiree

    David ReynoldsBellevue West High

    Son ofRobert Reynolds

    Customer Service Operations

    Alyssa SheaLewis Central HighCouncil Bluffs, Iowa

    Daughter ofShannon Shea

    Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support

    Blayne RobertsSyracuse-Dunbar-Avoca

    HighSyracuse, Neb.

    Son ofJim Roberts

    T&D Operations

    Jeremy ShipleyPlatteview High

    Son ofRoger Shipley

    Production Operations

    Heather SchollPlattsmouth High

    Daughter ofJoe Scholl

    Production Operations

    Ryan RoenigkBlair High

    Son ofRichard Roenigk

    Nuclear Engineering

    Ingrid SlettenPlattsmouth HighHost daughter of

    Joe SchollProduction Operations

    Taylor SchorschPlatteview High

    Daughter ofBrad Schorsch

    Facilities Management

    Justin SchimmerValley Vista High

    Surprise, Ariz.Grandson ofMike Everts


    Emily SmithCentral HighDaughter ofKevin Smith

    FCS Plant Operations

    Craig ScottMillard West High

    Grandson ofJim Stock


    Tyler SchulzeMillard West High

    Son ofKevin Schulze

    T&D Operations

    Jordan O’NealGretna High

    Son ofLee O’Neal

    Production Engineering & Technical Support

    Nicholas OlsenMillard North High

    Son ofCarl Olsen

    Human Resources

  • 20 Flash July/August 2012

    Mallory SpargenAshland-Greenwood

    HighDaughter of

    Stephen SpargenSubstation Operations

    Darrick SpilkerElkhorn High

    Son ofJeffrey Spilker

    Nuclear Engineering

    Austin StanekMillard North

    Son ofChristopher StanekNuclear Engineering

    Grandson ofJack Stanek, Retiree

    Zachary SteinLeesville HighRaleigh, N.C.Grandson ofJoseph Stein


    Dennis StilleAshland-Greenwood

    HighSon of

    Kevin StilleFacilities Management

    Lisa SvobodaMillard South High

    Daughter ofMike Svoboda

    Information Technology

    Ashleigh TetenSyracuse-Dunbar-Avoca

    HighSyracuse, Neb.Daughter ofKurt Teten

    T&D Operations

    Michael ThurberBurke High

    Son ofJohn Thurber


    Audra WetroskyNebraska City High

    Daughter ofDave Wetrosky

    Production Operations

    Malcolm WillettWestside High

    Son ofJoseph Willett

    FCS Plant Operations

    Kelsey WilliamsCentral HighDaughter of

    Lyle WilliamsT&D Operations

    Jordyn WollenburgGretna HighDaughter of

    Jeff WollenburgSubstation Operations

    Mariah YoungBlair High

    Granddaughter ofBill Hayes

    Information Technology

    Mitchell YoungGrand Island High

    Son ofDonald Young

    Information Technology

    Taya ZagurskiBurke HighDaughter of

    Laurie ZagurskiCorporate Marketing &


    Bryan ZankBenson High

    Son ofTerry Zank

    Corporate Marketing & Communications

    Tyler BorcykUniversity of Nebraska

    LincolnSon of

    Dan BorcykFacilities Management

    Erich BrandeauMIT

    Cambridge, Mass.Son of

    John BrandeauNuclear Engineering

    Nicholas BrigantiUniversity of Nebraska

    LincolnSon of

    Rick BrigantiProduction Engineering

    & Technical Support

    Anthony ChaseUniversity of Nebraska

    LincolnSon of

    Todd ChaseCustomer Sales & Service

    2012 College

    Five Franco Grandchildren Among Those Receiving Degrees

    Five grandchildren of retiree Fred Franco earned college degrees. The graduates are Barbara, Kathleen and Timothy Franco, along with Elizabeth and Luke Doyle.

    "We are very proud," said Fred, 84, who retired in 1993 after 41 years at OPPD. He and his wife have six children and 25 grandchildren.

  • July/August 2012 Flash 21

    Teri DixonMaster’s

    Bellevue UniversityEmployee

    Information Technology

    Timothy FrancoUniversity of Nebraska

    KearneyGrandson ofFred Franco


    Emma HansenUniversity of Wyoming

    Laramie, Wyo.Daughter ofJon HansenExecutive

    Nicole JewellBellevue UniversityGranddaughter of

    Orval “Pork” RobbinsRetiree

    Luke DoyleCardinal Glennon College

    St. Louis, Mo.Grandson ofFred Franco


    Luke GabrielUniversity of Nebraska


    Customer Service Operations

    Son of Tom GabrielT&D Operations

    Noah HoffmanUniversity of Nebraska

    LincolnSon of

    James HoffmanFCS Plant Operations

    Brian KelloggMaster’s

    Technical UniversityMunich, Germany

    Son of Richard Kellogg


    Jennifer IwanskiMaster’s, UNO

    Employee, Customer Service Operations (CSO)

    Wife of Mike Iwanski (CSO), Daughter of Robin

    Linhart (CSO)

    Allison KozenyColorado State

    Fort Collins, Colo.Daughter of Laddie Kozeny

    T&D OperationsGranddaughter of

    Don Schleich, Retiree

    Barbara FrancoKaplan UniversityGranddaughter of

    Fred FrancoRetiree

    Kellen GoldbergMaster’s

    University of NebraskaMedical Center

    Grandson ofVerdell Goldberg


    Elizabeth DoyleCreighton UniversitySchool of PharmacyGranddaughter of

    Fred FrancoRetiree

    Laura GabrielMetropolitan

    Community CollegeDaughter ofTom Gabriel

    T&D Operations

    Kayla HodgsonMaster’s

    College of St. MaryDaughter of

    Randy HodgsonFCS Plant Operations

    Kaitlin JusticeSouth Dakota State

    Brookings, S.D.Daughter ofAdam Justice

    FCS Plant Operations

    Michael FermMaster’s

    Creighton UniversityEmployee

    Nuclear Site Operations

    Cindy GodfreyBellevue University

    EmployeeCustomer Service


    Brittany HoockPeru State College

    Daughter ofKim Hoock

    Facilities Management

    Lindsey KendrickUniversity of Nebraska

    LincolnDaughter of

    Shelley KendrickMaterial Management

    Brooke JennyUniversity of Nebraska

    OmahaDaughter of

    Patrick JennyProduction Operations

    Julia KrejciUniversity of Nebraska

    OmahaDaughter ofBernie Krejci


    Kathleen FrancoCreighton University

    Granddaughter ofFred Franco


    James GoodroadUniversity of Nebraska

    LincolnSon of

    Liz Goodroad, OPPD Credit Union

  • 22 Flash July/August 2012

    Cayla KurtenbachCreighton University

    Daughter of Dale Kurtenbach

    Substation Operations

    Andrew PeacockMaster’s

    Bellevue UniversityEmployee

    Operations Analysis

    Megan RiderUniversity of Nebraska

    Medical SchoolCollege of Nursing

    Daughter ofAlison Rider


    Jeanie ShipmanUniversity of Nebraska

    Medical CenterCollege of Pharmacy

    Wife ofJonathan Shipman

    System Planning & Cost Management

    Nicholas MatthewsColorado School of Mines

    Golden, Colo. Son ofDeborah Matthews, FCS Plant

    Operations, Thomas Matthews, Retiree, Grandson of

    Norman Marfice, Retiree

    Stephen PonecUniversity of Nebraska

    OmahaSon of

    Dave PonecCustomer Service


    Jason SandeneCreighton University

    School of LawSon of

    Tom Sandene Nuclear Engineering

    Tess StrongCapitol School of

    Hairstyling & EstheticsGranddaughter of

    Roland StrongRetiree

    Videgla SekpeMaster’s

    University of NebraskaOmaha

    EmployeeT&D Operations

    Kevin Van WinkleMaster’s

    Creighton UniversitySon of

    Doug Van WinkleBusiness Planning &


    Averi NissenNorthwestern College

    Orange City, IowaDaughter ofTim Nissen

    Substation Operations

    Mark PurnellPh.D. in Organization &

    ManagementCapella University

    Minneapolis, Minn.Employee

    Customer Sales & Service

    Alex ManningUniversity of Nebraska

    OmahaSon of

    Laura ManningSystem Planning & Cost


    Tyler PercifieldUniversity of Nebraska

    OmahaSon of

    Brad PercifieldT&D Operations

    Richard RiderUniversity of Nebraska

    OmahaSon of

    Alison RiderRetiree

    Sarah SmithUniversity of Nebraska

    OmahaDaughter of

    Michael SmithFCS Plant Operations

    Jared McCleskeyUniversity of Nevada

    Reno, Nev.Grandson of

    Bob DeMeulmeesterRetiree

    Sara PrinceUniversity of Nebraska

    Medical CenterCollege of Pharmacy

    Daughter ofPatrick Prince

    Information Technology

    Kyle SchulzeUniversity of Nebraska

    OmahaSon of

    Kevin SchulzeT&D Operations

    Lisa TesarekUniversity of Nebraska

    OmahaDaughter ofJohn Tesarek


    Carrie SeveraUniversity of Nebraska

    Medical SchoolCollege of Nursing

    Daughter ofLarry Lees

    Nuclear Engineering

    Scott Van WinkleUniversity of Nebraska

    LincolnSon of

    Doug Van WinkleBusiness Planning &


    Lance ParraUniversity of North

    DakotaGrand Forks, N.D.

    Son ofErnie Parra


    Jessica ReillyUniversity of Nebraska

    OmahaDaughter of

    Tom Reilly, Jr.Substation Operations

  • July/August 2012 Flash 23



    May-June Service Anniversaries35 YearsCarolyn McClean, ExecutiveRonnie Miller, Production Operations

    30 YearsRick Briganti, Production Engineering & Technical SupportMichael Burggraf, Nuclear Performance Improvement & SupportJean Corey, FinancePatrick Duckworth, T&D Operations James Foley, System Planning & Cost Management Liz Goodroad, OPPD Credit UnionPete Hanger, FuelsRay Janiak, Facilities ManagementRonald Johansen, Facilities Management Julie Kalasky, Substation OperationsGlenn Mathis, T&D OperationsJohn Mayhan, System Planning & Cost ManagementRobert Plath, Corporate AuditingJon Ressler, Facilities ManagementJeri Shelor, Customer Service OperationsTheodore Thompson, Fort Calhoun Station Plant OperationsJohn Tucker, System Planning & Cost ManagementMark Walker, Fort Calhoun Station Plant Operations

    25 YearsCheryl Beck, Nuclear Performance Improvement & SupportRonald Beck, Fort Calhoun Station Plant OperationsJoseph Benes, Fort Calhoun Station Plant OperationsWilliam Blessie, Nuclear Performance Improvement & SupportDiane Cavenee, Production Operations Bill Hansher, Nuclear Performance Improvement & SupportSteven Kelley, Material Management

    Ryan CallahanWayne State

    Son ofGaylene CallahanT&D Operations

    Arlo ChristensenBellevue University

    EmployeeProduction Operations

    Susie ChristensenMaster’s

    Bellevue UniversityDaughter of

    Cec ChristensenBusiness Planning &


    Steve HansenBellevue University

    EmployeeT&D Operations

    Husband of Melissa Hansen, Customer Service Operations

    Jeff HansonMaster’s

    Bellevue UniversityEmployee

    Corporate Marketing & Communications

    Holly Jenkins Master’s

    University of PhoenixEmployee

    Corporate Accounting

    Joshua Bernasek Bellevue University

    EmployeeT&D Operations

    Ashley Bogle Master’s

    University of NebraskaKearney

    EmployeeCustomer Service


    Melissa BojanskiCreighton University

    Daughter ofGary Bojanski


    Robert ChristiansonBellevue University

    EmployeeProduction Operations

    Nicholas DanielBellevue University

    EmployeeT&D Operations

    Jeff FredricksMaster’s

    University of NebraskaOmaha

    EmployeeInformation Technology

    Bryan LorenceMaster’s

    Bellevue UniversityEmployee

    Production Engineering & Technical Support

    Roger ParkisonBellevue University

    EmployeeProduction Operations

    Brian Stolinski

    Bellevue UniversityEmployee

    Substation Operations

    Kyle WillisIowa StateAmes, Iowa

    Son ofSue Floerchinger

    Corporate Auditing

    Mark Puckett, Fort Calhoun Station Plant OperationsChristina Ritz, Information TechnologyRichard Ronning, Fort Calhoun Station Plant OperationsRichard Schmidt, Fort Calhoun Station Plant OperationsRandal Veik, Production Operations

    20 YearsKellie Blickenstaff, Energy Marketing & TradingKristy Grzywa, Customer Service OperationsGreg Hunzeker, Customer Sales & ServiceRonald Jorgensen, Facilities ManagementThomas Muff, Fort Calhoun Station Plant OperationsAlex O’Brien, T&D OperationsHugh Pedersen, T&D OperationsJerry Webster, T&D Operations

    15 YearsLillian Dawes, Information TechnologyCynthia Fellman, Human ResourcesCurtis Huston, Fort Calhoun Station Plant OperationsSharyl McGuire, T&D OperationsGrete Scholz, T&D OperationsLeland Shubert, Fort Calhoun Station Plant OperationsMichael Troia, Information TechnologyJonathan West, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support

    10 YearsChad Ballain, Customer Sales & ServiceTom Banks, Substation OperationsJulie Bissen, Fort Calhoun Station Plant Operations Steven Bley, Production Engineering & Technical SupportSteven Brink, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support

    Christopher Campos, Information TechnologyMichael Daniels, T&D OperationsJohn Ewing, Nuclear Performance Improvement & SupportMelissa Hansen, Customer Service OperationsJacob Hightower, T&D OperationsJoseph Kreifels, T&D OperationsKlint Kudlacek, Fort Calhoun Station Plant OperationsAaron Madsen, Production OperationsCharles Mohrhauser, Nuclear Performance Improvement & SupportJason Pfaff, T&D OperationsScott Schaefer, Production OperationsJane Spires, Environmental & Regulatory AffairsRobert Swerczek, Nuclear EngineeringSue Vanecek, Information TechnologyDave Whisinnand, Information TechnologyJoseph Zagata, Nuclear Engineering

    5 YearsMatthew Carson, Nuclear Performance Improvement & SupportTroy Crook, Production OperationsDustin Donohue, Nuclear Performance Improvement & SupportSherwood Ellis, Information TechnologyMichael Hilding, Information TechnologyMatthew Luczynski, Nuclear Performance Improvement & SupportYolanda Mitchell, Information TechnologyJustin Neumeister, Production Operations Thomas Schmeidler, Production Operations Sarah Schreiner, Information TechnologyNathan Seid, Fort Calhoun Station Plant OperationsJohn Vonderschmidt, Production Operations

  • 24 Flash July/August 2012


    Kellie Blickenstaff, Energy Marketer, Energy Marketing & Trading, retired June 1 with 20 years of service. Kellie joined OPPD in June 1992 as an engineer.

    Damon Castrop, Senior Mar-ket Research Specialist, Cor-porate Marketing & Commu-nications, retired June 1 with 33 years of service. Damon joined OPPD in November 1979 as a planning analyst.

    Randy De George, Right-of-Way Coordinator, Substation Operations, retired June 1 with 33 years of service. Randy joined OPPD in May 1979 as junior clerk.

    Ed Jackson, Division Man-ager, Material Management, retired June 1 with 28 years of service. Ed joined OPPD in January 1984 as a systems specialist.

    Terry James, Desktop Technician II, Information Tech-nology, retired June 1 with 34 years of service. Terry joined OPPD in May 1978 as a junior clerk.

    Stanley Montemayor, Operations Training Specialist, Nuclear Performance Improvement & Support, retired June 1 with 21 years of service. Stan joined OPPD in June 1991 as helper.

    Dave Perez, Manager, Material Control and Ware-house, Material Management, retired June 1 with 38 years of service. Dave joined OPPD in October 1974 as a utility man.

    Rhonda Schonscheck, Accounting Clerk II, Corporate Auditing, retired June 1 with 23 years of service. Rhonda joined OPPD in July 1989 as a stenographer.

    Diane Therkildsen, Opera-tions Clerk III, T&D Opera-tions, retired June 1 with 14 years of service. Diane joined OPPD in August 1998 as a junior clerk.

    Joseph Turecek, Substation Crew Leader, Substation Operations, retired June 1 with 25 years of service. Joe joined OPPD in December 1987 as a laborer.


    DeathsServices were held May 25 for Charles “Swede” Lambert, 93. Swede retired in July 1983 as a working foreman in the Electric Operations’ Build-ing Services Department. He worked on the Enola Gay at the Martin Bomber Plant and

    was a member of the Omaha Softball Hall of Fame. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Marian; sons Rick (Jan), Craig (Gale), Jay (Debra) and Todd (Diana); 12 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

    Services were held April 23 for Charles R. McLain, 83. Charles retired in June 1990 as a Shift Supervisor-Omaha Stations in Production Operations. He proudly served in World War II. Charles is survived by his wife of 58 years, Margaret; children, Mike (Diane), Charlie (Stephanie), Cathy (Craig), Curtis (Kim), and Chris (Sherrie); 15 grandchildren; and 11 great grandchil-dren.

    Services were held for Harold “Pete” Petersen, 83. Harold retired in September 1994 as a working line crew leader at the Ashland Office. He is survived by his wife, Charlene; daughter, Nancy (Rick) Fisher; sons, Douglas (Cynthia),

    Daniel and Patrick (Nicole); grandchildren, Jessica, Kelli Jo, Nate, Brian, Ellie and Sam; sisters, Marcy (Robert) Mann and Shirley (Tom) Burkirk; brother, Corky (Linda) and many nieces and nephews.

    Services were held June 30 for Sharon Melody, 61. Sharon joined OPPD in July 1981 as a word processing operator and at the time of death held the position of Executive Administrative Assis-tant in the Executive Office. She is survived by her hus-band, Michael; sister, Donna (Raymond) Novak; brother

    Louis (Debra); nephews, Scott and Louis and nieces, Alison and Sarah.

    High-Voltage ClubBy Sharon DickmanLinda Whitaker recently had a grandson visit her from Vancover, Canada. The two of them then trav-eled to Silversprings, Maryland, to visit Linda’s son and family. A great time was had by all... Darrell Lundy reports his knee surgery went well and Tom Urwin had a heart valve replacement. They both report it is hard to keep OPPD retirees down… Dawn and Steve Miner had a visit from their son, Justin, and his family from Green Bay, Wisconsin. They went to the Henry Doorly Zoo, attended Springfield Days and spent time with family and friends… Clifford Peterson, along with two of his car bud-dies, will be driving to Minneapolis in their ’55, ’56 and ’57 Chevys. They are keeping their fingers crossed they make it up and back home without any problems… A reminder to all retirees that the High Voltage Club is open to all of you. Please contact Carl Martens at 402-392-2224 or Kathy Lindner at 402-332-2803. The club meets on the third Tuesday of the month.

    SympathiesAshley Bogle, Customer Service Operations, for the death of her grandfather.

    Vern Halverson, retiree, for the death of his wife, Patricia.

    Craig Lambert, Production Operations, for the death of his father, Charles “Swede” Lambert, retiree.

    Dohn Little, FCS Plant Operations and Tammy Little, Customer Service Operations, for the death of Dohn’s father.

    Heath Otte, Customer Service Operations, for the death of his grandfather.

    2012 High-Voltage Club officers are (from left to right) Carl Martens - President, Shirley Strong - Treasurer, Kathy Lindner (sharing President’s Office), Elaine Sundahl - Secretary and Dan Hedrick - Vice President.

    CeCe and Chuck Carlson spent two weeks in April touring Ireland with friends from Minne-sota. They traveled by motor coach all the way around the perimeter. Many sites were seen and they were able to kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle. They are looking forward to many more adventures in the future.

  • July/August 2012 Flash 25

    The OPPD Society of Engineers (OSE) Board congratulates the following employees who obtained their Professional Engineer (PE) certificate. Mike Herzog, Mark Pohl, Adam Gartner, Thomas Pham, Zach Johnston, Ryan Le. Not Pictured: Aaron Madsen and Matthew Shriver. The professional engineering certification is designed for engineers who have gained at least four years post-college work experience in their chosen engineering discipline and requires passing an eight-hour exam. There are over 6,000 professional engineers registered in the state of Nebraska. Photo by Amanda Underwood.

    OPPD participated in the Gateway to the West Days parade in Blair on June 9. The parade honored the many companies and families impacted by last year’s historic flooding along the Missouri River. Many employees and their family members walked alongside an OPPD service truck, carrying a banner thanking the Blair community and area residents for supporting Fort Calhoun Station, especially during and after the flood.

    OPPDConnect for Android is now available on the Google Play Store. The new app features:

    •Reporthomeand streetlight outages •Viewtheoutagemap •Viewenergy-efficiency tips and videos •Accessresidential

    products and services information

    •ContactOPPDbyphoneorfindanoffice location on a map


    The OPPD app for the Android debuts on July 3.

    New App for Android Delivers Mobile Access to Key Resources

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    444 South 16th Street Mall Omaha, Nebraska 68102-2247

    Address Service Requested

    Flood of MemoriesThe one-year anniversary of the Missouri River flood of 2011 served as a reminder of the unyielding efforts by employees in one of the company’s finest hours.

    The early days of June marked the first anni-versary of the Missouri River flood of 2011, triggering vivid memories of OPPD’s epic battle to preserve more than $3 billion in assets and ensure delivery of electricity in the midst of surging floodwaters, the likes of which had never been seen in more than a century of record-keeping.

    While the flood posed one of the great-est threats ever faced by the company, the response of employees will be remembered as one of OPPD’s finest hours. Employees pro-vided a benchmark for weathering a crisis with hasty, yet perfectly executed strategy, supple-mented by sweat and back-straining labor.

    For nearly four months, floodwaters were held in check by sandbags and other struc-tures erected to protect the company’s three baseload power plants, plus critical substa-tions and transmission and delivery lines. The financial costs were staggering $48 million for flood-protection measures and $35 million for replacement power – but the enduring legacy will be the unstinting efforts and sacrifices of employees.

    “The flood touched off a very unsettled period for OPPD,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Gates. “Since then we have faced a number of trials and unique cir-cumstances. In fact, even today, very serious challenges remain for us.

    “I want to thank each of you for how you

    Record floodwaters brought a ded-icated and focused response from OPPD employees. The inset photo shows the plant as it is today.

    have responded over the last 12 months. Because of your efforts, we have been able to do the things that needed to be done. I remain confident we will be able to do so in the future.”

    Gary also likened the flood to being as close to war as we could ever be. “In such situations, those on the front lines often make sacrifices,” he said. “That is exactly what I saw from our employees. I saw dedicated and focused employees, determined to do whatever was necessary to rise above the occasion and to meet the challenges imposed upon us.”