EPRI Board Chair Stan Connally is executive vice president of operations at Southern Company and chair, president and CEO of Southern Company Services.
Stan Connally is executive vice president of operations at Southern Company and chair, president and CEO of Southern Company Services. Maria Pope is president and CEO of Portland General Electric. Lisa Barton is executive vice president and COO of American Electric Power. Matthew Ketschke is president of Con Edison of New York. And Brian Savoy is executive vice president and chief strategy and commercial officer for Duke Energy.
Connally, Pope, Barton, Ketschke, and Savoy are evidently very busy individuals. Their day jobs are some of the most important within the country's electric utilities industry. Yet they are pitching in to help lead the world's premier electric research institution. Indeed, they have just been elected to its highest leadership positions.
So, the Public Utilities Fortnightly team asked them, why? What is motivating them to devote the time and energy necessary to play a big role in setting the course at EPRI? What they told us follows.
PUF: What does it mean to you to be involved in EPRI's governance?
Stan Connally: I've been fortunate to be involved in Southern Company's work with EPRI for some time, starting early in my career at some of our generating facilities that hosted key research activities. Now, it's an honor to serve as EPRI chair to help guide EPRI's work overall as our industry comes together to solve the challenges ahead of us and achieve net zero by 2050. It's an exciting time in the energy industry and it's gratifying to continue the work of shaping the future of energy together.
PUF: How does your participation help your companies serve the customer?
Stan Connally: EPRI, like Southern Company, has a long history of collaboration and leadership in innovation that has meaningfully improved customers' lives. Our partnership with EPRI as a founding member has supported us in building strong relationships and in delivering significant research that is driving our industry forward. Southern Company has consistently remained one of EPRI's largest funders because we believe in the power of collaboration and in "learning by doing" to solve the hardest problems.
Much like Southern Company's own research and development program, EPRI's research has meaningfully improved customers' lives. At Southern Company, we focus every day on making, moving, and selling energy better. Developing innovative solutions that meet customers' needs is an essential part of that. Serving the millions of homes and businesses who depend on us in an increasingly complex environment requires that we work together across the industry more closely than ever. EPRI understands that and shares a commitment to innovating on behalf of those we are so privileged to serve.
Customers and communities are counting on us to get the energy transition right. They depend on us to provide energy that is clean, safe, reliable, affordable — and resilient. It powers the economy and everyday life. It is a hallmark of who we are, and it reflects the extraordinary work great teams throughout our industry put in every day.
PUF: How do you expect, through this participation, to contribute to EPRI's growing impact on our energy future?
Stan Connally: There are many technologies and systems — and much thought leadership — still to come in the energy industry. And our work is becoming more complex. That is particularly the case as we think about addressing challenges, a net-zero future and advancing the resilience of the energy network. Along with decarbonization, it's about making energy deliveries better for customers and communities and serving their needs holistically.
We must ask every day how we can continue to improve. EPRI brings our industry together to think critically about common challenges and helps formulate innovative solutions to solve them. By advancing our collective thinking, EPRI is fostering an even brighter energy future for everyone.
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