News Release
June 21, 1999


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Three Duke Energy employees were honored today with the company's highest award. Leonard B. Anderson of Greenville, S.C., Melvia Rowland of Anderson, S.C., and William "Billy" T. Willingham of Hendersonville, were awarded the company's Robinson Citizenship Award at a company luncheon today recognizing them for outstanding efforts as Duke Energy employees.

Leonard B. Anderson, a member of Duke Energy's Electric Transmission South Team was recognized for his efforts on behalf of vision-impaired children at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, in Spartanburg, S.C.

After reading a magazine article describing how vision-impaired people can envision exotic animals through a "sensory safari" program, Anderson set out on a mission to bring the program to vision-impaired children at the S.C. school. Today, thanks to Anderson's leadership, the school has a sensory safari room in which visually impaired children can, for example, touch the horn of a stuffed water buffalo and explore the anatomies of a variety of other stuffed animals. The facility serves the school's 370 students and is a resource for the entire state.

Melvia Rowland, an administrative assistant at the Oconee Nuclear Station, was honored for her rescue of a boater on Lake Keowee.

On July 23, 1998, while returning to work from a meeting in Anderson, S.C., Rowland noticed a man signaling for help from Lake Keowee. The man’s boat had capsized, and he was struggling to stay afloat by hanging onto the overturned craft. Rowland used her car phone to dial 911 and request emergency assistance, then dove into the lake. She swam approximately a quarter of a mile through choppy water to reach the stranded boater, who was completely fatigued and unable to swim independently to shore. After helping him to shore, she swam back to retrieve his boat.

William "Billy" T. Willingham was recognized for his actions to save the life of a victim of an auto accident.

On January 8, 1998, Willingham and a co-worker were flagged down while returning from electric service restoration work. A car had left the roadway and landed upside down in a rain-swollen creek. The driver of the car and a passerby were working to free the car's passenger from the submerged vehicle. After helping to pull the passenger from the overturned car and  determining that the passenger was not breathing and had no pulse, Willingham performed CPR while his co-worker radioed for help from the company truck. By the time rescue crews arrived, Willingham had revived the car's passenger.

Established in 1961, the annual Robinson Citizenship Award recognizes Duke Energy employees for outstanding service in various categories: improved design and procedures, public and customer service, and lifesaving and human relations. The award is named for former Duke Power Chairman of the Board William Smith O'Brien Robinson Jr.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is a global energy company with more than $26 billion in assets. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the company reaches into more than 50 countries, producing energy, transporting energy, marketing energy and providing energy services. In the United States, Duke Energy companies provide electric service to approximately two million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina; operate interstate pipelines that deliver natural gas to various regions of the country; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at: at:

Contact: Joe Maher
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