News Release
June 19, 2003


HOUSTON – Duke Energy has been honored for its efforts to conduct business with women-owned firms.

The company was cited today at a luncheon as one of Houston’s Top 25 businesses by the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance (WBEA). Richard "Stick" Williams, Duke Energy’s vice president of diversity and ethics, accepted the honor. The company employs about 2,000 in Houston.

“Duke Energy’s supplier diversity program has made great strides in recent years to allow women-owned companies more opportunities to do business with the company,” said Williams. “In Houston, our manager of supplier diversity, Angell Brown-Fontenot, has been instrumental in helping us establish ongoing relationships with women-owned businesses in the region. I’m pleased that WBEA has recognized our efforts.”

WBEA is the Houston affiliate of the national Women’s Business Enterprise National Council – the nation’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses as suppliers to America’s corporations.

“Duke Energy has shown through its action that it is committed to creating opportunities between itself and women-owned businesses,” said Darcey Baron, executive director of WBEA. “We applaud their efforts, and the efforts of other companies in the Houston area.”

Also at the luncheon, Duke Energy announced that it would make $1,500 grants to both WBEA and the Houston Minority Business Council. The funds would be used to offer Discover Leadership communications training to some members of the organizations. Duke Energy will also host the training in its Houston offices.

Additionally, Duke Energy announced that a significant part of its future supplier diversity strategy will be to support education and economic development in the regions the company serves. As part of this strategy, the company announced a $5,000 scholarship to WBEA for one of its members to attend the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth Executive Development Program in October 2003. 

“Strengthening the role of diverse suppliers is an important part of re-energizing our economy. These businesses help create good jobs and add value in the communities where we do business,” said Williams.

Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses – meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at:

Contact: Randy Wheeless
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