News Release
November 11, 2003


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Four Duke Energy employees were honored today with the company’s Robinson Citizenship Award – representing extraordinary efforts to help humanity or save a life.

Honored were:

  • Marcus V. Dillon, distribution line technician, Duke Power, Greensboro
  • Gregg Fields, distribution line technician, Duke Power, Greensboro
  • Eleanor P. (Penny) Montgomery, nuclear chemistry specialist, Catawba Nuclear Station, Duke Power, York, S.C.
  • Henry M. (Penny) Wallace, vegetation management communication specialist, Duke Power, Charlotte

Established in 1961, the Robinson Citizenship Award has annually recognized Duke Energy employees for outstanding efforts to the company and the community. The award is named for William Smith O’Brien Robinson Jr., who served as Duke Energy chairman from 1957 to 1959, and worked for the company for 53 years. Robinson died in 1967.

During the December 2002 ice storm, Marcus Dillon and Gregg Fields were on their way to cut limbs from some ice-covered power lines. They stopped to investigate the cause of smoke from a nearby house.

Fields immediately contacted a dispatcher, asking her to call 911. Concerned that someone might be inside, Dillon ran to the house. Seeing someone inside, he pounded relentlessly on the side door until getting an answer from an elderly woman. She was unaware that the back portion of her house was on fire, even though smoke was visible throughout the house. She asked him to look for her husband, who was upstairs.

Fighting thick smoke, Dillon finally located the elderly man and helped him down the stairs. The Duke Power crew took care of the couple until emergency personnel arrived.

Penny Montgomery’s sister-in-law is healthy today thanks to her generosity. Several years ago, Montgomery’s sister-in-law was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney disease. As the disease progressed, she suffered kidney failure and required a kidney transplant. Without it, she would have to go on dialysis treatment. A search for a transplant candidate was fruitless.

Montgomery thought about volunteering. After consulting with her husband, she decided to see if she was a candidate. She was.

The surgeries were successfully completed in 2002. Montgomery’s sister-in-law never went on dialysis and is very healthy today.

Over the course of his career as a Boy Scout Scoutmaster, Henry “Penny” Wallace has taught 400 boys how to navigate life. 

Twenty years ago, Wallace reactivated Boy Scout Troop 172, which serves two Charlotte communities marred by unemployment and poverty. Of the scouts in Penny’s troop, 60 percent came from single-parent families and few had ever gone camping.

In weekly meetings and once-a-month camping trips, Wallace taught the boys the finer points of scouting. During it all, Wallace gladly accepted the surrogate father role. Wallace has had incredible success with his troop:   24 of his 400 scouts (about 5 percent) have earned the highest rank, Eagle – about twice the national rate.

Wallace is credited with having turned around many of the Scouts’ lives. He is a recipient of one of the Boy Scout’s most prestigious awards, the Silver Beaver Award, for distinguished service to young people.

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
Phone: 704/382-8379
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