News Release
November 09, 2004


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:

  • Donald Lindsay Boyd, operations manager, Union Gas, Chatham, Ontario
  • Toby M. Lackey, distribution line technician, Duke Power, Greenwood, S.C.
  • David G. Trasak, distribution service technician, Duke Power, Greenwood, S.C.
  • Joe Lira, manager, print communications, Duke Energy, Houston

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.

Donald Lindsay Boyd is a tireless volunteer for the community. He served as chair of Union Gas’ 2003 record-breaking United Way campaign, which generated a 307-percent increase over the previous year. That same year, he inspired employees to participate in 23 volunteer events, Arbor Week and the Children’s Safety Village – a village designed to teach school children about home, street and natural gas safety.

Boyd’s generous food gift to the Chatham Goodfellows, a service organization that provides basic food items to impoverished families, inspired other Union Gas employees to donate, resulting in a 6,400-pound gift and a cash donation to the organization in time for the Christmas holiday.

He also volunteers with a number of local organizations. He has been director of Community Care Access Centre (a community health care organization) and director of the Chatham-Kent Community Foundation.

Toby M. Lackey and David G. Trasak were on their way to restore electricity to a home in Whitmire, S.C., when they noticed heavy smoke coming from a nearby house. Neighbors informed them that an elderly woman might be inside. Undaunted by the heavy smoke, they entered the house and brought her safely outside.

Using a fire extinguisher, they extinguished the fire before the fire department arrived. The woman was unaware that the house was on fire. Their initiative and courage saved her from a potentially more dangerous situation and their quick work helped minimize damage to the house.

Joe Lira is a regular volunteer and committee member with Rebuilding Together Houston, an organization that helps those with few resources repair their homes.  For many years he has organized teams of 20 to 30 Duke Energy volunteers to help him repair as many as four houses a year.

Thanks to his generosity and determination, Mary Hernandez, a Pitney Bowes employee at Duke Energy’s mailroom in Houston, moved into a brand new house in 2004, 18 months after fire destroyed her home.

When Hernandez’s house burned, she asked Lira to help. He sought donations from Pitney Bowes’ community outreach program, Rebuilding Together Houston and many individuals. He then gathered and led a loyal group of Duke Energy volunteers who selflessly devoted 18 months of weekends to building Mary a new home.

Duke Energy is a diversified energy company with a portfolio of natural gas and electric businesses, both regulated and unregulated, and an affiliated real estate company. Duke Energy supplies, delivers and processes energy for customers in North America and selected international markets. In 2004, the company celebrates a century of service with the 100th anniversary of its electric utility Duke Power. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy 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
24-Hour Phone: 704/382-8333