News Release
November 09, 2004


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Six Duke Energy employees were honored today with the company’s Pinnacle Award – the company’s highest award for outstanding contribution to Duke Energy’s business success.

Honored were:

  • Daniel Barpal, director, program management, Duke Energy North America (DENA), Houston
  • Myron Caldwell, vice president and treasurer, Duke Energy, Charlotte 
  • Patrick Gibson, vice president, strategic development and planning, Duke Energy Gas Transmission, Houston
  • David Jost, director, infrastructure services, information management, Duke Energy Field Services, Denver
  • Tracy Tinsley, project manager, information management, Duke Energy, Charlotte
  • Ralph E. Paride, system coordinator, System Operating Center, Duke Power, Charlotte

Awarded annually, the Pinnacle Award recognizes Duke Energy employees for outstanding contributions to business success – focusing on business results above and beyond expectations in the areas of customer service, innovation, business generation, financial performance, operational excellence and enhanced corporate capability or reputation.

Daniel Barpal -- When DENA decided not to proceed with a number of planned power plants, the company had already purchased a number of turbines, generators, transformers and boilers. Barpal marketed and sold 86 percent of that equipment, and is scheduled to eliminate any remaining costs for the equipment by the end of 2004.

As an incentive to buyers, he negotiated warranty transfer agreements with manufacturers so that buyers would have manufacturers’ warranties available to them. He was also responsible for managing the Pasadena, Texas, facility where the equipment was stored.

Myron Caldwell – Maintaining investment grade credit ratings was one of Duke Energy’s most critical tasks in 2003. With many peer companies in the merchant energy business facing severe credit downgrades, it was critical that the rating agencies had a thorough understanding of Duke Energy’s financial plan. 

Caldwell helped senior management create financial plans to reduce debt and improve the company’s financial position. He worked extensively with analysts at the rating agencies to ensure they understood Duke Energy’s successes selling assets, reducing debt, lowering capital expenditures and resolving legal risks. His work communicating Duke Energy’s plan and carrying out the debt reductions was instrumental in the company maintaining investment grade ratings, and later, receiving a stable outlook from the rating agencies.

Patrick Gibson – When Duke Energy committed to $1.5 billion in asset sales in 2003, Gibson’s efforts at DEGT generated 45 percent of the goal. In most instances, Duke Energy had a minority interest in the assets, but for geographic or other reasons, they were determined not to be strategic to the business.

The divestitures helped Duke Energy generate cash, which was needed to help the company maintain its investment grade credit rating. In the future, the sales will allow DEGT to focus on optimizing and expanding its core business.

David Jost and Tracy Tinsley – The decision to move Field Services’ data center – a facility that houses much of the company’s critical customer, revenue and employee data – came after a period of intense growth for Field Services. The company had more than quadrupled in size since 1999, with a corresponding growth in information technology infrastructure.

Two people are largely credited with leading that project to success:   DEFS’ Jost and Duke Energy Business Services’ Tinsley. Jost provided the project vision, while Tinsley served as overall project manager.

Together, they led the team that physically relocated the data center to Charlotte, without any disruptions to business operations. In addition, the team transitioned a number of IT support services from Field Services or outside vendors to Duke Energy Business Services’ information technology group. These included:   help desk, security administration, 24/7 monitoring and disaster recovery services.

Ralph E. Paride – After the northeast U.S. blackout of 2003, Paride redesigned Duke Power’s plan to restore power following a full or partial blackout on the Duke Power system. Under the old plan, power restoration could have taken more than a week. Under the new plan, full electricity service can be restored in 42 hours.

The old plan called for the company to stabilize a single section of Duke Power’s system before moving on to the next. Under Paride’s plan, teams are dispatched to several critical sections of Duke Power’s system to bring the sections on line simultaneously. Once the Duke Express Transmission system is stabilized, the company can then begin the task of reconnecting larger power plants to the grid and restoring customer service.

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
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