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Seven Duke Energy Employees Earn James B. Duke Awards April 25, 2007

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Seven Duke Energy employees were honored last night with the company’s James B. Duke Award – the company’s highest employee award for service to the company and community.

Honored were:

  • Tom O’Connor, group executive, president, commercial businesses, Charlotte
  • Nisa A. Hensley, manager, business relations, Shelbyville, Ind.
  • John Lechko, director, state and local tax, Charlotte
  • Darlene Radcliffe, director, environmental policy and fuel technology, Cincinnati
  • Jeff Lineberger, manager, hydro licensing, Charlotte
  • Kevin Donnelly, managing director, mergers and acquisitions, Charlotte
  • Edilson Alexandrino, Brazil plants administration, Duke Energy International, Brazil

The award is named for James B. Duke (1856-1925), the noted tobacco and electric power industrialist and the namesake of Duke Energy. In its inaugural year, the award recognizes employees for the most significant achievements supporting the company's goals and values.

The James B. Duke Award continues the company's long tradition of recognizing leadership and service in the community and the workplace. Winners are nominated and selected by their peers.

Tom O’Connor led the merger integration of Duke Energy/Cinergy, which was announced May 2005.

It was a big task. O’Connor commissioned some 60 integration teams to begin work to design organizations for the company once the merger between Duke Energy and Cinergy was complete. The integration teams had to work fast, so organizations could be staffed and ready when the merger closed.

Unlike other mergers in the utility industry, O’Connor’s time frame was compressed. While many utility mergers were falling apart, the Duke/Cinergy merger was speeding along -- to be completed in a mere 11 months.

Nisa Hensley in Shelbyville, Ind., became the single point of contact in 2006 when Duke Energy purchased a former manufactured gas plant that was once owned by a predecessor company. The site needed to be brought up to current environmental standards, which will involve tearing down 22 occupied rental units, including apartments and single-family cottages.

With the assistance of a Spanish interpreter (since many of the residents were Hispanic), Hensley worked around-the-clock, meeting individually with residents and easing their transition. She was diligent about working with those affected – sometimes helping in routine matters when there was no one else to lend a hand.

She kept local officials informed, and successfully assisted all the families in relocating within 30 days – a task few thought could be accomplished in that brief time.

John Lechko and Darlene Radcliffe are making clean coal technology economically viable for Duke Energy.

During 2006, Duke Energy was able to secure $258.5 million in federal clean coal tax credits for the company’s Edwardsport, Ind., Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant and the Cliffside, N.C., pulverized coal project. The total was more than 25 percent of the tax credits available to companies around the nation.

Lechko was a valuable member of the team that helped make the tax credits possible by determining Duke’s strategy regarding the types of incentives that would be most beneficial in the Energy Policy Act (EPACT 2005).

Radcliffe was able to lead a project team and manage the multi-volume grant application process through many revisions that helped Duke Energy beat the competition. The core project team was made up of representatives from engineering, finance, tax, treasury, fuels, legal and creative services.

Jeff Lineberger has led the licensing effort for the Catawba-Wateree hydro project, which has reached out to 85 stakeholder groups in the region. Lineberger provided stakeholders unprecedented access to designs, studies, reports and data. He also allowed stakeholders to see decision tools used by the company so all parties would have the same information.

Lineberger personally attended almost 300 stakeholder meetings -- soliciting input to create a fair and sustainable balance of interests.

In the end, 70 of the 85 stakeholder groups signed the Comprehensive Relicensing Agreement (CRA), which was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in August 2006. The CRA spelled out stakeholder-recommended terms and conditions for a new Catawba-Wateree license, which will hopefully be issued in 2008 and will govern the operation of the Catawba-Wateree Hydro Project for the next 40 to 50 years.

Kevin Donnelly led the effort that culminated on Sept. 7, 2006, when Duke Energy announced the simultaneous signing and closing of a complex transaction involving about half of Duke Energy's real estate company Crescent Resources to Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds.

Duke Energy had been considering a joint venture or sale transaction for Crescent since late 2005, but it wasn’t until May 2006 that Donnelly and a handful of Duke Energy employees began work in earnest on such a transaction.

Since there were no regulatory approvals to work through, one of Donnelly’s primary goals was to sign, close and announce the entire transaction (the creation of the partnership and a complex financing) on the same day. That meant all aspects of the transaction needed to come together at the same time. Because of the confidentiality of the transaction, Donnelly had to manage these in parallel with a tight unit of dedicated Duke Energy and Crescent employees – concluding the work on the same day.

Edilson Alexandrino has been instrumental over the past decade in turning people’s lives around through a Narcotics Anonymous chapter he helped form in the South Area of São Paulo, Brazil.

Alexandrino beat his own alcohol and drug addiction problem through Narcotics Anonymous. He later formed a chapter in Ourinhos, Brazil.

In 2006, he saw the culmination of his turnaround and hard work. The Ourinhos chapter of Narcotics Anonymous reached the milestone of assisting its 400th client.

In addition, also in 2006, he earned his college degree after his addiction had forced him to drop out of school years before.

Duke Energy Corp., one of the largest electric power companies in the United States, supplies and delivers energy to approximately 3.9 million U.S. customers. The company has nearly 37,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in the Midwest and the Carolinas, and natural gas distribution services in Ohio and Kentucky. In addition, Duke Energy has more than 4,000 megawatts of electric generation in Latin America, and is a joint-venture partner in a U.S. real estate company.

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: Mark Craft
Phone: 704-382-7364
24-Hour Phone: 704-382-8333

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