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James B. Duke Award Recipients

Each year, Duke Energy presents its highest employee honor – the James B. Duke Award – to employees who exemplify our values and goals. The award is named for noted industrialist and visionary “Buck” Duke, who was one of the company’s founders more than a century ago. Winners of the James B. Duke award are nominated and selected by their peers.

The accomplishments of our Duke Award winners touch on many aspects of sustainability. These outstanding employees are advocates, ambassadors, innovators, inventors and yes, even heroes.

  • Norman Barnes, Service Mechanic A, Cincinnati – saved the lives of three people when he continued to search for tenants of an apartment building that had been evacuated following a gas leak.
  • Peter Hastings, Licensing Manager, Nuclear Plant Development, Charlotte – led the effort to complete the 8,000-page construction and operating license application for two new nuclear units in South Carolina. The application was submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in December 2007 after more than two years of preparation.
  • Kelley Karn, Associate General Counsel, Plainfield – oversaw the regulatory approval process of the Edwardsport integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant. Edwardsport is the first major power plant to be built in Indiana in more than 20 years.
  • Marilyn Lineberger, Communications Manager II, Charlotte and Sandy Tallant, Business Relations Executive, Hendersonville, N.C. – led the communications, community relations and stakeholder engagement supporting the Cliffside Modernization Project. Construction of the plant is now under way.
  • Dr. Larry McKenzie, Nuclear Station Instructor, Catawba Nuclear Station, S.C. – spearheaded a radiation protection technology program at Spartanburg Community College – the first of its kind in the nation. This program fills a company need for technical skills and provides job opportunities for the community.
  • Harry Poovey, Economic Development Manager, Hickory, N.C. – served as the company’s primary point of contact to attract the Google facility to North Carolina.
  • Dee Putnam, Senior Health and Safety Specialist, Charlotte – helped implement a new safety device that resulted in 100 percent fall protection for employees who climb wooden poles in their work.
  • Rob Smith, Meter Reader, Cincinnati – was the first responder to an accident he encountered on a highway. By applying CPR skills he learned on the job, he saved the driver’s life.
  • Ron Thompson, Planner, Work Management, Zimmer Station, Ohio and Phil Williamson, Station Equipment Expert, Miami Fort Station, Ohio – are teaching important lessons of respect and tolerance to a new generation of students. They share the tragic history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade with students at Three Rivers Middle School and elsewhere to ensure these lessons of history are not forgotten.