April 2009

Gordon Park wins two Environmental Excellence Awards


The work of Gordon Park, manager of Fossil Power Group Environmental Affairs, has shown his commitment to helping TVA address environmental issues.

Gordon Park usually attends the Environmental Peer Team meeting where votes are cast for TVA’s annual Environmental Excellence awards. But as the nominee for two of the awards this year, he decided to sit this one out.

Park hit the Environmental daily double by winning the 2008 Management Commitment and Environmental Excellence awards. “I was so impressed that the people I most respect at TVA thought I was deserving enough to win these awards,” he says.

Greg Signer, assistant general counsel, nominated Park for the awards because of the high standards Park has set for TVA’s environmental responsibilities during his 37-year career, including his constant consideration of all the environmental implications of TVA actions.

Steve Strunk, senior air regulatory specialist in the Office of Environment & Research, also nominated Park because of his thorough understanding of issues related to operating permits for TVA fossil plants. That specialized knowledge has consistently proved Park to be a reliable TVA resource for working with regulators and other agencies and maintaining flexibility for TVA operations.

“His long-term experience and interactions with those regulators and agencies have contributed to TVA’s reputation as a trustworthy agency that’s committed to helping address environmental issues,” says Strunk.

Strunk says Park approaches all situations with the best interests of TVA in mind. “He has the unusual talent of looking at the detail and the larger picture inherent in any environmental issue,” Strunk says. “He is not afraid to take issue when all implications of a decision are not considered.”

Park was born in Texas and educated at the University of Texas or “the real UT,” as he likes to describe it. “But I’ve been in Tennessee long enough that I’ve acquired some allegiance to the Vols,” he says.

He worked a summer at TVA before returning to Texas to finish his Master’s degree in mechanical and environmental engineering.

“I really respected the agency and what they did, so coming here to work was not a hard decision,” he says.

Park says he truly believes in TVA’s mission and projects. “There is so much good going on here. The tremendous environmental expertise in this agency will continue to support good decisions across all areas of the business.”