October 2009

TVA Retirees

Listening to a divine message

In a poor section of Corpus Christi, Texas, in the 1960s, students at the segregated Solomon Coles school had a choice – they could stay or they could leave their school and become pioneers for desegregation. The stories of many students who left the nation’s segregated schools have been documented; now a TVA retiree is giving voice to some who chose to stay.

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Brenda Glasgow of Knoxville tells their story in her recently published book, Why She Stayed At An African American School, Solomon Coles, During Desegregation. The book chronicles the extraordinary measures by the school’s teachers and administrators to help students maintain rich school traditions and improve their academic opportunities.

“The culture and traditions of the African-American schools were essentially threatened, from an economic standpoint,” Glasgow says. “The resources were not there, so teachers stepped in to maintain the cultural and spiritual strength, while ensuring tough standards were applied for academics.”

It’s a relevant story even today, she says, as many predominantly African-American schools still suffer from lack of money and need assistance.

Glasgow says her teachers at Solomon Coles dispensed life lessons and often became personally invested in their students.

“They took on a more parental role and intervened even when the matter was off the school grounds, whenever they saw a need,” she says. “They knew early on that it takes a village to raise a child.”

Glasgow says the idea for the book came as a “divine message” about 10 years ago as she considered post-retirement options to use the many skills she had acquired at TVA, including having served a year-long assignment as editor of Inside TVA. She retired in 2004 from the Human Resource Information Systems group. She worked for TVA for 34 years.

She says she has thoroughly enjoyed her “book tour,” holding signings in Atlanta, Nashville and Knoxville, with more to be scheduled. Her most exciting was in her home of Corpus Christi, where she was invited as keynote speaker for the Solomon Coles reunion.

Feedback from all circles has been uplifting, says Glasgow. “Mrs. Hillmon, one of the teachers featured in the book, called after she’d read it. She said to me, ‘I always wondered why God put me on this earth. After reading this book, now I know.’”

The book is available at Carpe Librum Booksellers in Knoxville and at www.brendasbooksonline.com.

 

Friendships refreshed

About 800 retirees gathered in Guntersville, Ala., to spend time with old friends and acquaintances during the annual picnic for TVA retirees, sponsored by TVA, on Sept. 11.

Guest speaker Kim Greene, TVA chief financial officer, gave a frank overview of TVA’s business environment, talked about the retirement system, then took questions from the audience.

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Nick Hobbs from Sheffield, Ala., was recognized as the “most senior” retiree present. He started with TVA in 1934 at 45 cents an hour. Hobbs is 95 and has been married to Mildred (right) for 70 years.

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From left, Tom Swanson, TVARA president and TVARA Chattanooga Chapter president; Kim Greene, TVA CFO; Bob Steffy, RRC chairman; and Buster Smith, picnic organizer, chat as attendees prepare for their traditional barbecue lunch.

BVI volunteers go for the long haul

TVA retirees and their spouses contribute more than 6,000 days of volunteer service each year through BVI. To recognize this phenomenal work, BVI hosts an annual awards banquet. This year, Anda Ray, TVA environmental executive and senior vice president, Office of Environment & Research, delivered the keynote address to the more than 250 attendees. Ray provided an overview of the Kingston Fossil Plant ash spill and TVA’s progress in restoring the affected area and helping the community.

Volunteer of the Year — Dwayne Posey

photoThis award is presented each year to someone who exemplifies the spirit of BVI volunteerism. Dwayne Posey has taught water-safety classes to 30,000 school children over the past nine years. He has created CDs for water-safety training and transported numerous volunteers to training sessions.

Posey also serves on the TVA Credit Union Supervisory Committee, is a volunteer fireman and has volunteered for many years at ECM Hospital.

His favorite pastimes include fishing and traveling in his RV to gatherings where he plays the dulcimer. Posey retired from TVA after working 24 years at Colbert Fossil Plant.

Distinguished Service Award — Robert C. Steffy

photoRobert C. “Bob” Steffy served as president of BVI for 2 years before becoming executive director. He is now chairman of Retiree Resources Corp. and serves on the BVI Board of Directors. He earned the award based on outstanding leadership and direction.

 

 

More Award Winning Volunteers

Volunteers of the year: Jim and Carol Daniel
Jim and Carol Daniel of Evensville, Tenn. Were named Bicentennial Volunteers Inc. Volunteers of the Year at the annual award ceremony and banquet in Huntsville, Ala., Sept. 4.

The Daniels have been volunteering with BVI for more than 13 years and have contributed more than 4,000 hours on various projects. These include staffing Raccoon Mountain and Fontana Dam visitor centers; training school children in water-safety education and assisting TVA with the emergency-preparedness drills. In addition to their BVI volunteer work, they are involved with mission work through their church.

Jim Daniel retired as a civil engineer in Quality Assurance at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in 1994.

Water-safety training – a cornerstone of retirees’ volunteer spirit
BVI volunteers Eddie & retiree Kathleen Garrison taught water safety to students at Bonnie Kate Elementary School in Knoxville through BVI’s Water Safety Program.

Staffing the visitor centers – telling the TVA story
At the Raccoon Mountain Pumped-Storage Facility Visitors Center, Tony Giggy talks with teachers who were part of a Mississippi State University workshop, Industry Education Partnerships.

2008 Volunteer Service Milestones

8,000 hours
Earl Lee & Almeda Frazier
Glen & Delores Tankersley
7,000 hours
Wanda Thomas
4,000 hours
Jim & Carol Daniel
3,000 hours
Charley Bounds
Tony Giggy
Leon & Nancy Hicks
2,000 hours
Carolyn Alley
Bobby & Elva Johnson
Charles McIlwain
Libby Walker
Jerry & Elaine Waterbury
1,000 hours
Patricia Shannon
Dan Stroud
500 hours
James & Carolyn Dodson
Randolph & Lennis McCartha
Nancy Morris
William & Nelda Presley

 

New Retirees

Jean Bryson 45 years
photoFinancial Services’ colleague and friend, Jean Bryson, has retired after 45 years of service. During her career, Bryson worked in a variety of offices. The past six years, she was senior management assistant supporting Senior Vice President & Treasurer John Hoskins.

32 years
Dennis R. McCorvie, Supply Chain, Chattanooga
Creighton Miller, Fossil Power Group, Chattanooga
Collins P. Mitchell Jr., Power Supply & Fuels, Chattanooga
Donald E. Moffett, Nuclear Power Group, Spring City
James C. Morse, Facilities Management, Gray
Wayne L. Myers, FPG, West Paducah
Nancy A. Parsons, Supply Chain, Gallatin
Kenneth G. Rumfelt, FPG, Cumberland City
Charles E. Scissom, FPG, Stevenson
James D. Smith, NPG, Soddy-Daisy
Marka Presley Smith, River Operations, Knoxville
Randy A. Snyder, Retirement Services, Knoxville
Marion R. Steele, Power System Operations, Chattanooga
Robert T. Stinson, Financial Services, Knoxville
Connie McClain Taylor, FPG, Chattanooga

31 years
Terry W. Ballenger, FPG, Drakesboro
Sherry F. Barnett, FS, Chattanooga
Debra G. Barton, RO, Knoxville
Ernest H. Boring, RO, Murphy