At TVA, our unique, long-standing mission of service drives and inspires our employees to continually pursue new ideas and innovative solutions that improve our service to our customers. This year, we faced a unique challenge: keeping the lights on while also keeping our teams safe and healthy during a global pandemic.
Our dedicated workforce overcame these challenges, delivering vital services and support across the region. Our employees are on the job every day generating power, controlling river flows, restoring power after storms, helping the economy recover and much more.
Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, our employees delivered for the customers and communities we proudly serve. We are committed to ensuring that our region continues to make a strong recovery from the pandemic.
Our dedicated and talented employees are committed to TVA’s unique, long-standing mission of service. Through their efforts, TVA provides low-cost, reliable and clean energy; attracts businesses and jobs to the region and protects our natural resources through environmental stewardship. We are proud of their commitment of service to you. Below are highlights of a few of our employees.
In early 2020, Dr. Noelle Currey was awarded TVA’s highest engineering honor — Ike Zeringue Engineer of the Year — after being nominated by her peers and leaders based on criteria that include project performance, continuous improvement and a commitment to safety. Currey is a TVA project engineer in Transmission Power Supply & Support with eight years of service.
Currey received the award for a programming solution that checks electrical drawings with 100% accuracy to eliminate errors and rework. In under a minute, the program can evaluate thousands of wires contained in switch house panels — previously reviewed one at a time. The estimated cost savings for TVA is several million dollars. Her work helps TVA deliver 99.999% power reliability, as it has since 2000.
“TVA is built on the work of dedicated employees; and each year, we have the distinct pleasure of recognizing an individual who exemplifies excellence in the engineering field and commitment to TVA’s mission of service,” said TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash. “Noelle’s innovation is helping TVA to continue to generate low-cost, reliable, clean energy — a key factor when companies choose to relocate or expand in our region.”
Each day, Currey makes sure TVA’s transmission power supply projects are completed on time and on budget, which keeps TVA power rates among some of the lowest in the nation.
“Noelle has distinguished herself as a leader who helps keep electricity flowing to our homes and businesses,” said Bob Dalrymple, TVA senior vice president, Transmission & Power Supply. “More importantly, her automated solution ensures the continued safety and high performance of TVA’s grid through lower production cost and error reduction.”
Currey is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Currey earned her master’s and doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.TVA’s top engineering award is named for O.J. “Ike” Zeringue, a former TVA president, chief operating officer and chief nuclear officer.
Senior Project Manager, Dam Safety, Navigation and Fossil Projects | Chattanooga, Tenn.
Lawanda Hayes keeps TVA on track. As a senior project manager supporting Dam Safety, Navigation and Fossil Projects, she makes sure the projects under her purview are completed within budget, on schedule, and most importantly, safely.
“My job is pretty exciting,” she said. “On a day-to-day basis, there are always different tasks to complete. Even though I may have planned what I think my day will consist of, I’ve learned that I have to be flexible and adapt as the day progresses.” On any typical day, Lawanda’s time at work may consist of conducting a weekly joint project team meeting, attending a pre-bid meeting with construction contractors, joining a series of teleconferences, visiting a site, or making sure her projects progress like a well-oiled machine.
Many of Lawanda’s projects reflect TVA’s commitment to keeping the people of the Valley safe and protecting the environment. Case in point: she’s currently managing a $148M project at Pickwick Landing Dam to remediate the dam’s south embankment. After the project’s completion, the dam will be strengthened and its performance will be improved during a potential seismic event. She’s also managing the Cumberland Outage Wash Project, which will ensure water quality requirements are met and TVA is compliant with the Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) Rule.
She didn’t always know engineering would be her career path, though. While she’s been with TVA for 16 years, as a kid she loved to read and figure out how things work — she just didn’t know how to put those passions together to form a profession. That all changed in the sixth grade, when she became involved with the Southeastern Consortium of Minorities in Engineering (SECME) Club.
“The mission of the SECME was to introduce minority students to STEM fields and encourage minorities to pursue STEM careers. Each week, we would work with industry professionals on various projects with an electrical, mechanical, civil, or chemical engineer focus,” she said. “The first time I built an electrical circuit and the light bulb illuminated, my interest was sparked! I knew then that I wanted to become an electrical engineer.”
In 2003, Lawanda started at TVA as just that – an electrical design engineer. After that, she expanded her expertise and worked as an electrical systems engineer, which eventually led to her current role as a project manager. “Even though the work is quite challenging and rigorous, project management is a great fit for me because of my love of meeting new people and the constant interaction with people required for the position. The most important parts of my job are building relationships, communicating, and influencing team members to work towards a common goal.”
Lawanda said her background as an electrical engineer makes her a natural problem solver. “I rely on many subject-matter experts throughout the projects I oversee. Since many of the projects are outside of my field of expertise, it is important that I am purposely inclusive of all team members and that I listen and ask a lot of questions to ensure the team is making the correct decisions,” she said.
With a sixteen-year career — and a plethora of learning opportunities already under her belt — Lawanda says the enthusiasm she feels for her job has yet to wear off. “Seeing a project go from a conceptual idea, to full construction is very exciting to me,” she said. “There is so much collaboration and planning among business units that have to occur from start to finish for a project to go well. When the team is completing the final walk down, it is a very good feeling to know I’ve been an integral part of the project’s success.”
TVA’s mission of service runs deep as a river, and for Lawanda, it’s that mission that brings her pride each day. A standout moment involved a visit at local school, Lakeside Elementary.
“I went to do a presentation for a career day event. I spoke about what I did, how I became an electrical engineer and why I love my job,” she explained. “After my presentation, a 5th grade girl came to me and said that I had inspired her to become an electrical engineer. She asked if she could try on my hard hat and said she didn’t know a girl could do a job like mine, and that she wants to make sure there are more girls out there to help me. It was one of the proudest, yet most humbling days of my career. It made me realize that exposure and influence are imperative to success.”
The Hayes family
This encounter led to one of Lawanda’s passions, which is mentoring young people. “I find joy in volunteering to lead the team for the TVA & Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy Exposure Partnership Program,” she said. Each month, a group of juniors from the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy visit TVA to learn about career opportunities and to provide soft skills the girls need to be successful. “Hearing feedback from the girls about what they’ve learned and observing their growth continually fuels my passion to think of ways to be a helpful, positive influence.”
Both on and off the job, Lawanda is motivated to do the right things, and she takes her appreciation for safety and the environment home with her. Lawanda is married to fellow TVA employee Benjamin Hayes, with whom she shares two kids – Lauryn and Cameron.
“I’m always teaching my children to do their part to protect the environment—whether it’s recycling or properly disposing of trash to keep it from entering the river.”
The river plays an important role, in more than just her work life. “For fun, I really enjoy running at the Chattanooga River Park. There’s just a feeling of peace and relaxation that accompanies a good run – and I’m prepping for another half marathon.”
Lawanda’s work at TVA is far from done, but looking toward the future she says she’s already begun to think about what she’d like her legacy to be.
“One day when I retire,” she said, “I would like to leave a legacy as a contributor, a positive influencer and a great mentor for those I encounter.”
In the State of Tennessee on the Forbes' list of America's Best Employers
Enterprise-Wide ERG Award by Association of ERGs & Councils
By the National Organization on Disability
In recorded injury rate
In serious injury rate
At TVA, we recognize now more than ever that inclusion and diversity are integral to our mission of serving the people of the Valley to make life better.
TVA values an inclusive culture, founded on respect and compassion for everyone. This year we focused on the TVA Mission of Service and heard directly from our employees on how this translates to making everyone feel a part of the TVA family
TVA achieved national recognition for the fifth consecutive year as a “Top 10 Employer” for its support of U.S. military veterans in the workforce. We are proud that veterans comprise nearly 20% of our workforce and each adds strength and value to the entire organization.
TVA was recognized as a 2020 Leading Disability Employer for the second consecutive year. TVA prides itself on creating an accessible and inclusive space for those with disabilities and prioritized that initiative by starting ABLED, the employee resource group for Awareness Benefitting Leadership and Employees about Disabilities in 2015
TVA’s employee resource groups received a 2020 Diversity Impact Award from the Association of ERGs & Councils. Since 2014, our ERGs have helped advance meaningful understanding of and actions on diversity with inclusion throughout the enterprise and the communities we serve.
TVA achieved recognition on the Forbes list of America’s Best Employers for 2020 – ranking as the No. 2 employer in the state of Tennessee.
Safety is one of TVA’s core values, and it’s an area where we ranked among the best in the industry in FY 2020 – top decile in recordable injuries and top decile in serious injuries. TVA’s focus on reducing serious injuries and strengthening line engagement have led to TVA’s strong safety performance in the last year.
Back in early 2020, Power Operations implemented the use of safety blitzes – a safety walkdown by employees from other sites – starting at Cumberland Fossil Plant in Tennessee. This effort proved so successful these visits are now conducted routinely during the first week of outages across the Power Operations fleet.
In Kentucky, TVA’s Shawnee Fossil Plant significantly improved worker safety by assembling a proactive learning team centered on improving how employees report near miss incidents, which helps trend the level of safety risk. In addition, our hydro fleet is piloting a new process at Kentucky Hydro Plant to improve safety communication between site personnel and contractors.
Our nuclear fleet has used observations to identify potential lack of Human Performance tool usage, which helps avoid potential serious safety events at our plants, such as Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama.
In our gas fleet, including Ackerman Combined Cycle Plant in Mississippi, we’ve improved our safety suggestions process, which has contributed to excellent safety performance in Gas Operations with zero recordable injuries in FY 2020.
Operating across the TVA territory, our Transmission organization has focused on more detailed pre-job briefs to ensure employees understand the potential risks associated with their tasks. Generation Construction and Fleet Services has performed numerous assessments of our contract workforce and addressed problem areas, such as rigging plans, to improve overall safety performance with our contract partners.
TVA’s employees and contract partners are represented by 17 labor unions. Our partnerships with these unions go back more than 80 years and form the backbone of TVA and our ability to serve the people of the Tennessee Valley. This year, to ensure continued low-cost, reliable energy to residents across the Valley:
TVA and the Trades and Labor Council for Annual Employees announced a 10-year extension on their agreement.
TVA and North America’s Building Trades Unions announced a 10-year extension of their Project Labor Agreement.
In 2018, TVA and seven annual councils, along with the Teamsters Union, began our Code of Excellence partnership with a shared commitment to Safety, Professionalism, Accountability, Relationship and Quality.
Union-led labor management panel partnered to reduce grievances by more than 200% since 2018.
FY 2020 has seen the highest craft employee engagement rate in TVA recorded history.
We pride ourselves on the enrichment of our employees through programs and trainings offered throughout the year.
TVA invests in employees through training plans and performance improvement. Our approach to development consists of 70% on the job experience, 20% informal learning and 10% formal training.
TVA established the TVA Employee Relief Fund as a response to the pandemic and increased natural disasters in our region. To date, we have invested $36,000, which has assisted 12 employees whose lives were adversely affected by COVID-19 and tornadoes.
This Annual Report is intended to provide highlighted information of interest about TVA's business and operations during its fiscal year ended September 30, 2020. This Annual Report should be read in conjunction with TVA’s Form 10-K Annual Report for the year ended September 30, 2020. The Form 10-K provides additional financial, operational and descriptive information, including TVA’s financial statements. The Form 10-K also provides important information about various risks to which TVA is exposed in the course of its operations, which are important to consider before investing in any TVA securities. The 2020 TVA Annual Report and 2020 Form 10-K do not contain all information about TVA securities that is important for making investment decisions. Please refer to the appropriate Offering Circular, and any relevant supplements, for detailed information about TVA securities. TVA’s Form 10-K can be found at www.tva.com/investors.
We have included in this letter and 2020 Annual Report “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Exchange Act relating to our operations, results of operations and other matters that are based on our current expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections. Words such as “will,” “plan,” “believe” and similar expressions are used to identify these forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecast in these forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties and other factors that might cause such differences, some of which could be material, include, but are not limited to, the factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q under the sections entitled “Risk Factors.” Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this letter and 2020 Annual Report or as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update them.