Skip to main content

Intentional Culture - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Report

Intentional Culture

Authentic Connections

Employee Resource Groups unite diversity of team members

Embracing the idea that authenticity allows people to thrive in their careers, TVA’s leaders have empowered team members to bring their full selves to work. TVA’s nine Employee Resource Groups are instrumental in this realm, creating powerful opportunities to highlight the diversity of the workforce while fostering a deep sense of belonging within the work community.

Belonging happens when team members can intentionally connect with each other. It's showing someone that they matter – not just for the resources they bring to the job, but for the valuable expertise they bring by being uniquely themselves. Ultimately, each Employee Resource Group helps people gain a rich understanding of every team member’s experience and unique story.

People at Spectrum ERG


Along with developing a four-part Ally Program this year, Spectrum partnered with TVA’s Regional Relations team to support several Pride events. This important work highlights TVA’s focus on inclusion, fully celebrating LGBTQIA+ employees and residents across the Valley region. Spectrum also supports LGBTQIA+ nonprofits such as Nashville Launchpad, which supports LGBTQIA+ youth experiencing homelessness. Additionally, Spectrum sponsored the Middle Tennessee State University LGBT+ Student Conference in 2023.

“Spectrum sponsors many local Pride events every year, which provide the opportunity to attract and recruit diverse talent while also allowing our employees to celebrate their authentic selves.”

– Lyndsay Sneckenberger, Spectrum ERG champion

African American students at Do Good Here campaign

African American Voices

African American Voices’ advocacy reaches beyond Black History Month. From its Breast Cancer Awareness Month event to a virtual history lesson on Juneteenth, AAV has sought to provide support and education to TVA’s workforce. By illuminating the significance of African American culture and its rippling impact on social movements today, AAV works alongside TVA to be an advocate for minorities, learn from the past and pave the way to a brighter future with equitable recruiting.

“AAV has contributed to an inclusive, dynamic culture by encouraging all employees and colleagues to continue showing up as your authentic self, creating a safe space to share ideas and perspectives, embracing and educating the workforce on African American culture and celebrating Black excellence and creativity.”

– Marlena Stacy, African American Voices ERG champion

People at ABLED ERG


ABLED has three enABLing Connections groups – a neurodiversity group, a mental health group and a caregiver group – that give employees an opportunity to connect across TVA. One of ABLED’s focus areas the past several years has been mental health. TVA employees who participate in enABLing Connections small group chats or bi-monthly mental health breaks have expressed appreciation for an avenue to connect, all while removing stigmas related to mental health concerns.

“(Belonging means) existing in a workplace where an individual with a disability doesn’t have to ask for an accommodation because we already have designed our buildings, systems and hiring processes to be welcoming and inclusive.”

– Ashley Floyd, ABLED ERG co-champion

People at Council of Native Americans ERG

Council of Native Americans

The Council of Native Americans, TVA’s newest ERG, provides a space to learn about Indigenous culture and the importance of learning from the past. The group elevates the voices of Tribal members, ensuring their stories, language and traditions endure. The CNA has also established a forum for important topics such as the Native Americans Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the value of the region’s native plants.

“Belonging for Native Americans is the comfort in feeling included and valued when sharing that culture. Belonging is accepting our differences, maintaining the languages and cultures of our ancestors and treating each other as family – because we are all relatives.”

– Andrew Gordon, Council of Native Americans ERG champion

Women at Women empowered ERG

Women Empowered

The Women Empowered ERG offers opportunities to highlight the success of women – those who’ve paved the way and those who carry on the legacy today. The group’s Women’s History Month programming has provided education and served as an excellent way to connect folks across TVA. Coffee Stories, WE Gather networking events and ERG-wide efforts that facilitate togetherness help Women Empowered develop the workforce of the future while amplifying the stories of women across the enterprise.

“When I think of the concept of belonging, I always think of our Staying Connected series. We intentionally invite female leaders throughout TVA to host a virtual small group to facilitate honest conversation on issues that are unique to the women at TVA. Those issues can include balancing life at home and work, the challenges of being a woman in a male-centric society and other relevant women’s issues.”

– Ashton Lewey, Women Empowered ERG champion

People at ACTion ERG


ACTion – the Asian Collaboration Team – has contributed to an inclusive, dynamic culture by sharing its vibrant Asian heritage with fellow employees at TVA. They recently celebrated Diwali, a celebration of lights, alongside the India Association of Chattanooga. ACTion provided authentic entertainment and Indian food from a local restaurant, as well as showcasing traditional rangoli, a ritual in which sand is poured in decorative patterns.

“We are proud to have rolled out the My American Story series for the Asian American Pacific Islander Month. We had two virtual meetings with panelists of TVA leaders who identify as Asian. They were asked questions about their background (and) American story, as well as questions about how they’ve progressed in their professional careers. Each person has different experiences, but we all can find a connection.”

– Victoria Vicente, ACTion ERG champion

People at TVA & Amigos ERG

TVA & Amigos

TVA & Amigos seeks to reach Spanish speakers both internally and in the community. By offering translation services for volunteer opportunities and sharing TVA’s mission with neighbors in their native language, TVA & Amigos offers new perspectives on how to grow a more inclusive work environment. This past year, the group hosted Geisha Williams, the first Latino CEO of a Fortune 500 company in her role at Pacific Gas and Electric.

“We have an upcoming opportunity to offer translation services at elementary parent-teacher conferences. This volunteer opportunity is very important to me because growing up, there were never bilingual volunteers. My parents struggled with English, and I would have to translate for them. We have also been working on translating documents and flyers into Spanish to share out to the community.”

– Edith Perez, TVA & Amigos ERG champion

Veterans at Veterans Association ERG

Veterans Association

The Veterans Association ERG offers support and camaraderie for those with a military background. This year, Veterans Association has expanded to include more TVA plant employees, providing resources and a community for those who have reentered civilian life.

“The military is one of the few jobs that includes all walks of life. We are the most diverse group you could imagine under a single ERG. TVA was built for the people from the beginning, especially for those returning home from war. TVA has always had a strong Veteran backbone and we are trying to make sure to carry that on through future generations.“

– Kevin Baker, Veterans Association ERG champion

New Employee Network ERG

New Employee Network

The New Employee Network provides opportunities for new employees to learn about TVA by getting out in the Valley region and visiting the generating sites. For many employees who work from home, this offers a unique learning experience. The group also hosts a few different feedback sessions throughout the year, giving new employees an important opportunity to share their ideas on how to improve the onboarding process.

“It’s been great to see new employees more immersed in our culture and mission of service. From our perspective, belonging looks like being embraced by a community of people as soon as you walk through the door at TVA. More importantly, I think it’s being fully accepted as your authentic self within that community, where employees can identify with and genuinely care about one another.”

– Stephanie Mullins, New Employee Network ERG champion

Incredibly Validating

Veterans share their stories at TVA, Freedom Sings USA songwriting event

Veterans make up nearly 20% of the workforce at TVA. The experience, dedication and grit they bring to the table is invaluable. That’s why this year TVA teamed up with Freedom Sings USA, a nonprofit that pairs professional songwriters with Veterans to help them share their stories through song.

Using creative arts therapy to promote recovery, the Veterans Songwriting Event created a safe space for the participants to process their time in the military. Using delicate conversation and collaborative writing, three songwriters teamed with Veterans to create custom songs performed live at the event.

“It was amazing to watch the songwriter make a melody from scratch within minutes,” Lisa Ryan, project manager with TVA Generation Services, said. “It was difficult being that vulnerable in front of people. It was good to hear other songs and identify with the struggles they had as well.”

“The process was emotionally draining, but it allowed for some healing as well. The venue was fantastic, and I applaud TVA for sponsoring an event like this.”

After the half-day writing workshop, the Veterans and songwriters took to the stage at the Chattanoogan Hotel. The Veterans gave a background of their story – what inspired the song – and each songwriter performed a tune that hadn’t existed the day before.

Participation in events like these exhibits its own type of bravery. Because some Veterans find it difficult to discuss details of their service, the camaraderie found at these gatherings is cathartic.

“I want to be listened to,” Shawna Hughes, senior program manager with TVA Nuclear Fleet Licensing, said. “And because so many people have helped me in my journey, I want to show up to events like these and give back.”

Hughes said it was daunting being a woman in the military – but that didn’t deter her from making an impact and pursuing her professional goals.

As a nuclear-trained Naval officer and the fifth female to complete senior reactor operator training at a nuclear plant in Texas, she was of one of the few women to stand shift for operation at the plant. She brings this unique expertise and trailblazer mindset to TVA every day.

Tim Daugherty, director of TVA Marketing and Creative Communications, also participated in the songwriting event. “It’s easy to talk about the facts,” he said. “Like my dates of deployment and where I was stationed. It’s harder to talk about the feelings between. Hearing your story told back to you is incredibly validating.”

Daugherty reflected on his transition from the military to TVA, highlighting how meaningful it was to continue with a valuable mission as a civilian. “I’m grateful to be able to extend that service to our customers at TVA.”

Veterans singing at Veterans Songwriting Event in Chattanooga, TN

Veterans make up nearly 20% of the workforce at TVA.

User Diversity Shapes the Workplace

Safe, accessible designs help ensure on-the-job success

Over their lifetime, the average person will spend an estimated 90,000 hours at work. With so much of life dedicated to a career, comfort and accessibility are paramount.

But when it comes to a workspace that works, is it really one size fits all?

“User diversity is playing an important role in informing decisions to expand safety, choice and ease of use for all,” Lisa McKinney, TVA’s Facilities Management director, said.

To ensure buildings and spaces are physically accessible, TVA Facilities Management complies with the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act, Standards for Accessible Design and International Building Code. The Facilities Management group also partners with TVA’s Benefits and Well-being team to align with reasonable accommodation provisions.

“Accessible design and reasonable accommodation provide individuals with the resources necessary to successfully perform their job tasks,” Tricia Roelofs, senior director with Facilities Transformation, said. "Flexibility in use increases the value of the workplace experience by acknowledging diversity and difference in needs and offering a range of experiences to adapt to those needs. Accessibility, flexibility and variety provide dignity and allow everyone to contribute.”

As TVA’s Facilities Transformation progresses, flexibility and variety are two major components of the design.

Employees are more productive and satisfied when they have a variety of workspace types to choose from, particularly based on the task in which they are engaged, Roelofs said. A range of workspaces, furniture and tech solutions enable different groups of people to share the same space while honoring the diversity of needs and work styles.

“We understand the desire for more choice and control over the office experience, and therefore feature more diversity in space types, postures and technology interactions that allow the user to select a space that best accommodates their needs,” Roelofs said.

As Facilities specialists look toward the future, they aim to further broaden the variety of working environments to offer every employee more individualized, customizable control over the office experience.

“Zoning our spaces into collaborative and focus areas allows flexible sensory control while creating areas for unique employee connection opportunities and technology experiences,” McKinney said. “With a balance of private spaces for focused work, enclosed and open collaboration areas, traditional conference rooms and video conference spaces that improve engagement and ease of interaction, our goal is to provide every employee with the flexibility to find the environment in which they can feel and perform at their best.”

“As employers transition to new approaches for office space, it’s increasingly important to provide employees a space that meets varying needs. At TVA, this flexibility helps ensure our employees can bring their best efforts to serving our customers.”

The average person spends about 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime.

Adventures for All

TVA partnerships grow trail access for users with disabilities

While TVA’s workspaces continue to become more inclusive and accessible to all, increasing accessibility to the region’s natural resources remains a top priority for TVA’s recreation specialists.

Continuing its work to expand accessible recreation opportunities to those with physical disabilities, TVA recently donated $75,000 to Catalyst Sports to fund adventure programs and adaptive equipment throughout the region.

“The natural resources of the Tennessee Valley region should be accessible to everyone,” Rebecca Hayden, Natural Resources director, said. “By adapting our own trails and partnering with organizations like Catalyst, we’re able to better ensure that all people are included.”

The well-being of every resident in our region is top of mind when pursuing projects like this, Clay Guerry, TVA recreation strategy specialist, said.

“Outdoor recreation is important for both physical and mental health. We try to ensure that everyone, not just those who are physically able, receives these benefits,” Guerry said.

The nonprofit Catalyst Sports provides life-changing adventures and supportive, inclusive opportunities to people with physical disabilities. It operates 11 chapters across the Southeast, including locations in Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Asheville, North Carolina; and Bowling Green, Kentucky.

“TVA’s donation represents a significant boost to Catalyst’s mission of increasing accessibility to this type of recreation,” Eric Gray, Catalyst Sports founder and executive director, said. “It will enable Catalyst to expand its outreach programs, invest in the necessary adaptive equipment and develop new initiatives to ensure that individuals with disabilities in all regions of the Tennessee Valley can enjoy and participate in recreational activities, fostering a more inclusive and diverse community of enthusiasts.”

Catalyst’s mission aligns well with TVA’s goals and values, Guerry said.

“Donations like this reflect TVA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion for everyone throughout the region,” Guerry said. “In Natural Resources, we work every day to make the Valley region the best place in the nation to live, work and play. Efforts like the Catalyst partnership ensure everyone is included.”

Boy in all-terrain wheelchair next to a park ranger, outside at a park

On a gravel trail, an older lady with a walker stands next to two young women

IwD Councils Keep the Pulse on Inclusion at TVA

Each of TVA’s strategic business units are represented by an Inclusion with Diversity (IwD) Council that acts as a key partner in the enterprise’s IwD program.

“TVA’s Inclusion Councils provide a platform for voices to be heard, promote a sense of belonging and drive initiatives to address bias,” Aaron Melda, TVA IwD Council co-lead and senior vice president of Transmission and Power Supply, said. “Though these objectives are the same for all councils, the needs can vary significantly. Our Inclusion Councils are making TVA better by understanding these differences and taking impactful actions specific to the people they serve.”

TVA’s Inclusion with Diversity Councils also help expand TVA’s overall cultural competence by offering insights into diverse employee populations, said Allen Clare, TVA’s IwD co-lead and senior vice president of Power Operations.

“They offer an avenue for employees to share ideas and concerns, which leads to a greater sense of belonging and empowerment,” Clare said. “Having a culture where everyone feels welcomed and valued drives increased commitment, creativity and innovation.”

“We rely heavily on their thoughts, input and feedback to help us gain an accurate pulse of each of the unique layers of cultures within workgroups,” Jan Brown, TVA’s Vice President of Culture, Inclusion and Performance and TVA’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, said. “Subsequently, it is our job to listen and help cultivate meaningful programs based on their feedback.”

Hear from each IwD Council lead below as they discuss what their strategic business unit is doing to advance TVA’s culture of inclusion and what their goals are for the coming year.

”My goal for both the Chief Operating Office IwD Council and the Transmission and Power Supply IwD Core Team is to increase engagement and interest in Inclusion efforts as well as continue to identify and implement activities that help employees build and maintain connections with each other, which will lead to an enhanced sense of belonging for Operations employees. Additionally, we in Transmission and Power Supply plan to focus on efforts of attracting and selecting the right talent through enhancement of our intern program and helping leadership identify existing diverse talent to develop and retain through mentorship, sponsorship and training.”

Adia S. Boston Ogle
Manager, GIS and Mapping
Transmission Technical Services

”The Office of the General Counsel Inclusion Council hopes to continue our focus on actions that foster an inclusive work environment for all in 2024 and beyond. We plan to build upon our psychological safety initiative, seek new opportunities to explore the many facets of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility, and leverage technology and related resources to bring awareness to DEIA matters. The Office of the General Counsel Inclusion Council is excited for the year ahead and remains committed to explore, understand, celebrate, and leverage diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the Office of the General Counsel.”

Whitney Carter
Senior analyst
Ethics and Compliance
Office of the General Counsel

“The aspiration of the Environment and Sustainability IwD Council is that all employees will feel like they are a part of this Inclusion with Diversity mission. IwD is an effort to bring everyone's ideas in and make everyone feel a sense of belonging.”

Corita A. Wallace
Senior program manager Environmental Program Support
Environment and Sustainability

“My hope for Power Operations is that the diverse voices across our business unit will spark innovation and that all employees have a sense of belonging ... and collectively we use our diverse backgrounds, experiences and knowledge to drive a strong safety culture while meeting our commitments to provide reliable power to the region.”

Emily Vastano
Senior consultant
Power Operations

“Our Generation Projects and Fleet Services working group is planning activities next year to empower all employees to get involved in creating the culture we want to see at TVA and to ultimately pass on to future employees. Our focus continues to be on improving our college internship experience and exposing high school students to career paths at TVA through the STARS summer work program. We’re expanding those programs to include mentoring our new employees. We’re also going to introduce a new peer-to-peer recognition program this year to celebrate and encourage the excellence we see in one another. ”

Deanna L. Fults
Senior consultant
Generation Projects and Fleet Services

“Our Nuclear Inclusion Council is tasked with leading, supporting and promoting key actions that will continue to grow an inclusive culture. We have elevated our actions to the nuclear business plan to ensure visibility and consistency across the fleet. We are focused on embedding inclusion into our decisions and actions, making it as foundational as safety, to ensure that everyone can bring their authentic self to the workplace.”

Lucia Harvey
Senior advisor to Chief Nuclear Officer
TVA Nuclear

“The Financial Services Advisory Council provides insight on the culture and aids with identifying opportunities to improve inclusion with diversity throughout our strategic business unit. In FY 2024, the team will continue to provide support and assistance with the development of Financial Services’ three primary initiatives to advance inclusion with diversity in Financial Services: psychological safety, developing future leaders and driving accountability for inclusion with diversity at all levels of Financial Services.”

Lyndsay Sneckenberger
Senior consultant
Financial Services

“As a newcomer to the Chief Operating Office IwD Council, the Clinch River IwD team is working to build the foundational IwD infrastructure for our organization. We have identified core team members from each of the departments and are working on developing a charter as well as creating inclusive engagement opportunities for our employees and contractors.”

Caitlin Moffitt
Strategic consultant
Chief Operating Office
Clinch River Nuclear Project

“The Resource Management and Operations Services focus for the coming year is centered around a culture of belonging, and these are the top goals:

  • Support the rollout of the intent-based leadership training, emphasizing inclusive leadership practices and fostering an environment where everyone feels physically and psychologically safe and respected and is willing to voice individual opinions without fear of retaliation or negative consequences.
  • Supporting and empowering our Employee Resource Groups and Employee Advisory Groups to foster collaboration and establish meaningful partnerships.
  • Strengthen our ties with organizations serving the underrepresented groups in communities where we live and work.”

Robert Morris
Senior strategic consultant
Resource Management and Operations Services

“We’re growing as more External Relations employees express their interest in joining the Council and helping us make External Relations a more inclusive place to work. I hope our existing and new members feel a part of a Council where everyone’s skills and input are valued and leveraged to do this important work together. We’ll launch three initiatives this year, improve the External Relations experience for all employees, and have fun doing it.”

Jared Mitchem
Regional vice president
External Relations

“I am looking forward to a year of continuing action around building team members’ sense of safety in speaking their minds, a sense of belonging in seeing their perspective and identity reflected in our leadership and culture, and a sense of appreciation for the value that a diverse team and workforce can bring to TVA. We are excited to continue this important work, and I’m honored to have the trust of our team to help lead our efforts. ”

Colin Colverson
Senior attorney
Office of the General Counsel

“As Human Resources and Administration grows, our IwD Council grows. We have opened our lenses and arms to welcome more creativity, perspective and individuals who are passionate about making a difference. The Human Resources and Administration IwD Council is looking forward to creating more experiences where we are connecting to our leadership team and focusing on how we communicate and support each other while valuing everyone's unique perspectives and experiences. Inclusion is heart work – it's everyone’s responsibility. ”

Ann Maddox
Senior consultant, Tech Training
Safety and Workforce Development

Kim Appeldoorn
Senior strategic consultant
Culture, Inclusion and Performance

“Having a healthy work culture is foundational to successfully meeting our objectives. Our industry is facing increased challenges, and to meet those challenges most effectively we need to not only attract and retain, but also fully maximize the talents and capabilities of our highly capable workforce. That is only possible when all employees feel included and valued.”

– Allen Clare, IwD Council co-lead and senior vice president of Power Operations

“I believe in a culture that enables open communication, demands mutual respect and creates passion for a shared sense of purpose. It values all types of diversity, promotes a work life balance and encourages continuous learning. Ultimately, I want every member of our TVA family to feel supported, appreciated and empowered to contribute their best.”

– Aaron Melda, IwD Council co-lead and senior vice president of Transmission and Power Supply