Thankful. Grateful. What do these words mean to you? We asked some of our nuclear workers to share why they are thankful during this national celebration of gratitude.
Thankful for our country
John Capps, senior nuclear work management specialist, McGuire Nuclear Station, is thankful for his wife and three children, including his oldest son, who also works at McGuire Nuclear Station on the electrical crew. Capps is thankful for a family that loves him, plenty of food to eat, clothes to wear, and a warm, dry place to sleep each night. Capps shares, “I am thankful to have been born in America where a person, whose grandparents and parents did not finish high school, is not limited to that same outcome. And, where I could serve my country to earn financial support to attend college.” In addition, Capps is grateful to have a career at Duke Energy where “there are no limits to your future potential except those you impose upon yourself.”
Thankful for my work family
Mark Rigsby, director, Nuclear Fleet Assessment, is thankful each day for his team. “Our team cares for one another and beyond the workplace to care and engage when appropriate,” Rigsby shares. In addition, he and his wife are thankful for the strong relationships and support given over the past year with some significant family matters.
Thankful for the nuclear industry
Jack Lemmer, an engineer based in Charlotte and Duke Energy North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN) Charlotte site president, shares, “I’m thankful for my fantastic colleagues who make working at Duke Energy a pleasure, and make even the toughest tasks achievable.” Lemmer also shares how he’s thankful for the opportunity to contribute to an industry that is key to our communities’ quality of life and the chance to be a part of delivering that quality of life responsibly, reliably and affordably. Finally, Lemmer says he’s thankful for “the passionate members of the various employee organizations, like NAYGN, that are willing to spend their time to contribute to fellow employees, communities and the industry at large.”
Thankful for a safe work environment
Josh Dills, a nuclear engineer at Harris Nuclear Plant is thankful to be a part of a team that puts safety first.
Thankful for community
Lee Causey, an engineer based in Charlotte, shares that he’s thankful for Duke Energy’s matching contributions to local charities. “There are so many great organizations that rely on donations to survive, and knowing Duke Energy will match my donations really helps support my values.” Causey is also thankful for Thanksgiving Day football games and family gatherings. “As I get older, I find myself gravitating to the quieter rooms where it’s okay to relax with relatives while the third piece of pumpkin pie digests.”
Thankful for the opportunity to help others
This season is a time to reflect on the positive things in life and a time for self-evaluation as we continue to be a beacon of light for others to see, according to Valerie Haynesworth, plant access authorization, Robinson Nuclear Plant. Haynesworth believes that even though Thanksgiving is approaching, “we are to count our many blessings daily as we are loaded with benefits from the air we breathe to coming to work and going home as safely as we arrived.” Haynesworth is most thankful when the need arises to help others throughout the year, not just during the Thanksgiving season. “We all have something to be thankful for as we lift each other up, remember the golden rule and help someone along the way. Just as we have a passion to provide the best customer service, there is a greater need and reward to be passionate to help others in need.”
Thankful for the workplace
Kristie Soliman, nuclear fuels engineer, shares how she’s thankful for her job, co-workers who bring joy into her job (making it more than “just a job”), mentors who take the time to help better her on a technical, professional and often personal level and a great manager who cares about her development and quality of life. In addition, Soliman is thankful for her family, who she recognizes helped shape the person she is and, “the world around me. I have in no way done anything to warrant or deserve to gaze upon and taste the world around me, and yet here it is.”
As Thanksgiving fast approaches, let’s all take the time to reflect on what we are grateful for. As Haynesworth says, “Life is a journey and a reward, embrace it and be thankful.”