A Night of Honors

At the presentation dinner are 2018 President's Award recipients (l. to r.): Front row, Joseph Stofko; Brenda DiFulvio; Kim Githens; Aaron Hughes; Samantha Szilagyi; and Eric Richeson. Back Row (l.-r.): Matthew Cunningham; Edward Shaulis; David Mocniak; Chuck; Edward Jones; and Gene Kleckner.

June 21, 2019

On Tuesday, June 18, FirstEnergy honored 11 employees as 2018 President’s Award winners during an evening presentation. Recognizing the recipients and their nominators were President and CEO Chuck Jones, along with Executive Council members Sam Belcher, senior vice president and president, FirstEnergy Utilities; and Bennett Gaines, senior vice president, Corporate Services and CIO.

“The President’s Awards are all about employees who – through dedication, resourcefulness and ingenuity – go above and beyond their regular job responsibilities to produce a positive impact on our business,” said Chuck at the presentation dinner. “This year’s President’s Award winners have shown a tremendous personal commitment to innovation and teamwork, earning each recipient the opportunity to be here. We have great employees at FirstEnergy, and tonight we’re celebrating the best of the best.”

Meet Our 2018 FirstEnergy President’s Award Recipients.

Individual Honors

Eric Richeson
Staff Environmental Specialist
Remediation and N.J. Environmental Services

Eric (c.) with nominator Dianna Henslee, supervisor, Water, SPCC and Environmental Services; and Chuck.

Eric is honored for demonstrating accountability, ownership and commitment in every aspect as a FirstEnergy employee. A project benefiting our Eastlake and Ashtabula facilities is a great example of Eric’s ingenuity. He implemented an idea that eliminated the need to use city water for a process – saving Eastlake approximately $200,000 annually and Ashtabula approximately $120,000 annually in utility expenses.

Samantha Szilagyi
Senior Business Analyst
Performance Metrics & Analysis

Sam proudly displays her President’s Award. Her nominator,Greg Genega, manager, IT System Operations, was on hand for the presentation.

Sam’s passion for serving the community is the reason for her recognition. Sam’s commitment to volunteerism is undeniable in terms of her ability to fundraise and rally people around a cause. She is a strong supporter of our United Way and Harvest for Hunger campaigns. She participates in the United Way Day of Action and is dedicated to the annual Stuff the Bus campaign. In addition to volunteering at the food bank, she coordinates bake sales and garage sales for Harvest for Hunger. Since 2012, Sam has participated in the Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump which raises money for local charities. Since Sam took over leadership of this event in 2014, the FirstEnergy team generally ranks first or second place for their fundraising efforts.

Team Honors

Cyber Security

Gene Kleckner (Retired)
IT End User Computing

Brenda DiFulvio
Reliability Standards

Aaron Hughes
Supervisor, IT Solutions
Work Management

Nominator,Donna Bursick, director, IT Transmission Systems & Compliance (l.), was thrilled to see team members receive their awards. L. to r. with Donna are Gene Kleckner, Brenda DiFulvio, Aaron Hughes and Chuck.

Brenda, Aaron and Gene demonstrated innovation, teamwork and industry-leading security practices to meet a critical CIP compliance requirement set by FERC/NERC. The team worked closely for several months to develop business processes and a unique technical solution, used by more than 500 clients, to ensure FirstEnergy meets mandatory requirements when field crews connect their computers to devices on the Bulk Electric System.

Their solution allows authorized users to log in to their FirstEnergy laptops in two different modes. This approach has been recognized as an industry leader in compliance, and it has made our transmission and distribution systems safer and more reliable for our customers.

Greensburg DCC

Matthew Cunningham
Engineering III
Engineering Services
(Planning & Protection)

Edward Jones
Building Mechanic A

David Mocniak
Building Mechanic A

Edward Shaulis
Supervisor, Distribution System Operations
Distribution System Operations Support

The team poses withChuck (far l.) after receiving their awards. From l.-r.:Edward Jones;Edward Shaulis;Matthew Cunningham andDavid Mocniak. NominatorMarianne Soboto, retired, could not attend the dinner.

This team is honored for creating a Distribution Simulation Lab for the Greensburg Distribution Control Center training room, which provides a physical and operable representation of the electrical distribution system. Ed Shaulis designed the single-phase substation and line layout with the help of Matt Cunningham. Ed Jones and Dave Mocniak installed the equipment consisting of transformers (both pole and padmount), poles, crossarms, conductor, arrestors, fuses, etc.

The Simulation Lab enhances learning by blending computer-based visual and physical hands-on experience. It’s primarily used for DSO trainees and DSO refresher training, and for ICS storm role training for hazard responders.

SCADA Retrofit

Kim Githens (Retired)
Transmission Specialist

Joseph Stofko
Substation Design Engineering

With their awards areKim Githens andJoseph Stofko along with Chuck and their nominatorRon Dombrosky, manager, Substation, Substations 2.

Joe – with design assistance from Kim – developed a design to retrofit an existing Systems Northwest, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition installation (SCADA) with a Modern RTAC SCADA unit.

Prior to this development, a Systems Northwest SCADA was upgraded by totally removing and scrapping the existing cabinet and installing a new one. The typical material cost for a new SCADA cabinet is around $35,000 with installation cost of about $63,000. By retrofitting the existing SCADA cabinet with the new RTAC unit and replacing the indication cards/ribbon cables with new Axion modules and circuit boards/cables, the material cost is only $15,000 and the overall installation cost is $30,000. As an additional benefit, the installation time is significantly reduced –from more than a week to between one and two days.