Theobalds Promotes Entergy’s Opportunities

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At a time when global oil prices have again hit a record level, causing the cost of fuel and energy to escalate, there is renewed interest to alternative sources including nuclear energy. European countries such as France, meet their industrial and home consumer demand essentially through nuclear fuel—In the United States the public has been wary due to past scares; however, another reason is that the industry has not sufficiently communicated the fact that emissions from other energy sources tend to be more harmful to the environment.

“As an industry we have had challenges in terms of providing information to people about the benefits and safety,� of nuclear energy, notes Kenneth R. Theobalds, recently promoted as VP for Governmental Affairs for Entergy Corp.’s Northeast division. “When you give people information they become empowered and make their own decisions,� in terms of consumption choices, he adds. Previously Theobalds served as director of Governmental Affairs, since joining Entergy Nuclear Northeast in 2002. The Cornell University graduate’s 20-year experience in governmental affairs, legislative relations and public policy includes working as assistant secretary to former New York governor Mario M. Cuomo.

Entergy supplies electricity to 2.7 million customers in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. The company has grown rapidly in the northeast since the late 1990s. As much as 20% of electricity in the United States is currently generated from nuclear power with varying levels between states—in New Jersey and Connecticut the figure is about 40% and in Vermont 33%, Theobalds says. “Our challenge, especially in the northeast is to continue to go to the community and talk about nuclear power as a reliable low cost of electricity,� he explains.

Theobalds is also proud of Entergy’s outreach to African American and Latino-owned businesses. Entergy has been working with major African American and Latino social, civic and business organizations to share information about vendor opportunities, including the NAACP, and in Westchester African American Chamber of Commerce, African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Hispanic organizations. More information about the company and vendor opportunities is available from and in New York from “Entergy has spent nearly $2 billion with diverse suppliers since becoming the first and only U.S. electric utility holding company to sign a Declaration of Fair share Principles with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,� notes Walter Lloyd, director of sourcing support. “This cooperative agreement affirms the company’s commitment to advancing diversity in its Board of Director representation, employment, upper mobility, philanthropic giving and procurement.�

Separately, Entergy was recently awarded The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) with the industry’s 2005 Supplier Diversity Award. This award is given to the company that shows the “highest level of commitment to ensuring the active participation of minority and women-businesses in the American economic system.� These include: Expanding the use of minority and women-owned firms in nontraditional purchasing activities; using a measurable results-oriented process to establish annual procurement goals; promoting its supplier diversity program and its goals and objectives within the company and throughout all its service areas to maximize participation; and, creating a user-friendly online registration website to review potential suppliers. Entergy employs about 14,000 people and has annual revenues of more than $10 billion.

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