Legislators Visit Tampa Electric, Love What They See

Florida legislators, their staff members and Tampa Electric team members in the skills training yard on Sept. 6.

“How Tampa Electric Keeps the Community’s Lights On (and More)” is a huge story, and on Sept. 6, Florida lawmakers and staff members enjoyed some of the most exciting chapters when they paid TECO a visit. And where did the adventure take Florida representatives Danny Alvarez, Jennifer Canady, Karen Gonzalez Pittman, Susan Valdes and others?

First Stop

The day began with breakfast at TECO Plaza. Tampa Electric’s Director of State Government Relations Justin Thames welcomed the guests before handing the floor to President and CEO Archie Collins. The audience got a spirited and interesting overview of the state of the company – how our business works, including ever more solar power, big factors like fluctuating fuel costs we’re working through, our strategy for future success – and much more.

Vice President State and Regional Affairs Stephanie Smith then talked about how her company constantly strives to have a positive impact in the community, including some big upcoming efforts we’re really putting our hearts into. Attendees could now confidently claim a whole new understanding of one of Florida’s major electric utilities. But some of it you just have to see for yourself…

Next Stop

A bus ride later, with Vice President of Electric Delivery Chip Whitworth providing commentary on the way, guests pulled up at our Eastern Service Area. Energy Control Center (ECC) Director Ed Mora talked about TECO’s new headquarters. This dovetailed into a tour of the ECC and the heart of our brain for restoring power as safely and quickly as possible, especially when the community counts on us most.

Third Stop

Back on the bus for a short trip to the skills training yard. How does it feel to be on top of the world? Some of Florida’s elected leaders can tell you, especially after a birds-eye view of the community strapped into a utility bucket dozens of feet up. (Ever the good sport, Archie even enjoyed his first ride in a bucket.) Guests also saw the vast array of tools we use to keep the community’s lights on and they observed the intricacies of pole-climbing. They stayed hydrated in the blazing heat, wore their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and asked good questions.

“I’ve never had a CEO who came out with us for six hours,” Rep. Valdes told Archie. “Thank you for spending that time with us, and thanks to the rest of your staff and all the people of TECO for what they do for our constituency. I’m looking forward to our continued partnership.”

Last Stop

Finally, it was back to TECO Plaza at the end of a full and exciting day, guests knowing a whole lot more about us than when the day began. Just as Tampa Electric never rests, ensuring power for the community every minute of every day, the story of our company relies on strong relationships with elected leaders. On Sept. 6, that story only got better – full stop.