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Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL)

Excerpt: Trees play a pivotal role in the safety and reliability of IPL's power system. If trees grow into the wires that carry electricity to the company’s 465,000 customers, outages happen.


Since 2000 IPL has undertaken a systematic and purposeful approach to trimming trees in its service area to try to prevent as many tree-related power outages as possible.


"Trees are a significant cause of power outages for our customers, and they can be a community safety issue," says John Haarlow, vice president of Power Delivery, Maintenance & Construction. From May 2006 to April 2007 trees were the single greatest cause of power-outage minutes – more than 16 million minutes of a total 37 million minutes.


"Our goal is to keep the number of tree incidences down and the safety of the system up," says Rick Deer, who coordinates IPL's line-clearing field activities. A blackened hackberry tree in Rick's office serves as a reminder of what happens when tree limbs grow into the "wire zone." Download PDF...

Sallie Mae
The Source

Excerpt: It was not your typical conference call.


Renee Mang, senior vice president of originations and head of Sallie Mae's Panama City, Fla., servicing center, was huddled inside her bedroom closet with her dog, husband and a $5 battery-operated radio – her only connection to the outside world.


Rick Shuford, senior director of facilities, was crouched in his bathtub – under a mattress.


Tammy McVay, director of originations, was holed up in her candlelit home.


It was near midnight, and all three were talking to Jon Kroehler, senior vice president of delivery product support, and Bob Ballard, senior vice president of servicing, in the Sallie Mae Crisis Management Team headquarters in Fishers, Ind.


While the three Floridians described the weather that was raging outside their boarded-up Panama City homes, Kroehler and Ballard listened. "I think they felt better just having someone to talk to," Ballard says.


The phone call was just one of the hundreds of ways, big and small, that Sallie Mae employees bonded together the week of Sept. 13. They kept each other safe and kept the business running despite threats from Hurricane Ivan and the 25 tornadoes that sliced through Bay County, Fla., as the Category 3 hurricane made landfall 150 miles to the west. Download PDF...