Orientation offers newcomers a chance to meet leadership and others within Entergy operating companies in Louisiana
New Entergy employees in Louisiana now have a chance to meet company leaders and peers from across the state thanks to a new orientation program created by employees who are members of the Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans’ Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Councils.
This new orientation – which follows the long-standing, corporate-level orientation – offers participants insight into the histories, business functions and values of Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans.
Michelle Bourg, gas distribution director and executive sponsor of the Louisiana D&I Council, set the tone for the inaugural day-and-a-half long program recently held in Baton Rouge by informing participants that they came to a more than century-old organization that not only deeply respects the past, but also has its eyes on the future.
Further, Bourg described how she powers life in the community in which she lives and works, including her role in maintaining and enhancing the gas distribution system and volunteering at Entergy-sponsored events.
“Each one of you brings your own story to Entergy,” Bourg said. “A good exercise while you’re here is to ask yourself, ‘How do I power life?’”
“It’s very important that new employees understand not only their job functions but also have knowledge of what Entergy has to offer them and the communities in which they live and serve,” said Deanna Lafont, an Entergy Louisiana customer service representative.
Approximately 50 participants interacted with Entergy Louisiana President and CEO Phillip May’s and Entergy New Orleans President and CEO Charles Rice’s executive leadership teams, heard from representatives of various departments, and toured an interactive electric and gas distribution resource fair.
“The resource fair gives our employees an opportunity to see both our electric and gas distribution equipment up close and ask questions about operations to senior linemen and others,” Lafont said.
There was also some fun between sessions, including a marshmallow challenge, a storm scenario simulation where participants took on crisis response roles and a demonstration where participants acted out the various steps (or processes) required to deliver electricity and gas to meters.
“The interactive sessions, hands on experiences and networking opportunities with peers and leadership across the state really make this orientation unique,” said Ana Gale-Orellana, an Entergy Louisiana economic development project manager.
Phillip Bakker, a gas engineer based out of the Magnolia office in New Orleans, was among those that connected with someone from a location he does not frequent.
“I befriended a lineman that was based out of Tulane (Avenue location) that I probably would have never met had I not been to the orientation,” Bakker said.
“I’m a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) engineer for the gas department and learned something about the gas system that I work on and wouldn’t have otherwise known because it was related to the supply side,” he said.
Sam Asevado, a gas measurement technician with Entergy New Orleans, said he enjoyed learning about regulation during the regulatory and public affairs segment of the orientation. Meanwhile, Dylan Easley, a pipeman with Entergy Louisiana and based in Baton Rouge, and Bentley Eddins, a lineman with Entergy Louisiana and based in Lake Charles, said they enjoyed the opportunity to talk with company leaders.
“We got to talk with them one on one and it didn’t have to be about business. There was no pressure. We ate together, we hung out together,” said Easley.
Eddins said there was a response from Rice during a question-and-answer segment that resonated with him as a lineman.
“He said there’s no one more important than the person in the field picking up the wire and climbing the pole,” Eddins said. “To come to Entergy and hear someone in a leadership role say that – it means a lot. Everybody has their part. There is a degree of danger that comes with being a lineman and it’s great to hear management respects the work that we do.”