Insights > The Icing on the Cake
The Icing on the Cake
What was supposed to be a regular meeting about Entergy Texas' community contributions quickly turned into a surprise of a lifetime for one employee when in walked Missy Herndon, president and CEO of Interfaith of The Woodlands.
"I couldn't believe when Missy came in with flowers and balloons, and I definitely didn't think she was walking towards me," said Paula Odom, senior customer service specialist. "Then I suddenly realized she was walking straight towards me."
Missy and the rest of the Interfaith team were there to surprise Odom with news that she had been named a Five Who Share Award recipient. This honor is bestowed upon individuals who embody a spirit of volunteerism and show a consistent dedication and commitment to worthy causes.
"I was overwhelmed and shocked," said Odom. "It was the best moment of my life."
When Sallie Rainer, president and CEO of Entergy Texas, saw that the nominations were open for the Five Who Share Award, there wasn't a doubt in her mind who should be nominated.
"There's no one more deserving of this recognition," said Rainer. "Paula truly embodies what it means to have a servant's heart and I'm thrilled that Interfaith recognized her dedication to serving our communities."
Simply put, if Entergy Texas employees are giving back somewhere in our communities, Odom has had a hand in making it happen. Not only does she oversee our employee volunteer council, but she's also the driving force behind the success of Entergy's Power to Care program, which provides utility bill assistance to seniors and disabled individuals in crisis.
Her regular 'Coffee Break' meetings are attended by a range of non-profit and governmental organizations. These events encourage collaboration and partnership between organizations across our region to ensure that the community works together to support those in need.
Additionally, Paula works closely with the United Way to organize Super Tax Day, a program to offer free tax preparation services to help individuals claim their Earned Income Tax Credit. These events also include financial coaching and budget workshops.
"She is able to accomplish so much due to her belief that we all can make a difference," said Stuart Barret, vice president of customer service. "Paula's dedication and positive commitment to serving our community is why she is able to achieve so much in her role at Entergy Texas and for our local communities. She is the perfect example of how 'We Power Life."
This award is the cap on a 36-year career with Entergy. In January, Odom will join her husband, another 36-year Entergy employee, in retirement.
"It is bittersweet to retire, but for 36 years I've had a marvelous career here at Entergy and to get such a wonderful honor at the end of my career it's almost breathtaking, and I can hardly believe it," said Odom.
"It's just the icing on the cake."