Insights > Meet the all-women leadership team making history at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station

Meet the all-women leadership team making history at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station

03/21/2024

Pictured left to right: Tori Robinson, Grace Settoon and Valerie Myers
Pictured left to right: Tori Robinson, Grace Settoon and Valerie Myers

Engineering team setting standards, achieving results 

Our engineering team members are essential to making sure our nuclear plants are operating in top shape. Strong leaders help us achieve our goals.  

For the first time in Grand Gulf’s history, an all-woman group of managers is leading the engineering team at Grand Gulf. Tori Robinson, design and program engineering manager; Grace Settoon, strategic and systems engineering manager, and Valerie Myers, plant support engineering manager, oversee the engineering team at the station.  

We asked each woman how their leadership style translates to the overall success of the team. Read what they said below.  

Tori Robinson 

As design and programs manager at Grand Gulf, Robinson oversees site project engineering, mechanical and civil, and electrical and Instrumentation and Control groups. Her team supports capital work for the site via modifications, scoping studies, engineering execution plans and stakeholder reviews.  

Robinson has been with the Entergy team for 15 years. Prior to joining Entergy, she was a design engineer with Chicago Bridge & Iron. Robinson started at Grand Gulf as a mechanical and civil design engineer. Since then, she has been the civil design engineering supervisor and the plant design engineering supervisor before moving to her current role, site central design manager. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry technology from Alcorn State University and another bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Prairie View A&M.  

Robinson says the number of women in engineering and amongst site leadership has grown significantly since she started her career at Grand Gulf. 

“I believe that is due to other leaders valuing a diverse group of individuals to help lead and shape behaviors and performance,” she said. 

Robinson advises that the next generation of nuclear professionals should focus on details and hard work will be recognized.  

“This is an always learning environment,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”  

Robinson is a leader focused on developing future leaders.

 “One of my greatest accomplishments at work is seeing my former individual contributors that I hired move up in the organization and develop into leaders.”  

Robinson agrees that our people are the most valuable asset, adding that “I love working with all the talented engineers. They are some of the most creative, dedicated and hard-working individuals that I have ever worked with. They make coming to work exciting, rewarding and fun.” 

Robinson defines a successful team as one that produces quality work, offers support to each other, and identifies ways to improve.  

“My style is to empower my team to make decisions and to be part of the resolutions of issues,” she said. 

Robinson is a member and former vice president of Grand Gulf’s WIN chapter.  

“I utilize WIN and volunteering to promote the Entergy nuclear story at every opportunity,” she said. 

Outside of work, Robinson enjoys spending time with her family, attending Alcorn State University football games, volunteering with the WIN group and providing community service through her membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 

Valerie Myers 

As the plant support engineering manager, Myers oversees the following groups: plant design engineers, engineering FIN team and component maintenance support engineering. The department is the first responders in the engineering organization to plant issues. 

Myers has been with the company for 24 years. She spent three years as a design engineer at Robinson Nuclear plant. After that, she worked 21 years at Indian Point in various positions including design engineer, engineering supervisor, IT manager and in decommissioning. Then Myers spent a year in project engineering at Entergy’s nuclear headquarters before joining the Grand Gulf team. She has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and a bachelor’s degree in physics from SUNY Plattsburgh.  

Myers notes that the industry is changing, with more women working in the industry.  

 “When I first started my career, I was the only woman in the engineering department,” she said. “Today at Grand Gulf, the engineering department is 25% women, with all three of the managers being women.” 

Myers seeks out “smart, talented and enthusiastic” engineers to work in nuclear, adding “It’s a great career – very challenging, but also very rewarding.”  

“The energy of the engineers [at Grand Gulf] is absolutely infectious. Anyone who comes to the engineering floor can feel it,” she said.

Grace Settoon 

Settoon oversees the strategic and systems mechanical group, electrical and Instrument and Controls engineering teams and programs engineering groups.  

“My groups are intended to be more strategic in nature, meaning they perform system monitoring and trending, long-range planning, and advocate for issues that they detect to prevent failures from occurring,” she said. 

Settoon has been with Entergy for 11 years, starting out at Waterford 3 in design engineering and then becoming the equipment reliability coordinator. Then she worked in the engineering innovation group at Entergy nuclear headquarters. Settoon moved to Grand Gulf as the recovery lead and then took over her current role as strategic and systems engineering manager.  

Settoon also notes the changing landscape for women in nuclear.  

“I don’t see [the industry] as a male dominated environment,” she said. “At Grand Gulf, my engineering manager peers are both female and there are seven female managers on the site lead team – and they are all amazing supportive women!”  

“This is really rare in the industry, but it feels natural at Grand Gulf,” she added. 

Settoon says that her favorite accomplishment during her time at Entergy is seeing individuals on her teams grow and develop at the site and take on leadership positions.

According to Settoon, the people at Grand Gulf make her job enjoyable.  

“I started coming to Grand Gulf to support recovery efforts in 2020 and I was so inspired by the team here that I decided to take a full-time role at Grand Gulf and I’m so glad I did,” she said. 

Settoon says her team is focused on plant reliability, detecting issues and taking action to resolve them.  

“My team has exhibited extreme ownership in monitoring and trending of their systems,” she said. “The team has identified multiple low-level trends in systems that they elevated and ensured were corrected prior to failure – keeping the systems reliable for continued plant operations.” 

Settoon’s team ensures safe and reliable operations by identifying low-level trends and taking action to resolve.  

“We are doing our job well!” she stated. 

 Settoon’s leadership style is to set the end goal and empower her team to achieve it.  

“This is intended to give them the freedom to come up with and implement solutions with the end goal in sight and develop them in the process,” she said. 

Settoon takes an active role in telling the nuclear story by participating in Women in Nuclear activities and through various volunteer efforts.  

As leaders, Robinson, Myers and Grace Settoon see the value of strong teamwork.  

“A successful team is one that works well together and challenges each other,” Myers said. “We look to detect equipment issues prior to them finding us. We look for solutions to tough technical issues. My style is to make sure that the team is organized and for me to be a facilitative leader.”

For more information about Entergy Nuclear, visit entergy-nuclear.com or follow @EntergyNuclear on X/Twitter.