A new face will serve as the PPL Renewable Energy regional community relations director for the Eastern Susquehanna region.
Teri MacBride originally served in Northumberland, Montour and part of Luzerne counties for "a number of years." When Don Stringfellow retired effective July 1 after 41 years with the company, MacBride became the regional community relations director for Clinton and Lycoming counties also.
"I'm beginning, in the early stages, making introductions, communicating with organizations and community officials, and continuing to meet with folks and discuss PPL and how it can continue to be an active partner in the strong communities that we have," MacBride said.
She hopes to build relationships with community business leaders, some of whom she already knows from working with them in the past.
"I have known some people in former capacities," MacBride said. "I've met with county commissioners. I've reviewed programs that have worked in the past. My priority issues are the concerns those groups have. I hope to continue to keep with the level of active support with the communities."
MacBride explained the position as the same as her old one, with new geography.
"I'm doing the same work for two new counties," she said. "I'm a point of contact for media or any matter pertaining to PPL Corporation and affiliations. I'm a liaison with elected officials."
While meeting the contacts, MacBride had to help during the recent flooding.
"With emergency officials, in addition to working with our dispatchers, there are occasional times that they need another pair of contact in the company and that's my role," she said. "For example, keeping the Lycoming County Emergency Management Agency informed with some of our actions during this tropical storm and Hurricane Irene."
The storms caused some PPL customers to lose power.
"It was extremely difficult," MacBride said. "We knew that customers were without power, but until the waters receded, we could not help."
MacBride said 55,000 customers were affected during Tropical Storm Lee up and down the Susquehanna River.
"The storm followed on the heels of Hurricane Irene," she said. "The crews were asked again to work very long hours and they responded very well. Under the conditions, it was a terrific effort."
Some repair work is still occurring and customers "in pockets" still do not yet have power.
"It's still a very difficult situation," she said. "We're hoping for a better Fall season. On the other hand, we did a lot of prep work before both storms."
MacBride said crews prepared in advance for the storms days before the events happened.
The work paid off, she said. Crews were mobilized, so they were ready and prepared to respond to local storm emergencies.
"As the flood waters receded in the northern part, crews traveled from Lancaster area to help us," she said. "At the time they could do work in their home area, they returned ... The duration was kept to an absolute minimum based on when we could do repairs."
MacBride said her current focus is just making contacts, and she has no plans to change from what has worked in the past.
"For now, it's a pretty big goal," she said. "I have very big shoes to fill. (Stringfellow) has been in the position for a lot of years. He knows a lot of people around Clinton and Lycoming counties."
Customers can reach MacBride by calling 368-5235 or visiting 4810 Lycoming Mall Drive, Montoursville.