LVEDC Kicks Off New Executive Video Interview Series with Steph Raymond
By Colin McEvoy on September 23, 2021
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) kicked off its new series of executive video interviews this week with Steph Raymond, who became President of PPL Electric Utilities in April after having worked in leadership roles at the company for the last 10 years.
Raymond discussed a wide range of topics during the 30-minute interview, including the many ways in which the affordability and reliability of energy provided by PPL Electric Utilities is critical to overall economic development in the Lehigh Valley.
“We take that responsibility very seriously,” Raymond said. “We live in our communities, so our commitment is really about being committed to the areas we live in. Affordability and reliability are key to development. People want to come here if they can count on their electric provider.”
LVEDC has conducted interviews with new corporate leaders at some of the Lehigh Valley’s leading companies and largest employers. The organization launched a series of 10 video interviews earlier this year, and will be releasing videos as part of a new series each week between September and November.
The videos are released each Thursday at 11 a.m. on the LVEDC Facebook page, and are available for later viewing on the organization’s YouTube channel. The next interview on Sept. 30 will feature Angelo Valletta, President & CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The full video interview with Raymond can be viewed below:
Raymond oversees electric delivery, customer service, and investments in infrastructure and technology at PPL Electric Utilities. She joined the company in 2011 as Director of Project and Contract Management before becoming President in April. She has also previously held leadership positions with Cablenetv, Comcast, General Fiber Communications, and others.
PPL Electric Utilities serves 1.4 million customers in 29 counties in Pennsylvania, and employs 2,000 people. Raymond said the company has spent the last 10 years improving reliability and affordability for ratepayers by managing costs internally, and that PPL provides some of the best rates in the mid-Atlantic region.
“We have a moral responsibility to make sure we provide safe, reliable, affordable service to our customers,” she said. “Over the past 10 years we’ve improved reliability by over 30%. We’re nationally ranked when it comes to providing reliable service to our customers, but more importantly we do it at an affordable cost.”
During the interview, Raymond discussed future goals and long-term changes in the industry, including the changing needs of customers and the increased focus on decarbonization and green energy. She believes PPL is prepared to address these changes through innovation and by building a system that can manage new types of generation.
“I think we’re going to play a huge role in decarbonization and renewable enablement,” she said. “I think the utility industry is going to go through more changes in the next five years than we have in our last 100 years, I really do. There is so much going on.”
Raymond discussed other topics during the interview, including new automation tools, what goes into providing electricity to homes and businesses, PPL’s long-standing presence in the Lehigh Valley, and being a role model in her capacity as a woman in a leadership role.
“I have a personal mission statement: it’s to make a difference each and every day by having the courage to blaze new trails,” she said. “I’m cognizant of it every day, but I also take it very personally. I appreciate it, I feel very honored to do that.”
In addition to Valetta, other upcoming interviews in the video series will include:
- Gunnar Brunius, Vice President & General Manager Lehigh Valley Operations of Mack Trucks
- Rick Bucher, Chief Executive Officer of Victaulic
- Shelly McWilliams, President of Lehigh Valley Plastics
- Sarah Santos, President of Cigars International
- Julien Sauvagnargues, President of Olympus Corporation of the Americas
Sponsors for the series include presenting sponsor Lehigh Valley Health Network; premier sponsor Capital BlueCross; gold sponsor Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba; event sponsors Boyle Construction, Klunk & Millan Advertising, Olympus Corporation of the Americas, interview sponsor Victaulic, and production sponsor Countess Communications.
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