Nov. 14, 2019
“Water” was the unofficial theme for this year’s TVA Retiree Appreciation Picnic, which was recently attended by more than a thousand retirees. The picnic was postponed from its original date of Friday, Sept. 13, when Chattanooga experienced an unexpected water outage, and changed to an indoor picnic at the Chattanooga Convention Center on a very rainy and blustery Oct. 30.
But the weather didn’t dampen enthusiasm among attendees. “This is the second picnic I have attended and getting to see fellow TVA co-workers that I worked with for 20-25 years is amazing,” said TVA retiree Dana Couch from Chattanooga. “You can just pick right up where you left off.”
Justin Maierhofer, vice president of Government and Community Relations and Bob Deacy, senior vice president of Generation Projects and Fleet Services, provided comments to the group. Maierhofer thanked the retirees for their many years of service to TVA and told the retirees that TVA takes its obligations to retirees very seriously as demonstrated by our commitment of $300 million in annual contributions to the Retirement System for 20 years or until full funding is achieved.
Deacy said TVA honors and respects the work of retirees who laid the foundation for TVA’s service to the people of the Valley, including the power system that now supplies energy for 10 million people. He spoke to current issues such as TVA’s new 20-year partnership agreements with local power companies and the Board-approved Integrated Resources Plan that will guide TVA’s energy decisions over the next 20 years. He also reported that TVA’s debt is the lowest it has been in 25 years.
Deacy told the group that he is spearheading an effort to preserve TVA’s history and safeguard the legacy that the retirees helped to create by saving the marble and other artwork that resided in the retired plants. He said many of the painted murals and the tiles of mosaics are now repurposed in the visitor centers and other plants around the Valley, including the original “Built for the People of the United States” lettering from many retired fossil plants.
TVA Board Director William Kilbride attended this year’s picnic and enjoyed meeting retirees who helped built the solid foundation that makes TVA great today.
Several schools from the Chattanooga area brought their STEM projects, science experiments, robots and electric-powered go carts for the retirees to see. Retiree Pat Roza from Chattanooga commented that these students are future TVA scientists and employees who will continue the traditions of the retirees.