Savannah Electric storm team wins Southern Company Presidential Award for touching story of assistance after hurricane

During their Storm Team assignment in Pensacola, Florida following Hurricane Ivan last fall, a group of Savannah Electric employees went far beyond normal expectations. The fact that they were helping a Gulf Power Company customer just emphasized the fact that their “customer focus” extends beyond mere company boundaries.

For their efforts, the team has been awarded Southern Company’s highest employee honor: The 2004 Presidential Award for Outstanding Customer Service.

“Not only did this team excel at the fundamentals by making the necessary electrical repairs, but they went above and beyond. They were a live example of the outstanding customer service and the Southern Style for which our employees are known,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO David Ratcliffe. Mr. Ratcliffe made the comments in presenting the award to the team in Savannah on April 8, 2005.

Savannah Electric President and CEO Anthony James added, “Our employees made a real difference in the life of this customer and her son. I am very proud of their efforts.”

The Savannah Electric team was selected from among 55 applicants for the award representing other noteworthy achievements across Southern Company’s four-state service area.

Members of the team were Wayne Joyner, Marty Seckinger, Bobby Tippins and Jason Webb. Their regular assignment was with the Springfield power delivery department in Effingham County, though Mr. Webb now works for the Savannah power delivery department.

Speaking for the four-man crew, Seckinger noted that they certainly never thought they would get such attention for their deeds. “We were just doing our job and responding the way we hope others would do if our families were in need,” he said. He noted that other members of the larger Savannah storm team had also participated in contributing funds for the family.

In addition to the Southern Company recognition, the same team also won the 2004 Savannah Electric plus1 award for Customer Service for their actions in Florida. This award honors those Savannah Electric employees who give “100 percent plus 1” in providing exceptional customer service.


The account of the team’s efforts in Florida appears below:

As the crew broke for a hard-earned lunch in the midst of storm restorations, they received word that an elderly woman needed help. They had restored this lady’s power the previous day, but she was out again and in desperate conditions.

Recalling her situation from before, the Savannah Electric crew went back on their lunch break and restored her power again. After days without service, she and her disabled son were overjoyed at the personal service, especially considering what they had been through: During the storm, they had evacuated to a shelter where a large sum of cash had been stolen from the mother. Before leaving, the employees opened their wallets and gave the lady what they could spare.

When the crew returned from the job site, they told her story to the other Savannah Electric employees on the Storm Team. Spontaneously, members of the team began pulling out cash and setting it on the truck. After a few minutes, they had contributed an amount almost equal to the amount that was stolen - several hundred dollars.

When they returned to the home with the money, the woman emotionally referred to the Savannah Electric employees as her “personal angels sent down from heaven.”


Savannah Electric serves over 140,000 customers in five-counties of Southeast Georgia. Savannah Electric, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is headquartered in Savannah.

With more than 4 million customers and nearly 39,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier super-regional energy company in the Southeast and a leading U.S. producer of electricity. Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states, a growing competitive generation company and a competitive retail natural gas business, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are 15 percent below the national average. Southern Company has been ranked the nation’s top energy utility in the American Customer Satisfaction Index five years in a row. Southern Company has more than 500,000 shareholders, making its common stock one of the most widely held in the United States. Visit the Southern Company Web site at