Military Veteran Series: George T. Vitti, III


The New York Power Authority is proud of its employee diversity. Among the men and women who make up the NYPA family are accomplished U.S. Military Veterans.

George T. Vitti, III has been a Security Officer at the Poletti Plant for the past 6 years. He is a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom of which he served as a Military Police Officer in the Marines from 2002-2006.

What led you to join the Armed Forces and why did you pick the service branch that you did?

I dreamed of being a Marine as a child growing up in a military family, and I spent nearly the same amount of time at the local VFW hall with my father as I did playing with my childhood friends. When the time came, I proudly followed in the footsteps of my father and grandfather, who both earned the title of United States Marine during Vietnam and WWII.

How do the skills you learned in the military help you in your career today?

I was fortunate to have some fantastic teachers and mentors who taught and instilled in me these 14 leadership traits: justice, judgement, dependability, initiative, decisiveness, tact, enthusiasm, integrity, bearing, unselfishness, courage, knowledge, loyalty and endurance. There is no doubt that the traits and skills I have learned during my time in service has offered a guidance that is extraordinarily beneficial to my career here at the New York Power Authority.

Are you a member of any Veterans groups?

I am an active member of VFW Post #260, American Legion Post 1440, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Do you have any funny stories during your service?

During Marine Corps Boot camp aboard Paris Island in South Carolina, we had a recruit in our platoon that somehow got his watch through the indoc (they take all of your belongings when you first get there). Well, the Drill Instructors found out he had it when they saw him wearing it one day, so they put him in the squad bay trashcan and put the lid on it. Every time they walked by and kicked it he’d pop out with his watch and yell, “SIR THE TIME ON DECK IS ZERO-NINE-FORTY-FIVE!” and then go back into his can like the grouch from Sesame Street.

On another occasion, we had a full funeral procession and burial for a mosquito. Marine Recruits are strictly banned from any movement while standing in formation, and that includes the swatting of mosquitoes. On this particular day, Recruit Jones couldn’t take that bug gnawing on his ear for a second longer, so swat it he did.

Shortly after, the ceremony and games had begun, which including singing, marching, and a whole lot of digging, but It wasn’t until we thought it was over when the drill instructor had professed the question of whether this mosquito casualty had been a male or female. So, it was 6 feet of barehanded digging back down to the bottom to find out.

Military Veteran Series: Dominique Jefferson

The New York Power Authority is proud of its employee diversity. Among the men and women who make up the NYPA family are accomplished U.S. Military Veterans.

Dominique (Dee) Jefferson is an Administrative Assistant for the Corporate Communications Department in the White Plains Office.

“I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the Navy,” says Dee of her time in the Service. Having spent six years in the Armed Forces as a Military Police Officer, she joined the Navy because of the diversity and camaraderie. “Once I joined, many other factors made me appreciate the military that much more”.

Dee has been employed at NYPA for two years, starting out as a contractor and moving into a full-time position this past summer. Now an Administrative Assistant, she works with the Graphic Communications group, aiding primarily with project trafficking.

She credits the military with many things, including instilling within her a high level of patience and helping to cultivate the skills that allow her to work well under pressure.

In addition to her workload, Dee participates in different initiatives, events and support groups. She volunteers with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), NY Disaster Relief and was a featured panelist at NYPA’s 2012 Veteran’s Event. As part of the multi-generational armed forces panel, she spoke about the military experience sharing her perspective as a female service member, contributing to the Q & A session and showcasing some of her military memorabilia. Recently, at NYPA’s annual World Heritage Celebration, Dee and fellow NYPA employee and Military Veteran Sean Rooney greeted their co-workers at table dedicated to the places around the world that their military life had taken them.

Our Mission: Supplying Diversity

We promote opportunity and inclusion and give talented people the chance to succeed. Supplier diversity is an important part of the New York Power Authority and has been for over 30 years. The Authority prides itself on the long-term achievements and success of its supplier diversity program. To date, over $844 million has been expended with Minority and Women Owned businesses (MWBEs) for fuel oil, gas, computer equipment, printing, environmental services, office supplies, security services, technical support personnel, treasury transactions, engineering services, construction services and interior design services to name a few.

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NYPA’s commitment dates back to the early 1980s, well before the enactment of New York State Executive Law Article 15-A, which requires specific goals for participation by certified minority and women owned firms in contracts awarded by State Agencies and Authorities.  NYPA has reached or exceeded its MWBE goal for over 15 consecutive years. In selecting MWBE firms to participate in its procurement activities, the Authority maintains its requirement for quality and integrity. The MWBEs must possess the technical capabilities, experience and financial stability expected of any other vendor.

We are on track to exceed $1 billion in expenditures across our business in the next two years. We issued a strategic plan earlier this year that identifies substantial investments in our business from customer solutions, smart generation and transmission, and improving the efficiency of our resources. It is important now, more than ever, to have qualified suppliers working with us to help us implement our strategic vision. Here’s how:

Today, energy services are playing a significant role within the Authority, which has been a longtime advocate of the State’s energy efficiency goals. In an event that advanced both New York’s commitment to supplier diversity as well as the State’s commitment to energy efficiency, NYPA hosted the first ever Energy Efficiency and Green Technology Opportunities Exchange earlier this month.

New York Energy Manager: Better Data, Greener Choices

The New York Power Authority recently launched the state’s first energy management network operations center – the New York Energy Manager (NYEM). Housed in Albany in partnership with the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, NYEM, is a comprehensive network and decision tool that utilizes Big Data analytics to monitor and troubleshoot buildings to reduce energy waste. NYPA is deploying and managing this state-wide energy-monitoring hub to provide access to secure, comprehensive energy management reporting for more than 3,000 public buildings, with the potential to serve many more facilities.

With state public facilities getting real-time data on their energy use, they can improve building energy performance and lower the State’s utility bills. Basically, it will be like performing a MRI on a facility and getting an incredibly detailed report about how it consumes energy.

By knowing more, we can do more. We will utilize analytics and engineering expertise provided by this new energy management operations network, enabling NYPA to:

  • Continuously improve energy management and operations of state facilities
  • Drive down government operating expenses and save taxpayers money
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Create jobs in the emerging green economy

To get more granular, by integrating energy data from facility sub-meters and local utilities, building engineers will rapidly diagnose equipment problems and take appropriate actions to reduce energy consumption in a timely manner.

With Big Data analytics provided by NYEM, government building operators will be better informed when making real-time energy management decisions and planning for future changes in energy use. Peering into the future, we expect that the NYEM technology will eventually be utilized by the private sector in its energy planning activities.

NYEM provides an important vehicle for implementing one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s main energy objectives, Build Smart NY, to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent in State government facilities by 2020. Still another great byproduct of NY Energy Manager is that it creates an important set of tools for supporting a fundamental shift in the utility business. Governor Cuomo’s Reforming Energy Vision or REV is about changing utility regulations to enable renewable energy and building energy efficiency to be economically favorable for utilities and customers.

Under REV, reduced energy demand and consumption in buildings will be a valuable commodity to be bought and sold, and NY Energy Manager will provide the precise insight building operators need to take advantage of these opportunities.

The electric power industry is undergoing a sea-change, largely driven by unprecedented advances in technology. As we seek to take full advantage of extraordinary opportunities, access to better data is more important than ever. By acquiring a more accurate view of our State’s energy use, we will become far more adept at asking good questions that will yield even greener answers.

Summer Intern Series: Jake Shemtob

Jake ShemtobNew York Power Authority’s (NYPA) intern program provides top college students with the opportunity to gain broad experience working for the nation’s largest public power organization.

Jake Shemtob is a student at Fairfield University pursuing his degree in Economics. He works in the Customer Load Forecasting Group in Marketing & Economic Development at the White Plains office.

At first, I didn’t know what to expect from my internship at NYPA. My studies in economics have concentrated primarily in financial markets. Here at NYPA, I have been able to apply my quantitative, analytical, and critical thinking skills in a completely new field that I had little to no prior knowledge about aside from looking at our NYSEG bill at home.

In the CLF group, my primary objectives are to work with short term load forecasting to study and update different models and thresholds so that the CLF group can continue to provide accurate load forecasting for all of NYPA’s customers. Additionally, I have worked with Peak Load Management by running the daily PLM Forecast Report to forecast the total state energy load, as well as investigating areas for possible expansion of demand response and peak shaving initiatives for municipal customers.

Currently, I am working on a study to understand existing metering contingency process in order to either validate the existing contingency metering process or provide recommendations on what meter process would provide the optimal forecasting results.

Thanks to the CLF group and the countless people who work with me in Marketing and Economic Development (especially my excellent co-mentors Dan Johnsen and Colleen McConnell, my inspiring manager Gian DeLuca, PLM analyst and Excel master Dan Smilowitz, fellow CLF team member Andrew Stewart, as well as Mike Lupo, Mike Huvane, Keith Hayes, and Eric Bowers), my skill set has grown exponentially and my interest in the energy industry has grown immensely. Every day at NYPA has been enriching and I look forward to continue learning, growing, and networking throughout the rest of my time here.

Summer Intern Series: Kyle Pedersen

DSC06269New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) intern program provides top college students with the opportunity to gain broad experience working for the nation’s largest public power organization.

Kyle Pedersen is a student at Clarkson University pursuing his degree in Computer Science, with an Electrical Engineering minor. He works in the Maintenance Resource Management Department at the Clark Energy Center in Marcy, NY.

So far, my first month an NYPA has been a great experience. I’ve gained valuable knowledge about the scope of the power system and how all of the various components and systems interact on a physical level, as well as the sheer amount of work required to manage and maintain it.

I have had the privilege of visiting the Control buildings and CSC (Convertible Static Compensator) at the Marcy Switchyard, the Jarvis Hydroelectric Dam, and soon, the ECC (Energy Control Center) at Clark Energy Center. These visits allow me to fully understand the practical implications and reasons behind the data I pull from software and put into reports on a daily basis; as well as truly understand the dialogue at the meetings where it is discussed.

I look forward to being a valuable contributor to NYPA through diligently expanding my knowledge base and working alongside NYPA personnel. I appreciate this opportunity and I thank my supervisor, Dan Herrmann, for his guidance and support, ensuring my success here at NYPA.

Summer Intern Series: James Simko

photoThe New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) intern program provides top college students with the opportunity to gain broad experience working for the nation’s largest public power organization.

James Simko is a student at the City College of New York, pursuing his degree in Electrical Engineering. He works in the Maintenance Department at the Poletti Power Project 500MW plant in Astoria, NY.

My workload at NYPA has been an interesting mix of multiple projects in various stages of planning and execution. I spent a good portion of my time after the safety meetings reading manuals on plant operations, steam turbine operations, and how a Heat Recovery Steam Generator works, as well as the operation of a GE MK VI controller. I have been fortunate enough to be included in two greenfield projects, as well as several projects that are mid-process. One involves setting up a weather station at the plant to ensure that our plant efficiency readings based on ambient temperature are accurate.

I have also been tasked with designing a permanent solution for oil detection and sump drainage logging of our Fuel Forwarding Skid that will eventually be implemented with our other skid drain sumps. Additionally, I was able to inspect the existing cable tray in the 500MW plant to ensure it complies with NEC standards and work with an outside consulting firm to confirm the repairs that have been made. Finally, I’ve been brought on to an environmental project to help track down the exact flow of our storm water through our drain system to help develop a spill response plan.

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with experienced engineers such as my supervisor, John Mustaro, and mentor, Adil Shaikh, who have given me a level of autonomy and trust on these projects while also keeping an open door policy and making sure that if I find myself in need of any resource or reference, they show me exactly how to find it.