Following up on the Women’s History Profiles, this April we are pleased to feature profiles of several NYPA Trustees. Each NYPA Trustee comes from a unique academic and professional background, as well as a unique part of New York State.
Mr. Flynn, the former presidentially appointed United States Attorney for the Western District of New York, is a member of the firm of Harris Beach. He is Co-Leader of the firm’s Government Compliance and Investigation Practice Group and also specializes in business and commercial litigation, insurance litigation, product liability and e-discovery.
What do you enjoy the most about being a NYPA trustee?
I especially enjoy meeting and working with our employees throughout the Authority. I can still remember my first visits to our various facilities as well as to our White Plains office. One can truly experience the overall breadth and diversity of our top-notch team by spending time with everyone in our various facilities. I always come away from such statewide visits with such pride in our NYPA Team.
What skills have you taken from your day-to-day career and applied to your work at NYPA?
As a lawyer and the former US Attorney for the Western District of New York, I try to share my experiences from both a legal and managerial perspective in a way that supports NYPA’s public mission.
Has the reverse been true? Have you learned skills at NYPA and taken them back to your day-to-day responsibilities?
Yes. The various employees at NYPA have fostered in me a desire to constantly challenge myself to learn new things! NYPA is constantly looking for new ways to create clean energy to support our role as leaders in providing clean and cost effective power. Such a goal requires you to challenge yourself daily to work together in a team environment, identifying new and innovative ways to reach that goal. As a result, my time at NYPA has helped me to further develop my team-oriented skills.
How has your style of leadership evolved over time?
As a leader, I have realized that it is extremely important to always listen before making decisions. However, listening is one of those skills that you can always improve upon! So I constantly listen to as many people as possible in order to make a proper decision.
As a NYPA Trustee what is the biggest challenge you have faced?
Like everyone, I have multiple responsibilities in my life. As a full time practicing lawyer at Harris Beach, I have to constantly balance my responsibilities to my clients and law firm colleagues with my obligations as a NYPA Trustee.
How do you see NYPA changing over the next 10 years? The next 25?
First and foremost, we must maintain the integrity of our various power generating facilities. To reach that goal, I believe NYPA will continue to look for innovative ways to properly extend the life span of our main facilities.
Working in the energy sector, what aspect has been the biggest eye-opener for you?
I am amazed by the vast number and variety of people in both the public and private sectors who are very interested in NYPA and what we are doing on a daily basis.
How does your home county give you a unique perspective when working as a NYPA Trustee?
As a citizen of Western New York, I have a very unique perspective in light of our history. The Robert Moses/Lewiston Generation Plants are one of the premier assets in Western New York from both a historical and public service perspective. I was fortunate to know growing up in Mount Morris one of the men who built the plants over 50 years ago, Arnold Hamby. He was kind enough to share with me his experiences and memories of those days.
When you take a minute to think how those individuals dedicated their lives to building something which had never been done before on such a large scale, you cannot help but be very proud of their work. Arnold Hamby, like so many others of his generation, are no longer with us on this earth, yet their accomplishments in building those Plants are here to stay! I therefore believe strongly that it is mine as well as all the NYPA employees and other Trustees’ responsibility to protect and preserve all of our assets!
If you could choose just one facet of NYPA for the public to be aware of, what would it be?
I think it is important for the public to learn about our individual team members working at the many NYPA locations. Our employees truly care about each of our facilities and we need to let the public see how much they care!