Plant Manager Ron George poses for photo at Fayette Power Plant.

Powering Pennsylvania: Q&A with Power Plant Manager Ron George

Plant Manager Ron George poses for photo at Fayette Power Plant. At ߲ݴý, Ron George is considered a rock star. He manages Fayette Power Plant, which consistently performs at the top of the company’s fleet, and he is activein four of the company’s employee resource groups. But Ron’s first paycheck came from a very different world – singing on stage during his childhood. Those may have been his initial star moments, but a career path in energy led to many more. After 16 years in the industry, Ron credits his success to building strong teams and the ability to turn discomfort into growth.

What is the biggest change you’ve seen during your 11 years at Fayette? I joined the company during the ߲ݴý-Dynegy merger. I worked for Dynegy for six years, and this April will mark six years since the merger. The most significant change I’ve witnessed has been our approach to employee engagement. In generation, there is a great focus on engaging employees of all levels to solve problems and identify opportunities to make our business succeed. Much of that is driven by our Human Performance Improvement (HPI) and Operational Performance Improvement (OPI) programs.That inclusivity has made us more innovative. We get more ideas since we welcome them from a broader set of minds, and the ideas are often more creative. Whether it’s related to safety or operations, we involve the people closest to the work to identify the most efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable answers to the challenges we face.

Whatare you working on now that excites you most? What excites me most is collaborating with others to accomplish a goal. People are the reason I originally got interested in leadership. People are the reason I love it today. We can allocate resources like money and time to equipment issues. With teammates, we can offer nothing better than ourselves. It’s so intimate. Getting those relationships right is the best reward.

What advice do you have for people looking for growth and development? What I have learned from swimming in unfamiliar waters is twofold. First, it is essential to really know yourself. Identify your skill set, with particular focus on which skill would be considered your ‘superpower.’ Employ that skill at every opportunity. Study your weaknesses as well. Most of us will never turn them into strengths, so we must learn to manage them to ensure they don’t limit our effectiveness. Secondly, you will not grow if you’re not willing to experience some discomfort. That is an unavoidable part of the process. It is okay to join a team outside your area of expertise. You’ll bring a fresh perspective. You’ll ask questions. You’ll learn. You’ll grow.

Where do you find inspiration? I draw inspiration from various sources in my life. Whether it’s my wife and children, who are young enough to still think I am Superman, or my parents, extended family, and friends, there’s a well of motivation all around me. Additionally, I find myself inspired by team members across all levels and departments within the company.

What was your first job? I earned my very first paycheck from one of two singing gigs when I was in elementary school. It was either recording an album called “Warm World Sing Along” with other children over several studio sessions, or it was performing on stage with Bob Schneider and the Rainbow Kids multiple times at a fair. There are a couple of those songs that I can still sing to this day!

What do you like to do outside of work? When I find free time, I enjoy hanging out with my wife and kids (8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son). On the weekend, I love cooking. I especially love firing up one of my grills or smokers. I got into the hobby in 2019 and have been addicted to it ever since. I’m now up to four grills/smokers. My wife says we are out of space, and I can’t buy any more toys.