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Meet the Speaker: Scott Sutton, Director of EHS Change Management & Training at Duke Energy

Meet the Speaker: One of our Rock Star Presenters at the upcoming Change Management for Utilities Conference in Las Vegas.

Q: Name, title, company?
A: Scott Sutton, Director of EHS (Environmental Health & Safety) Change Management & Training, Duke Energy

Q: Family, hometown, where you live?
A: I live in Charlotte, NC with my wife and two young kids – 4-years and 16-months old. Although I consider North Carolina my home state now, I actually spent my childhood overseas in Chad, Africa, and didn’t call the United States home until college.

Q: What is your Utility experience?
A: I’ve been in the industry 12 years in a variety of roles, but focused on change management in the past two years.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working? Hobbies?
A: Almost all of my non-working time is consumed by being a husband and father – it’s great fun being with my kids as they grow and explore the world. I am also very involved in the community, and serve on three non-profit boards of directors for major Charlotte institutions.

Q: Notable achievements?
A: Everything I have achieved has been because I’ve had the good fortune of working for, and with, some truly great talent. As I look back, I’m particularly fond of winning an award for use of social media during a storm (back before social media was a necessity for utilities); being a national anti-genocide speaker for the Genocide Prevention Network speaking in front of thousands of college students across the Southeast; successfully training 30,000 employees in less than 60 days on court-mandated compliance course; and helping the company achieve an industry-leading environmental and safety record in 2015.

Q: Where do you see Change Management in utilities in two years?
A: Still where it is today – struggling to gain true respect and enough budget, attempting to keep up with new project methodologies (like Agile), and still having mixed success integrating with projects. The utility industry moves far too slowly for the situation to be drastically different in two years!

Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: Integrating change management into projects with poor project leadership.

Q: What did you do prior to working in your utility?
A: Most of my career has been in the world of strategic communications, media relations, and training.

Q: Who are a couple of your role models (and why)?
A: My late grandfather is one of my role models. As a former governor of the state of North Carolina, he led the state through some turbulent times (1960s) and was a key figure in creating many lasting, valuable state institutions. He taught me the value of servant leadership, humble work to benefit your fellow man, and the power of effective communication.

Q: What is one of your big goals?
A: To raise two kind, thoughtful, creative, and strong kids who have a global worldview and a compassion for their fellow man.

Q: What is the biggest misconception you run into in your role?
A: There are several misconceptions, including that change management is just about communications or that it replaces the need for good project management.