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Blazing a Trail through the Ice

Women at Pepco take on traditionally male-dominated roles

In mid-February our region was hit by a severe ice storm, causing multi-day outages in some areas. Dominion Energy of Virginia put out a call asking for mutual assistance, the arrangement among utilities across the country to send their crews and other staff members when others need  help restoring service to their customers, typically after major weather events. Pepco and sister utility Delmarva Power sent 140 crew members and support personnel to shore up the efforts in Virginia.


Coressa Brown, Distribution supervisor for Pepco, was chosen to lead a team of 12 overhead lineworkers and six engineers, making her the first woman in our company’s history to lead a mutual assistance contingency.


In this role, Coressa worked directly with Dominion’s front-line supervisors to manage Pepco and Delmarva Power’s  assignments, logistics, and procedures, including ensuring her team was following all proper safety procedures – a task made even more challenging with added COVID-19 precautions.


Tonya Fadis, also a Distribution supervisor for Pepco, was on site to assist.

“My job was to back Coressa up with her needs and help get the job done efficiently,” said Tonya, “I handled  arrangements such as daily temperature checks for all crew members, lodging assignments, daily meals for all crews, roster updates, and regular reporting.”


With the successful leadership of Coressa and Tonya, and the quick actions of supporting crew members, our teams were able to help Dominion complete restoration efforts safely and efficiently.


“Being a great leader requires dedication, determination, and direction with no procrastination,” said Coressa. “You achieve your goals by helping others achieve theirs and I’m proud to have had the opportunity to lead a team in supporting such a critical restoration effort.”



Tonya (left) and Coressa ensuring team members follow COVID precautions


Coressa reporting for mutual assistance duty