Within days after Katrina, Gov. Haley Barbour named Mississippi Power President Anthony Topazi a vice chairman on the Governor's Commission for Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal. The goal? Build back bigger and better than ever before.
In one of the first programs sponsored by the Governor's Commission, Mississippi Power leadership and employees joined planners, architects and civic leaders from home and around the country for a six-day 'charrette', or planning session to help provide the framework to successfully begin rebuilding our communities stronger than before.
And that's exactly what Mississippi Power did as well. They built more robust systems. And with construction virtually complete they have built an innovative new energy facility in Kemper County that could change how power is produced across the globe.
Mississippi Power is also helping to build stronger communities by supporting programs that create better community relations, promote economic development growth, improve education, and protect our environment and natural resources.
In addition to supporting local schools and teachers through the company's foundation, Mississippi Power employees spend time in camps and classrooms teaching the importance of science, technology, engineering and math to better prepare students for future careers and to develop a well-educated workforce.
Mississippi Power employees, joined by community volunteers, have removed almost 300 tons of debris - mostly deposited by Hurricane Katrina - from Southeast Mississippi waterways as part of the company's Renew Our Rivers program.
Since the company's inception in 1925, but especially after Hurricane Katrina - Mississippi Power, its foundation and employees have donated time and money to support partnerships and grants to help make our communities a better and more beautiful place to live, work and play.
Based on lessons learned from Katrina, Mississippi Power constructed a new Operations & Storm Center on higher, safer ground to increase protection of critical functions and better prepare the company to respond when the next storm hits.
The innovative new plant in Kemper County, built inland on high ground, will provide safe, reliable, clean and affordable energy to Mississippi Power customers for generations to come.
No one knows if we will ever see another storm like Katrina, but there is one thing we can count on: Mississippi Power and the people of Mississippi will be ready.