Susan Story: ’created for a purpose’
Susan N. Story President and CEO Gulf Power Company Pensacola
Gulf Breeze resident Susan N. Story is President and CEO of Gulf Power Company, which is a subsidiary of Southern Company– one of the largest producers of electricity in the United States. Gulf Power Company is headquartered in Pensacola and provides electricity and energy services in Northwest Florida.
She joined Southern Company in 1982 as a nuclear power plant engineer and has served for almost 28 years in a number of capacities including: Executive Vice-President of Southern Company Engineering and Construction Services; Vice-President of Southern Company Supply Chain Management and Vice-President of Real Estate and Corporate Services at Alabama Power Company.
Q. Susan, so many people know of you and your professional successes, tell us something they may not know about you!
A. I am a college football fanatic, watching multiple games whenever I can. And the coolest thing I have ever done is fly in an F-15 fighter jet.
Q. Tell us a little about your family.
A. My family is made up of my husband Joe, two little dogs, Tiffany and Cody; my parents are both still alive, and I have one brother and he and his wife have three kids. Our family also includes Joe’s mom, his sister and her three kids.
Q. Where did you grow up?
A. Albertville, Alabama.
Q. What or who inspired you?
A. My mother and father – my mother is the sweetest person I know, and my dad was and is the encourager who gave me confidence to do things and pursue studies that weren’t traditionally female. I was also inspired by a 9th grade algebra teacher who further cemented my love of math. I also built confidence through playing multiple sports (softball, basketball, volleyball, and track) throughout childhood, college, and into my adult years.
Q. I have it on good authority that you are well-known on the job, at church and in your community as a woman who inspires others to stretch their limits and to succeed as well. Amidst all of your other personal of professional accomplishments, how do you do it?
A. I appreciate that I have been fortunate enough to work with teenagers for 27 years teaching high school Sunday School in church-they are an amazing source of inspiration for me.
Q. What keeps you going?
A. My faith as a Christian; I believe I was created for a purpose and that I have been given much, and "to whom much is given, much is required." I also am so blessed to have the most incredible people as part of my life – all of them from every part of my life. And they are each different and vibrant and come together to make an absolutely beautiful tapestry that makes my life so full and rich.
Q. What is your goal for the future?
A. To keep fulfilling the purpose for which I was made – and to enjoy every minute of it while it is happening.
Among her professional accomplishments, Story can list Chair Florida Council of 100, Immediate Past Chair of Florida Chamber of Commerce, Past Vice-Chair of Enterprise Florida, Chair of Enterprise Florida Strategic Council, service on the Board of Directors of the Raymond James Financial, Inc. and James Madison Institute. She also serves on the Board of Trustees/Advisors of the: H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center; Rebuild Northwest Florida; Florida "Step Up For Students;" Operation Homefront; Volunteer Florida Disaster Recovery Fund and Florida Veterans Foundation, Inc.
Her political appointments include: Appointed by Sens. Nelson and Martinez to serve on the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission; Appointed by Senate President Ken Pruitt to the Florida Tax and Budget Reform Commission (2007- 2008); Tax and Finance Committee Chair; Appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Florida BRAC Advisory Council (served as Chair of the Intra-State Activities Committee)(2003-2006); Served on Governor Bush’s Task Force on Healthcare Accessibility and Affordability (2003-2004); Served on Lt. Governor Toni Jennings’ Universal Pre- Kindergarten Task Force and Career Education Task Force.
Story has been recognized as Pensacola Business Journal 2009 Woman Business Leader of the Year and 2007 Free Enterpriser of the Year by the Florida Council on Economic Education.
Board and Committee Affiliations: Business Leader of the Year for 2007 awarded by the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce; International Women’s Day Award" for 2007 awarded by World Trade Center Miami; "Ethics in Business Award" for 2006 awarded by The University of West Florida and Combined Rotary Clubs of the Pensacola region; "Leaders and Legends Award" for Environmental Leadership for 2006; The SEDC Florida Economic Development Volunteer of the Year for 2005; Sacred Heart Hospital’s Presidential Achievem ent Aw a r d for 2004; The 2004 Women’s Business Center’s "Women Breaking the Corporate Glass Ceiling Award;" The Girl Scout’s "Woman of Distinction Award;" Distinguished Auburn Engineer Award and the Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award from Auburn University;
She earned a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University, an MBA from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and executive and international continuing education programs at Duke University, Oxford University and Harvard.