Great job, graduates – now get out there and keep achieving outstanding things!

Great job, TECO graduates in the Class of 2017!

Great job, TECO graduates in the Class of 2017!

Graduating from a higher-learning institution is about hard work that brought you to this point, exciting potential for growth and the promise of great things to come. This applies to the newest grads from TECO companies – and it also applies to our program that helped them achieve their advanced degrees.

After years of helping TECO team members in Florida build their knowledge and credentials through tuition assistance, this year saw the first graduate from New Mexico Gas Company, which is also part of the Emera family. And while Gas Resource Control Operator Benjamin Hobbs was unable to join the other degree-earners at the Oct. 16 ceremony in Tampa Theatre, he remains focused on the places his Bachelor of Arts in Communication could take him.

“Without the financial assistance of our company, my degree wouldn’t have been completed,” he said. “The program has enabled me to excel and move forward in my career endeavors, not to mention becoming a better employee who can more astutely contribute to our company.”

Rob Bennett, chief operating officer with TECO Energy, addresses the Class of 2017 at Tampa Theatre.

Rob Bennett, chief operating officer with TECO Energy, addresses the Class of 2017 at Tampa Theatre.

He added, “Though there are great difficulties when trying to juggle both schooling and work, the benefits far outweighing the difficulty. If someone here wants a degree but is worried of the finances, I would strongly encourage them to look at the wonderful benefits offered by TECO.”

New Mexico may be a long way from Florida, but as of Oct. 16 for all of this year’s graduates, the distance between where they were and where their new degrees will help them go has shrunk dramatically.

As is standard procedure at any TECO gathering, the ceremony included a word on safety from Dianne Merrill, director of Human Resources & Process Excellence. She spoke after Senior Admin Specialist Amber Alonso, who provided the ceremony’s student address and echoed Hobbs.

“Taking on the extra time to earn a degree is a huge undertaking on its own, and more so when you’re working full-time,” Alonso said. “That’s why our friends, family members and co-workers deserve huge thanks for the critically important encouragement they provided to help us do this.”

Tampa Theatre: Where the magic (of all kinds) happens.

Tampa Theatre: Where the magic (of all kinds) happens.

Joining Alonso and Hobbs as a graduate this year was Tiffany Bornfleth, lead admin specialist with TECO.

“With the Training & Development team, I’ve had a better view than many at my company of what an advanced degree through TECO means long after handshakes and applause are over,” she said. “TECO believes in its people because it believes in the community. The tuition assistance program bridges these things…it’s one more thing that makes TECO and NMGC great places to work and it sets a great foundation for the future. Thank you, TECO!”

Congratulations to the Class of 2017 – you make your company and the community proud!

American Military University

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management: David Maldonado

Capella University

Master of Education in Training & Performance Improvement: Lesley Harrison

Hillsborough Community College

Associate of Arts:

Amber Alonso   
Jamelia Clark    
Teena Dampier   
Heather Douglas
Tom Ellie 
Joy Evans     
Dashira Silvestre     
Jessica Golfin   
Gabrielle Lochetto  
Sue Marin   
Tytianna Marshall
Kristain Morrow
Amanda Pope
Jael Ramos 
Jeseka Shackelford
Jennifer Simmons
Ian Sprawls
Grant Turner
Bonnie Tyler

St. Leo University

Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management: Tiffany Bornfleth

Business Administration: David Lane

Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems: Alan Nelson

Master of Arts in Business Administration: Kristina Hoffman

University of New Mexico

Bachelor of Arts in Communication: Benjamin Hobbs

University of South Florida

Bachelor of General Studies in Leadership Studies & Change Management: Amanda Keys

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering: Rory Lacey

Master of Science in Business Administration: Philip Beauchamp

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