For Release — Monday, August 21, 2006
CATELL OF KEYSPAN ENERGY TO RECEIVE
THE 2006 CORNING AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
Catell is recognized for his strong support for
employees, communities, shareholders, and civic organizations
ALBANY—Robert Catell, who oversaw the transformation of KeySpan Corporation and its predecessor companies into one of the nation's largest and most respected utilities while earning kudos for his commitment to the company's employees, shareholders, and community needs, will receive The Business Council’s Corning Award for Excellence for 2006.
Catell, the chairman and CEO of Keyspan, will accept the award Wednesday, Sept. 20, at The Business Council’s Annual Meeting at the Sagamore in Bolton Landing. The Council’s Annual Meeting will run from Sept. 20-22.
The Corning Award is sponsored by Corning Incorporated. The Council gives the award each year to a New Yorker who has shown outstanding accomplishment and a deep and sustaining commitment to the people of New York. The first Corning Award was presented in 1979.
Catell is being honored for achievements at the helm of the nation's fifth-largest natural-gas company and the largest electricity provider in New York State, and for his tireless service to business, civic, and philanthropic groups, said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh.
"Bob Catell stands out among New York's business leaders for his success at the helm of his company and for his unflagging energy and unwavering commitment to civic and business groups and social, cultural, and environmental causes," said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh. "He has both articulated and personified the credo of 'doing well by doing good,' and KeySpan, New York State, and all New Yorkers are better off as a result."
KeySpan Corporation was created in 1998 when the former Brooklyn Union merged with the Long Island Lighting Company.
After earning bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from City College of New York, Catell joined Brooklyn Union's meter repair department in 1958, where his salary of $450 a month helped support his mother and his sister. He rose steadily through the managerial ranks until, in 1991, he was elected president and CEO of Brooklyn Union. He was named chairman and CEO in 1996.
Both Catell and KeySpan are recognized as industry leaders. KeySpan has been named the top gas utility in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, and, in 2004, it received the Brandweek 2004 Customer Loyalty Award for the sixth consecutive year. Catell is one of three utility CEOs who headed the effort to produce the National Petroleum Council's landmark 2003 report, Balancing Natural Gas Policy: Fueling the Demands of a Growing Economy.
As he ascended through the ranks of Brooklyn Union, Catell showed a strong commitment to valuing employees and giving back to the community. He cultivated a corporate culture of open communications with employees, and fostered a renowned company tradition of corporate volunteerism which remains a hallmark of the company's reputation. Today, it is estimated that some two-thirds of KeySpan's more than 9,000 employees invest free time and resources in a wide range of community activities.
Catell also hired Kenny Moore, a former Catholic monk, as the corporation's ombudsman, making KeySpan one of the few corporations to have such a formal overseer of corporate operations and culture. Catell and Moore are co-authors of The CEO and the Monk: One Company’s Journey to Profit and Purpose, which was published in 2004.
Throughout his career, Catell has been indefatigable in his service to business, civic, and professional groups. For example, at one point several years ago, he was serving simultaneously as chairman of The Business Council of New York State, the Long Island Association, and the Partnership, a civic group comprising the top corporate leadership in New York City.
He remains chairman of the Downtown Brooklyn Council and the Long Island
Association. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Brooklyn
Public Library Foundation, The
Business Council, the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies, the Drew Foundation, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the Energy Association of New York State, the Houston Exploration Company, the Independence Community Foundation, KEYERA Energy Management, the Long Island Foreign Affairs Forum, Inc., the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), NYC Public Private Initiatives, Inc., the Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation, the U.S. Energy Association (USEA), and the Utility Business Education Coalition (UBEC).
He is also a past chairman of the Houston Exploration Company, the American Gas Association, USEA, and the Advisory Board of the City College of New York’s School of Engineering. He is a vice chairman of the National Petroleum Council’s Natural Gas Committee and also a member of its Finance Committee. Additionally, he serves on JPMorgan/Chase’s Metropolitan Advisory Board, the advisory board of HeartShare for Human Services and the advisory board for SUNY Farmingdale.
Catell serves as a trustee of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and is a member of a range of professional and civic organizations, including: the American Gas Association; the Association of Energy Engineers; the CUNY Business Leadership Council; the Municipal Club of Brooklyn; the National Petroleum Council (NPC); the National Society of Professional Engineers; the New York State Society of Professional Engineers; the New York Building Congress; and the Society of Gas Lighting (SOGL).
The Corning Award is a magnificent piece of original Steuben Glass, handcrafted by masters in Corning, New York. Previous Corning Award recipients are: Daniel A. Carp (2005); Amo Houghton (2004) Lewis Golub (2003); Carl T. Hayden (2002); Roland W. Schmitt (2001); Richard P. Mills (2000); Erland E. Kailbourne (1999); Robert B. Wegman (1998); Judith S. Kaye (1997); John J. Phelan, Jr. (1996); Barber B. Conable, Jr., (1995); James W. Kinnear (1994); Muriel Siebert (1993); Hugh L. Carey (1992); David Harden (1991); Raymond T. Schuler (1990); Warren M. Anderson and Stanley Fink (1989); Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. (1988); James D. Robinson III (1987); Franklin A. Thomas (1986); Kitty Carlisle Hart (1985); Frank T. Cary (1984); Clifton Garvin (1983); David Rockefeller (1982); Richard R. Shinn (1981); Melvin C. Holm (1980); and Walter A. Fallon (1979).
The Business Council is New York’s largest broad-based business group, representing some 3,200 member companies large and small across the state. Based in Albany, its mission is to create an economic renaissance for New York State and its people.