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Con Edison Media Relations
For Immediate Release: May 28, 2008
11:30 a.m.


Four Started When Harry Truman Was President

NEW YORK -- Robert Soriano, Edward Savage, Dolores Coote and Lee Romero have, among them, 222 years of service working for the same company. Each of the four started working for Con Edison while Harry S. Truman was president. And they’re still coming to work every day.

Three years after Ms. Romero and a month after the Brooklyn Dodgers won their only world’s championship in 1955, Joseph Racsko started working at the New York electric, gas and steam utility. Fred Simms started about a month after Joe, just before Christmas. Landing a job that’s a keeper almost 53 years later wasn’t a bad Christmas present.

James Connolly started on May Day in ’57, a few months after Ike took the oath of office for a second time. Edward Fitzgerald started not quite three months later, with Bill Penninipede a few days behind him, during the first week of August. The Soviets didn’t launch Sputnik until October.

George Golovchenko started in February of ’58, a few weeks after Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married; Vincent Gerecitano started a couple of months later, just before the cinematic release of “The Long Hot Summer,” featuring the newlyweds.

Three more will soon swell Con Edison’s 50-or-more ranks. John McGregor will celebrate his 50th on June 9; Robert Sullivan’s will occur three weeks later, while Carl Williams hits his golden company anniversary in November.

“Institutional memory is a priceless commodity,” said Con Edison President and Chief Operating Officer Louis Rana. “The continuity this group provides is invaluable for both customers and employees. The nature of running one of the world’s largest and most complex utilities makes intimate system knowledge an extraordinary asset. These individuals know our company and the service area; they embody a company tradition valuing people and service. Their historical perspective is useful to others in countless ways.”

The range of positions held by the 50-plus year employees runs the gamut. Robert Soriano is a senior planning analyst in Substation and Transmission Construction; Ed Savage is a manager in the Manhattan Electric Operations Control Center; Dolores Coote is a senior office assistant in HR; Lee Romero is a senior customer service rep working with the Executive Action Group.

Joe Racsko, who has overhauled countless automatic transmissions as a mechanic in Westchester, was among the first to work on ladder trucks and propane vehicles.

Fred Simms, featured in a seniors-still-working profile in Business Week in 2005, is a manager often seen overlooking street crews in Manhattan Electric Operations; James Connolly is a senior specialist in Substation Operations Planning.  

Ed Fitzgerald is a chief construction inspector working in Substation and Transmission Construction. Bill Penninipede is a commercial services rep in Manhattan Energy Services.

George Golovchenko is a senior engineer supporting the civil engineering needs of substations and transmission facilities; Vince Gerecitano is a senior customer service rep working in Unmetered Services.

Con Edison provides the most reliable electric service in the United States, with a 2006 national survey showing that the company’s performance was five times better than the average among large-city utilities.

“The values of people wanting to continue to do the job  even after 50 years  are consistent with the values of doing a good job,” said the company’s Vice President of Human Resources, Claude Trahan. “There’s a commitment to professionalism, doing things safely, and doing things right that is transparent to the other 14,000-plus employees, and to the customers we serve.”

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $13 billion in annual revenues and $29 billion in assets.  The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York.  For additional financial, operations and customer service information, visit Con Edison’s Web site at

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