FERC Fives – Karen Herman Griffin
Karen Herman Griffin, an analyst in Transmission Line Services (TLS) in New England, has been with National Grid since 2007. Her roots are in upstate New York but she now calls Waltham, MA home.
I’m not on the front lines “keeping the lights on,” but I support those who do. I make sure the new hires get on-boarded properly and that everyone has all the equipment they need to do their job safely and efficiently, from pencils to GPSs to E-Z Passes and truck rentals and everything in between. By doing so I make it possible for them to focus on the technical tasks they are educated and trained to do. Another part of my role is handling the invoices that come into our department. Our vendors are important to serving our customers so it’s a priority of mine to ensure they are paid properly and in a timely manner.
What changes have you seen in the utility industry during your career?
The biggest change I’ve seen is in the reliability of our system. I’ve seen us investing a lot in our infrastructure over the years, resulting in our customers having more confidence that we can deliver their energy safely and reliably. Our transmission business has grown a lot but I’d like to see us grow even more. From everything I’ve heard we are heading in that direction. It would be nice to see more people hired as we expand our transmission business.
What, in your opinion, is National Grid’s greatest claim to fame?
National Grid is a great place to work and very good to the employees. There’s a lot of inclusion and diversity along with transparency. I’m proud to know that I work for a company recognized as one of the most ethical companies in the world.
Along with that I appreciate the fact that they value volunteerism. They want us to get involved in our communities so I arrange events for our team. Our favorite is working at the Boys and Girls Club in Waltham. They let us know what they need then we provide the people and supplies to get the job done. There are many people on our team who love to build things so when they can get their tools out for a good cause it’s a great day!
Given a choice of anyone in the world whom would you choose as a dinner guest?
I would love to meet Michele Obama. Not only is she very fascinating and articulate, she’s extremely professional and always seems to have a good outlook. I felt she was a very good First Lady but she was also successful before she took on that role. It would be very interesting to talk to her.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
Since I love to socialize I joined a few clubs to get to know people and become involved in area activities.
I recently became a member of the Sons of Italy. Although it’s still called the Sons of Italy, it’s been open to women for years. I love to travel and they make frequent trips to Italy. Since joining the group I’ve traveled to Italy six times and enjoy working with my travel planner setting up the trips in my spare time. We’re going again in 2019.
I’m also a member of the Elks Club. It was started 150 years ago this year in New York City by a group of actors who were looking for a means of socializing on Sundays when everything else was closed. It’s evolved to a service organization. It’s nice that no matter where I am, if there’s an Elks Club I can drop in and be part of what they are doing.
My husband and I love to travel! In addition to Italy we’ve been to a number of places including the Caribbean, several of the United States, as well as Hawaii and parts of Europe. I’ve been to Prague but would love to visit Romania. The ancient buildings are beautiful and there is so much history to see and learn about. Since English is the main language it makes communication easier for me.
I still have family and friends in New York, including my two-year-old granddaughter, Mila. I try to visit as often as I can.