Photo by Don Kadair

POSITION: Senior vice president/president
COMPANY: NRG/Louisiana Generating
WHAT THEY DO: NRG is a Fortune 500 integrated power company with a diverse electric generation portfolio and a retail electricity platform. Louisiana Generating, an NRG company, owns and operates electric power generation and transmission operations, providing wholesale power to cooperatives, municipalities and investor-owned utilities.
CAREER: Prior to joining NRG in 2007, Vosburg was a partner at Long Law Firm in Baton Rouge, where she focused on utility regulation, energy and construction law. At NRG, she first served as director of regulatory and government affairs, later expanding her responsibilities to include the operations of the Louisiana Generating transmission assets. She was named vice president of NRG’s South Central Region in 2010 and president in 2011. She oversaw the region’s move into the MISO market and served as the head of the stakeholder group both under the Entergy ICT and the Entergy Regional State Committee.

In February, NRG announced that it was selling its Louisiana-based South Central assets to Cleco for $1 billion, pending regulatory approval. Vosburg will not be going with the company when the sale is completed, meaning that she must say goodbye to her “work family” and the business that has been the center of her life for 11 years.

She says she went through the classic “stages of grief,” but knew she had to quickly put aside her “inner turmoil.” Everyone still has a job to do, and Vosburg needs to model the right behavior for her team while also ensuring a smooth transition to the new owners.

“I had to be in the right frame of mind to be able to be a positive influence,” she says. “It was very important to keep the focus on business as usual.”

Vosburg is an attorney by training, and says she refocused herself by reviewing the facts of the “case,” usually around 2 a.m. The facts, as she saw them, were this: Her work family had built an amazing business in a challenging industry that another company was willing to pay $1 billion for.

She had accomplished her goals, she says, and the team had succeeded. They weren’t being punished; they were being rewarded for a job well done.

“It gave me pride,” she says. “It gave me self-
confidence.  It made me excited about the future and what I can accomplish next. I can say goodbye and it’s OK.”

Vosburg says the new owner has agreed to keep employee numbers and salaries at current levels for one year. Through the numerous meetings and phone calls necessary to complete the merger, she has been a confident advocate for her employees and customers.

“My job is to make sure this is smooth for everybody,” she says.

At the employee meeting announcing the sale, she says, an employee pulled her aside. The employee had been a friend of her late father-in-law, who had worked at the company’s Big Cajun II plant.

“He told me that they knew how hard I had fought for them, the business and our community, and that they were proud of me, and that my father-in-law would have been proud of me too,” she says. “It has been one of the most humbling and rewarding parts of this challenge—to know that people do watch, and they do pay attention to your actions.”