Letter: A salute to Columbus power couple Chip and Julie Orben

Stan Pinegar, President, Duke Energy Indiana


Sometimes work becomes family. That’s what happened when Columbus residents Chip and Julie Orben joined what is now Duke Energy in 1986. They didn’t know each other at that time, and, in fact, were applying for the same job. Fortunately, there was more than one position available, and we hired both. They met through the company orientation process and eventually married. They are now both retiring on Nov. 30 after 36 years of service.

Over more than three decades, Chip and Julie have been ambassadors for our company in the greater Columbus area. Chip is departing as a Duke Energy government and community relations manager for a 13-county area in Central and Southeast Indiana, including Columbus. Julie is leaving as a senior large account executive for some of Duke Energy’s largest customers in this region.

It’s not as common today to find employees committed to the same organization for most of their careers. Chip is leaving a track record of dedicated service through local community boards, foundation grant-giving, economic development support and, of course, storm duty as a manager with Indiana’s largest electric supplier.

Julie has worked in customer-facing roles throughout her career with us, advocating for customers and designing better communications and solutions for them. She has been a voice for not just her accounts, but our customers overall.

Chip and Julie have my gratitude and that of our company for choosing to spend their careers here. I am sure the Columbus community will continue to benefit from their service in the years ahead.