Friday, Feb. 29, 2008

Executive snapshot: Kim Watson

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J. Adam Fenster⁄The Gazette
Kim Watson of Kensington, Regional vice president, Maryland affairs, Potomac Electric Power Co.
Residence: Kensington

Age: 40-plus

Family: Husband, Ricardo Salandy Defour, director, Business Systems, Montgomery County Public Schools; sons, Scott, 19, and Marcus, 13.

Profession⁄Business: Regional vice president, Maryland affairs, Potomac Electric Power Co. Watson is Pepco’s primary liaison to political, business, community and consumer leaders in Maryland. She interacts directly with residential, small and large commercial customers, and oversees legislative affairs, corporate relations and economic development.

Hobby: Travel and movies

Last Book Read: ‘‘Women & Money” by Suze Orman

Last Movie Seen: ‘‘2 Days in Paris”

Next vacation spot: London or Jamaica

Latest accomplishment: ‘‘Working on Pepco’s ‘Blueprint for the Future’ [a proposal on energy initiatives filed last year with the Maryland Public Service Commission] ... the largest technological change embracing both Pepco and our customers. It is Pepco’s response to our customers’ concerns regarding rising energy costs and the environment. The Blueprint will allow us to use technology and conservation to meet our energy and environmental challenges. Based on the feedback I am receiving, this is exactly what our customers expect from us.”

How do you keep employees happy: ‘‘I have an open door policy — I find that works for my small staff, which includes an inter-generational mixture: two part-time retirees, baby boomers, a Generation Xer and a Millennial [born in the 1980s]. Providing recognition opportunities also helps to boost morale. Tickets to events⁄games they really want to go to also helps!”

Quote: ‘‘Change is inevitable and change is accelerating. We must be able to shift course and gain new skills as necessary. Whenever someone tells me, ‘This is the way we have always done it’ ... I typically respond, ‘Is this what we should be doing today and in the future?’ I think being a little bit of a maverick is a good thing.

‘‘We recognize that we provide a vital service to our residential and commercial customers. People take what we do for granted, until the lights go out. Typically, people compare us to other commercial entities but we are a regulated company and answer to the public service commissions. At the same time, we are one of the few hometown companies left and we are supportive of many nonprofit programs that make our region a great place to live.”