It’s been 56 years since Ken Gilbert, power delivery distribution leader and U.S. Air Force veteran, walked through the doors to begin his career at Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) – Feb. 3, 1964, to be exact. During his time at FPL, Ken has seen a lot of changes both at the company and in the world around him.
This photo was taken the same year Ken joined the company. Street view of the FPL’s main offices during construction in 1964.
Ken recalls his early days at NextEra Energy.
"I started my career as a clerk trainee in a small district office in Pompano Beach, Florida, serving 19,000 customers. It was an exciting time for us -- I joined when the company was growing. My team learned we were acquiring 7,000 customers from the Delray Beach district office, growing to 26,000 customers." Fast forward to 2020 and the 5 million customer accounts we have today.
In 1966, two years after Ken started working for FPL, he served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force reserve for 10 months. In 1982, he earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering at the University of Miami. "These are two milestones that make me proud," Ken said. "The company supported me during pivotal moments in my career. I am honored to have served our great country, and I took night classes to earn my college degree. I'm grateful to NextEra Energy for offering me flexibility and support to achieve these goals."
Ken has held multiple roles within our company that have afforded him the opportunity to travel and see other parts of the country. He has traveled to cities across the U.S., such as Annapolis, Maryland; Hilton Head, South Carolina; Portland, Oregon; San Diego, California; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Washington, D.C.
He has some words of wisdom to share with future generations of NextEra Energy employees. “As Winston Churchill stated, ‘Never, never, never, never, never give up!’”
And after 56 years – the longest-tenured employee in the history of our company – Ken has lived by those words of wisdom.
“NextEra Energy is truly a great company to work for, and I’m honored to have been part of the journey to see us evolve and grow over the past 56 years.”