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UPDATED: 3/31/20 - 11:28 a.m.

Catawba College to Offer Second Distinguished CEO Lecture Series

September 2, 2008

Category: Business & Economics, Events

Ellen T. RuffEllen T. Ruff, President-Duke Energy Carolinas, will be the speaker for the second Distinguished CEO Lecture Series at Catawba College on Wednesday, October 1. Sponsored by the Business Advisory Board for the Ralph W. Ketner School of Business, the lecture will be held at 4 p.m. in the Peeler Crystal Lounge of the Robertson College-Community Center. Musical entertainment will begin at 3:45 p.m.

The lecture is free and open to the public; however, reservations are required and may be made by calling Cecilia Stach at (704) 637-4405. A reception will follow the lecture.

Ruff, a 30-year employee of Duke, leads that company’s utility business in North and South Carolina, providing electricity and value-added products and services to more than 2.3 million customers in a 24,000 square-mile service area. Duke Energy's diverse mix of generating resources in the Carolinas include three nuclear stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units with a generating capacity of nearly 21,000 megawatts.

Prior to being named to her current leadership position in April, 2006, she served as group vice president of planning and external relations for Duke Power. She led Duke Power's strategic planning, compliance, environmental health and safety, and external relations strategy efforts. She was also accountable for establishing and maintaining relationships with key regulators at the state and federal level.

Ruff, a graduate of Simmons College with a bachelor of arts degree in business and a juris doctor degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, is a native of Hartford, Conn. She joined Duke Power in 1978 as an attorney in the legal department.

She serves on the board of directors and the executive committee of the North Carolina Chamber and is a member of the North Carolina Economic Development Board, South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance board, and Palmetto Business Forum. She is a member of the board of directors of the United Way of Central Carolina and serves as chair of the organization's 2008 regional campaign. She also serves on the board of Aqua America, Inc., a publicly traded water company. She and her husband, Tom, have a daughter and two sons.

Duke Energy, one of the largest power companies in the United States, supplies and delivers electricity to approximately 3.9 million customers in the Carolinas and the Midwest. The company also distributes natural gas in Ohio and Kentucky, generates electricity in Latin America, and is a joint-venture partner in a U. S. real estate company. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK.

"I have known Ellen for the past six years in her work with the state chamber and by serving with her on the North Carolina Economic Development Board," Phil Kirk, vice president of external relations at Catawba, said. "With the strong interest in energy issues these days, we are very fortunate to be able to have this outstanding leader on our campus. She will also teach some business classes while on campus."

Joey Popp, chair of the Business Advisory Board, will be the master of ceremonies. Also appearing on the program will be Dr. Craig Turner, president of Catawba; Professor Pam Thompson, chair of the Ketner School of Business; Mark Hollis of Duke Energy and a member of the Business Advisory Board; Dr. Ken Clapp, Catawba vice president and chaplain; and Kirk.

Sponsorship opportunities for the event are available by calling Cecilia Stach at (704) 637-4405.


  • Susan Cloninger, Presenting Sponsor ;
  • Duke Energy, Gold Sponsor ;
  • Marilyn Wagner, MJW Enterprises, Gold Sponsor ;
  • Mr. Ralph W. Ketner, Silver Sponsor ;
  • Community Bank of Rowan, Silver Sponsor ;
  • Walker Marketing, Silver Sponsor ;
  • Charles and Susan Muse, Bronze Sponsor ;
  • Food Lion, Bronze Sponsor ;
  • Liberty Aircraft, USA, Inc., Bronze Sponsor ;
  • Richard Smith, Bronze Sponsor


PhotosPHOTOS: Second Distinguished CEO Lecture Series



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