Top 50 CEO Hall of Famer Nora Duke’s management principles are Fortis’ catch of the day

Posted on November 01, 2021 | BY ALEC BRUCE | 0 Comments

Nora Duke believes environmental, social and governance principles are more than just catchphrases. They’re the building blocks of a better future. Here’s how she stacks them at Fortis Inc.

The office where Nora Duke holds sway as executive vice-president, sustainability, and chief human resources officer of Fortis Inc. offers floor-to-ceiling windows through which the light from St. John’s inner harbour streams like an old friend. “I love this building,” she says.

She should; she helped design it. Before it went up on Springdale Street back in 2014, when she was CEO of the diversified energy company’s property arm, she ensured that it complied with the most stringent green building standards in the world. The exec who once wanted to be an architect (before her first physics course after high school derailed the plan), clearly thought it was the right thing for a major power corporation to do in a rapidly warming world. Besides, she says, it was fun.

 

 

Nora Duke, executive vice-president, sustainability, and chief human resources officer of Fortis Inc.

 

 

“I worked with a very cool architect here locally. I always felt it was my project and I was very proud of it. Maybe, a little bit of the architect in me came through.”

During her 35 years climbing the ladder at Fortis Inc., she’s helped the North American electric and gas utility grow its assets from a few hundred million dollars to $56 billion. Last year, it posted earnings of $1.2 billion on revenues of $8.9 billion. Its 9,000 employees served customers in five Canadian provinces, nine U.S. states and three Caribbean countries.

It’s fair to say Duke’s signature is everywhere: vice-president, customer and corporate services, Newfoundland Power (1999-2003); vice-president, hospitality services (2003-2007), and president and CEO, Fortis Properties Corporation (2007-2015); and executive vice-president, corporate services and chief human resource officer of Fortis Inc (2015-2017).

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