Despite Outage Issues, National Grid President Awarded For “Excellence”

By Lauren Leamanczyk, WBZ-TV

FOXBORO (CBS) – Foxboro residents are fumed in the wake of Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm. Many went without power for days, even a week.

“I was very upset about it,” said Mary Tenza. “We’re sitting here without power. We’re going to be upset.”

They placed the blame squarely on National Grid and its president Marcy Reed.

“The weather is up and down like crazy here. They need to know how to prepare for that or they need to go work in a different state,” said Carrie De Nisi.

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamancyzk reports.

That’s why some were surprised to learn the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce gave Reed an award for management.

“I don’t think the award is deserved at all. To me it’s typical. It’s probably more political than people know,” Tenza said.

The chairman of the Foxboro Town Board told WBZ-TV he doesn’t know what the criteria for this award was, but he’s been disappointed in the leadership National Grid has shown.

The Chamber didn’t return our calls. A news release said the awards were going to women who “exemplify excellence in their respective fields as well as a strong commitment to the region’s civic community.”

Reed came under fire for taking a vacation during Irene and saying the outages were out of their control. Days after Irene, Reed argued that criticism was unfair.

“During the storm, the president doesn’t handle outages nor does she call the shots,” she explained.

A National Grid spokeswoman wouldn’t comment on the award. She says Reed’s been working hard to address customers’ concerns and to improve the company’s performance. At least one power outage survivor believes them.

“They did the best they could,” said Francesca DeNisi. She went five days with no power, but is giving Reed the benefit of the doubt.

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