Westchester Resident Saluted as Power Authority’s Black Achiever In Industry

Michael Saltzman

April 1, 2005


WHITE PLAINS—A New York Power Authority (NYPA) senior systems analyst and Ossining resident, Jackie Copeland, was among those honored Thursday night at the Harlem YMCA’s 35th Annual National Salute to Black Achievers in Industry (BAI) dinner at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in New York City.

“Jackie Copeland is well deserving of this honor for the significant contributions she has made as one of the leaders of our information technology group, which affects a broad area of the Power Authority’s daily activities,” said Eugene W. Zeltmann, NYPA president and chief executive officer, who attended the black-tie event. “She has also been quite active in her community, helping to spearhead efforts to encourage area students to pursue science and technology careers, and through her past involvement in a national campaign to promote childhood immunization. All of this attests to the dedication and excellence Jackie brings to whatever she is doing, and the reason we nominated her to be the Power Authority’s 2004 Black Achiever in Industry.”

Zeltmann noted that Copeland was also honored at Gov. George E. Pataki’s Tribute to African American Leaders in State Service, at a Feb. 1 event in Albany, to kick off New York State’s observance of African-American History Month.

A NYPA employee since 1998, Copeland was project leader on development of new software, known as TRIP (Travel Reporting Information Package), for the Power Authority’s business travel, including trips by staff members to its generating plants and transmission facilities around the state. She coordinated work of several teams of IT analysts and programmers to adapt standard travel reservation information for reports required by NYPA’s Travel Desk.  

“This was a challenging project that called for in-depth analysis for the design of a data collection and reporting system, and understanding of the operations of the Power Authority Travel Desk,” said Copeland. “I was honored to take on this assignment, just as I’m honored by the recognition of being selected the Power Authority’s Black Achiever of the Year.”

As a key member of NYPA’s IT group—part of its Business Services business unit—Copeland supports a broad range of informational needs for various functions. Her tasks involve developing and analyzing programming systems, selecting staff members and vendors to fulfill project needs, developing specifications, assisting with planning and cost analysis, administering user and system testing, and providing training and technical support.

Before joining NYPA, Copeland worked for the Sony Corp. of America, where she held IT positions of increasing responsibility, from 1988 through 1998.           

She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from Clark College in Atlanta, GA., and a master’s degree in management science from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University.

Copeland is vice president of the Parent Advisory Council for the Mercy College Science and Technology Program in Dobbs Ferry—a position she has held since 2002, except during 2003, when she filled in as acting president. Through her involvement with the advisory council, she has worked on a campaign to encourage minority students in area school districts to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology. She also helped to promote the importance of childhood immunization through a national program, HOPE for Kids.

Copeland and her husband, Chris, who is also a NYPA employee, are raising two daughters, Marissa, 15, and Mykaela, 10. Both girls were recognized by their schools in 2003 as Students of Distinction. Last year, Marissa, now a high school sophomore, was accepted into the National Honor Society.

In addition to sharing the parenting of two daughters, the Copelands now have something else in common. That’s because Chris, who works in the Power Authority’s Marketing and Economic Development business unit, was NYPA’s Black Achiever in Industry in 1997.

The annual BAI event is an opportunity for numerous corporations in New York City and other employers to honor staff members who are making a difference to those organizations and the communities they live in. The event is also intended to support the Harlem YMCA’s youth-oriented activities, as well as college scholarships for promising New York City students.