Our first Smarty Mom of 2012 is a high-power working mama at Duke Energy! Gianna Manes is a mom I’ve known for five years when our oldest children were in kindergarten together. Gianna makes parenthood seem easy as I didn’t even realize she worked until two years after I met her! She seemed to make all the important school events over the years and did it with ease. So I just assumed she couldn’t have a “real” job, but nope, I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Gianna’s Smarty Stats
Married to: Ted Manes
Years in Charlotte: 6
Mom to: Cooper (10) and Connor (8)
Occupation: Sr. Vice President & Chief Customer Officer, Duke Energy
Home Town: Metairie, Louisiana
Graduated from: Louisiana State University and the University of Houston
Smarties, let’s get to know Gianna!
What did you do in your previous life pre-kids?
Built my career and traveled.
What surprised you the most about becoming a mother?
Two things: 1) the strong, instinctive connection that I have to my children and their needs and 2) I have become a better leader in my work because I am more focused on the needs of others than I was before.
What advice would you give to brand new moms returning to the office?
Focus on the big things – figure out those things that really don’t matter in organizing your time and energy and let them go. And develop a network of support and use it!
What is the funniest thing your kids have ever said?
There are so many, practically every day! Just the other day, my sons were happy and said I was a “manly girl” because I chose to go fishing with them instead of baking cookies. They say something every day that makes me smile.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I yell at the TV during LSU football games as if the coach can hear me. I am a big fan.
Minivan or SUV?
Both, but I like my minivan better.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a working mom? How do you overcome it?
The biggest challenge is in recognizing that it isn’t about doing it all, but about doing those things that matter and “balance” on any given day isn’t always achievable or necessary. I try to overcome it by focusing in the moment – when I am at work, I am focused on work and when I am home, I focus on my family. And when it doesn’t always work as hoped, I try not to feel guilty because that is just wasted energy.
So when you’re not knee deep in work or family obligations, what do you do for YOU?
(I don’t think I am ever NOT knee deep) Read
Fill in the blank for us. I could not live without my…
Would you like to save more energy and money? Are you wondering where to get information that works with your family’s busy schedule? Youtility was created by Gianna’s team at Duke Energy as a place for us to talk about ways we can all be smarter with our energy use—and just as importantly—save money. From light bulbs to heating and air conditioning systems, Youtility covers activities and ideas both large and small, which can all add up to help your family save big.
Because the way our families use energy can change with the seasons, you’ll see a new blog post on CSP with timely tips and tricks for saving a few times during the year. Want to get even more info? Drop by www.duke-energy.com/youtility, connect with others and discover surprising ways we can all help the planet and our budgets with simple steps the entire family can get on board with.