Westinghouse: Generations of Inspirations

Posted October 7, 2016 by David Howell

In 1930, more than 55,000 Westinghouse employees from around the world paid tribute to George Westinghouse by funding the creation of a memorial in his honor sixteen years after his death. The memorial is located in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh, Pa. (USA) and captures the essence of George Westinghouse’s legacy and his ability to inspire tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.

David Howell, pictured with his wife, Kelly (center), and daughter, Lauren (left), at the rededication ceremony.
While the spirit and memory of George Westinghouse has continued to stand strong, the memorial had fallen into disrepair over the years. On October 6, 2016 – the anniversary of the original dedication ceremony and George Westinghouse’s 170th birthday – a newly renovated Westinghouse monument was unveiled by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

Seeing the memorial restored to a true work of art made me reflect on the meaning of the monument. I felt the same awe and admiration that the sculptor captured in the face of the young boy as he read George Westinghouse’s accomplishments listed on the bronze panels. I was humbled by the statues of the mechanic and the engineer, reminding visitors of their dedication to their beloved “Uncle George.” Above all, I was reminded of the immense pride I feel each and every day I come to work. I have spent the entirety of my professional career as a Westinghouse employee, and am fortunate enough to have both of my daughters join me here in this distinguished company. My family continues to be inspired by George Westinghouse’s achievements, as do so many others across the globe.

During yesterday’s rededication ceremony I had the pleasure of meeting Mernie Berger, a 93-year old Pittsburgh resident who, even in her advanced years, returned to the memorial to honor the late innovator. Her story is an amazing one indeed.

On a warm October day back in 1930, when she was just seven years old, Mernie’s father – employed as an electrical engineer for Westinghouse at the time – brought Mernie and her sister to the original monument dedication. She recalled how proud her father was as the landmark was erected, and the palpable emotion in the air as they celebrated alongside the thousands of Westinghouse employees who gathered to honor the legacy of George Westinghouse.

It’s these types of stories that inspire me to come to work each and every day. The Westinghouse legacy continues to inspire and encourage us to challenge the norms. To see both old and new generations carry on the memory of George Westinghouse and his legacy of improving lives around the world is inspiring and invigorating. If he were alive today, I’m confident that George would be proud to see his company continue to be the first to innovate the next technology that enables global utilities to generate clean, safe and reliable energy for more people and a better planet.

David Howell

David Howell

Senior Vice President, Operating Plants Business
Westinghouse Electric Company
Categories: History
Tags: George Westinghouse, recognition, memorial,