Siblings at Work

Reversing the rivalry, these brothers and sisters find strength, support in their family-turned-colleagues

In honor of Siblings Day, POV takes a look at four pairs of siblings sharing the family business at an EFH company.

Sister experience

Mechelle Davidson and Ashley Ray

Sisters Ashley Ray and Mechelle Davidson both work to improve the TXU Energy customer experience. 

“I love working here and I knew Ashley would love it, too,” TXU Energy’s Mechelle Davidson says of encouraging younger sister Ashley Ray to submit her resume. Both work in the Performance Excellence Organization where they’re dedicated to improving the customer experience. They’ve always been “super close” so it’s no surprise that they work together every day.

“We both want to be the best at what we do, but our competitive spirit is always supportive and encouraging towards each other,” Ashley says of working with her older sister.

Although they don’t look alike, co-workers note the sisters use the same hand gestures and find strength and encouragement from each other. They also share a similar sense of humor.

“I am committed to her success, and it means more to me than my own success even,” Mechelle says. “The downside is that Ashley is cooler than me. I really hate that.”

How will they spend Siblings Day? At the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day, says Ashley, while Mechelle foresees shoe shopping and having a Sprinkles cupcake.

Same team, in a sense

Lauren Steele and Wayne Harris

For Lauren Steele and her brother, Wayne Harris, working in the Texas energy industry is a family tradition.

Marketing and mining brought Lauren Steele and Wayne Harris to an EFH company. Three years later, Wayne has completed Luminant’s Associate Mining Supervisor program and now serves as an operations relief supervisor at Tatum Mine, while Lauren is participating in TXU Energy’s Analyst Momentum Program working in Large Business Operations.

Though their jobs are very different, “it does feel like we are working for the same team, in a sense,” Lauren says of sharing company ties with her older brother.

“We don’t get a chance to work together, but it is neat to learn how other parts of the company operate and work together,” Wayne adds.

Fierce competitors in academics and athletics – “he’s an excellent tennis player,” she says; “she was always making better grades than me and did very well as a swimmer,” he says. The pair found a common bond in celebrating their professional successes and cheering for one another in the annual United Way softball tournament.

Though they’ll be apart on Siblings Day, they plan to send an email greeting to each other.

It’s a family thing

Jerry Oliver and Shanetta Herod

Siblings Jerry Oliver and Shanetta Herod share a workplace at TXU Energy. 

Shanetta Herod’s part-time position at TU Electric more than 20 years ago turned into a family affair at TXU Energy, where she now supervises commercial collections. Three other family members are on staff, too, including younger brother Jerry Oliver, who joined the company nearly three years ago.

“My big sis is the best,” Jerry says. “I’m not really competitive, but I definitely want to do a good job so she doesn’t hear otherwise.

Working alongside her brother has its perks, Shanetta admits. “It’s pretty cool seeing him every day. He gives me pep talks when I’m not having a good day. I think he wants to follow in my footsteps because he recently joined Revenue Operations, where I worked for years.”

There have also been some memorable moments.

“When Jerry first started working for the company there was chatter about the handsome new guy,” Shanetta says. “I was talking to him one day and someone said, ‘so I see you’ve met the new guy.’ I laughed and said, ‘Oh no, that is my younger brother, and he’s not that handsome.’”

Jerry shares his sister’s sense of humor. When told Shanetta expects him to treat her to lunch on Siblings Day, Jerry grins. “I think I have a couple microwavable meals in the fridge.”

Third time’s a charm

Laura Sepulvado and Lisa Ward

Sisters Lisa Ward and Laura Sepulvado do everything together, including work and carpool. 

Moving her younger sister out of her apartment after college graduation may have been the motivator for Lisa Ward to refer Laura Sepulvado for a job at TXU Energy. Getting a built-in confidante and lunch partner was a bonus.

“This is actually the third place we have worked together, and we do everything else together as well,” says Lisa, a supervisor on the Revenue Operations Quality Assurance team. She worked for TXU Energy for three years when she referred Laura for a job in the same department where she began her career.

“I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without her, so I’m incredibly thankful,” says Laura, now a marketing associate responsible for TXU Energy MyAccount. “She gives her honest thoughts and opinions on some of my key projects, which is the type of person I think everyone needs in order to be successful, professionally.”

With the support came a few awkward moments: for Laura, facilitating a meeting in front of her older sister; for Lisa, learning to text her sister to ensure they don’t wear the same favorite dress to the office on the same day.

On Siblings Day they’ll continue their carpooling experiment, maybe with a little chocolate cake to share.

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