Insights > From paper to plaque: Favorite reflects on 40 years of service
From paper to plaque: Favorite reflects on 40 years of service
“I wasn’t the best, and I wasn’t the brightest, but I was kind. That was my thing.”
A modest Preston Favorite reflected on the quality he believed was most important during his 40-year tenure with Entergy. Kindness, honesty, and effort were the values that propelled him from starting as a transformer assistant making $2.65/hour to managing customer, business, and commercial accounts in every part of New Orleans.
As Entergy New Orleans Vice President of Customer Service Sandra Diggs-Miller put it, “everyone is special to Preston, and in return, Preston is special to everybody.”
After graduating from West Jefferson High School in 1976, Favorite’s journey with the company (then LP&L) began when he was hired, in part, for doing what he always does – the right thing.
“I put on my graduation suit and headed into the LP&L office looking for any job they could give me,” said Favorite. “On my way in, I noticed a piece of paper on the ground and threw it away. The interviewer asked, ‘you know how many people have gone in and out of my office today and walked right over that piece of trash?’ Just like that, I was off on the right foot.”
Favorite began as a helper at a transformer shop in Algiers, cleaning equipment and performing electrical maintenance. He performed various jobs at the shop for 17 years, working his way up to Senior Mechanic.
In 1998, Hurricane Georges devastated New Orleans. As the city rebuilt, Entergy New Orleans opened two walk-in customer care centers, and Favorite found an opportunity to pursue his true passion – making a positive impact on the people in his community.
“Going into customer service was a natural fit,” said Favorite. “I always knew my strong suit was with people. Customer service is about caring for your neighbor and doing the best you possibly can to help. I wanted to be able to do that when New Orleans was hurting.”
Favorite’s Entergy career continued for the next ten years, serving as a customer service representative on Carrolton Avenue, a customer service manager at Tulane Avenue, and a network manager in the Baton Rouge gas department, each while working for Catholic charities to help counsel young people in crisis.
“Because of the varied jobs Preston has had at Entergy, he is a perfect example of a dedicated, long-term employee who has developed an extraordinary career over the years and has gone above and beyond to serve his community,” said Diggs-Miller.
Through Highs and Lows
In 2005, just months after starting his role in Baton Rouge, the New Orleans levees failed, and Hurricane Katrina’s winds pushed water into the city. Favorite and his team traveled to New Orleans to work 16-hour shifts to support the system. Most days, he drove to Baton Rouge to be with his team in the morning, traveled to New Orleans to work all day, drove back to Baton Rouge at night to meet again with his team, and then home to his wife in Ascension Parish, who was housing up to 29 family members and friends who had nowhere else to go.
“In a strange way, Katrina was a high point for my career,” said Favorite. “I love this city, and I love its people. When we go through an event like that, we all get through it together.”
A Career to Remember
During Favorite’s 40 years of service with Entergy, he has powered through countless storm response events, raised more than $25,000 for Entergy’s The Power to Care program and local nonprofits, and has been a significant positive influence on workplace culture.
“I found over the years that people here really care about each other,” said Favorite. “Some of the best friends I have in the world are right here at Entergy. I’ve gone to weddings, congratulated folks when kids were born, grieved with them when their parents have passed away, prayed with them when family members have struggled with one thing or another, and they have done the same with me. That’s what the 40 years have been.”
A Life of Service
Favorite obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of New Orleans and a master’s degree from the University of Holy Cross during his time at Entergy and is on his way to becoming a Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor. He plans to continue to help those around him by offering counseling services to those that need someone to talk to.
From picking up a piece of paper in 1976 to being handed a plaque in 2022, Favorite closed the final chapter on a 40-year Entergy career of hard work, dedication and, above all, kindness.