This is NOT your father’s power company – Duke 2.0: Becoming a digital utility

Date and Time
Thursday, October 24, 2019
5:00pm— 7:00pm
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Duke Energy Innovation Center at Optimist Hall
340 E 16th St
Charlotte, NC 28206
United States
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Please join the Wharton Club of Charlotte on Thursday, October 24 at 5:00 pm for an evening exploring Duke Energy’s new Optimist Hall location.  We'll begin with a tour and networking and then hear from Brian Savoy, SVP Business Transformation & Technology, and Dr. Remi Raphael, Director of Business Transformation, about the work Duke Energy is undertaking at Optimist Hall, and their efforts to transform for the future.

We will also have the opportunity to tour the Optimist Hall location and visit with team members who are working on new digital products for Duke Energy employees and customers. We will visit stops along the way to learn more about Duke Energy's work on the following efforts:

  • Using unmanned vehicles, such as drones, to complete inspections in tough-to-access locations
  • Building a Customer Mobile App, which allows customers to explore their energy usage, enroll in new services, and pay their bills
  • Creating an Outage Map application, where customers can view current outages 

The Optimist Hall building is a former textile mill east of Uptown Charlotte, and its history is reflected in the gingham-style carpet and original wood floors. But it’s not just a beautiful space, it was designed with purpose. While the idea stemmed from the Idea Lab style of work, it has grown into a cross functional project with team members from across the company. About 300 of the employees at the Innovation Center at Optimist Hall are permanent and 100 rotate based on current projects.

Visit here to learn more about Optimist Hall.

Optimist Hall is located at 340 East 16th Street, Charlotte, NC 28206.

Tour begins at 5:00 pm. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served from 5:30 pm onwards.

About our Speakers


Brian Savoy is the SVP of Business Transformation and Technology at Duke Energy. Mr. Savoy joined Duke Energy in 2001 as a manager in Duke Energy's energy trading unit, Duke Energy North America. He was named director of trading and risk services later in that year. Following Duke Energy's merger with Cinergy in 2006, he was appointed as vice president and controller of the commercial power segment and responsible for accounting, financial reporting and internal controls functions. In 2009, Mr. Savoy was named director of forecasting and analysis where he played a significant role in addressing challenging business and strategic issues, including leading financial due diligence for the Duke Energy/Progress Energy merger completed in 2012. He became Duke Energy’s controller and chief accounting officer in September 2013. Mr. Savoy earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in Durham, N.C. He is a certified public accountant in both Texas and Ohio.


Dr. Rémi Raphael is the Director of Business Transformation at Duke Energy Corporation. Dr. Raphael joined Duke Energy in 2015 as Director of Risk Management for its international subsidies. He later supported the divesture of Duke’s international assets and the merger with Piedmont Natural Gas. He later became the Director of Risk Management for Duke Natural Gas business. Currently, he is supporting Duke Energy in its Business Transformation, enabling the rapid execution of its Digital Strategy, focusing on Mobility & Digital tools adoption across all business units, and tracking digital maturity and business success metrics. Dr. Raphael is a computer scientist by training, he earned a PhD in Computer Science from the National Institute of Applied Sciences (Lyon, France) and an MBA in Finance from the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Raphael is a passionate technologist who believes that one of the biggest challenges for our generation stands in building cleaner, reliable and affordable energy solutions that power our civilization today and preserve our planet for future generations.

Map & Directions

Duke Energy Innovation Center at Optimist Hall

340 E 16th St, Charlotte, NC 28206, United States,
by public transit by car by bike Walking