Back near the end of the Shearon Harris Construction project, a small group of us were working in an office trailer on site developing responses to the NCUC auditors who were investigating the plant construction costs.
A young associate from a large law firm showed up one day: Bill Johnson. Bill was not at all like the parade of consultants, auditors, and the like that we had seen come through the project over the years. He did not start out telling us what he knew and all the great things he was going to do for us. Rather he quietly gathered some facts, asked a lot of questions, and studied the volumes of materials we had assembled.
The day came about a week later when I submitted a report I had been working on and my boss suggested that I “run that by Bill.” Bill Johnson read my paper, made a few suggestions, marked a few corrections, and gained my respect in a matter of minutes. Over the next two decades, I watched as Bill Johnson’s skill, character, and work ethic propelled him to the top of Progress Energy.
There is not much I can add to what others have said about Bill in these pages. All I can say is that I know more than a couple of the people who have written words of tribute here and those individuals are persons of the highest caliber and every word written carries great weight. There is not a hollow word, compliment, or sentiment in anything that I have read.
Winston Churchill said “Great and good are seldom the same man.” In the case of William Dean Johnson, great and good describe the man.
Tom Bell, CP&L/PGN Retiree