Tampa Bay Business Women Awards 2023: Melissa Seixas

In 1986, as one of few female students in her high school drafting class, Melissa Seixas joined Florida Power (later to become Progress Energy and then Duke Energy) in distribution engineering. 

After nearly four decades with the company, she has served in numerous roles with increasing leadership responsibilities. In February 2021, Seixas was selected to serve as president of Duke Energy Florida. 

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED IN YOUR CAREER? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THOSE CHALLENGES? 

The biggest challenge we face as a company is the here and now, meeting current demand while relentlessly planning for the future. We must keep one eye on the now and one eye on the horizon. As with most companies, we face many unique challenges in the energy industry, but the opportunities to serve our customers are always far greater. We meet these challenges through a shared commitment to serving our customers and moving toward a cleaner energy future. 

HOW DO YOU CONTINUE TO EVOLVE AND GROW AS A LEADER? 

I’ve worked at Duke Energy for 35 years and every, single day I’m still learning about this business. I never forget where I started. When I first joined the company, as a teenager, I was hand-drawing the poles and wires of St. Peterburg in the drafting department. Of course, that was long before there were computers that did the work for you. I was among the linemen and bucket trucks. Looking back, I realize how important it was that I learned about the operational basics and gained an understanding of the poles and wires. That foundation allows me to communicate better with stakeholders, a key component to our company’s success. 

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