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Conversations with the Council featuring Pam Rauch, Vice President of External Affairs and Economic Development for Florida Power & Light Company

Energetic, it’s one of the many words to describe Pam Rauch, vice president of external affairs and economic development at Florida Power & Light Company. Her schedule is jam-packed, with commitments day and night, often zig-zagging across the state. But for Pam, those are her favorite days. “It inspires me to have the most diverse day possible.” 

She is a true team player, adaptable, reliable and always ready to collaborate, traits she learned early on from playing on competitive tennis teams in high school and then for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. The same philosophy guides her in the business world. “My biggest wins came from participating on teams. It’s the same principles I apply to my team at FPL. If you join a team, you need to earn the trust of your teammates. At FPL, no one person can accomplish the big goals that we set. We are changing the energy industry, and that takes a team. If you don’t trust your teammates, you can’t get the job done. It’s a big part of business and sports.”

That desire and motivation are the backbone of her drive to reach her goals and then set the bar higher, both personally, where she is trying to lower her golf handicap, and professionally, where she has learned to avoid micromanaging. “Early in my career, I was constantly conflicted because I like to roll up my sleeves and work. As a younger leader, this was a challenge I had to overcome. I’ve learned that you must have faith in your team. Giving them responsibility helps them grow. Find the fine line between being the leader and being someone who can guide them versus taking it over and doing it.”

She remains true to her hybrid leadership approach, a combination of servant and adaptive, especially when hurricanes Ian and Nicole put her team to the test. Without hesitation, she got in the trenches, put on her work boots, and headed for Southwest Florida. “I go where the fires are. I know my team is extremely capable, but I make myself available to provide that extra layer of high-level strategic thinking so we can be even more successful.”

And when it comes to success, she’s reminded of a quote her dad often shared and paraphrased from Albert Schweitzer. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” It inspires her career to this day. Now she repurposes the message for her teenage son Canyon and her older son Bronson, who is applying to law school. “It’s very important not to get wrapped up or disillusioned into believing there is only one path for you. There are opportunities and ways to direct your ship in a positive way. Never stop dreaming about what your next thing is going to be.”

For Pam, the next thing is seeing our business community continue to thrive. As a native Floridian growing up in Broward County, she took offense to the notion that this was just a place for retirees or family vacations. She’s proud to have received a graduate degree from Florida State University and was quick to mention that Florida has had the top university system in the country for the last six years. Improving the perception of who we are and using her voice to make a difference is what intrigued her about the Economic Council. “Being a member of the Economic Council gives FPL a seat at the table with the leaders in our business community and provides the strongest voice when collectively weighing in on issues that greatly impact our community here in Palm Beach County.”

Some of the issues she’s most proud of are the council’s support of the school tax referendum, the backing of numerous probusiness political candidates and the housing bond, which will provide 200 million dollars for affordable housing in our county. “It’s important for us at FPL to be a part of great organizations such as this one to ensure our employees who live here can have the best quality of life possible and so that we can continue to attract and retain the highest caliber of talent.”

Her excitement about FPL’s commitment to its Real Zero™ goal, to leverage low-cost renewables to completely eliminate emissions from its power generation by 2045, is infectious, as is her vision for the future of Palm Beach County. “We should continue to welcome dynamic new industries and businesses so they become an integral part of our business fabric. We should also embrace and solve mobility challenges to improve transportation and quality of life in our county.”

Making a real difference is at the core of who she is as a person, from implementing FPL’s volunteer program twelve years ago, as well as a middle school mentoring program, to her work with the American Heart Association, the United Way, and many other worthwhile organizations. She’s been honored too many times to mention, and each time she accepts those awards, she does so with a natural grace and confidence that highlights her intellect, integrity, and, most importantly, her genuineness.

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