TOP 25 WOMEN IN BUSINESS: Alana Roberts

Alana Roberts is not fearless. She has, however, stared some tough situations in the eyes and overcame them.

"I acknowledge fear, but I do not let it make my decisions," she said.

She is a brain aneurysm survivor celebrating five years since brain surgery and five years since her second life started.

"Your second life starts when you realize you only have one," she explained.

Having worked for PPL for almost 10 years, the last four years Roberts has served as regional affairs director for the northeast region, covering Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties. She is responsible for corporate citizenship, community involvement, media relations and legislative affairs.

As corporate citizenship is a core value at PPL Electric Utilities, she does her best to serve customers by being active in the community through various organizations. She serves on the board of directors of Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Development Company, Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Pocono Chamber of Commerce, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, NEPA Alliance, the Institute for Public Policy at Wilkes University, Wayne Economic Development Corporation, Hazleton Partners in Education, an associate board member for the Lackawanna County Conservation District, PPL Ambassador Coordinator, and various other community-based committees.

The PPL Foundation, which she enthusiastically represents in the community, supports nonprofit organizations with thousands of dollars for operational support. She also leads PPL's regional media relations and can be seen on a WNEP Power to Save segment or speaking about PPL's preparations for a forecasted storm. She supports the Eyewitness News Christmas in July fundraiser; is a ‘guest bagger' at the Osterhout Free Library book sale; and can be found at the starting line of the United Way's 5K race or ‘ringing the bell' for the Salvation Army every Christmas season.

She is co-chairing the United Way of Wyoming Valley annual campaign, raising awareness of the United Way mission as well as over $3 million to fight childhood poverty in the Wyoming Valley.

While her career path has not always been linear, it often surprises people to find the young woman has a degree in environmental science from Juniata College and that for many years she was wearing hip waders and collecting stream macroinvertebrates (bugs) and logging long hours entering data into research databases.

When PPL was looking for a person to work at the nuclear power plant that understood environmental issues but could also relate to people and communicate environmental and energy issues in an understandable way, she saw an opportunity to combine two things that she loved and was thrilled that they chose her as a community affairs specialist based at power plants in Berwick, Lake Wallenpaupack and Bangor.

Her mentors include Tom Makowski, Joe Scopelliti and Paul Wirth.

"At different times of my life and for different reasons, they each have inspired me and have helped me find something in myself that I didn't know was there," she said.

She's been married for 17 years to her high school sweetheart who has relentlessly supported her career and every mountain that she ever wanted to climb, literally and figuratively. They live in Lackawanna County with their children, Ethan,14, and Gavin, 12, who have begun exploring their own interests and are looking to their mom as a role model. Her parents, Susan and Joe Malar, are some of her staunchest supporters and worked hard providing their daughter with a great work ethic.

She loves spending time outdoors, traveling, live music and hiking. She has visited 30 national parks and is always thinking about the next mountain she will climb.

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