David and Susan Landahl were presented with the 2012 ExxonMobil Community Philanthropic Award Saturday, Jan. 28, at Howl for Parks, a People for Channahon Parks Foundation event.
The ExxonMobil Community Philanthropic Award recognizes individuals and businesses who donate their time, talents and treasures to improve the quality of life for their neighbors.
David and Susan Landahl both decided to pursue a career in the field of nuclear power when they each graduated from high school in 1978 —David in Colorado and Susan in Pennsylvania.
While they each chose the same field of interest, they entered that field via different paths. David enlisted into the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power Program and Susan attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to study Nuclear Engineering.
Susan received both her bachelor's and master's degrees in nuclear engineering from MIT, while David served eight years in the Navy, spending two of those years teaching chemistry and health physics at the Nuclear Prototype and four years in the submarine service.
David and Susan both entered the domestic nuclear field as consultants in Nuclear Emergency Preparedness at Nutech Engineers in Bethesda Maryland, which is where they first met. They were married in 1989 and worked at Pilgrim Nuclear Station in Plymouth Mass. at that time.
They each quickly became division managers at Pilgrim Station, and Susan also became one of the first women in the United States to receive her Senior Reactor Operators License.
They were blessed with the birth of their daughter Michelle in 1994. It was at that time as well that David started Emergency Preparedness Consultants, Inc. and became self-employed with a home-based office
It was their desire to raise Michelle in a small, close-knit community with traditional values that brought them to Channahon in 1999. It was a bit of a homecoming for them as David was born in Chicago and Susan lived in Maywood for several years as a child.
It was just in time for Michelle to start kindergarten at Galloway with Susan working for Commonwealth Edison. They quickly fell in love with the Channahon/Minooka area and immediately started volunteering their time and resources to better it.
Susan’s positions from her first days at ComEd (which became Exelon in 2000) have included La Salle Nuclear Plant Manager, La Salle Site Vice President, Senior Vice President,and she is currently Chief Operating Officer for Exelon Nuclear. She has led her teams to several world records for excellence in nuclear operations, industry firsts and has received international recognition in the nuclear industry, including being the recipient of a 2011 Nuclear Excellence Award from the World Association of Nuclear Operators.
Susan has volunteered her time locally serving on the boards of the Morris Hospital Foundation and the Green Harvest Food Pantry, in addition to supporting many other local charities. She is also passionate about sharing her knowledge of nuclear power with students at all grade levels, as well as members of the general public. She has taught several special science classes, has participated in “Career Days,” and has made presentations to community groups such as the Rotary Club. In addition, Susan volunteers her time professionally to Women in Nuclear (WIN), the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN), and other groups where she is a recognized leader and mentor for members of these organizations.
With Susan’s job demands requiring David to remain available in the local area seven days a week, he quickly stepped away from nuclear consulting and focused his energy primarily as a husband and father. This allowed him to volunteer at the Green Harvest Food Pantry in Plainfield, and in multiple capacities in the local school system as Michelle advanced from kindergarten through high school.
David is currently the treasurer for the Minooka Indian Athletic Boosters and has run concessions for more than 100 athletic events a year at Minooka Community High School for each of the past four years. David had also run concessions for three years for Channahon District 17 as well.
David is currently the president of the Advisory Board of Directors for Green Harvest Food Pantry, where he also volunteers more than 1000 hours of his time each year. David also teaches financial literacy to eighth graders at Channahon Junior High School through Junior Achievement and has been a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee in Channahon.
Both David and Susan have given generously of their time and resources to numerous local causes and organizations during their 13 years in Channahon. They look forward to continuing to help wherever they can in the community as Michelle heads off to college next year and they become “empty-nesters.”