Former Guilford County Commissioner Ray Trapp, a Democrat, and former Guilford County Commissioner Hank Henning, a Republican, used to work together on the county’s Board of Commissioners – and now they’ll be working together once again.

The two men have identical jobs in two regions of the state as district managers acting as the liaisons between Duke Energy and government, along with many other duties.

Henning got his Duke Energy job representing the Guilford County area in 2022, and, when Henning heard recently that the company was looking for someone for the Durham area, Henning said he knew the perfect candidate – Ray Trapp.

Duke Energy interviewed Trapp and agreed he was the ideal person for the job.

Trapp, who was so well known for being well liked by everyone that the Rhino Times once ran an article on him titled “Everyone Loves Ray,” said he was absolutely thrilled about the new job.

“I’m definitely excited,” Trapp said.  “It’s an amazing team.”

That job will include a wide range of duties, such as acting as the liaison between Duke Energy and elected officials as well as energy customers in the region.

Both Henning and Trapp said this week that they’re thrilled to be working together again.

Trapp said of the prospect of once again working alongside Henning: “I’ve been jumping out of my seat; we have this synergy.”

Both have experience as elected leaders and as private sector workers, so they should be able to see the job from both sides of the coin.

Trapp did some similar work for North Carolina A&T University. In 2017, he stepped down from his job as a county commissioner to become the university’s government liaison.

Trapp later took another public facing job with Research Triangle Park.

Since Duke Energy is a regulated government monopoly, the relationship between government and the power company is crucial – as is having good lines of communication between the two.

However,  the district managers do more than just work with local and state government.

According to information provided by Duke Energy, district managers are “the liaison between Duke Energy and their district.”  As part of the job, they “partner with local leaders to implement initiatives that power the lives of our customers and the vitality of our communities. This includes everything from managing Duke Energy’s philanthropic efforts in their area, to helping secure local economic development opportunities, to keeping the community engaged and informed on the latest developments from Duke Energy.”

Many people don’t realize what a key role in economic development Duke Energy plays in the state. For major projects, such as the many that have been announced in and around Guilford County in recent years, power concerns have to be addressed – and that means Duke Energy is usually in on the talks.

Duke Energy also works actively to recruit new businesses to the area because that helps the local economy and it increases the number of companies – and people – who need power.

  In some cases, the company even offers incentives to businesses just as local and state governments do.