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Hispanic woman speaking with coworker

Hispanic Heritage Month

At Southern Company, our people are the heart of our company.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Yvonne Murray

Meet Juana Gonzalez

Juana Gonzalez, account executive in the growth and revenue department at Atlanta Gas Light, has called Atlanta home her entire life but embraces her Mexican heritage.

“My heritage has shaped who I am to this day. Learning about my family and their struggles is inspiring and drives me to success. My ancestors fought their own battles for freedom just like many of us continue to fight for equal opportunities,” Juana said.

She started her career with Southern Company Gas in 2010 as a bilingual customer service representative and is an active member of HOLA, an employee resource group (ERG) that promotes Hispanic and Latino/Latina culture.

“For me, Hispanic heritage means being appreciative of the sacrifices my parents made of uprooting their whole lives by moving our family from Guadalajara, Mexico to the United States to give their five kids better opportunities. I believe that as a Hispanic community, we should be proud of our traditions and culture,”


Growing up, one of her favorite memories was listening to and singing “Feliz Navidad” in school during holiday programs. The song made her feel proud, knowing that it came from a Hispanic songwriter.

“Hispanic heritage encompasses a diverse group of identities, including people rooted in Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Spain. I would advise new employees to ask questions to expand their knowledge about different heritages and encourage social responsibility. Do not wait for a designated month to get involved,” Juana said.

She said colleagues can be an ally to the Hispanic community by listening and showing support.

“If we want to develop effective partnerships, we need to learn how to be active allies in each other’s communities. If we want people to stand up for our concerns and interests, we need to understand and stand up for theirs. If we want to make changes in society to end oppression, we need to learn how to work together,” Juana said.

Outside of work, she is the mother of three children. She enjoys spending her free time with family, traveling to new places, eating new foods and learning about different cultures.

Natacha Val-Gonzalez

Juan Jimenez-Cueto

Juan Jimenez-Cueto wants to pass down his Dominican heritage and his wife’s Puerto Rican heritage to his two children.

Juan started his career with Southern Nuclear in 2012 and worked his way from interface corrective action engineer to engineering component maintenance optimization manager. He was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to Puerto Rico at a young age. He attended the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and was hired directly from university and has since been working at Vogtle 3&4. 

Growing up, many of his memories involve his heritage, but he will always appreciate how his family waited for everyone to be at the table for lunch and dinner. In today’s fast-paced world, he values how much his parents insisted on having his family stick together.

Natacha Val-Gonzalez
“For me, Hispanic heritage stands for orgullo (pride). That is, being proud of my roots, my culture and being proud to represent my heritage. The best way to describe the feeling is to imagine yourself on vacation in a distant country and suddenly seeing your country’s flag on the street or a bumper sticker and feeling the joy of recognizing it and saying, ‘I am from there too,’”


Natacha and family

Growing up, many of his memories involve his heritage, but he will always appreciate how his family waited for everyone to be at the table for lunch and dinner. In today’s fast-paced world, he values how much his parents insisted on having his family stick together.

“I advise fellow employees to spend time with your coworkers, neighbors, friends and community. Beyond the foods, dances and customs, the Hispanic community is rich in many other traditions as well. We must recognize  diversity and be open to learn about different cultures,” he said.

Outside of work, Juan is passionate about making memories with his family and adventures. He and his wife, Lizeidy, and their two children, Ian and Eliam, enjoy traveling and learning about new traditions, food and history. He also volunteers as a shelter manager for the American Red Cross.

Yvonne Murray

Meet Jose Totti

Jose Totti, Birmingham Transmission Maintenance Center (TMC) supervisor at Alabama Power, moved to Alabama 10 years ago after receiving a job offer at a job fair at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez but keeps strong ties to his heritage.

Jose started his career with Alabama Power in June 2012 as a protection and control field services  engineer. As TMC supervisor, he is responsible for the safe maintenance, operation and reliability of transmission assets in the Birmingham area.

“For me, Hispanic Heritage represents unity. The best way I can describe this feeling is when family comes together to celebrate successes and support one another in tough situations. It means having a deep sense of togetherness and understanding between the whole community. I like to think I bring that sense of community everywhere I go,” Jose said.

“The advice I would give to new employees of Hispanic heritage is to embrace who you are and to share your uniqueness with those around you. It is an opportunity to share with friends and colleagues your own personal heritage and culture,”


Growing up, he enjoyed family gatherings during Christmas. Some of his favorite memories involve his family coming over to eat arroz con gandules (rice with peas), lechon asado (roast pork) and morcillas (blood sausage) while drinking coquito (coconut nog).

Jose says coworkers can be an ally to the Hispanic community by being open, inclusive and accepting and by showing interest and asking questions to learn more about different cultures and experiences.

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling to new places, trying new foods and playing soccer.

Natacha Val-Gonzalez

Meet Natacha Val-Gonzalez

Natacha Val-Gonzalez, compliance and reporting manager at Georgia Power, has called the United States home since age 14 but recognizes the importance of remembering her Uruguayan heritage and passing it down to her two children.

Natacha started her career with Georgia Power in 2010 as a bilingual customer service representative and is the 2022 president of AMIGOS, an employee resource group (ERG) for Hispanic and Latino/Latina employees and allies. 

Natacha had fond memories growing up in a small town in Uruguay with childhood friends and family.

“My experiences shaped who I am today. Being a teenager and moving across the world to a new country with a different language has made me resilient,” Natacha said. “I would advise anyone of Hispanic or any heritage for that matter to be their authentic selves at work and in life. I believe we can be our best selves when we are true to our identity.”

Natacha Val-Gonzalez
“Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and remember our roots. I feel more connected to other Hispanics in ways I never imagined through AMIGOS and love being a part of this big team,”


Natacha and family

She says people can be allies to the Hispanic community by being open-minded, inquisitive and never placing the weight of an entire group of people on one person.

“The Hispanic community is very diverse, and we all have very different stories. Ask questions and be open to learning about experiences and opinions that are different from your own,” Natacha said.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her twin boys, Diego and Santi, and her husband, Ricardo. She also has a passion for do-it-yourself projects.