AECI honors local employees with Excel awards
SPRINGFIELD, MO – Nine employees at Associated Electric Cooperative’s Springfield headquarters were among those honored March 24 at the cooperative's 21st annual employee recognition awards ceremony. The recipients of these awards were nominated by their peers and co-workers for going above and beyond in 2014.
Brandon J. Goff of Springfield, supervisor of building services at the cooperative’s headquarters was named the 2014 Excel Supervisor of the Year for his coaching abilities, organization, team building and openness to new ideas.
Goff joined Associated in 2012 with experience in construction, project management and building maintenance. He supervises maintenance and repairs, heating and cooling equipment, a pool car fleet, grounds and landscaping, meeting service and food, shipping and receiving and mail service on the headquarters' campus.
Christopher D. Lazzaro of Springfield, manager of energy systems, received the 2014 Excel Mentor of the Year award. He manages an electronic information services department responsible for the core energy systems and grid needs of the cooperative.
Nominators praised Lazzaro for his patience, active listening, confidentiality, ability to provide honest feedback and passion for helping others realize their potential. "An organization like AECI provides a wealth of opportunities to make small investments in people, and they happen all the time,” Lazzaro said. “It just requires that you have open eyes, relevance, trust and the courage to listen and talk.”
David L. Ramsey of Springfield, manager of Associated Electric’s energy efficiency program, was named 2014 Excel Employee of the Year in a Professional Field award. Ramsey is responsible for Associated's Take Control & Save program, which has helped cooperative members save more than 1.2 billion kilowatt-hours of usage through efficient lighting, appliances, insulation, weatherization, heat pumps, windows and building materials. Last year he negotiated a group purchase of dusk-to-dawn LED lights for 24 cooperatives, saving them about $500,000.
Ramsey also was recognized for his effectiveness in explaining the challenges and opportunities of community solar power projects to distribution cooperatives. Last year he made more than 30 presentations about solar energy to cooperatives, associations, boards and national organizations and traveled at least 10,882 miles.
Fawn A. Giddings of Springfield, a benefits administrator at the cooperative, received the 2014 Excel Employee of the Year in an Administrative Field award. She joined Associated in 2013 as an administrative assistant in human resources and then moved into benefits.
Giddings was praised for her leadership, personal and professional development, use of technology, innovation and creativity, multitasking and project management. In particular, she excelled in process improvement by applying software to improve efficiency.
Luke W. Riddle of Nixa, a building services maintainer, was named 2014 Excel Employee of the Year in a Vocational Field award. Riddle helps maintain grounds, parking lots and a fleet of vehicles, as well as supervises construction projects. Nominators praised his skill and creative bent for practical ideas and improvements that help the cooperative save money and time, as well as his work to ensure successful construction projects.
Riddle took the initiative last year to learn more about electronic control systems from outside contractors working at headquarters. That was "going above and beyond," said a nominator and will improve Riddle's future troubleshooting.
Kenneth E. Clarkson of Springfield, principal engineer; Doug Hart of Springfield, senior engineer; Matthew D. Pacobit of Clever, senior engineer; and Brian D. Uhlhorn of Springfield, associate engineer, are the recipients of the 2014 Excel Innovative Action award.
This team developed a cost-saving solution that will save the cooperative more than $1 million every 10 years, if not more frequently, in complying with standards for national electrical grid reliability. The team researched and tested software and hardware that allowed Associated's reliability compliance department to validate compliance at less cost and without taking the generating units off line.
Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. is owned by and provides wholesale power to six regional and 51 local electric cooperative systems in Missouri, southeast Iowa and northeast Oklahoma that serve more than 875,000 customers. Associated’s mission is to provide an economical and reliable power supply and support services to its members, including the “Take Control & Save” energy efficiency program, www.TakeControlAndSave.coop. Associated is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.
An Equal Opportunity Employer -- AA/Minorities/Females/Disabled/Veterans