Bryce Fiala receives Excel award from Associated Electric Cooperative
Bryce Fiala of Huntsville, control room operator at Thomas Hill Energy Center, has received Associated Electric Cooperative’s 2021 Excel Award for Employee of the Year at the plant. The ceremony, including Excel recipients from other locations in Missouri, was hosted from Associated’s Springfield headquarters.
The Excel awards are peer-nominated recognitions of employees who have excelled in their careers, leadership, mentoring, innovation, community services, teamwork or exceptional contributions.
Fiala’s nominator praised him, saying, “Bryce has demonstrated on many occasions his ability to overcome the many challenges that exist in the control room operator role. He stays calm when the issues arise and thinks quickly through them to keep the unit online and stable. He is always dependable and watches out for the safety of everyone he is in contact with.”
Fiala first served at Associated in 2009 as a temporary protective services intern. He completed a degree in law enforcement, worked as a deputy sheriff and arrived back at Thomas Hill in 2011 where he soon moved into operations. Now, as a control room operator, he keeps a steady hand on controls and is passionate about training other operators. “He also is a great trainer for all the operations department. When there is a new control room operator training or any other operator that wants to learn, he is the go-to guy,” the nominator said.
“I remember when I came in and how overwhelming it was. … But you learn a little bit every day, and the whole place gets smaller. … I know that feeling. Me and the other operators are always good about taking people under our wings,” Fiala said.
Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. is owned by and provides wholesale power to a system of six regional transmission cooperatives and their 51 local distribution cooperatives. This cooperative system delivers electricity to 2.1 million member-consumers behind the 935,000 meters served in Missouri, northeast Oklahoma and southeast Iowa. Associated’s mission is to deliver economical and reliable power and support services. Associated is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.