Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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PUD Showcase

Meet Nicole Lantau

Employee of the Month for September

Nicole Lantau, September’s Employee of the Month, isn’t one to sit idly by and wait for things to happen. She pushes herself, and when faced with a challenge, takes it on whole-heartedly.

One example of Nicole’s drive can be seen in the path of her career. Nicole started at the PUD as a Meter Reader on Sept. 29, 2008. She became an Entry Helper on April 20, 2009, and by August 16, 2009, Nicole was an Apprentice Wireman. On Feb. 21, 2014, Nicole became a Wireman, the job she holds today.

For the past two years, Nicole has elected to be the Shop Journeyman. She thought it would be a good opportunity to learn another skill, and the role has broadened her interaction with other PUD teams. She works with engineers to get materials to the crews, deals with the Warehouse to order specialty parts, and coordinates with Contracts & Purchasing to renew and maintain contracts, authorize payments, and make non-stock purchases. She also does some heavy lifting with outside vendors, including crane companies that move transformers and switchgears.

Nicole explains her goal simply: “I try to help make the jobs go smoothly and keep everyone happy.” 

“Nicole provides outstanding customer service to our substation crews, engineers, and the Contracts & Purchasing department. She’s proactive and anticipates material and contract needs, responds quickly and efficiently to requests, and is a pleasure to work with,” said Steve Larson, Substation Construction and Maintenance Department Manager. “Nicole also participates in activities such as the apprenticeship program and safety training in addition to her regular workload. She’s very deserving of this Employee of the Month award.” 

Nicole’s nomination for Employee of the Month came from the Safety department for her persistent efforts in developing specialized transformer rescue plans. 

“She has done many hours of research on her own personal time and involved many vendors to determine what type of equipment would be needed to rescue team members from a substation transformer that is 12 to 15 feet above the ground,” said a member of the safety staff. 

As a result of Nicole’s efforts, new safety procedures have been added. Training has also been conducted to ensure that staff members are comfortable with the new processes. 

When asked about her biggest success at the PUD, Nicole cited her contributions to safety. “I was a Safety Chair in 2016, which I very much liked being a part of. I was able to make some changes to the layout and storage of our tools and equipment in our shop. It made for a cleaner and better-organized workspace, which was ultimately safer.” 

Nicole is vocal in safety meetings and always welcomes input from other team members. She’s equally open to any knowledge a safety vendor might have to share. As for safety equipment, bring it on! She’s always ready to listen and learn. 

“Nicole recognizes that safety is a value,” said a Safety team member. “I am very proud to have an opportunity to work with her. She is passionate and persistent about having a safe work environment.”

And Nicole stays just as busy on the home front as she does at work. “I have a two-and-a-half-year-old son, who is my favorite thing in the world,” she explains. “I love spending time with him and my wife. Seeing him sprout up and learn is awesome. When I’m not following him around, I can be found out in my shop building something. It’s rare that I’m not working on a project of some sort. I enjoy updating my house and adding features to my property. Last year, I built a cabin that serves as my wife’s home office and a bunk house for guests.” 

Nicole, thank you for all that you do. Your endless energy and drive are tremendous assets to the PUD and our customers. Your commitment to safety and your efforts to improve safety processes are of immeasurable value. We’re honored to have you as our September Employee of the Month.

Recent Awards

  • Hydropower Award (2017)
    The National Hydropower Association honored the PUD with a 2017 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters award for its success in providing access to additional fish habitat in the Sultan River Basin, site of the PUD’s Jackson Hydroelectric Project. In late 2016, the PUD opened up six miles of additional fish habitat on the Sultan River by modifying a diversion dam on the upper reach of the river. Within weeks of the project’s completion, coho salmon were detected upstream – for the first time in nearly 100 years!
  • SAP Utility of the Year (2016)
    The PUD was named Utility of the Year by SAP, a multinational software corporation, for the utility’s ongoing “ONE” program, a multi-year software implementation that creates a foundation for the utility’s future business growth. The program greatly consolidates hundreds of software programs as part of a PUD continuous improvement effort.
  • Metering & Smart Energy International (2016)
    South African Metering & Smart Energy International, a media and research organization serving the utility industry, honored the PUD as a Global Smart Energy Elite for both its work with cybersecurity and utility transformation through the ONE program. The PUD achievements will be featured in the organization’s fall magazine.
  • NWPPA Excellence in Communication Award (2016)
    First Place/Publication: 2016 Current Calendar
  • NWPPA Excellence in Communication Award (2016)
    First Place/Social Media

To see more awards, click here.