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Employee Spotlight April 05, 2024

Employee of the Month > April

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Employee of the Month > April

Heather with teammates Jason Cohn and Gaylin Larson during replacement of the 48” valve at Culmback Dam.

Tucked away in the foothills surrounding Sultan, our Generation Team can occasionally be overlooked, despite the incredible contributions they make on a regular basis. This team must walk a careful tightrope balancing energy production with environmental stewardship, while always keeping a third eye keenly on the safety of employees and customers. This month’s Employee of the Month is a critical member of that team and has been proclaimed “the Gold Standard” by her co-workers. Please join us in recognizing Heather Grisolia as April’s Employee of the Month.

As a Generation System Operator, Heather assists with the start-up, shutdown, and troubleshooting for five hydroelectric plants and one bio-fuel plant. She coordinates between many departments to ensure safe operations for personnel and equipment, while maximizing generation as needed and minimizing down time.

 “Generating and delivering power takes intense collaboration and communication between multiple parts of the organization. Heather has really excelled at improving communication and understanding between Power Scheduling and the Generation Team,” said Jason Zyskowski, AGM Generation, Power, Rates and Transmission Management. “She embodies our values of rising to challenges, serving with pride, and operating as a team. Heather has been an excellent addition to the Generation Team and is deserving of this recognition.”

Heather is recognized by her colleagues for her extensive knowledge, willingness to roll up her sleeves and get the work done quickly and correctly, and her consistently positive attitude.

“I love it when Heather is on-call for alarms, as a fellow sleep-deprived woman/mom, I hate to have to wake up anyone in the middle of the night. Heather is always chipper, alert, and half the time she is already investigating or has fixed the problem,” said Sarah Guenzler, Power Scheduler.

Perhaps Heather’s ability to be calm, focused and detail-oriented under pressure comes from her experience as a Navy Sailor working in the engine rooms of Mother Nimitz, CVN 68. However, it might simply be because, as her manager Jessie Pittis, Generation Superintendent, puts it, “she’s a rockstar.”

“Heather is very dedicated,” said Jessie. “When she’s in the midst of making all the decisions required to keep us functioning, she’s always very conscientious of the different variables, requirements, and agreements that we must adhere to. When she first started at the PUD, I was concerned that it would take anyone an extensive amount of time to get up to speed with all that we have to monitor, but she gained all that knowledge very quickly. She’s been an incredible asset for our team from the beginning.”

When asked what her biggest success has been at the PUD, Heather was quick to mention that the privilege of getting to work at the utility was an accomplishment in itself. She also wanted to be sure to share the recognition with her team at Jackson.

“The Jackson Crew can really pull together to make my job easier,” said Heather. “It is such a dance sometimes, but we are like a well-oiled machine.  Schedule the power, make the power, distribute the power! It’s awesome! I would also like to thank ECC and Power Scheduling for putting up with all my funny, funny jokes. I know you are obligated to answer the phone when I call, but you really make my success here at the PUD much easier.”

Combined, the projects Heather works on deliver about 71MW of clean power to our customers annually. The work this team does is vital to our operations. Congratulations to Heather Grisolia on being the PUD’s April Employee of the Month. Thank you for the work you and your colleagues do every day to keep the lights on, save our customers money, and help keep carbon out of our environment.