Employee of the Month > December 2021< All Stories
Please join us in congratulating the December 2021 Employee of the Month, Taylor Ostrander, Process Improvement Program Manager.
You might know Taylor for his love of comic book hero Groot, or his vast collection of Brooks running shoes, but more than likely you know Taylor for his incredible work ethic, contagiously positive attitude, and his ability to bring people together to solve complex problems. Though Taylor is being specifically recognized for his above and beyond contributions to launching and troubleshooting the PUD’s COVID-19 check-in stations, the list of projects where his leadership, facilitation, and caring demeanor have benefited the PUD and our customers is epic.
“Taylor only knows 120%,” said Lisa Hunnewell, Senior Manager Business Readiness and Training (BR&T). “Every day he comes to work he is all in! Whenever he isn’t totally busy, he asks for more work. He helps out all of his team members in BR&T and in Corporate Communications whenever and however he can. He is the master facilitator: you need something to get done, he knows who to talk to and how to make it happen.”
Taylor began his career with the PUD on May 29, 2013, as Manager – Customer Service, in the Customer Service Support – Quality Department. In May 2018, he was transferred to the Customer Experience Department and promoted to Manager Customer Service 1, a month later.
On August 16, 2018, he transferred to a new position as the Process Improvement Program Manager in the Business Readiness department. Taylor has vast knowledge of Deming’s PDCA principles, Six Sigma, and the importance of program sponsorship, making him a huge asset to the PUD. Taylor is currently leading the organizational change management of the Connect Up project in addition to his other duties.
“We got so lucky when Taylor joined our team,” said Julee Cunningham, Director of Communications and BR&T. “He immediately added experience, smarts, enthusiasm, a willingness to learn and lots of ideas and smiles. My kind of team member!”
When the pandemic hit, the PUD knew it had to quickly implement safety measures to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in PUD facilities. Taylor worked with Human Resources, Facilities, Warehouse, and the Incident Management Team to coordinate all the items required: thermometers, sanitizer, clip boards, pens, wrist bands, and ultimately a new app. Within a matter of days, the group was able to stand up the check-in stations. Additionally, as they received feedback, they adjusted to improve the safety of the stations and even added an additional station at Ops. When they had a few false positives on the new screening app, Taylor worked with Jeremy Babcock to change from yes/no to happy/frowny faces, which eliminated the incorrect answer.
“This endeavor was massive, and, thanks to the collaboration and hard work from the team, we were able to implement a process that allowed our essential employees to continue to work on-site safely, while ensuring we were able to meet the strict contact tracing requirements,” said Taylor.
The work that was done to set up the COVID-19 screening stations reflected Taylor’s ever-present dedication to helping others. Taylor has been a huge part of change at the PUD including the new employee orientation program, equipment access, cash advance automation, and more.
“When he leads continual improvement teams, he goes the extra mile to make sure everyone feels included,” said Lisa. “When he senses that someone is concerned about how things are going, he takes the time to speak with them 1:1 to talk things through.”
“Taylor is one of my favorite co-workers because of his intelligent insight, generous and caring heart, kind spirit, big and warm smile and positive attitude,” said Diana Kwong, Senior Communications Designer. “He works hard to get the job done, making sure that details are covered, and team members have a chance to contribute. If I’m having a stressful day, one chat with Taylor makes my day brighter.”
When not caring for his colleagues or supporting the Strategic Priorities at the PUD, Taylor is focused on spending time with his family, usually inside of an ice arena.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way as I love playing, coaching and watching my son play hockey,” said Taylor. “Our favorite vacation destination is Disneyland, which in a non-COVID world we would’ve already been there by now. We love to travel, spend time with family/friends and attend sporting events (Seahawks, Silvertips, Kraken) when we aren’t participating in our own.”
His love of hockey and family is well known by his adoring coworkers.
“Taylor’s all about hockey and it shows: he’s a tip-top team player,” said Wendy Parris, Senior Communications Designer. “You can always count on T as a great partner for any project. He is organized and kind but if something could be better, you can count on him to speak up. I like that he occasionally treats me to a surprise order of mexi-fries, but what I genuinely appreciate about him is his devotion to family. He is one proud papa!”
Taylor brings the same energy and enthusiasm to all the families he cares for, whether on the ice, in a virtual meeting room, or at home.
“Taylor has a knack for brightening people’s day through his openness, energy, and enthusiasm,” said Jen Mullen, Curriculum Design & Development Specialist. “He can take the most routine meeting and inject some fun into it just by being there with his big smile.”
“I’m always happy to see Taylor pop up on my Teams,” said Aaron Swaney, Media and PR Liaison. “His smiling face, encouraging words and sense of humor can lighten up some of the challenging times we’re all working through right now.”
“Taylor is a vivacious, helpful and downright FUN person to have around in any situation,” said Laura Zorick, Communication and Marketing Representative. “You know there will always be a few laughs and wonderful discussion! Taylor will help with anything you need and always with a smile. I count myself very lucky to be able to call upon his expertise!”
As you might expect a person dedicated to family and helping others to do, Taylor wanted to make sure that he expressed his appreciation for his team and this employee of the month recognition.
“I’m flattered, honored and forever thankful for this acknowledgment,” said Taylor. “If it wasn’t for my team at work, I don’t believe I would’ve had as much success as I have over the past few years. They are amazingly supportive, selfless, dedicated team that shows up every day. I am grateful for each of them and do my best to not take this for granted.”