Last month, PEC Regional Operations Supervisor Andy Ridge and PEC journeyworkers Matt Howell and Marshall Verette received a surprise in the mail: a bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award.
Unbeknownst to the men, NRECA International staff had nominated them for the award for volunteering in San Antonio del Matty, Bolivia, on behalf of PEC last November. There, they worked with teams from other U.S. cooperatives to extend electric service to the never-before-served village.
“The men who participated in this international undertaking willingly volunteered their time, their expertise and their heart to offer to others and witness something that we in the Texas Hill Country experienced 80 years ago, the turning on of lights — electric power — for the very first time,” PEC Regional Operations Director Jerold Terry said. “What an energizing moment for a well deserving group of PEC linemen.”
The trip was the first for Howell and the second for Ridge and Verette, who also volunteered in Haiti in 2015 as part of PEC’s first participation in the NRECA International program.
What they had to say
Marshall Verette, PEC Journeyworker:
“It was a privilege to work with other cooperatives to help electrify the Bolivian villages. I’m honored and humbled by the experience and, now, the award.”
Matt Howell, PEC Journeyworker:
“I feel like I should be giving thank-you’s for the opportunity, not receiving them!”
Andy Ridge, PEC Regional Operations Supervisor:
“Receiving this award was truly an honor and a complete surprise, but the memories of the people’s faces and the little kids’ smiles when we turned the lights on is something that I will always be able to look back on and be proud of what we, as a team, were able to accomplish.”