Cooperative News

The power of family: 3 PEC moms pass cooperative spirit down to their children

We’re celebrating Mother’s Day with these 3 sets of PEC families

This Mother’s Day, PEC celebrates the power of the mother-child relationship. These three PEC moms — PEC Administrative Assistant Rosa Cates, PEC Engineering Assistant 2 Jessica Garcia and PEC Senior Electrical Distribution Designer Regina Whisenant — have a combined total of 46 years of service, and it’s no surprise that their dedication to the cooperative has passed down to their children: PEC Lineworker Apprentice 2 Benito Garcia Jr., PEC Lineworker Apprentice 4 Benji Juarez and PEC Senior Utility Forester Penny Whisenant.

These three families open up about their relationships in and out of the office, what it’s like having the same employer and how they’ve bonded even more since they started working together to serve our members.

Benji Juarez and Rosa Cates
PEC Lineworker Apprentice 4 Benji Juarez and his mother, PEC Administrative Assistant Rosa Cates.

Benji Juarez and Rosa Cates

How Benji came to PEC
“My mom texted me that PEC had an opening, and I applied and got the job,” Benji said. “More or less, she introduced me to linework. I can’t thank her enough for guiding me to this career.”

What it’s like for Rosa to watch Benji in action
“It’s a little nerve-wracking because I know he’s a perfectionist,” Rosa said. “At the same time, it’s very exciting watching him, which I was able to do when he competed at the Texas Lineman’s Rodeo. I’ve always been proud of our linemen, and I’m so proud of Benji and his devotion to PEC.”

Their favorite qualities about each other
“His tender heart,” Rosa said. “He’s always been that way.”

“Her desire to always help and be a great leader,” Benji said. “And for the record, I got my tender heart from her.”

Penny Whisenant and Regina Whisenant.
PEC Senior Utility Forester Penny Whisenant, left, and her mother, PEC Senior Electrical Distribution Designer Regina Whisenant.

Penny and Regina Whisenant

How Regina influenced Penny to consider a job at PEC
“Growing up, I wasn’t really interested in working for PEC,” Penny said, “but I remember [Regina] used to always tell me really great stories about her day in the field. When I changed my major in college to forestry, she told me that PEC has a department for that, and that eventually led me to come to work for PEC, too.”

Why Regina is thankful for PEC helping Penny grow in her expertise
“[PEC] gives her the opportunity to learn more and refine her skills,” Regina said. “This company encourages you to better yourself. It’s such a wonderful perk to have at her age.”

What most employees don’t know about Regina and Penny
“People are always surprised to find out that she’s actually my stepmom,” Penny revealed. “But I don’t see it that way because she’s always been my mom to me. She has the best heart, and even if you have done her wrong, she will still love you. I love that about her.”

Jessica Garcia and Benito Garcia Jr.
PEC Engineering Assistant 2 Jessica Garcia and her son, PEC Lineworker Apprentice 2 Benito Garcia Jr.

Benito Garcia, Jr. and Jessica Garcia

What it’s like working in the same district
“We actually don’t see each other a whole lot, but his team makes a point to tell me how respectful he is when they are around,” Jessica said. “We’ve both been so blessed by this company and the opportunity to build careers here.”

Why Benito Jr. wanted to work for PEC
“I grew up around PEC, and my mom always said great things about the cooperative,” Benito Jr. said. “Now that I’m here, it just reassures me that I’ve made the right decision. We’re a tight-knit group, and I really do love my job.”

How Jessica feels when her son is out in the field during an outage
“It can be scary sometimes, sure, but I know him and his crewmates work safely,” she said. “This is what he has chosen to do, and he loves doing it. I’m so very grateful to have him as my son, and I can’t wait to see how PEC continues to bless him.”

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us here at PEC!