Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) announced its CEO Julie Caruthers Parsley has been recognized by Texas CEO Magazine, making its Exceptional Leadership in Texas 2020 list. The list honors the challenges, sacrifices, and triumphs of 2020 by naming “a few of the people who have done exemplary or notable things.”
In its 80-year history, PEC never faced challenges like it did in 2020. But with Parsley’s leadership, PEC continued to provide safe, reliable electric service from the onset of the pandemic, all while experiencing record growth as the largest electric cooperative in the nation.
The recognition centers on the cooperative’s quick and exemplary response to the pandemic, especially in the early stages. According to the profile, “By acting quickly and assembling a team of experts around a bold, decisive plan, Parsley made PEC a true leader in the field, sprinting ahead of other businesses and cooperatives in the steps that would later be widely adopted — providing a model for those organizations to follow.”
Regarding the recognition, Parsley said, “I am humbled to be recognized for PEC’s COVID-19 response and I share this honor, together, with the entire PEC team. We knew the importance of having a plan early on, to protect our members, employees, and the cooperative, but it has taken every employee to help us power through. Their collective commitment is why we can proudly say we’ve continued our promise — delivering safe and reliable power to almost a million Central Texans, when they’re counting on us most.”
In early March, Parsley anticipated the impact COVID-19 could have on PEC’s operations and immediately began meeting regularly with her executive team and other leaders to review PEC’s existing emergency pandemic plan.
By March 16, PEC had activated its Emergency Operations Plan, which included the unprecedented measure of closing offices to member interactions and instituting remote working for employees where possible. Media and internal communications were distributed, signage was posted, and new guidelines were enacted for in-office employees and those in the field.
The cooperative will benefit from the forward-thinking leadership of Parsley for years to come. At the November board meeting, the PEC Board of Directors approved an extension of her contract for three more years.
PEC Board President and District 2 Director Emily Pataki said, “The recognition and accolades only confirm what we already knew; Julie’s performance has been exceptional in her time at PEC so far. We are thrilled to extend her contract and secure her steady leadership for the future of the cooperative.”