Cooperative News

PEC Journeyworker recognized as NRECA Rising Star

Justin Lundgaard selected from more than 80 nominees

Those who know Distribution Operations Technician Justin Lundgaard say there’s no task he doesn’t do wholeheartedly. It’s that mindset that inspired Cedar Park Director of Regional Operations Jason Murray to nominate Justin for Rural Electric (RE) Magazine’s Rising Stars award.

“Number one, he has a true passion for the job,” Murray said. “Justin cares about what he does and wants things done the right way — that’s how he’s built.”

This was the first year RE Magazine has held the contest, and its editor, Scott Hoffman, says the response was overwhelmingly positive.

“We expected to get between 25 and 35 entries,” Hoffman said. “In the end, we received 83! All nominations were extremely thorough, thoughtful, and well written.”

The panel of judges chose 20 recipients, including Lundgaard, to feature in the September 2021 issue of the magazine. The news came as a complete surprise to Lundgaard, who received an email from the National Rural Electric Cooperative (NRECA) announcing the award.

“It was kind of a whirlwind,” Lundgaard said. “I didn’t even know Jason put me up for it until that moment. The fact that I’m up there with amazing talent from cooperatives across the country, I’m amazed; it’s really an incredible honor.”

Lundgaard first joined PEC in November of 2008 from the Northwest Lineman College (NLC) in California. Today, he serves in one of the cooperative’s most critical roles, making sure PEC’s mapping center and outage control center are synced, correcting outage issues, and investigating outage causes to prevent future ones.

When he’s not serving his community, Justin is serving his country as a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He still deploys about once every four years, and when explaining these deployments, Justin proudly asserts that he is grateful to work for an organization that values veterans like him, and adds that human resources, PEC leadership, and staff have always shown him incredible support.

“Justin’s commitment to excellence and dedication to his co-workers and our members, as well as to his fellow soldiers is inspiring,” Murray said. “He performs both jobs at an extremely high level, and endeavors to make everything useful.”

In his nomination for the award, Murray noted that Lundgaard has helped identify and correct more than 2,000 defects on Cedar Park’s operations map. He added that thanks to this commitment, Lundgaard has also played an instrumental role in helping Cedar Park vastly improve its system-wide response times and accuracy.

Hats off to Lundgaard for providing excellent work by serving PEC, his community, and his country. We’re PEC Proud! Read the story in NRECA’s RE Magazine.