Welcome to my first blog post! Not only does it give you the opportunity to get to know me in my new role, but it’s a place where I can more easily connect with each of you in a more candid, personal way.
The last few weeks have been busy, to say the least! In addition to starting my new role as NPPD’s CEO, my wife, Dacia, and I have been making the move out to our new acreage located in Lancaster county north of Lincoln. New beginnings are filled with excitement for what lies ahead. They’re also a time to reflect on the past and take what we’ve learned with us into the future. Opportunities abound to grow, learn and improve.
The pandemic has changed how many of us socialize and work. Did you know you can successfully close on a home by standing at a counter passing documents under a plexiglass barrier? It felt like working with an old-style bank teller. And, it took all of 15 minutes.
Everywhere, remnants of the past are merging with a cutting-edge future. For many of us, the pandemic has given rise to the slower, more balanced way of living we used to know. It’s been a time to reconnect with our families and friends, thanks to Zoom and FaceTime. It’s provided perspective on how we truly want to live to provide for our families and acquire a better quality of life.
It’s what made public power such a commodity in the era of rural electrification, and why public power has withstood the test of time. Back then, we offered rural Nebraska what no one else could – electricity that was affordable, abundant and reliable, and we maintained our belief that this service should not sacrifice performance excellence and integrity, and that above all, it should improve lives. Our customers were our priority. These were non-negotiable values that remain at the heart of the work we do today.
Over the years, our values grew to include an emphasis on safety, public service, environmental stewardship and diversity and inclusion.
We’ve come so far. Looking forward, we have so much more to do. Work that strengthens and supports our communities and surrounding environment. Work that provides our customers with what they want most out of their utility. Work that solidifies NPPD as our customers’ preferred utility through a focus on technological advancement and competitive edge.
Like our to-do list at the acreage, this work can’t be done in short-order. First on my personal work list is finishing the basement for more livable space. We’ll add another bedroom, refinish the deck, and I’ll be getting plenty of use out of our machine shed as the projects – and the new chicken coop -- stack up. As my career at NPPD has taught me, we’ll do the work thoughtfully, we’ll do it strategically, and we’ll do it right.
Columbus has been a great community to raise a family, and I’m grateful my ties to the town will continue through my role at NPPD. But, for us, this acreage is a bit like a homecoming. Both Dacia and I grew up in a small farming community, and we’ve always liked the idea of owning land with the space and flexibility to have a few more animals.
Tonight, as the sun sets, I’ll admire the endless view as the prairie grass and trees sway in the wind. It reminds me how important it is for NPPD to protect these natural resources, and of the lengths we take to supply power that is sustainable. I’ll relax in our backyard, noting the power line in the distance that keeps us connected to friends and family, even while in a new location during a time of social distancing. And, I’ll be thankful for our continued relationships with our wholesale partners, including Norris Public Power District, which is delivering that power directly to the place we now officially call home.