Getting to know: Patty Williams
The delivery of power to CREC members is a team effort which includes employees who work “behind the scenes” in jobs that members may not even know exist. Patty Williams, GIS Assistant, is one of those employees. You won’t see her climbing utility poles or repairing fallen lines, but without her work, our linemen would have a hard time locating the source of issues when power goes out.
What is your current position with CREC?
GIS (Geographic Information System) Assistant, but I also work with Right-of-Way (ROW), lighting and vehicle licensing.
How long have you been with the co-op?
Since December 30, 2003.
What does your job entail?
The CREC service area maps are my first daily priority. This involves tasks such as updating all new construction on our digital maps. This allows our linemen to have the latest information when troubleshooting problems on the system. This function also updates the Missouri One Call site, so members get accurate underground locations to avoid digging near those lines. For ROW, I manage inquiries and the communication notifying members that we’ll be working in the area. I also assist members with repair and installation of their dusk-to-dawn lights and subdivision street lights; this includes ensuring that lights are on the service area maps and are billed correctly. Lastly, I’m responsible for our vehicle licenses and renewals and records associated with each vehicle.
What might a typical day look like?
My day is very seldom typical! I usually meet with ROW each morning to find out crew locations for the dispatcher, then work on mapping changes and much more.
Tell us about your department, what other positions do you work with?
As a member of the engineering department, I work with our staking engineers and linemen on map changes. My job also involves working with other departments such as billing, accounting, inventory and the maintenance shop.
How does the work you do help to provide reliable power to our members?
Keeping our maps updated ensures that our linemen know where our lines and meters are located, enabling them to better solve outage issues. My work in supporting ROW helps address member concerns with trees that are trimmed or removed so that we can lessen the leading cause for power outages, and of course, helping to bring light to our members’ property.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
After I’ve worked with a member to solve a light or ROW problem, sometimes they call back to tell me how happy they are with the result. The co-op’s mission is to supply members with safe and reliable energy, so it’s satisfying to know that I helped them continue getting that power.
What’s the most surprising or unusual experience you’ve had while on the job?
At past annual meetings, I always worked at the event in the same role from year to year. Although it might have been the only time of the year that I saw members in person, some of them remembered me and we’d get a few moments to catch up!