45th Anniversary

Celebrating WAPA turning 45

On Dec. 15, 2022, several offices across the organization worked together to commemorate WAPA’s 45th Anniversary celebration through an all-employee meeting. The occasion was presented through a “WAPA News” broadcast. Co-anchors Lisa O’Brien and Troy Steadman provided segments from the “newsroom” located at Headquarters in Lakewood, Colo., and several “on location” spots. 

Administrator and CEO Tracey LeBeau spoke about the State of WAPA and her perspective on what makes the 45th anniversary special. She discussed how we connect through our shared history, marveled at what we have achieved and looked ahead at the many important issues facing WAPA.  

It was a perfect opportunity to reflect on some of the accomplishments WAPA teams have made as part of the strategic plan for the past 10 years. Senior executives highlighted several accomplishments from the Strategic Roadmap 2024, including: 

  • Chief Operating Officer Tina Ko discussed how the Assent Management program has matured, innovated and developed automated dashboards that enable risk-based evaluation of assets using health and consequence data. 
  • Desert Southwest Regional Manager Jack Murray explained how the Human Performance Improvement & Just Culture program was introduced as a Tactical Action Plan to the Roadmap, with the goal to improve the design, operate and maintain WAPA’s systems.
  • Murray also shared that in WAPA’s earlier days, we began with separate Repayment Study systems in each of our regions and how WAPA developed a standard, WAPA-wide Power Repayment Study platform.
  • Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Rodgers shared how through the Roadmap 2024, the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and a culture assessment, WAPA formalized its commitment to leadership development with the launch of a dedicated program office in 2020.
  • Upper Great Plains Regional Manager Lloyd Linke explained how the first strategic target area in Strategic Roadmap 2024 was Mission Critical Customer Services in an Evolving Industry, which covered evaluating markets and similar constructs. Since 2014, WAPA has accomplished so much in both evaluating and joining markets that made sense.
  • Chief Information Officer Mike Montoya shared how during the course of Roadmap 2024, IT completed many high-profile, complex projects. Projects that fundamentally changed – improved and often simplified – how WAPA operates through the IT Evolution initiative. 

Historical moment flashbacks

News anchor Steadman took participants back in time with history flashbacks. He first reported from 1952 where we found him at the Dispatcher’s Control Room at Parker Dam, in California. Then he traveled to 2016 during a big event for Communication employees when the Packet Standards Analysis and Integration Network Team charter was signed. From there he jumped to 2017, when the Punta Lima Substation, in Puerto Rico, suffered severe flooding from the storm surge during Hurricane Maria. Later, we found Steadman “on scene” July 23, 2018, at the Carr fire in Northern California. High temperatures and extreme drought conditions made this fire grow out of control. But WAPA employees came together in a unified response. During Steadman’s last history flashback report, he joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers contract discussions that happened early in 2022.

Contest winners

The anniversary celebration also announced the winner of WAPA’s 45th Anniversary Photo Contest. The contest was open for several months in 2022 to all employees in the organization and their family members. Over 85 photos were submitted. Sierra Nevada High Voltage Electrician Brian Marsteller won the contest with his photo of a transmission tower and sunrise reflection the morning of Sept. 23, 2022, near Tracy, Calif. Public Affairs Specialist and field correspondent Eric Barendsen also shared the top 10 photos, which are available on Flickr. 

In addition to the photo contest, employees were asked to help develop an inspiring message to communicate who WAPA is as an organization, its bright future ahead and help communicate Power Forward 2030. Nineteen employees participated in the contest from all over WAPA. Chief Strategy Officer Kerry Whitford announced Rocky Mountain Administrative Assistant Rosemary Black as the winner with this message: Powering a bright future: We are a professional, innovative organization dedicated to empowering communities to shine brightly through energy reliability and resiliency.” 

View the complete event at myWAPA, Employee Resources, All-Employee Meetings. 

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Last modified on March 12th, 2024