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New Employee Spotlight: Stephanie Knight

Photo: Stephanie Knight
Portrait of Inclusion and Diversity Manager Stephanie Knight

What made you decide to apply to WAPA?

When I first saw the job announcement for the Inclusion and Diversity Manager, I was unfamiliar with WAPA. I was intrigued by the prospect of working with a government agency that I had not had exposure to before. After doing some research about the organization, I discovered that several military installations in Oklahoma, including Ft. Sill and Vance Air Force Base, rely on the Southwestern Power Administration, while Buckley Space Force Base is set to be powered by WAPA in 2024.

I was very impressed by how energy sources like hydropower contribute to sustaining our armed forces and supporting rural and indigenous communities. This led me to the decision that I wanted to be part of a community dedicated to providing affordable and clean energy to our nation’s defenders and indigenous populations.

Additionally, WAPA’s location played a significant role in my decision to apply for the position. The prospect of having mountains right outside my doorstep fulfills a lifelong desire, as I have a profound love for nature and the outdoors.

What do you see as your strengths that can help your department “power WAPA forward”?

One of my most significant strengths is my capacity for creative and innovative problem-solving, as well as my ability to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Regarding inclusion and diversity, it is crucial to adopt a business model that intentionally assembles teams with varying perspectives and creates safe spaces for the sharing of these unique viewpoints. WAPA’s commitment, as evident in its Power Forward 2030 strategic plan, to assess and intentionally develop the organization’s people and culture, holds the potential to positively impact the workforce, particularly as we experience the departure of our legacy employees.

What attracted you to this industry prior to coming to work for WAPA?

During the earlier stages of my career, I spent several years working in the energy sector with an oilfield service provider. I loved the opportunity to collaborate with exceptionally brilliant individuals. Now I have the privilege of working with employees of that same caliber while focusing on clean energy initiatives and reaching underserved communities.

What makes you most excited about joining our team?

I am excited about joining a team that is in the initial stages of program development. The freedom to build and create programs from the ground up is a prospect I cherish. Having a supportive supervisor like Charles Montanez, who empowers me to establish a sustainable Inclusion and Diversity program, has been a true blessing. I look forward to the growth of our program and team.

Tell us something that most people wouldn’t know about you.

I am a huge soccer fan. I started my soccer journey at the age of seven and continued playing well beyond my prime. Many significant moments in my life have been intertwined with this sport, and I am genuinely thankful for the experiences it has afforded me. Soccer was a valuable outlet during my teenage years. My affection for Colorado was kindled during a soccer tournament at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I decided that if I didn’t secure a college scholarship in soccer, I would join the Air Force to have the opportunity to reside in beautiful places like Colorado. Ultimately, I received a scholarship offer and pursued that path. It was during my time playing soccer after finishing my undergraduate degree that I met my husband. Additionally, knowing that several staff members at WAPA are fans of the show “Ted Lasso,” I felt I was in the right place.

What else would you like to mention about yourself that isn’t mentioned above?

Family is everything to me. I am married to Curtis, a supportive partner and an excellent husband. Convincing him to relocate to Colorado was a fairly simple process. We moved to Colorado when I was seven months pregnant with my daughter, and we both decided that it would be our 10-year plan to raise our daughter here. The plan came to fruition in just seven years, and we are excited to start this new chapter of our lives together here. My daughter, Ryla, is an aspiring jiu-jitsu star and is eagerly anticipating the opportunities that Colorado has to offer in mixed martial arts and girls’ wrestling.

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Last modified on March 21st, 2024