​By Philip Reed

The stories Closed Circuit told in 2019 covered a wide range of topics. WAPA’s services, programs, customers and employees each took the spotlight at various points.

The result was a year’s worth of stories that all demonstrated different kinds of value and importance, making the selection of the 10 best even more difficult than usual. As ever there certainly wasn’t room for all of the great articles we were privileged to publish this year. If you don’t see your favorites, that’s okay; many of my favorites are missing, too!

​10: WLO through the eyes of LEAD – July 

The Washington Liaison Office is something every WAPA employee has heard about, and with which relatively few of them have firsthand exposure. Information Technology Special​ist Tiffany Applegate did a detail in the WLO as part of her experience with the Leadership Emergence and Development Program, and was happy to demystify WAPA’s physical presence in Washington, D.C. 

9: Employees respond to 2018’s strongest storm – March 

On Oct. 24, 2018, Category 5 Super Typhoon Yutu, tied for 2018’s strongest storm, struck the Northern Mariana Islands at peak intensity. This was hot on the heels of Super Typhoon Mangkhut, which made landfall in Guam Sept. 10 as a Category 2 typhoon. Two WAPA employees proudly assisted in restoration efforts.

8: Crews take​ to the sky to replace 600 insulators – August 

Sierra Nevada line crews enlisted the help of the Aviation program to replace more than 600 insulators on 49 dead-end structures in California. Tackling this massive effort with the aid of human external cargo saved time, saved energy and reduced the environmental impact. Projects such as this one illustrate the value of teamwork, and demonstrate just how big a difference it can make.

7: Brick by brick: Rebuilding the DOE logo – September 

Andrew Triviso, nephew of Vice President of IT – Operations and Maintenance Ed Sanchez, has a talent and passion for creating complex designs out of Lego. This year, he set a goal of completing a rebuild of the Department of Energy logo. Andrew took some time out of his busy creative schedule to talk about his unique hobby with Closed Circuit.

6: Retirees share powerful friendship – July 

Bonds formed at WAPA can last a lifetime, as demonstrated by a group of retired Upper Great Plains employees who meet up regularly to reminisce and enjoy each other’s company. The group has done everything from ziplining to touring Mount Rushmore to spending quiet nights playing cards. Most of all, they enjoy a sturdy friendship forged in the service of WAPA’s mission.

5: Glen Canyon Dam offers lessons in safety – August 

The Environmental Services group at the Colorado River Storage Project Management Center spends many hours on the Colorado River, and they sometimes come across struggling visitors who don’t have the knowledge and experience they should. This story spotlights a number of unexpected situations that show why “do what is right” and “do what is safe” are linked together in the same core value.

4: Proactive firefighting protects Arizona’s grid – June 

Fire is a serious threat to transmission lines everywhere. Closed Circuit sat down with Access Maintenance Manager Steve Narolski to learn about the organization’s proactive approach to vegetation management, how it benefits the ecosystem and how it managed to keep WAPA’s Arizona customers continuously energized in spite of back-to-back wildfires. 

3: Powering Americana – January 

One of WAPA’s oldest customers, Bryant is a tiny South Dakota town, tucked away among farmland and, in many ways, practically untouched by time. For many years, however, the city was in debt. The​ affordability of WAPA’s hydropower allowed the town to catch up financially and ultimately save more than two million dollars.

2: I2T spotlights everyday innovators – September 

The Inclusion, Innovation and Technology Summit is a highlight every year at WAPA. Attendees hear from and celebrate some of the most innovative minds throughout the organization and beyond. The 2019 event was the biggest I2T Summit yet, and it turned the spotlight inward, on the everyday innovator. Special guests, keynote speakers, panel discussions and more made for a very memorable experience.

1: WAPA’s female leaders reflect on leadership – May 

Closed Circuit reached out to a number of unsung female leaders throughout the organization, with the hope of gathering some information and insight about their leadership experience. The response went far beyond our expectations, and the resulting article turned out to be a surprisingly comprehensive portrait of female empowerment, inspiration and success.

Note: Reed is a public affairs specialist. 

Last modified on September 12th, 2023