Thankful thoughts from Team GRDA

Power for Progress…
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

In keeping with tradition for this time of year, we asked a few of our employees the famous Thanksgiving question – “what are you thankful for?” – in relation to their jobs. Here are some of their answers:

GRDA power lines run from the Coal Fired Complex (background) to deliver electricity to customers across Oklahoma, 24/7. While many will be enjoying time off with family over Thanksgiving, many others – including many Team GRDA members – will be on the job, to insure that low-cost, reliable electricity is available to light and warm the holiday season.

“GRDA provides a service that is necessary for survival and I’m blessed to work for an organization that benefits everyone and every place surrounding me,” said Marcena Blackwell. A six-year GRDA employee, Marcena works at the Coal Fired Complex, helping with accounting functions for GRDA’s largest electric generation facility and the base for most of the workforce.

“In a time when so many people are out of work and struggling, and in some countries where people work for only pennies a day, I feel so very blessed to be a part of such a great team of people as we have at GRDA,” said Cathy Berry, a nine-year member of the GRDA Purchasing Department at Administration Headquarters in Vinita. Cathy is one of GRDA’s certified procurement officers and also serves as travel coordinator for the Authority.

Another nine-year employee, Mike Ragsdale is GRDA’s Assistant Superintendent of Material Control at Transmission Headquarters near Pryor. That means he helps insure parts and equipment are in place for GRDA’s power line maintenance crews. Through his daily duties, he says there is much to be thankful for.

“We have had several major substation projects recently, requiring a great deal of equipment to be ordered and ready for installation. There is a satisfaction in seeing how my part plays into the big picture of GRDA, and I am thankful to be a part of it,” said Mike.

Back in Vinita, Dona Parks has been with GRDA just over a year, serving as a programmer in the Information Systems Department. She says she is thankful to be part of a team and an organization that exists to serve Oklahoma.

“I am thankful for the sense of pride I feel when asked what all GRDA does after being asked for whom do I work,” she said. “I like to share what I’ve learned about the history of GRDA in Oklahoma.”

Melanie Earl, a seven-year employee and GRDA’s Assistant Media Superintendent/Employee Relations Coordinator, echoed Dona’s comments and said it’s good to be part of family of employees working together to provide a basic service for everyday life.

“I am thankful to work for an organization that benefits the community I live in, providing coolness on a hot summer day, and warmth during a cold winter night,” said Melanie, “and I am thankful to be a part of an organization in which coworkers ban together as a family.”

Though many members of Team GRDA will be off Thursday and Friday (GRDA offices will be closed), celebrating the holiday with family and friends, many other coworkers will be on the job, making sure low-cost, reliable electricity is available to brighten and warm all our celebrations. We send out a special “thank you” to them.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable; electricity serves nearly 500,000 homes in Oklahoma and stretches into 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.

– Justin Alberty

Corporate Communications Director

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