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Arizona PS Manager of Renewable Energy on Hiring Vets

NRECA hosted this year's Vets in Energy conference last Friday. Among those addressing the hiring of vets - the compelling benefits, programs and remaining challenges - was Ray Brooks, Manager of Renewable Energy of Arizona Public Service, and a Marine Corps veteran. 

You weren't there? That's ok. Below are two brief vids of what Brooks said: 

 

Moving forward though today, what I've learned now being in the civilian sector. Just a quick point, transitioning into the civilian sector from the military is not a start and stop process once you're hired as a veteran. The transition actually continues. 

In my mind, as I sit here with you all today, I'm at my three-year mark at Arizona Public Service. I've learned so much more about my individual self, having been in this position now as a civilian veteran - as of last week - for three years, than I probably learned about myself in my entire twenty-four, twenty-five years in the Marine Corps. 

What that has taught me now as a leader, to echo the comments that have been made here, is that now, today, if we can identify with our true selves as veterans. We've been conditioned to be with the program, to work as a team, to have leadership and have morality and ethics, integrity, honor, courage, commitment. 

But if we can tap into those, into each and every one of your values as a human being, as a person - your special, unique traits and talents - if you can tap into those, and then couple them with what we have been taught and trained as military veterans. That is when we achieve true effectiveness and true capability that we then apply to our organizational development and organizational project management. That's when we can get to a high-performing level of capability. In any sector, not just the energy sector.

 

 

But one thing that stuck out with me. If there were one thing that [Hal Pittman] told me, on the eve of my interview to come into the company, having failed about five or six previous interviews with multiple different organizations in this transition process. The one thing he told me was, be yourself. 

He said, be yourself. Well, first thing he said, hey, how's the Sheraton Hotel? I said, well I'm not at the Sheraton, I'm actually at the Holiday Inn Express. He's like, oh, cool, yeah. Because [the Sheraton is] where they send the directors and vice presidents and stuff. 

But he said, be yourself. He didn't give me any guidance. We've worked together for a number of years, from when I was a junior officer up until now.

That was probably the most sagacious coaching guidance I've ever received. That I have transferred to my own employees now. 

Be yourself. You have value. You have a special trait that is unique to you. You have your light, your spirit, your soul, and every single individual has that.

He didn't say that. I wish he had. I would've done better. But that is what's important.

 

 

The magazine for commentary, opinion and debate on utility regulation and policy since 1928, Public Utilities Fortnightly. "In PUF, Impact the Debate."

Steve Mitnick, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly

E-mail me: mitnick@fortnightly.com