Valley Electric Association adds 5 to work force

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Valley Electric Association Inc. (VEA), a member-owned electric cooperative in Pahrump, Nevada, recently hired five new staff members, many filling high-ranking positions.

VEA has hired seven new employees since January, the latest additions in the cooperative’s ongoing work force expansion. VEA increased its number of employees by some 20 percent in 2013 as a result of the cooperative’s continued success in securing new revenue sources.

“VEA remains committed to hiring the most talented and experienced professionals to advance our cooperative’s mission of building a brighter future for Nevada,” said Tom Husted, CEO of VEA. “We look forward to creating additional jobs in the coming years and decades as our cooperative continues to thrive.”

VEA’s new staff members include:

John Perra, manager of operations
As VEA’s manager of operations, Perra’s duties involve managing the cooperative’s operations department, including overseeing the planning and performance of construction, maintenance and operations at VEA. He also assists VEA’s engineering department and tests the cooperative’s systems to ensure compliance with safety codes. Prior to joining VEA, Perra served as northwest region manager for NV Energy in Carson City.

Joe Fieldsted, safety, health, environmental and efficiency manager
Fieldsted is responsible for managing, monitoring and implementing VEA’s health and safety programs, overseeing environmental programs and obligations, and improving the efficiency of day-to-day electrical distribution operations. Prior to working at VEA, Fieldsted served in various positions at Moon Lake Electric Association Inc. in Roosevelt, Utah.

Chris Brooks, executive vice president of energy services
Brooks’ responsibilities as executive vice president of energy services include managing VEA’s distributed generation programs and overseeing specialized government contracting related to renewable energy services. He also manages VEA’s legislative affairs, marketing and member services programs. Brooks, a recognized leader in Nevada’s energy industry, previously served as the director of Bombard Renewable Energy in Las Vegas for 10 years.

Anu Bhagat, controller
As VEA’s controller, Bhagat works in the accounting department, where he analyzes financial information and prepares detailed reports for the cooperative’s management team. His duties also include assisting with internal audits of controls, processes and procedures. Bhagat previously served as the manager of accounting and finance at Central Virginia Electric Cooperative Inc. in Lovingston, Virgina.

Josh Driggs, accounts payable accountant
Driggs’ role as accounts payable accountant involves processing accounts payable, providing financial records and reports, and assisting in verifying that VEA’s policies are followed. Before joining VEA, Driggs worked as an accountant for Goldcorp.

VEA started as a small rural electric utility in 1965, but the company now provides service to more than 45,000 people within a vast 6,800-square-mile service area primarily along the California-Nevada border, with the majority in Nevada. VEA’s service area starts in Sandy Valley, southwest of Las Vegas, and extends north for more than 250 miles to Fish Lake Valley.

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