Story and photos by Theresa Phillips
On Thursday, May 12, Lassen Municipal Utility District employees, retirees and management gathered to celebrate those who have achieved milestone work anniversaries and honor the 2021 and 2022 Employees of the Year.
The Service Awards and Employee of the Year began in May 2008 in conjunction with LMUD’s 20th anniversary. The first to receive the award was LMUD service technician Tom Brown. Since then, 15 employees have been recognized for going above and beyond for the district.
The 2021 Employee of the Year was awarded to LMUD IT technician Darren Hill. Darren joined LMUD in February 2020, just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic, and California issued a statewide shelter-in-place order.
With most of LMUD’s staff working from home, Darren swiftly put together work-from-home solutions, including equipping staff with phones and remote workstations—something LMUD had never done. His ability to think on his feet and solve problems under pressure helped LMUD navigate the challenges of a changing workplace and ensured customers’ needs were met.
“As IT technician, Darren has consistently performed above and beyond what I would have ever expected,” says Nick Dominguez, LMUD’s business manager. “He is intelligent, hardworking and reliable. Darren is a pleasure to work with, and I look forward to seeing him continue to learn and grow his career with LMUD.”
The 2022 Employee of the Year is staking technician Marcus Wright. Marcus has been with LMUD for five years. In that time he has worked as a laborer, meter reader, staking trainee and now as the district’s lead staking technician.
“Marc is a valuable employee to the district,” says Cort Cortez, LMUD’s electric operations manager, who presented the award. “He is responsible for engineering and approving all maintenance work, solar installs and new construction. He is an asset to this organization and very deserving of this recognition.”
When asked what he thought about being the 2022 Employee of the Year, Marcus says, “I really enjoy working for LMUD, and I hope to be an asset to the district for many years to come. Thank you all for the amazing opportunity.”
Employees who achieved milestone service awards include:
- Cady Schroeder, accounting and finance manager, 15 years
- Kerry Claypool, storekeeper, 15 years
- Michelle Langley, lead customer service representative, 10 years
- Matt Flores, journeyman lineman, 5 years
- David Vicondoa, journeyman lineman, 5 years
- Marcus Wright, staking technician, 5 years
- Pat Holley, LMUD’s general manager, 5 years
As Pat said in his June general manager’s message, “Every employee at LMUD has specialized skills and experience that contribute to the success of our organization.”
There is no question LMUD has the best of the best giving everything they have to make the utility the respected, trusted and community-minded power provider it strives to be.