El Paso Electric employees have contributed more than 13,000 hours to community service in the past year. This accomplishment was cause for celebration at EPE’s Annual Volunteers in Action Breakfast on Sept. 20. EPE employees were honored for their contributions to the community and 11 awards were presented to recognize exceptional volunteer service.
“The contributions made by our employees to the communities where they live and work are the pride of El Paso Electric,” said Mary Kipp, Senior Vice President at El Paso Electric. “Their time, energy and dedication set an example of community service and leadership for others to follow.”
El Paso Electric’s MegaWatt Award is presented to those employees who have demonstrated Excellence in Community Service. This year’s recipients are:
Omar Tarin, Systems Specialist, has organized a food drive for the past five years for approximately 40 families living in the Brick Community, located just across the Zaragoza Bridge in Juarez. Tarin also organized a Christmas Eve party and provided Christmas stockings and a toy to each of the children. In addition, Tarin volunteers to assist the Sagrada Familia Church and has been an active supporter of his department’s participation in the Adopt-A-Family Program and the March of Dimes.
Fred Hill, Contracts Administrator, is a member of the Knights of Columbus and works throughout the year on charitable activities, including annual steak and enchilada dinners. He also works to obtain EPE sponsorship for Special Olympics programs and events, including the Polar Plunge, the Fire Truck Pull, the Torch Run, the Dimas Vasquez Memorial Golf Tournament and the Special Olympics Gala. Hill assists the House of Hope, the Agua Dulce community and the Hands of Christ organization.
Liz Salaiz-Montoya, Customer Service Representative, enjoys volunteering and is vocal when it comes to motivating her co-workers to do likewise. For many years, she has been a fixture at events such as the Relay for Life, the March of Dimes and the Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference. This year, she was one of the team members at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake.
Dania Ramos, Energy Efficiency Marketing Specialist, has been with EPE for less than a year, yet her volunteer activities have already made a positive impression. Her first volunteer activity was to donate blood at one of EPE’s blood drives. Among her many attributes are her ability to organize, motivate, mobilize and lead teams to participate in a wide variety of charitable activities. She demonstrated these traits in putting together teams for the Special Olympics Truck Pull and Torch Run, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the ARC Walk for Respect, the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake in El Paso and the MUDD Volleyball Tournament in Las Cruces. She is currently practicing with co-worker Pablo Oñate to compete against 14 other couples in this year’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Dance for Kids’ Sake.
Claudia Hernandez, Customer Service Representative, is someone who likes to get others involved as well as being involved herself. She’s recruited a number of people, including employees and her family members and friends to participate in events such as Tough Enough to Wear Pink, Tough Enough to Walk Pink and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. She has collaborated with her co-workers in EPE’s Main Office in Las Cruces to have enchilada plate sales in support of Tough Enough to Wear Pink and the March of Dimes. Hernandez helps in gathering the items needed for the sale, as well as in the preparation and serving of the plates. She helped support Big Brothers Big Sisters of southern New Mexico by selling cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows. She helped organize teams for the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake in Las Cruces, and she organized a team from Las Cruces to participate in the Big Brothers Big Sisters MUDD Volleyball Tournament. Hernandez also supported the Las Cruces Relay for Life in support of the American Cancer Society.
Anita Duran, Customer Service Representative, is known for her generosity and kindness, and she is a faithful supporter of many causes, including Tough Enough to Wear Pink, the March of Dimes, Big Brothers Big Sisters of southern New Mexico, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and the Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference. She is well known throughout the Las Cruces offices as a great cook and often lends her talents to assist with fundraising activities. Whenever there is an enchilada plate dinner at the EPE offices in Las Cruces, she’s behind it. The enchilada plate dinner in April in support of the March of Dimes netted more than $400 for the organization. Duran volunteers at her church and conducts fundraisers.
Pablo Oñate, Compliance Engineer, grew up in South El Paso attending the downtown Boys and Girls Club where he was named Youth of the Year, earning him a scholarship to Cathedral High School. He believes in giving back and now serves as a Boys and Girls Club Board member. Having been on the board for two years, he is one of the most active members, serving on both the Executive Committee of the Board and the Board Development Committee, which identifies and recruits potential board members. He was a participant in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake and is currently teaming up with co-worker Dania Ramos in preparation for competing against other couples in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Dance for Kids’ Sake.
Patricia Salazar, Tool and Material Handler, has been active as a volunteer in the community for many years and can often be seen participating in events such as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. However, she really makes her mark through her volunteer efforts at St. Raphael Catholic School. She volunteers countless hours at the school, works the concession stand, and helps with coaching and running the scoreboard. Salazar is also a big help with a Summer Golf Tournament to benefit the school’s athletic department.
Dorothy Wells, Community Development and Public Safety Coordinator, has been a vital part of EPE’s Volunteers In Action (VIA) Program from its beginning in 1997. Today, she has a leadership role in three organizations under the VIA umbrella, including the Steering Committee, the Hand Up Committee and the Youth Sports/Matching Fund Program, where she helps administer a $10,000 fund that benefits youth sports- and health-related organizations. Wells also serves as Vice President on the Board of Project Amistad, and serves as Board Vice President of El Paso Family Services. Every year, Wells organizes EPE’s teams of volunteers that participate in the annual Thanksgiving Day Sun Bowl Parade, KLAQ’s Halloween Parade and the Northeast Easter Parade.
Jesus Granado, Customer Care Quality Assurance, volunteers countless hours to a variety of organizations. He has provided assistance as a score keeper and time keeper for different middle and high school sporting events and he has lent his talents in decorating for school dances. Granado serves as Web Master for the EPISD Council of PTAs. He has been instrumental in providing assistance to disadvantaged youth and families of El Paso while serving on the Knights of Columbus Council 2592. In addition, he has provided very much needed repair work to San Javier Church. Granado serves as Board President of Xceed Resources, an organization which employs individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
Skosh Guel, Public Relations Staff Assistant, a 35-year employee of EPE, has been a faithful supporter of the EPE’s Volunteers In Action Program since its inception. She has coordinated EPE’s gift giving for Bienvivir Senior Health Services for 16 years. She was recognized twice this past year by United Blood Services for her efforts to assist with the Stanton Tower Blood Drives. Guel is an avid supporter of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. She registers all EPE team participants and puts together the Race-Day packets. Thanks to her efforts, EPE’s team has been recognized as the local event’s biggest team for the last two years. For this year’s March of Dimes Event in El Paso, she volunteered to be part of the main planning committee and held her own fundraising event which raised nearly $700. This year, Guel also assisted a co-worker with a drive to collect travel-size personal hygiene items for the Center Against Family Violence, and she helped raise funds to assist an employee with funeral expenses for his family members who were tragically killed in a vehicle accident.