Just before the Christmas holiday, Ryan Anderson, Manager of Business Development, received a call from one of the owners of a small, local business that has painfully weathered the pandemic.

Exo Roast Co. pivoted from a coffee shop early in the pandemic to a home grocery service, and even delivered coffee by bicycle. They reopened with strict safety protocols, only to be heavily impacted by the massive Downtown Links road construction project.

They called TEP for help, under an intense deadline to get a meter in place for the looming inspection of a new location. Anderson reached out to Scheduling Coordinator Natalie Nava and Field Technician Jesus “Chuy” Figueroa, who was covering for Dakotah “Koty” McGullam. The teams took a look at the work order, determined that the job could be done without negative impact to others in the queue, and with the help of Scheduling Coordinator Amie Lillie, got it done.

Exo owners William and Amy Smith, and Chris Byrne, detailed their experience in a letter to TEP:

“….As a “mom and pop” business, we know that it also takes moms and pops to run utility companies. We know it takes a person on the other end of the line, to hear your story, to meet you where you are at and at the end of the day, to ‘get it’ just like you do.

We recently were met with such understanding and kindness from TEP when we were under a deadline to convert and upgrade an old adobe in a new location to more power as our current location undergoes some pretty intense nearby road construction. With supply chain challenges, local labor shortages and sundry other delays and hiccups, we thought a TEP concern would come last on the list and would take months! To make matters worse, our needs were most acute during the holiday season!

But no. At the end of a very short wait on the phone was Natalie who promptly put in a work order. At the end, (maybe even before the end?) of his vacation time off, Koty called us back to confirm inspection Chuy had made in Koty’s stead. The crew came out on the RAINIEST day of the year, three days after Christmas, and hooked our power up without so much as a shrug.

In these times, I think we could all use more ‘we’re in this together’ to move beyond bumper stickers and internet memes. It was refreshing to realize that at the end of the day, caring humans are here to help us all get back to work. We are beyond grateful for the work from TEP to help us do just that. It warmed our hearts and actually gave us a lot of hope in the humanity that powers us all.”

Anderson was touched by the letter.

“It was such a powerful reminder of how our work affects the lives of our customers and community, and how inspiring it is to see our values come to life,” Anderson said. “The work the team did for those small business owners, though standard for us, meant a lot to them. They called, and TEP was here to answer.”

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