No team is complete without a mascot, and the same is true for Tucson Electric Power’s Community Action Team.
That’s why Curtis Brooks, who retired in 2007 after nearly 40 years of service, came up with PowerCAT. The mascot was introduced in 1995 at the company’s volunteer recognition event.
“After dinner, when the awards began, I disappeared and put on the costume,” Brooks recalled. “I walked onto the stage with (then-CEO) Charlie Bayless and shook his hand — for a while, I don’t think even he knew who I was.”
PowerCAT was officially born, and he became an annual presence at the volunteer recognition event and other CAT projects. His popularity grew — and so did the number of activities in which CAT volunteers were involved.
Today, he has some helpers: There are now two PowerCAT costumes in Tucson, and one in Springerville.
Like most mascots, PowerCAT doesn’t speak, but he encourages safety practices among those he meets by handing out cards with safety tips. Recently, he also started leaving his mark on fans with a PowerCAT hand stamp.
But if he did have the power of speech, Brooks said he would encourage employees to get out there and volunteer as much as they can. That includes retirees, Brooks added, citing he knows many who continue their volunteer involvement with the company by participating in walks and other projects.
“The CAT has been really good for the company,” Brooks said. “Every year, we do more.”