APS honors 6 employees for community commitment

As part of its ongoing commitment to community involvement, APS has created a community service award that honors full-time employees who have demonstrated dedication to the well-being of their communities by volunteering with a nonprofit organization. This is the second year APS has recognized deserving employees with the APS Community Service Award.

The 2016 award recipients are Michael Dyrcz and Patrick Fraher, each of whom will receive a $2,500 gift from APS for the nonprofit of their choice. Dyrcz, a Buckeye resident, was recognized for his volunteer service with the Buckeye Valley Fire Department; Fraher, of Prescott, for his leadership in youth development programs with the Arizona High School Cycling League.

Mona Cauley of Peoria received the Employee Choice Award for her work in animal welfare, socializing shelter pets and preparing them for adoption. She also will receive $2,500 for the charity of her choice.

Raymond Beezley, Brannon Hampton and Avery Thresher were award finalists and will receive $500 each for their respective charities. Both Beezley and Hampton reside in Goodyear and Thresher in Glendale.

The idea for the Community Service Award originated with APS Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Schiavoni.

“We encourage employees to serve in our communities because it is the right thing to do on many levels,” said Schiavoni. “But, the best reason for community service is the goodwill and relationships that come from it. Volunteering puts a familiar face on APS and lets our customers know we are more than just a bill in the mail. It tells them that we are part of our communities and have a commitment to the people who live here.” 

In addition to the community service award, APS has two programs that help employees give back to non-profit organizations. The Dollars for Doers program rewards employee service by making charitable contributions to the organizations where employees volunteer. Volunteers with at least 25 hours of volunteer service can apply for a contribution. The APS Financial Matching Gifts Program provides matching grants to employees making personal donations of at least $50 to eligible nonprofit organizations.

In 2015, APS employees volunteered 127,000 hours (an average of 26.6 volunteer hours per employee) valued at $3 million to non-profit organizations and the communities they serve. Additionally, nearly 300 APS employees serve on boards of directors throughout the state. APS volunteer initiatives include Community Connection Week of Service, new hire orientation volunteer projects for all new employees, and skills-based volunteerism such as the recent partnership with Experience Matters that placed nine skilled APS employees in short-term volunteer assignments for non-profits in Maricopa County. 

APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean, safe and reliable electricity. Using a balanced energy mix that is nearly 50 percent carbon-free, APS has one of the country’s most substantial renewable energy portfolios, and owns and operates the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the country’s top power producer and largest producer of carbon-free energy.  The company is also a proven leader in introducing technology and services that offer customers choice and control over their energy consumption.  With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).