Human hands showing unity

APS employees honored with nonprofit contributions

As a part of its ongoing commitment to community involvement, APS has created a community service award that honors full-time employees who have shown their dedication to the well-being of their communities through participation in a nonprofit organization.

The first two APS employees to be recognized for their community service efforts with the APS Community Service Award are Karen Dolyniuk, Manager of Treasury Operations; and Terry Ricketts, Events Manager.

Dolyniuk received a $2,500 contribution to Spotlight Youth Theater, where she has volunteered for five years, participating in set design, building and painting, costume and set changes, and serving on the fundraising committee and board of directors.

“The arts are so important and I didn’t realize that until my daughter got involved at Spotlight,” said Dolyniuk. “I have watched kids with learning disabilities, autism, depression, shyness and lack of confidence come to Spotlight and blossom into confident, outgoing, happy kids who are part of a team and realize the potential they have.”

Ricketts received a $2,500 contribution to Ronald McDonald House Charities, where he has volunteered for more than 2 years. Ricketts is involved with the APS Volunteer Clown Troupe, a group of employees, retirees and friends of APS who attend parades, hospital events, school programs and community fundraisers across the state.

“Having the understanding that everyone needs to laugh, it has been my mission in life to bring smiles and laughter to every effort undertaken,” said Ricketts. As clown Benjamin FranKlown, Ricketts educates children about electric safety and fire safety. He also teaches new volunteers how to make others laugh through the volunteer clown program.

In addition to the new community service award, APS has two programs that help employees give back to the organizations they are involved in. 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 2014, APS employees volunteered 147,000 hours valued at $3.3 million for the communities they serve, and nearly 300 APS employees serve on boards of directors throughout the state. Additional 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 to place nine skilled APS employees in short-term volunteer assignments for non-profits in Maricopa County. 

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the largest principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW)