Pedernales Electric Cooperative has two new regional operations directors. Sonny Ponce will serve in the Marble Falls position, and Troy Whitehead will oversee Bertram operations in addition to Liberty Hill.
Regional operations directors are in charge of the daily functions of the cooperative at a district level. Responsibilities include communicating with planning teams, field work supervisors, and crews to ensure work is done safely and effectively, Ponce said.
Ponce has worked for PEC since 1989. He has spent most of his time in the Cedar Park district, where he was previously regional operations manager.
“(My job now is) the director position, so I’m the most accountable here,” Ponce said. “It all starts here and it ends here. My priority at the district level is to provide a safe, pleasant, and productive work environment for all the employees.”
Both the Marble Falls and Bertram positions were previously filled by Nathan Burns, who recently retired after more than 40 years with the cooperative. The areas were divided between Ponce and Whitehead to better manage rapid growth within both.
The Marble Falls district covers 828 square-miles. Currently, the district has over 31,000 active meters.
“Sonny and I both have experience with historic growth,” Whitehead said. “We saw it in Cedar Park in the late ’90s, 2000s, and we’re seeing it again now. Liberty Hill has been experiencing an accelerated growth rate since about 2011. Now, it’s spreading into Bertram and Marble Falls, and it’s really starting to pick up. In my almost 25 years at PEC, I’ve seen the communities we serve almost triple in size.”
Whitehead, a Liberty Hill native, started as a lineman helper with the cooperative in 1993 and has worked his way up through the Liberty Hill office.
“I want to let our members know that anything we can do to provide for them, we will,” Whitehead said. “Sonny and I both. I know he feels the same way. So, anything we can do to help, we want our members to feel free to reach out.”