A new year often brings people to reflect on a new beginning. In some cases, resolutions are made to better our health, try new activities, save more money, or spend more time with friends and family. In other cases, it brings changes in life including retirements and promo-tions that not only affect the person who retires or is promoted, but often affects many of us indirectly as we adjust to the new dynamic that exists around us. We must adjust to new coworkers, or maybe no coworker at all for a period of time until that former coworker’s vacan-cy is filled.
Such is the situation that we find ourselves in this new year as we saw 2022 end with 7 retire-ments in December and 16 retirements in 2022 overall. Many years of experience walked out the door with 202 years happily embracing retirement in December alone, and 421 years doing so overall in 2022. That is a phenomenal amount of time that was dedicated to STEC, and we can’t thank those employees enough for their devotion and hard work. We also can’t thank them enough for the time they spent transferring knowledge to the rest of us so we could be successful, not only individually, but also for the benefit of STEC and its Members.
At our January Board meeting, we reported to the Board that we had 43 open positions to fill within STEC’s ranks. So many openings create challenges for us as we work to complete the tasks and duties that we must fulfill, but I am astounded at how we have collectively stepped forward to manage those gaps to ensure that our Members are well served and that our obliga-tions to others are met as well. I understand the extra labors being undertaken during this transitionary period, and I am truly grateful for the willingness to do whatever is necessary to continue our success! Work is diligently underway to fill these open positions with 7 recent new hires and two additional promotions this month. Congratulations to our new employees and to our recent promotion recipients! The work to identify additional candidates continues, however. To date, we have received more than 125 applications to fill these roles. I am opti-mistic that we will soon find quality, dedicated employees that we can welcome into the STEC family to join alongside us as we complete our mission.
Lastly, I want to say thank you! I want to especially thank each of you for the warm reception that I’ve received as I have assumed the role of General Manager. Mike Kezar provided 8 years of strong leadership to STEC after having been in various roles at San Miguel for 34 years prior and served as a mentor for me as well over the years. And for that time and effort we extend our thanks to him as well and bid him good luck in retirement! It has been very humbling to receive the support and trust of both the employees and the Board as we make this transition. I look forward working with each of you and leading the STEC team in the future.