Curiosity, Passion and a Positive Attitude Pays Off

Curiosity, Passion and a Positive Attitude Pays Off

Starting a new job is always nerve-wracking. Add in a global pandemic and it can be very difficult to find your way in your new role. New ACEP junior project manager Patty Eagan took it all in stride.

“Patty started working at ACEP at one of the most challenging times you could start with a new organization — right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic — but she was able to jump in with both feet and make it work, which is a great testament to her persistence and interpersonal skills,” said ACEP Director Gwen Holdmann.

Eagan long envisioned using her business background and interest in sustainable energy to help Alaska communities. For years, she has been intrigued by ACEP and its focus on innovating solutions for Alaska’s unique energy challenges. She made it a point to walk through the ACEP office a few times a year during her time as a UAF student, inquiring about ACEP research. But it was an eight-day paddling trip on Beaver Creek with some family friends, including ACEP’s Amanda Byrd, that really fueled the connection. 

“Patty was always the first person to jump in to help whenever there was a need, whether it was putting up a tent in the rain, setting up the kitchen or doing dishes,” said Byrd. “I knew I wanted to spend more time with Patty, and, when a job opportunity came up at work, I suggested she apply. I am so glad she did!”

Eagan worked three whole days in the office back in March 2020 before choosing to work remotely to help avoid virus transmission to high-risk family members. It has now been just over a year since Eagan joined ACEP as a temporary hire, shortly after receiving a Master of Business Administration from UAF.  Initially, her role was to provide support to the administration team and to assist in organizing the ACEP Utility Student Internship.

She is still working remotely, but her role has transitioned from administrative support to project management in a new position ACEP recently advertised. One of Eagan's new roles in this position is for the Alaska Microgrid Group — a nonprofit established to support the implementation of resilient, robust and affordable local power systems around the world. ACEP is a partner in the group. Eagan additionally serves in a project management role for the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project, which facilitates technical assistance to communities around the state. Eagan still helps to coordinate the Microgrid Boot Camp and ACEP Utility Student Internship, which kicked off last week. 

"Patty's thoughtful approach, positive attitude, strong work ethic and passion for sustainable energy has quickly made her a highly valuable team member at ACEP. We are so pleased to be able to bring Patty on board in a more permanent, long-term capacity," said Holdmann.

Eagan is a lifelong Fairbanksan who enjoys skiing, cooking dinner on a river bank, packrafting with her siblings, blueberry picking and spending time with her friends and family. 

She appreciates her co-workers and looks forward to meeting more of them in person. As for the work, she said, “I learn new things every day, and now everywhere I look, I see everything connects back to energy! It’s fascinating.”


Photo courtesy of Patty Eagan.