MEEKER | Pete Larson may be White River Electric Association’s (“WREA”) most complimented employee ever, according to WREA Board President, Dick Welle. “The Board receives ‘thank you’ notes for Pete’s efforts on a regular basis,” Welle said.
Larson began in 1995 as a meter reader and satellite television serviceman. Later he added satellite internet to his resume. On July 31, after 24 years of dedicated service, Larson will retire. While he is a man of many skills, he is most famous for his patience, kind smile and willingness to answer the call of duty no matter the job or hour of the day.
“Pete has taken calls during evenings, weekends and Bronco games,” said WREA General Manager Alan Michalewicz.
With a simple push of a button Larson resurrected remote controls, pushed more bandwidth to a satellite internet account to stream a movie or reconnected a router.
“He sets the standard for customer service; no job or question too small for Pete and all with a smile, a good laugh and often a funny story about life back in Minnesota,” Michalewicz said.
In the last few years, WREA’s satellite internet business has dramatically declined due to changes in technology and the availability of Rio Blanco County Broadband.
“The satellite internet business has always been about providing our rural members with an internet option and we are pleased to see that many of them can now be served by the Rio Blanco County Broadband Project,” Michalewicz said.
WREA will not abandon its remaining customers but with the continued expansion of the Rio Blanco County Broadband Project and Larson’s retirement, WREA determined it is time to begin to transition out of the satellite internet market. WREA will continue to provide satellite internet services until it can transition the business to one of the local internet providers.
“Nothing will change for our satellite customers right now, but we hope to complete the transition by late fall,” Michalewicz said.
WREA looks forward to working with the local service providers on how best to serve the remote rural customers going forward. WREA will keep its members posted on the transition process and send details to all satellite customers in the coming months. Please call WREA at 970-878-5041 with any satellite internet questions.
“We are sad to see Pete go but excited for him to enjoy a well-deserved retirement. WREA’s Board of Directors and staff congratulate Pete on a great career and wish him all the best,” Michalewicz said.
Special to the Herald Times