Gery Hirsch is KEC’s Manager of Member Services and has worked for KEC for more than three years.
What made you interested in working for KEC? How did you prepare for work in this field?
Working at KEC was of particular interest to me for several reasons. One was the mission to provide members exceptional service and dependable electric power at competitive rates. Another was the cooperative’s involvement in supporting the community through programs like Operation Round Up® and Project Share, which provides energy assistance to those in need. Finally, my family and I fell in love with North Idaho and all this area has to offer.
Previously, I worked for a public electric and water utility for 11 years. While my college focus was business, most of the training and preparation for this role was on the job in the various positions I have held throughout my career. That training along with a commitment to continuous improvement and supporting a team-oriented work environment led me to the role I serve in today.
What does a day look like for you as the Manager of Member Services at KEC?
There is a lot of variety in the work I do, with a typical day involving a wide range of items. In my role, I manage a team of 12 member service employees responsible for billing, payments, credit/collections, new services, energy services and more. At times my work is more focused on routine items like member support, scheduling, work distribution, employee development and support, while other days are focused on identifying process improvements, development and implementation of new systems and procedures, and long-term planning.
How will the new headquarters improve your team’s ability to provide service to KEC members?
The new headquarters is being designed with the future in mind as we move into a new era of providing exceptional service to our growing membership. I have been involved in the design of the new headquarters and we are excited for the improvements that will allow us to better serve members online, in the lobby and in the new drive thru. At KEC we regularly evaluate the ways members can manage their accounts, pay their bills and interact with us. While many members choose to manage their accounts electronically through SmartHub, other members manage their accounts and make payments in-person. In designing our new building, we also wanted to find a way to offer a more convenient service experience to those members who would rather not leave their vehicle. We are looking forward to the addition of the drive thru.
What is the biggest challenge in your job?
Like many organizations, we serve a diverse and rapidly growing membership base. Ensuring we remain agile through that growth and responsive to member needs can present a welcome challenge. In addition, our work force is growing and changing and that has required more attention to employee recruitment and training.
What is the best part of your job?
There are a couple of things that rise to the top in my mind. One is the opportunity to connect with members who have had some sort of relationship with the cooperative for many years, either through their own membership or through family. The other is that I get the opportunity to work with a great group of people here at KEC that are truly committed to providing exceptional service to our members each day.