We thought our newsletter subscribers would enjoy getting to know some of the people working for Pattern Energy. Like this picture shows, our people are doing their jobs proficiently every day, yes, but they are also members of the communities they serve, and love where they live.
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Tom Ashby, the Assistant Facility Manager for Spring Valley Wind.
Where are you from?
“I was born and raised in Ely and then moved around the West for years in my career. I joined Pattern Energy in 2012 and have been at Spring Valley Wind since. I am the Assistant Facility Manager, and it’s great to be here.”
How big is the team here?
“We have a Facility Manager, Jeff Holbrook, our Site Logistics Coordinator is Norma Mardueño, and there are eight wind technicians working with us.”
What’s the biggest surprise you encountered as a wind professional where you grew up?
“Growing up I had no idea, but we have a population of Mexican free-tailed bats living in a cave near the wind farm. It’s been fascinating learning about them.
I also appreciate Pattern Energy’s commitment to their principles, and to the environment. When you’re from a place like Ely you tend to love the outdoors.
Here in White Pine County, we have a population of the Mexican free-tailed bats I mentioned.
This July, I’ll be checking on our sensors that detect bat density. We slow turbines down at night when we know they’ll be flying. Pattern Energy makes less revenue, obviously, but our principles matter, and protecting the environment matters to all of us.
I tell everyone: This is my backyard and I care what happens out here. I’m an outdoorsman and everything- the Golden Eagles, the rabbits, the bats…. all of it. All of it matters.”
Do you have family?
“Thank you for asking! I married my beautiful wife Natalie in June. She grew up in Moscow, Russia, but we met in Las Vegas, where two of her adult children live.
Between us, we have six kids and eight grandchildren spread out around Las Vegas and Southern Idaho.”
What is the best part of working for Pattern?
“As I mentioned, I’m an outdoorsman. I am a bowhunter, I contribute to conservation groups and care about the outdoors. Hunters care about the environment and are stewards of the land- it’s why we discussed the bats. Everything here is connected.
At Pattern Energy, I have a variety of things to do day to day. One day it’s something electrical, the next day it’s mechanical. I enjoy learning new things, and it keeps things interesting.
I also love the people. I have never worked for a company where the people do what they say. Everyone from CEO Mike Garland, to the facility managers, and all the way to the wind techs. Everyone is respected and valued here, and they care about the land they operate on.”
What do you do for fun?
“If you haven’t noticed yet, I love the outdoors.” (We both laughed). “Natalie and I are outdoors people, and we enjoy riding ATVs, snowmobiling, horseback camping, and more.
We own two and a half acres outside of town and we absolutely love it. As the pandemic starts to get under control we are looking forward to seeing family more often.
I belong to a number of organizations dedicated to protecting wetlands, endangered environments, and animal habitats. It all matters- non game species benefit along with game species. We all win when the environment is looked after, and we enjoy spending our time out in it!”