At Key Capture Energy, we are fortunate to have a talented team of employees who work hard every day to identify, develop, construct and operate large-scale energy storage projects that play a key role in transitioning us to the grid of tomorrow. Without the hard work and dedication from these individuals, Key Capture Energy would not be the company it is today. Our team is comprised of people from many different backgrounds with a diverse set of qualifications, who all share a passion for what they do. Thus, we’re officially kicking off our Employee Spotlight Series in which we ask our team members to share their stories and divulge a little, or a lot, about working at Key Capture Energy, and allow their colleagues and associates to get to know them a little more personally. Given that we are all working remotely, we thought highlighting “a day in the life” of our team members could be a fun way to stay a bit more connected, while working apart.
This month we’re featuring our Project Manager, Courtney Stone, who has been with Key Capture Energy for a little over eight months. Read on!
What are your typical job duties and responsibilities at Key Capture Energy?
I manage all aspects of our New York projects after hand off from development. Once construction of a project is complete, I turn it over to operations. Working for a startup, you learn quickly that every day is different and you help out wherever you can to get things completed.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
For me, the most enjoyable part of my job is watching the actual construction of the projects and being in the field during that process. Having a project start from nothing, come together and operate is very satisfying.
How did you first learn about Key Capture Energy?
I had a good friend over for our annual Memorial Day party who consults for KCE and we discussed the changing energy landscape. We discussed the state of Fossil Fuels, battery storage facilities, and where the grid would be getting power from in the future. I expressed to him that I would be interested in being involved with the emerging future of energy and he thought KCE would be a great fit for me. I have always been proud to build projects that supply energy to the grid but now have a deeper sense of pride being able build large scale energy projects that will transition the grid of tomorrow.
What 3 words would you use to best describe the culture at Key Capture Energy?
Collaborative, Respectful and Inclusive
Can you walk us through a typical “day in the life” of Courtney, given this new remote working environment?
Our typical day involves waking up, breakfast time, then it’s all laptops and chromebooks from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. I handle the daily school assignments for my kids and my own work around the dining room table. We have lunch as a family and then the kids are free to have screen time until 3:00 p.m., then it’s outside for exercise! We have a family across the street with children the same age and they meet at their respective curbs to get some socialization while doing cartwheels, walkovers, and dancing!
How do you manage projects from the house?
Lots of meetings and phone calls! Now more than ever, communication is key. Most of the team is up early so I do daily morning check-ins to try to keep up to speed. In addition, due to the PAUSE order in NY State where everyone is now working from home and practicing social distancing, I am using this time to get all engineering, permitting, and administrative things out of the way which normally get put on the back burner during construction. We have the time to think out things more methodically and come up with better coordinated plans while this is all going on. In a “normal” scenario we are trying to juggle many things at the same time while keep progressing in the field to our commitment date.
How do you stay in touch and check in with the rest of your team?
Usually we are in constant communication on Slack but I find that at the beginning of calls now we all check in on each other to see how everyone is holding up. There is a new #KCE_Kitchen channel on Slack and everyone is posting recipes with photos which I think helps us all connect in this crazy and unfortunate pandemic situation.
What are your top tips and tricks for staying healthy, productive, and vibrant while working from home?
We talk about the next day together as a family at dinner. We try to get on the same page with our varying schedules and this way I can schedule a run and we discuss what we will be cooking.
What are any new work-from-home rituals you have established?
I try to get out and walk around the path we created in the woods which is a ¼ mile circle while on conference calls to get some exercise and quiet time.
What is the funniest thing that has happened working from home while managing the kids?
Last Friday my older daughter Lauren, who is 9, brought me a pineapple water at 2:30 while I was on a conference call in a wine glass with a straw. When I decided to have a sip, I thought it tasted strange so after the meeting I asked her how she made it and she pulled out the “Pineapple Truly” can. Although it was super sweet of her, I had to explain to her that drinking hard seltzers had to be done after work hours.
What are your hopes for the storage industry?
I hope that the storage industry continues to flourish and makes a beneficial, long-lasting impact on our environment. We are in the infantile stages of battery storage and knowing that the technology is going to evolve and batteries will increasingly be relied upon makes it exciting to be a part of this transition.
Fun Facts about Courtney:
What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I love to run and fish.
What is your favorite way to spend the weekend?
Doing outdoor activities with my family and friends. Hiking, outdoor fire pits, and taking the boat out.
Best vacation you’ve ever been on?
We go to Cape Cod as a family the same week every year and stay in the same house. It’s my favorite week of the year and as the kids get older, it’s fun to watch the vacation week evolve. We also have other family and friends that come to the Cape at the same time, and it’s nice to shut off the computers and spend quality time together.
What is one thing you have yet to cross off your bucket list?
If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
What is your favorite song?
Jessica by the Allman Brothers
What is your guilty pleasure?
Prime Rib, medium rare, with horseradish sauce and shoestring French fries.
Thank you, Courtney for all that you do for Key Capture Energy! Check back next month, where we will be profiling another talented team member.