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PYSK: Connie Kacprowicz

Public Information Specialist with Columbia Water & Light

AGE: 40

JOB DESCRIPTION: It depends on what is going on, but my main goal is to get Columbia Water & Light information out to the public. I help market our residential and commercial efficiency programs. We offer energy audits, rate incentives, rebates and low-interest loans—and we even give away free shade trees. I also serve as the media liaison for the utility and help with special issues that need to be communicated to the public. One of my current projects is working with the Power Supply Task Force on the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). This study takes into consideration how the energy is created, how the energy is transported, its environmental impact, and the benefits of energy efficiency. Electricity is an important part of our lives, but it is a complicated commodity. It is important to help the public understand the issues so they can be involved in the process of determining our future electric portfolio.

YEARS LIVED IN COLUMBIA: 20

ORIGINAL HOMETOWN: Springfield, Mo.

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: In the past I have served on the Columbia Art League Board of Directors and volunteered for the True/False Film Festival and Art in the Park.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: I have done everything from being a nanny in England to being a logistics coordinator for Outward Bound. In 1993, when I landed back in Columbia again, I started working as a freelance videographer. One of my jobs was to help broadcast Columbia City Council meetings. I was then hired full-time with the City of Columbia in 1996 to manage the government-access channel and handle Water & Light communications. In 2007, my job was split in two, so now I can focus solely on utility issues.

A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE: I have several friends who own restaurants in Columbia, and I don’t know how they do it! Restaurant work is exhausting—plus the profit margin can be slim at times. They are dedicated people who are passionate about what they do, which are qualities I admire.

WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: I am one of Columbia’s greatest advocates because I enjoy living here. Being a part of city government gives me an opportunity to keep our community strong and help others who want to be involved.

IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING, I WOULD: Start a consulting firm or go back to school.

BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME: I’ve always found it is better to take a stab at something you are interested in rather than being afraid of trying something new.

A FAVORITE RECENT PROJECT: The Water & Light calendar contest. Columbia’s young artists are very talented and clever.

WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: You have to enjoy talking to anyone and everyone.

WHAT I DO FOR FUN: At this moment I would choose sleeping, but it is winter and I am sleep deprived.

FAVORITE PLACES IN COLUMBIA: Booche’s and the MKT Trail.

ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: That my mom is proud of what I have accomplished in my life.

MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT: I went to school to be a map maker.

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