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Where did you go to college and what was your major?

I graduated from Hobart College with a degree in Economics with minors in Environmental Studies and Biology. I took a course on Economics and the Environment and was hooked on economics. Studying about windmills and other alternative energy sources and the economics behind them – supply and demand, impact on the energy market – was all very interesting.

How did you learn of NYSERDA?

Tom Rood

Tom Rood

I learned of NYSERDA through my father who worked for NYSERDA in the 1990’s after working for the State’s Energy Office for many years. I grew up knowing some of NYSERDA’s staff and their kids. When I graduated from Hobart, I knew NYSERDA would be a great place for me and was very fortunate to have the opportunity to join the staff. I have been employed at NYSERDA since July 2010 as a Contract Administrator working in the Contracts department.

You were recently on a special project with other State employees in NYC – what was that about?

The Fuel NY Gas Station Back Up Power Program was launched by Governor Cuomo as a direct response to Superstorm Sandy to ensure New Yorkers have access to gas in a severe storm. Through this program gas station owners/operators can apply to NYSERDA for funding to help install a transfer switch that will accept a portable emergency generator or select to receive funding if they elect to install a transfer switch and a permanent back-up generator. My role has been to develop the Program Opportunity Notice and grant agreements with gas stations, develop the business process for reviewing applications and issuing Agreements, and helping to negotiate the federal funding Agreement to fund these grants.

What would you like to be doing in your career in 10 years?

I plan to pursue a MBA. The tuition reimbursement program in place at NYSERDA provides an excellent opportunity for employees to continue their education and obtain advanced degrees. With a MBA I hope to be able to help institute improvements to the business process in Contracts. Additionally, I would look forward to a leadership role in NYSERDA.

Tell me something about yourself that would surprise your co-workers?

I think some folks would be surprised to learn that I was president of my fraternity for two years. I had a lot of interaction with the college administration and the national fraternity headquarters which was challenging but also a great experience. Also, interacting with the fraternity brothers, who were my friends, while in a leadership position helped prepare me for my role here at NYSERDA.

Do you play any sports?

I started playing soccer when I was five and played through high school and for one year in college. Currently I play in two leagues. One team is co-ed and the other team is a men’s team consisting of a group of friends I played with in high school. I play defense so I usually hang out in the back and help facilitate moving the ball around the field.

What would you tell someone about working for NYSERDA?

There is rarely a dull moment. Program staff continue to pursue innovative energy efficient technologies and develop new ways to advance NYSERDA’s mission. My job is to figure out how to make these ideas work within NYSERDA’s high standards for procurement. As long as I have worked at NYSERDA, there are still new challenges and ideas that keep me learning and on my toes.