Holy Cross Energy board candidate Larissa Read in her own words | VailDaily.com

Holy Cross Energy board candidate Larissa Read in her own words

Vail Valley resident says she has spent two decades facilitating challenging conversations with Colorado cities and towns

There's an election?

Holy Cross Energy is holding an election this spring for two seats on its seven-member board. The seat for the Southern District is uncontested, and will be held by David Munk.

There are four candidates for one seat to represent the utility's Northern District. The Vail Daily has asked those candidates to reply to a brief questionnaire. 

To learn more about Holy Cross Energy and its board, go to www.holycross.com.

Why do you want this job?

My bid for the Holy Cross Energy board is an extension of my commitment to public service and making good decisions for the health of our planet. Environmental leadership, climate action planning and community engagement are the unique skills that I bring to this role, and they are strongly representative of both my personal values and my professional experience.

I want this job so that I can continue my service role to our community and help guide a leading regional utility into a low-carbon future. Holy Cross Energy has already taken a strong path toward clean energy, and I would like to engage, serve members, and support a state and national leader in the industry.

Why are you the best person for this position?

As a public servant and consultant, I have over 20 years of experience guiding communities and public officials through tough decisions that balance the needs of the human and natural environments. In my professional and volunteer work, I engage and listen to communities as they grow and change, and guide them as they make challenging and strategic decisions for their futures. I have worked with dozens of cities and towns, counties, federal agencies, and nonprofits, and I have proven experience in finding common values and solutions. Engagement with and responsiveness to members are some of Holy Cross Energy’s strengths, and my background will support and grow this area of their service to all of us.

My project management experience includes planning for climate change adaptation and mitigation, visitor use and experience, safe and efficient transportation, and resource management activities in national parks and national forests. I have worked across the Mountain West with communities that face the same needs and questions facing our valley, such as balancing the cost of living with the need to protect the natural resources and reasons we all live here.

I have spent two decades facilitating challenging conversations with Colorado cities and towns facing recovery from wildfires, drought and floods — risks that we all know can affect our own local energy supply. Here in the Holy Cross Energy service area, I co-facilitated the Climate Action Plan for the Eagle County community and facilitated the stakeholder engagement for the city of Aspen Climate Action Plan. I currently serve our community as board chair for the Eagle River Watershed Council.

If elected, and you run again, you’ll be asked about your most significant accomplishment from that first term. What would you like that to be?

With the cost of renewable energy and storage projects continuing to drop, I will work to support the transition to a clean energy future in a way that also supports safety, lower rates and improved resilience from outages. My success will come from using my experience balancing true financial responsibility — the expenditure of public dollars — and the commitment of Holy Cross to a clean energy future. Holy Cross Energy’s goal of 70% clean energy by 2030 is both ambitious and critical to the economic and environmental health of our region, and it is a goal I will firmly uphold and implement as a director.