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Kathleen Priester

Kathleen Priester

New Port Richey, Fla.

Some of our independent energy representatives have found that elusive combination of work and passion. Here’s Kathleen’s story:

I came to the energy industry simply by chance and found a career that I truly love.

I say ‘by chance’ because after high school I knew I wanted to work in the medical field, so I went to school and became a phlebotomist and lab assistant. I worked in hospitals and labs for the next 10 years and enjoyed working with patients and doctors. I knew it was my calling because I was helping people while making a good living.

Then in 2001, I injured my back severely in a car accident and had to have surgery that left me unable to do the job I enjoyed so much because I could no longer stand for long periods of time. I needed a job that did not require standing, so I tried a few different sales and collections jobs. I did well at them, but the satisfaction from helping people was no longer there.

In January 2005 I started working for AGR Group in Clearwater Fla. I had no knowledge of the energy industry but I had done sales in the past so I gave it a shot. They trained me on the program and taught me about energy deregulation. My first day on the phones, I knew this was exactly what I was looking for. I signed up 14 residential customers in Ohio that very first day for savings on their energy. I still smile when I remember how the manager, Steve, came over to me and said, “Have you ever done this before?” I said no and he said, “Well keep doing it, great job.”

When I went home that night I realized that I had once again found a career that gives me the satisfaction of helping people and making a decent living as well.

I continued to work in residential sales for three years before moving to commercial sales, where I felt right at home. I was able to continue helping customers save money on their utility bills but on a much bigger scale. I continued to work for AGR Group until June of 2011 when I left to pursue other opportunities.

For the next year and a half I continued to work in the energy field, which included training, quality control and management. Although I enjoyed these other positions, I felt something was missing. I needed to get back to working directly with commercial customers. So in 2013 I began working for US Power and Gas and I haven’t looked back.

For anyone who might be considering this line of work, I can tell you it is very gratifying when a commercial customer thanks you for finding good rates for them and saving their company a lot of money on their bill. By doing this, you aren’t just a sales rep; you are building a trusting relationship with each customer that will benefit them and you for many years to come.

If I could those starting out in this career one piece of advice to help them succeed, it would be this: knowledge truly is power. Educate yourself by learning all you can about deregulation and the energy industry itself. The more informed you are, the better you can help your customer.

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