Meet the New Faces at the PUD

Northern Wasco County PUD’s IT department welcomes 2 workers

Kelsey Fork, left, is an IT intern at Northern Wasco County. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, Seth, and their son, Angus. Photo courtesy of Kelsey Fork

Kelsey Fork grew up in The Dalles and graduated from what was then The Dalles Wahtonka High School.

“I’ve done a lot of administrative professional jobs for the last 10 years or so,” she says. “But a couple of years ago, I started going back to school at Western Governors University on the IT management track, and I figured I should probably actually start working in IT at some point.”

Kelsey is an intern at the PUD, with the goal of moving into a full-time position. “It’s definitely a leap of faith going into an internship instead of more of a professional track, but it’s what I want to do,” she says.

Kelsey spends about half the time being taught things and half the time doing hands-on work.

“I started in mid-June,” she says. “About two or so weeks into the internship, I really got started on helping with the help support desk and getting my feet wet.

“We get all different kinds of submissions to the help desk. Some are just the basic password reset. Some are more in-depth, like employee onboarding—they need all their credentials set up and a computer station. I’ve been able to help a little bit on that.”

Kelsey hopes to stay at the PUD beyond her internship. “If they could find a way to keep me on, that would be wonderful,” she says. “I’m working on a few projects right now that are updating the processes for a few things and automating others. I would hope to be able to do more of that, to help people do their job a little bit easier.”

Kelsey has done some website design and brings experience in HTML—a web programming language—and CSS—a style sheet language. She currently works with the Python computer language.

When not working with computers, Kelsey enjoys watercolor painting. She has spent a lot of time this summer kayaking with her husband, Seth Rogan, and their 4-year-old son, Angus. “We’re going to take our first backpacking trip in a few weeks,” she says. “My husband has done that a lot, but this will be my first time.”

Kelsey says her work experience at the PUD has been positive. “Everyone is very friendly, and they really want to help,” she says.

Support IT Technician Jason Frederick is putting his interest in computers to use at the PUD. Photo courtesy of Jason Frederick

Jason Frederick came to Oregon from California when he was in sixth grade, following his father’s logging jobs. “He worked at Hanel Lumber Co. in Hood River and ended up doing truck driving when the logging industry started to downgrade,” Jason says.

Jason has lived in various places in the mid-Columbia, including Hood River and The Dalles. He now lives in Tygh Valley. He is a support IT technician at the PUD, but that wasn’t always the case.

“Remember the chip plant in The Dalles?” he asks. “I was working there with my father-in-law when it burned down in 2002. I decided I needed to do something a little more permanent. I went back to school at ITT Tech in Portland and got my degree in computer science. I’d always liked working with computers, so I figured I might as well do something I like and get paid to do it.” Jason started with the PUD on June 29.

“I’ve been doing a little bit of everything, but mostly right now I’m setting up new users, getting used to where everything is, and making sure I’ve got all the rights for the different programs and venues,” he says. “I’ve also done a little bit of troubleshooting.” Jason keeps busy with his family, which includes his wife, Marti, and their five children.

When not working, Jason said he’s into a little bit of everything. He loves to snowboard, compete in paintball, and have fun on the river.

“I loved growing up around here,” he says. “You can go down to water ski or Jet Ski during the day, and then in the evening go up on the mountain and snowboard. There aren’t many places where you can do that on the same day.”

Taking advantage of what Oregon has to offer, Jason’s summer plans included taking his wife on a 3-day raft trip on the Deschutes.