Grant County PUD Community Engagement Public Affairs Officer Recognized with Regional Career Connected Learning Award

Published On: June 8th, 2023|Categories: Awards, News, Program News|
Grant County PUD Community Engagement Public Affairs Officer Recognized with Regional Career Connected Learning Award

North Central Career Connect Washington Network Celebrates Champions Across the Region

The North Central Career Connect Washington (CCW) Regional Network, established in 2019, unites more than 400 community members for the purpose of expanding access and alignment of career paths for young people in the region. The regional effort is the collective impact of many leaders from different sectors and roles who have contributed in significant ways to career-connected learning efforts across Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties.

On June 6th, the Regional Network formally recognized three individuals during a virtual celebration event:

The 2023 Keystone Award was presented to Annette Lovitt, presented by her supervisor, Chuck Allen.

The Regional Network Keystone Award is a distinguished recognition that honors individuals or organizations that have played a pivotal role in supporting and advancing career-connected opportunities and experiences for young adults in North Central Washington. The term “keystone” refers to the central, vital component that holds everything together and ensures stability and strength. Similarly, a Keystone Award acknowledges the significant contributions and efforts of its recipients in shaping and fortifying the foundation of their respective fields.

Recipients of a Keystone Award are recognized for the way that they serve in ways that are often unseen, but their contributions and efforts have had profound impacts on the lives of young people. The Keystone Award serves as a symbol of appreciation and acknowledgment for those who have become the cornerstone of progress and success in their area of expertise.

Lovitt, the Community Engagement Public Affairs Officer for the Grant County Public Utility District, demonstrates exceptional dedication to serving the community. With a career spanning 26 years at the Grant County Public Utility District, Annette began as a Student Helper and steadily progressed through Senior Accountant and Customer Service roles.

“Throughout her journey, Annette has consistently demonstrated a servant leadership approach and a strong commitment to personal growth and skill development,” explained her supervisor, Chuck Allen. “Her passion for working with the public and her unwavering dedication to her role have made her an invaluable asset to the organization.”

In addition to her position at the Grant PUD, Annette is also the President of the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Ephrata Rotary.

Lovitt’s commitment to making a positive impact extends far beyond her professional responsibilities. Last fall, when she was approached to recruit volunteers for the inaugural Eastern Washington Computer Science Fair, she went above and beyond expectations, said Dr. Sue Kane, the Director of STEM Initiatives and Strategic Partnerships at North Central ESD.

Dr. Kane added, “Not only did she recruit exceptional volunteers to support the event, she also took on the formidable task of transporting the technologically advanced Illuminator van, a Grant County PUD asset, from Ephrata to Wenatchee’s Town Toyota Center.”

Before the sun had even come up, Lovitt landed on-site maneuvering the rig through tight curves inside the building and ensuring it was in place by 7 AM. She handled the logistics and the event was a huge success, thanks to her resourcefulness and dedication.

During the event, Lovitt and a group of Grant County PUD volunteers captured a noteworthy moment. They noticed a student who repeatedly returned to the Grant PUD booth, and through engaging conversations, discovered the student’s dreams and aspirations of pursuing a career in coding.

The student expressed his desire to learn but lamented the lack of a computer at home. Lovitt’s compassionate nature led her to take immediate action. She connected the student with the NCW Tech Alliance, a program that provides refurbished laptops to students and families in need. Thanks to her quick thinking and initiative, the student received a laptop that would enable him to pursue his career interests.

This heartwarming instance exemplifies Annette’s thoughtful and compassionate approach to leadership.

Throughout the year, Lovitt has continued her serve the community through her support for Career Connected Learning initiatives. She played a vital role in recruiting guest speakers for events,  volunteers for Hour of Code events and, most recently, the Tech and Tiara events across the region. Her commitment, dependability, and genuine care for others set her apart as an exceptional leader and community champion.

“Annette’s inspiring charisma, selflessness, and unwavering commitment to community engagement make her a deserving recipient of the 2023 Keystone Award,” said Tami McBride, Career Connected Learning Specialists at North Central ESD. “Her humility, kindness, and willingness to lend a helping hand truly embody the spirit of this prestigious honor.”

About Career Connect Washington

Career Connect Washington was created by Governor Jay Inslee, with support and funding provided by the Washington State Legislature, to provide our state’s young people with expanded opportunities to gain real-world experience through a fully integrated career connected learning system. Business, labor, educators, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and many others have come together to create a strategy for making these opportunities available in every part of our state to every student as part of their academic journey.

Locally, the Career Connect Washington North Central Network is co-led by the Apple STEM Network (North Central Educational Services District) and the SkillSource Regional Workforce Board. For additional information visit:

About the Apple STEM Network

The Apple STEM Network is a three-dimensional alliance of K-12, Higher Ed and community partners in North Central Washington. We represent a diverse region with tremendous potential for STEM industry in agriculture, energy and innovation. With our collective effort we intend to: provide a constructive support system for educators who aim to meet the rising challenge for all students to develop 21st century skills and STEM literacy, to integrate community mentorship and promote authentic project-based learning and field experiences for all levels of education, and engage students in exploring the world of opportunities on the horizon through STEM. For more information visit

About the North Central Educational Service District

The North Central Educational Service District is a resource to the 29 districts within the four-county service area, providing professional and timely tools to meet the needs of individual schools and districts, and a reliable point of education-related information for the communities served. The NCESD is a respected resource to other ESDs throughout Washington State. For more information, visit

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