Manager of Reliability Engineering
Arash Zafari, ACES’ Reliability Compliance Specialist, migrated to the U.S. from
Iran in 2008 and received his U.S. citizenship last year. He moved to Indiana to
study electrical engineering at Purdue University and shortly after college moved to Indianapolis to pursue work in the power industry. “I started my career as a settlements analyst at MISO. It was a great way to gain experience in various aspects of the industry. You need to be well-versed in the market and operations to be successful in this industry,” says Arash. “I became more interested in operations, and compliance in particular. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist and my goal is to always have things done the correct way. Those tendencies fit well in compliance,” he adds.
Arash applied for a position with ACES’ reliability compliance team in the summer of 2018, and was hired shortly thereafter. Since joining ACES, he has assisted with various internal and external training and compliance matters, including assisting with implementation of ACES’ generation operations (GOP) services. When asked what drew him to ACES, Arash stated, “I applied at ACES because I liked the idea of working with a smaller company that may not have the same culture or mindset of a big corporation. In this role, you visit a lot of cooperatives or other public power entities and see a lot of people performing multiple roles. I feel better about my work knowing that I’m making someone’s life easier and providing value.” Arash also notes that he appreciates the unique bond ACES’ Members and Customers have with ACES and each other. “We’re all in this together,” Arash says, “we have conversations, build relationships, and learn from each other. If someone makes a mistake, we learn from it and find ways to be better in the future.”
Arash enjoys traveling to visit ACES’ Members and Customers and getting hands on experience at their facilities. He has a passion for travel in general and is always interested in visiting new places. “I love hiking, skiing, and just being outdoors,” says Arash. “I recently did a lot of hiking through Switzerland. Everything is so beautiful there, it almost doesn’t seem real. It’s hard to explain without experiencing it, but the air is so clean, it feels like you’re seeing everything in high definition,” he adds.
Arash says he wishes he could visit his home country of Iran more frequently, but the travel logistics make it difficult. “Iran is a very beautiful country,” Arash says, “Most people think of it as a desert, but it is a very large country with a wide variety of climates and seasons. I grew up in Tehran, and you can see mountains from anywhere in the city. It reminds me a lot of Denver.”
When pressed to name his favorite country he’s visited, Arash responds, “Every country has its own unique qualities, it just depends on what you’re looking for. I really enjoy travelling in Europe and America, because there are so many
different climates and cultures that can be accessed with very little required travel time.” Arash also enjoys spending time getting to know local people wherever he travels and trying the cuisines. “The more you travel and talk to people, the more you realize how similar everyone really is around the world. Most people are hard-working and just want happiness, safety, and opportunities for their families.”
Arash’s positivity, dedication, and attention to detail make him a great fit for the ACES team.
*Note that since being published, Arash has been promoted to Manager of Reliability Engineering*