To most people, microwaves are little boxes that heat food quickly. To Nate, microwaves have enabled VEA to connect its entire 6,800-mile service territory with a clear, reliable communications network. Over an impressive career, including 16 years at VEA, Nate has developed his skill set to become a national leader in communications technology. He puts his expertise to use every day solving the challenge of bringing dependable, high-speed communications access to all VEA members. As Nate rolls out smart grid technology, the coop will be better able to protect its electrical system equipment. For members, a smart grid can help them keep money in their pockets. Members can save energy by turning lights in their home on and off from their phone; and down the road they will have the capability to sell excess energy generated by their rooftop solar panels back onto the grid. Whether a member lives in Pahrump next door to VEA headquarters or on a farm a mile from their nearest neighbor, Nate strives to ensure everyone benefits from a fast, consistent communications network.