Benson native Matthew Riesgo has taken over the reins of the Douglas APS office.
His APS Cochise District covers all of Douglas, Bisbee, Pirtleville, Palominas and Hereford and as far north as Tombstone.
Riesgo replaces Danny Ortega Jr. who was recently reassigned to another position within the company.
Riesgo is a Benson High School graduate (2002) and began his career working for Sulphur Springs Valley Electric where he remained for about 14-years before transferring to Tucson Electric Power where he was the safety and training coordinator. He remained there for about a year before joining APS and relocating to Douglas.
He’s married with three boys and another baby boy on the way. He said he and his family are familiar with Douglas and have always liked the area.
“My wife’s family grew up here and they are still here,” he said.
He says the transition to Douglas has been smooth and he is very excited about the opportunity that’s in front of him.
“I’m used to a small environment where it’s a family environment,” he said. “That’s what drove me to APS ultimately. … The staff here has been awesome; very welcoming. They are all willing to help any which way they can.”
Currently there are 16 employees working out of the Douglas office.
The closing of the Douglas office and forcing APS customers to now go online to pay their bill or through other means has been a way of modernization.
“It’s hard not having that customer interaction,” Riesgo said. “We need to find a way to rebuild that in some other form. … We need to find another way to rebuild that relationship with us and the community.”
Riesgo says he has been trying to immerse himself in what is going on not only in Douglas but also Bisbee and Tombstone as well.
He says there are no changes planned at the moment for local APS customers.
“Our biggest thing is reliability,” he said. “Things that we can improve on our end to increase reliability is great.”
Riesgo understands he has some big shoes to fill in replacing Ortega but he welcomes the challenge.
“Danny was a model figure in the community,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about that man.”
Riesgo wants the community to know that he and his family are excited to be here and they plan on being active members of the community.
“This is where my home is now. It’s going to take a lot for me to leave,” he said.