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Salem Rising Star: Connor Reiten’s Visionary Journey in the Pacific Northwest Energy Landscape

Written by Richelle Gamboa on Oct. 12th, 2023
Featured Image photo for Salem Rising Star: Connor Reiten’s Visionary Journey in the Pacific Northwest Energy Landscape

In the dynamic hallways of PNGC Power, Vice President of Government Affairs, Connor Reiten, is more than just a high-ranking executive; he’s the embodiment of commitment, determination, and innovation.

Emerging from a background rich in politics and advocacy, Reiten’s trajectory is a testament to tenacity. From navigating the political maelstroms of statewide campaigns during his days as a Political Science major at the University of Portland to honing his expertise in public affairs, he has deftly maneuvered the intricate terrains of government relations.

The turning point in Reiten’s career was his tenure at the Northwest Gas Association (NWGA). This pivotal role fortified him with the profound insights he would later harness at PNGC Power, where he now pioneers in reimagining the electric energy paradigm in the Pacific Northwest. He fondly reminisces, “The Association offered me the first opportunity to put professional roots down and delve deeper into issues. That experience set me up for the work that I do today at PNGC Power.”

Under Reiten’s guidance, PNGC Power has positioned itself at the vanguard of adopting progressive strategies in an industry experiencing seismic shifts. He elaborates, “Natural gas has been championed as a low-carbon energy resource. I’ve had the privilege to work on energy efficiency, renewable natural gas programs, and the advancement of hydrogen production.”

But every journey, no matter how illustrious, is punctuated with challenges. “The onset of my career was invigorating, yet fraught with hurdles,” he concedes. “Overcoming these obstacles was a mix of providence and mentorship: I found a mentor who genuinely invested in my growth, both personally and professionally.” His gratitude extends to mentors and colleagues like Dan Kirschner of NWGA and a galaxy of professionals including Judy Adair and Nina Carlson.

Reiten believes that the bedrock of professional success is balancing self-assuredness with a student’s curiosity. “Navigating the realm of seasoned professionals requires a delicate balance of valuing your voice while respecting the wisdom of those more experienced,” he shares.

Beyond the realm of corporate strategy, Reiten cherishes his role as a family man. His commitment to being an involved father and spouse is unwavering. “Being present and devoted to my wife and (soon-to-be two) daughters eclipses all professional achievements,” he states unequivocally.

In the wider community sphere, Reiten’s involvement is palpable. From his role as a Board member of the Salem Chamber of Commerce to engagements with institutions like the Boys and Girls Club and the French American International School, his commitment to service is profound.

Peering into the horizon? Reiten’s immediate goal is grounded in continual learning, especially in the ever-evolving energy sector. “I’ve just embarked on my journey at PNGC Power. My immediate aim is to deepen my understanding of the electric side of the energy industry,” he delineates.

Yet, his overarching mission remains lucid: “My aspiration is to empower the brightest minds in the energy sector to devise and deploy pioneering solutions to our pressing challenges. I hope to be a relentless advocate for leveraging the finest resources and strategies, ensuring we move in the direction that our future demands.”

With an illustrious journey like his, Connor Reiten stands poised to remain a beacon in the energy sector, illuminating its path for the epochs to come.

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