Anacortes Resident Heading To Germany on Rotary Exchange Program

Germany’s Energy Industry a Key Focus of Trip for Puget Sound Energy’s Cory Ertel

ANACORTES, Wash. (May 14, 2012) – Anacortes resident Cory Ertel embarks Thursday (May 17) on an exchange trip to Germany as part of a Rotary-sponsored program designed to expose young professionals to the economies and cultures of other nations.

Ertel, Puget Sound Energy’s community services manager in Skagit County, is one of five people from northwest Washington and southwest British Columbia traveling to the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Lindsey Dostart, community education coordinator at United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley, is the other Skagit County resident taking part in Rotary District 5050’s Group Study Exchange program this year.

The program’s team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their individual vocations are practiced abroad, develop professional relationships, and exchange ideas. While abroad, team members stay in Rotarians’ homes and have the opportunity to meet with professional counterparts. The Anacortes Rotary Club is sponsoring Ertel’s trip.

“The Group Study Exchange program supports one of the primary objectives of Rotary, which is the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship,” said Rich Humphrey, president of the Anacortes Rotary Club. “The GSE program makes this possible one person at a time.”

“The exchange program is designed to bring people together through their occupations,” said Robert Martin, Past District Governor of Rotary District 5050 and executive director of Chinook Enterprises in Mount Vernon.  “It is a chance to share methods and techniques between countries for many of the same occupations. When participants return to their jobs in their communities, they can share what they learned. Everyone benefits.”

Germany is a leader in energy technology, Ertel noted, particularly in wind power, solar power, and other renewable energy systems, and North Rhine-Westphalia is considered by many to be the “energy capital” of Germany, if not all of Europe. Ertel’s itinerary includes tours of various energy-related industries and meetings with community energy leaders.

“This is a tremendous opportunity,” he said, “to learn from my German counterparts in the energy field and, I hope, to bring back insights and ideas that can benefit Puget Sound Energy customers.”

Upon Ertel’s return he will be sharing insights from his trip with local community service groups.  Organizations interested in hearing about Ertel’s Rotary trip after his return should call PSE’s Burlington office at 360-766-5575.

The local Group Study Exchange team’s travels in Germany can be followed online here:

About Puget Sound Energy

Washington state’s oldest local energy utility, Puget Sound Energy serves 1.1 million electric customers and more than 750,000 natural gas customers in 11 counties. A subsidiary of Puget Energy, PSE meets the energy needs of its customers, in part, through cost-effective energy efficiency, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service that is safe, dependable and efficient. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Cory Ertel, 360-766-5467