Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Married to his wife, Karen, for 24 years and has two daughters, Kelby and Marett.
Enjoys visiting a cabin with his family, boating, snowmobiling, ATV riding and fishing.
Describes himself as an outgoing person. As a family man, he also tries to strike a balance between work and family.
Can't live without his hammer and Klein pliers.
Inspired by his father, who recently passed away. From him, he learned how to have a solid work ethic and a good sense of humor.
He has had the fortune of working for bosses who allow him to grow in his role at the utility, empower him to do his work and always have his back in any situation.
I credit my career start to the linemen in my hometown who encouraged me to apply for a job at the utility. I knew about the job before I started at Manitoba Hydro. I thought it would be a perfect fit, because I love the outdoors, and at the time, I wasn't interested in working behind a desk.
I joined Manitoba Hydro as an groundman in 1983. A year later, I was an apprentice. I loved the line crew environment and the camaraderie. I then topped out as a journeyman lineman and became a lead hand on the line crew. I moved on to a position as a senior live-line journeyman on transmission and a line crew foreman. After several supervisory positions, I moved into my current role as the manager of transmission line maintenance.
Day in the Life
No day is typical, and that is part of what I enjoy in this role. My department is responsible for live-line maintenance, transmission plant inspections and vegetation management. Our service territory is geographically dispersed, and my staff members work throughout the southern half of the province. For that reason, I spend as many days out of the office as I do in the office. I have three supervisors spread out geographically who manage live-line crews, inspectors and patrollers.
Moving From the Field to the Office
Every lineman finds it a difficult transition to work in the office after being so active in the field. It comes with time, however. At first, there is almost a feeling of guilt, and then you find your groove. You find you are providing value, and you are helping younger linemen to learn the trade.
Challenges and Rewards
The biggest challenges are dealing with Mother Nature, keeping up with our aging infrastructure and leveraging new technology. The greatest reward is a job well done. In an emergency-restoration operation, it is gratifying to get the power back on for the people who are without electricity. I also enjoy seeing the staff getting engaged and energized.
In an industry that has obvious hazards, we have to constantly guard against tasks that become too routine. We often see accidents occur when someone lets his or her guard down for just a minute.
We responded in a mutual-assistance role to help a utility during an ice storm in 1997. They had most of their 69-kV subtransmission fail, and we rebuilt and repaired lines, set poles and restrung conductors. During this storm-restoration effort, we were allowed to showcase our skills and work ethic to other companies, and they were very appreciative.
I got a call at 4 a.m. one morning when I was running a line crew and was told me to respond to a failure on DC lines. High winds caused our two major lines to go out, and it required a major restoration effort.
Plans for the Future
I would recommend a job in the power industry to anyone. It's a great, rewarding career. The camaraderie is much like being on a sports team, and you can make lifelong friendships. There is no other career that I would rather pursue. I'm proud to be part of the line trade, and I believe once you're a lineman, you will always be a lineman.