Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Married to his wife, Catherine, for 16 years and has two daughters, Megan and Madison.
Enjoys bicycle riding, hiking, skiing and coaching softball for his daughter's team.
Describes himself as a perfectionist, honest, dedicated, semi-stubborn and as a lineman with a passion for the trade.
Can't live without a level, plumb bob and baker board. His crew would say that his favorite tool is a broom or rake for cleaning up job sites.
Inspired by everyone he has ever worked with and teaching the trade to the new workers coming in. He also enjoys seeing the trade get passed down from one generation to the next.
I started working in the utility industry in 1985. I attended college for one year, and then that summer, I worked as a temp for Colorado Springs Utilities. At that time, I didn't know a thing about the trade, so they had me painting electric vault lids. I got the rare opportunity to work with a crew a few times and I really enjoyed it. I then decided that making money was more fun than going to school. I went back to college for two weeks and then got hired on full time as a line helper.
I topped out as a lineman in 1990, and then I worked as a journeyman until 1993, when I made crew foreman. I served in that position until this year, when I became a customer operations supervisor 2, also known as a general foreman.
Day in the Life
I oversee the daily activities of four crews responsible for overhead or underground construction. I work with three other operations supervisors to take care of customer issues, attend meetings with engineers and work on personnel issues.
I competed in the Colorado Lineman's Rodeo about six times, and I was on a team that won it twice. I've also competed in the American Public Power Association's rodeo and the International Lineman's Rodeo. I no longer compete, but I still enjoy being involved with the rodeo as a judge. I like the spirit of competition, the brotherhood of the craft and the people in the trade.
Family History of Line Work
My dad started out as a residential and commercial electrician and then worked for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration before joining Colorado Springs Utilities as a safety representative. His advice was that it was a good trade to get into, and it had good pay and was rewarding work.
I've always had a strong outlook on safety because of my father. Safety was literally something I lived with every day.
Back in 2007, we had a fatality in our training yard. An apprentice fell off a pole, and while my coworkers attended to him, I made the 911 call. I will never forget that day, but I also hope that no one else has to experience that situation.
My most memorable storm was the blizzard of 1998. It was Bring Your Kid to Work Day, and my lead lineman had his seven-year-old daughter with us at the time. We were called in on a late spring storm. We were driving around with her in the truck, and I said I wanted to take her back in, but he wanted to keep her with us. Eventually, we had to drop her off.
We have had a lot of one-day storm events, but this one lasted for three days. A lot of wet, heavy snow tore down a lot of wire and trees. It came in quickly, and it dumped about two feet of snow in the foothills on the edge of town near the base of Pike's Peak. I remember using snowshoes to walk across the mountainous terrain.
Plans for the Future
Although I will be eligible to retire from CSU in five years, I may choose to work a little longer, perhaps on a different system. I would probably go back to the field as a journeyman. It's hard to be away from that. It's great work and it gets in your skin. When I attend the rodeos and industry events, I get excited about the job again, and I feel energized. I can't imagine that there is another job that is as exciting and rewarding as line work.