SLV REC Foreman Ronnie Spencer will hit a huge milestone in November— his 40-year anniversary with REC.
Ronnie began his REC career as an equipment operator in 1980; he also worked as a warehouseman before beginning his apprenticeship in 1988. After journeying out in 1991, he was promoted to his current position— foreman— in 1994.
Ronnie loves his job; he doesn’t have one favorite part— “it’s all good.” He loves meeting people and being outside.
Through 40 years with the coop, he estimates that he’s probably supervised 50 linemen, worked for eight or nine CEOs and observed various generations of “kids” learning the ropes.
The biggest change he has witnessed through his tenure, though, is technology. Computers have changed the process; paperwork is different now. Reports are more detailed, and the information available is very comprehensive.
But according to Ronnie, one thing remains the same, “linework is still linework. You still have to set the pole and hang the wire. The basic part has not changed. Equipment and line trucks have been modernized— line trucks are three times the size they used to be, but the work is the same,” as is his love for the job.
Ronnie’s free time is spent with his family, which includes his wife Jackie, son Joshua, daughter-in-law Misty and two grandkids, Courtney and Corey. Weekends are spent in the mountains; he loves fishing, hunting, camping, ATV-ing and mountain biking. He’s also got a love for his Harley, photography and enjoys making knives and jewelry.
Ronnie’s been fortunate over the past 40 years with no injuries; “there have definitely been mishaps, but I’ve not been hurt,” he joked.
Those wanting to go into the industry need to think about a few things: “they have to work hard and can’t be scared of heights or bad weather,” Ronnie advised. “It’s a good occupation, although the hours are rough sometimes. You miss a lot. But it’s a good career.”
Retirement isn’t necessarily in the near future for Ronnie. He still loves the job and doesn’t mind getting up in the mornings; until that changes, he’ll continue to work and do what he loves.