Senior Foreman Tommy Pratt joined the Conway Corp electric department on August 20, 1973. Forty-two years later on August 20, 2015, he will enter retirement.
“When I met Garland Bradley (former electric department manager) he asked me, ‘Do you know anything about electricity?’ and I told him no. He said he liked it that way. He’d teach me,” Pratt said. And he did.
Pratt began as a groundman and has served in various roles – making his way as a journeymen lineman, senior lineman and foreman.
“Things have definitely changed,” he said. “When I was first able to start climbing, we climbed every day. We have better equipment now and that means climbing is less frequent today. It is still necessary, but may not be every day.”
“The safety requirements are stricter too, which is good. You have to be careful or you don’t go home.”
The thing that hasn’t changed is the camaraderie among linemen.
“It is a brotherhood,” Pratt said. “You have to have a trust, a bond. I never had any brothers, so to have thirty of them – well, that is what I will miss the most, the camaraderie.”
Pratt commented that the most difficult thing about retiring was telling Electric Distribution Systems Manager Jim Moore about his departure.
“He’s a good friend and I am going to miss him,” Moore said.
“Tommy taught me. He taught me how to climb, how to work in a hot zone. He will be missed by me, our department and by our customers.”
Moore added that Pratt has always put Conway Corp customers first.
“I have always liked helping people and when your job lets you do that, it means a lot,” Pratt said.
In addition to time for hunting and fishing, Pratt is looking forward to time with his four grandchildren.
“They’re at an age where they like to fish, ride 4-wheelers; we go to movies. I want to enjoy this time with them.”
Pratt also anticipates traveling more in a few years when his wife, Mitzi retires.
“I have been blessed with a wonderful wife, two great kids, which in turn have given me four fabulous grandkids. A wonderful job, working with great people along the way. It is time to enjoy family and life. God is good.”
Thank you Tommy – for your service to Conway Corp and to Conway.