AECI employee Pearl Wheeler was recognized for her commitment to safety while Terry Lee and Jack Estes were honored at the 13th annual Excel employee recognition awards ceremony at the company's headquarters in Springfield. Also recognized were employees who have been a part of the New Madrid power plant for 25, 30 and 35 years.
As the 2005 Safety Person of the Year at New Madrid Power Plant, Wheeler, a warehouseman at New Madrid, was nominated for her daily personal commitment to working safely and looking out for the welfare of her co-
workers throughout her career, according to her nominator.
Wheeler said always adhering to safe work practices in the warehouse is important, especially considering the various chemicals, bottled gasses and heavy objects materials management staff receives and stores.
"You have to watch out for yourself and your co-workers," she said. "We all want to go home in the same condition we came to work in. -- If I can work injury free, I feel like I'm doing a good job."
AECI's top strategic objective is ensuring an accident-free workplace. The annual Safety Person of the Year award is given to an individual at New Madrid Power Plant who demonstrates a commitment to and knowledge of safe work practices. The Safety Person of the Year is chosen by the respective plant's safety committee from a list of 12 safety persons of the month, nominated by plant employees.
Estes, yard equipment operator, received the Excel award for Employee of the Year in an Operational Field. Nominators said Estes can operate any piece of equipment with expertise. He draws from 24 years of working at the plant to know how to do his job, but he also demonstrates extra care to work safely and proactively, said CEO and General Manager Jim Jura during the awards presentation.
Estes' proactive measures benefited AECI in 2005 when he noticed one of the bulldozers wasn't running right and took action that saved money. "One of the dozers had a transmission problem, and Jack reported it," his nominator said. "If he hadn't stopped running that dozer and reported the problem, it would've cost a lot more money to fix."
A journeyman instrumentation technician specialist, Lee received AECI's Excel award as Employee of the Year in a Technical Field. His leadership in the field of instrument controls was key to the success of changing out the plant's boiler feed pump controls during last spring's scheduled outage. His nominator said, "Thanks to his attention to every detail and prior research to get ready for the job, by the time the scheduled outage arrived, Terry could verify all wiring interconnections based on plant schematics and made sure the control cabinets were correctly hooked up."
Edna R. Ellington, office associate II, was recognized for her 35 years of service with the cooperative at the New Madrid Power Plant.
Employees at the power plant who will reach 30 years with AECI this year are Joseph R. Faries, journeyman instrumentation technician specialist, Harold M. Gowan, shift supervisor; and James M. King, training coordinator.
Celebrating their 25th year with the cooperative in 2006 are William L. Brown, material handling supervisor; David A. Childers, materials management supervisor; Larry J. Coleman, journeyman instrumentation technician specialist; Roger D. Crafton, chemical lab technician; Ramonia J. Hughes, office associate II; Carl T. Marler, journeyman machinist/mechanic; Michael L. Roberts, journeyman mechanic; Marchelle L. Robey, senior human resources assistant; and Lillie P. Wheeler, warehouseman.
Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. is owned by and provides wholesale power to six regional and 51 local electric cooperative systems in Missouri, northeast Oklahoma and southeast Iowa that serve more than 800,000 customers. AECI's mission is to provide an economical and reliable power supply and support services to its members with the vision of being the nation's lowest-cost wholesale power supplier.