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A Message from President & CEO Kelly Tomblin

The Year 2020 has challenged us in ways we never could have imagined. From a global pandemic to national political unrest, to a rare derecho weather event, INTREN has had to navigate with a new awareness and improved agility. We have been forced to accelerate and deepen the conversations we were having about diversity, equity, and inclusion and we have learned to pivot instantly when regulations and guidance changed related to keeping our teams safe. Through it all, we have emerged stronger, more connected, and more committed.

Given that INTREN’s normal work includes emergency disaster response, it shouldn’t be surprising that INTREN started its COVID-19 preparation even before the virus had a name. We started briefing our nearly 2,000 employees on social distancing and other steps outlined by the CDC to prevent virus transmission in February. We did what we needed to do to keep our field crews working from coast to coast, supporting the critical electric and gas infrastructure work needed by our utility customers during this pandemic.

INTREN’s efforts were led by an experienced team for pandemic preparedness, including members who worked on a utility’s pandemic preparedness team, managed utility operations during an infectious disease outbreak, led a state-wide respiratory health organization and directed response teams for disaster responses. We have now had a limited number of positive cases (all well), and we have kept all our essential workers working.

When many of the cities we do business in experienced the effect of protests, from Baltimore to St. Louis to Philly to San Francisco, our teams listened with compassion and continued to maintain electric and gas infrastructure. When asked about our position during the midst of unrest, we simply stated “We Stand for Love.” While that might not be a typical corporate term, we thought it captured what we saw from coast to coast—workers who didn’t look alike working side by side, employees stopping to help neighbors in new and creative ways, courageous support for our customers and each other. I just finished a three-month company-wide tour, and I was proud to witness the INTREN spirit in action in each and every office I visited.

Today, we all proudly wear our declaration of #INTRENSTRONG in honor of what we have done and will do together to serve our customers and our communities. While the world may continue to present unprecedented situations, we know that our planning, our execution, and our spirit will provide the foundation for meeting each new demand with optimism, resolve, resilience and respect.

The Smith Brothers

Recognized by Team as #INTRENStrong

California Journeyman Linemen and General Foremen Justin Smith and his brother Travis, along with Foreman Tim Fisher, have taken their love of line work and established a scholarship fund for their 200- person hometown of Cusick, Washington. In its second year, the men award one scholarship per year based on a written essay, recommendation letters, resume, and an interview with Avista Line Construction School located in Spokane, Washington.

Originally a logging town, Cusick is fifty-miles north of the school and houses a paper mill and short-line railroad community. Who knew that this 30-home town would become a hotbed for linemen recruitment!

“So far, we have had ten Cusick residents become linemen,” said Justin Smith. “At one point, we had six in our INTREN yard at one time! Currently, both of my foremen are from my hometown, and along with Travis, that makes five of us.”

What inspired you to start the scholarship? It was interesting that so many of us have followed the same path from a small town in Washington. We just wanted everyone to know that we are here. It is so much easier to get started when you know people.

When the other guys came to California, they would call me for help. We thought that if we kept on filtering the information back to our hometown more people would come down. It would be nice to have them in California and at the same time, do something good for our community. The scholarship evolved from there. Of all the things you can spend money on, the scholarship is one of the most satisfying.

Why did you become a lineman? I didn’t know anything about the profession until I was in my 20’s. I went to work on a ranch. The owner was a lineman who owned a few companies. I got to know him and met other linemen that have done well in their life, so I was inspired to do the same thing.

How did your brother follow in your footsteps? Although Travis is nine years younger, he was only three years behind me in training. I was doing my California/Nevada JATC apprenticeship in California when he came to live with me and on the weekends, he would go to line school with me. Travis was always around and a hard worker, so they wrote him a recommendation letter and finally let him in the school, officially. He ‘volunteered’ to go to school, so they figured he was a good candidate!

What would you say to those contemplating a career as a lineworker? There is a lot of freedom to be being a lineman and it is extremely rewarding. You are constantly moving around to different places while getting paid and getting to see things that many people won’t see in their lives.

How is your team #INTRENStrong? Being from the same hometown, we are like one big family and always doing things for each other. I have my brother and the other foreman are also basically like brothers and we give. Whether we work 3x harder than the next guy, we do whatever it takes to keep the team going. It is nice being a part of something like that.

“We are so proud of these men, who not only continue to outperform every day at work but live INTREN’s values of stewardship, integrity and empowering others, said Kelly Tomblin, President & CEO of INTREN. 

INTREN Executive Vice President Matthew Turk, also added, “When I met these men, I was immediately taken with their sense of camaraderie and teamwork, while having each other’s back. They exemplify the values that our company was founded upon while promoting the lineworker profession.”

Congratulations for all do and for being recognized by your peers as #INTRENStrong!

Chris PayneFor the past 30 years, Chris has worked with construction companies in the utility industry in California and Arizona. Most recently, he was Director of Operations for Power Contracting LLC, where he oversaw transmission, distribution and substation projects on the West Coast.
 
Prior, he was Associate Vice President for Black & Veatch, where he ran all construction and joint venture projects for the Power Delivery and Telecom Business Units across the United States.
 
We are excited to have Chris as part of the INTREN team, not only for his extensive experience in utility construction but his exceptional track record of staff development.
Stronger Together Coloring Page

INTREN has always stood on the belief that we all bring something unique to the workplace and the world. During this time when conversations are focused on the value of that diversity, we thought it would be great to see the world through the eyes of our children!

The blank coloring page that you can download will give your children an opportunity to express how the world looks to them. Together, we can continue to remind each other of the great mosaic we live and learn in!

Click Here to download a sheet to print and color!

A power line crosses the Great Miami River in OhioThe Amanda A Project in Trenton, Ohio is converting a system from 4 kV to 12.47 kV and is requiring work on the shores of the Great Miami River. Two overhead crews and one cable pulling crew set up on both sides to pull in 1000’ of new conductor across the river using heavy-duty cable pulling equipment The challenge? Limited space for a normal set-up. The crews got the job done by using a transmission bucket on the east side of the river to get to the top of the pole. Thank you to Project Manager Anita Gindling and our amazing crews for being #INTRENStrong! #OutPerformingEveryday
Mickleton-Paulsboro-Valero 69 kV circuit rebuildRecently, our transmission crews were #doingessentialwork in New Jersey, where they completed a complex project. The utility customer’s principal project manager congratulated the contractors and consultants on their tremendous successes!

“The 0746 Mickleton-Paulsboro-Valero 69 kV circuit rebuild was completed, energized and is now carrying load. Successful rebuild and restoration of the 0746 circuit marks another major milestone for the 69 kV and 12 kV upgrades at Mickleton Substation.”

“At this stage, the Mickleton Substation 69 kV ring bus is energized, and work has been completed on all four (4) of the 69 kV Mickleton transmission circuits. Working through an extremely complex sequence of projects with multiple phases, I would like to express my thanks to all of you for your contributions which directly led to the achievement of this project milestone. Substation improvements, underground transmission, overhead transmission, distribution line, transmission line bypasses, remote ends - - all complex facets that required thorough planning and diligent execution across multiple phases to successfully converge in a coordinated and collaborative effort.” 

“Again, thank you, and congratulations on the accomplishment!” 
Des Moines Crew with Tucker"This morning I was driving in Des Moines, IA when my 5-year old son noticed your work trucks. Being the curious boy, he is at 5-yrs old, he asked what he was doing. Expecting a brief answer, I was surprised when the worker told my son they were digging a hole and asked him if he wanted to see it.

The worker climbed out of his truck, put on his safety gear, and walked my son over to the spot they were working on. The worker kneeled and showed my son how they will be using the big bolts to hold the light pole, how the lights were going to be installed and explained the spot where then 5G internet will be on the pole. He even posed for a picture with my boy!
This man totally made a 5-yr old boy's day just by taking the time to show him his work!!"

--Nathanial, Homeowner

Thank you to Foreman Aaron Boylan, along with General Foreman Cory Michel, Journeyman/Wireman Jim Melcher, and Apprentice Jackson Rosenmayer for your kindness. You are truly #INTRENStrong #OutPerformingEveryday
Thank you to our extraordinary gas team and Foreman Nick Boemme, Pipefitter Michael Naylor and Laborer Sammy Figueroa for #OutPerformingEveryday! #INTRENStrong
Mike Peterson - Intren RetireeCongratulations to INTREN's Civil team veteran Mike Peterson on his recent retirement! Mike started working with INTREN under Mike Miller for the Civil Department in 2002. He then traveled and worked on many projects including:
  • The Bent Tree Wind Farm Project (Albert Lea, Minnesota)
  • Rebuilding electrical manholes, vaults and installing conduit (Sioux City, IA)
  • Rebuilding vault roofs (Des Moines, IA)
  • The Streetcar Project (Cincinnati, OH)  
Mike has spent the last 5 years mentoring young foreman and has passed on his vast construction knowledge and experience of rebuilding electrical manholes and vaults to our Civil team.
Thank you for your dedication and contribution to INTREN. We wish you a happy, healthy and safe retirement! From the photos, we have an idea of how you will be spending it!
 
Dan Proffitt of Intren"Our Civil Crews show up with the attitude to navigate the rapid changes, obstacles, and challenges that our workgroup is faced with every day. Each one of us contributes a unique skill set that allows us to deliver a quality product, safely and on time to meet our customers' needs. This is accomplished while keeping an eye out for each other, the public, and the future of what we do. Being a member of this team is what makes Civil #INTRENStrong."

– Dan Proffitt, General Foreman