2018 has proved to be a year of change as three long-tenured and well-respected leaders announced their retirements.
Joe Border who served as BPU’s Substation Superintendent since 1999, announced that he would retire in April 2018. Border stated, “I appreciated my job and the responsibilities I had, but now I get to focus my time and interest to my kids, grandkids, golf and some travel.” BPU was able to fill his role with a qualified internal candidate, Timmy Phanthavong. Timmy began service with the BPU in 2015 as a college intern and was officially brought onboard in May 23rd, 2016 after graduating from WSU where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Timmy is currently working on earning his Professional Engineering License.
Joe Mitchell whose most recent title was Superintendent of Electric Operations announced he would retire in June 2018. Mitchell served the BPU and the McPherson Community for close to 43 years holding the several positions over his tenure including Apprentice Wireman, Journey Wireman, Serviceman Crew Chief, Substation Supervisor and finally, Superintendent of Electric Operations, which he has held since 1985. “I am going to miss working with our team. I really appreciated the efforts and dedication of our crews; especially when we had major events occur. Every time we had an event we had every available employee show up and begin the restoration process; working long hours, never wanting to leave the site until we got power restored to all customers. I will miss working with all of our customers especially our industrial customers as they expanded. It was always interesting and challenging. Although I will miss daily interactions with coworkers/friends, I am looking forward to more time traveling the states with my wife, Janet and of course, visiting my six sons, their families and both of our mothers.”
Mike Nieman, who most recently served the BPU as the Transmission and Distribution supervisor and has 38 years of experience with the BPU was selected to assume Mitchell’s duties. Nieman began his career with BPU in 1980 as an Apprentice Lineman. Through the years he was promoted to Assistant Crew Chief, Crew Chief and then Supervisor of Transmission and Distribution.
Brad Steenson who has 34 years of experience with the BPU was selected to oversee the BPU’s Transmission and Distribution operations. Steenson began his career with the BPU in 1984 where he spent two years helping in the construction of the JM substation. Through the years he too has held various positions throughout the organization including being a member of the Service Crew in the Metering Department where he also assisted with the underground crew when needed, Lineman and then was promoted to Foreman before his most recent promotion.
The McPherson Board of Public Utilities would like to publically thank Mark Wurm, Joe Mitchell and Joe Border for their dedicated service to the Utility and to McPherson and Congratulate the Employees who will be stepping into these leadership roles.