Southwestern’s Division of Maintenance has a long history of supporting the mission of Southwestern by ensuring the transmission lines, substations, communication sites, and rights-of-way remain in top condition to supply electricity to Southwestern’s wholesale customers and the millions of end users they serve.
While the leadership of the Division may have recently shifted with the January 2022 retirement of Kenny Broadaway, a Southwestern employee of over 40 years and previous Director of the Division, the focus remains the same.
“Our daily task is to support the mission of Southwestern by ensuring that the transmission system is in optimal operating condition to supply electricity to our customers,” says Ryan Hoog, who replaced Broadaway as Director of the Division in January 2022. “I am motivated by the hard-working crew members that help support this effort.”
Hoog, who has worked for Southwestern for 17 years, oversees maintenance crews based out of Southwestern’s field offices located in Gore, Oklahoma; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Springfield, Missouri. Hoog says he always knew he wanted to be in the field of electricity, and, before coming to Southwestern, he worked as a commercial/industrial electrician. At Southwestern, he has served as an Electrician Mechanic, Journeyman Substation Electrician, Deputy Regional Maintenance Manager, and Regional Maintenance Manager.
Hoog is supported in his efforts as Director of the three Maintenance Units by Regional Maintenance Managers located at each site.
Chad Holmes, Regional Maintenance Manager of the Jonesboro Maintenance Unit, has been employed with Southwestern for over 13 years. He began his career on the right-of-way crew as an Equipment Operator and has served in many roles since then. His most recent role as Regional Maintenance Manager began in 2016.
“I supervise 20 employees in the operation and maintenance of high voltage transmission lines, substations, rights-of-way, and communication sites within the Jonesboro region,” Holmes explains. “The Jonesboro Maintenance Unit has been part of multiple projects and emergency work, including restoration of the second longest storm break in Southwestern’s history in 2020.”
Holmes says people are the most important asset of Southwestern. “I take pride in what we do for the end users of Southwestern’s power system,” he says. “I understand the value of working with dedicated personnel and the contributions of each member of the Jonesboro Maintenance Unit in providing a safe, reliable, and renewable source of electric power.”
Dillion Fields began serving as Regional Maintenance Manager of the Gore Maintenance Unit in June 2022. He began his career at Southwestern as an apprentice Substation Electrician in Springfield and moved to serve as a Journeyman Substation Electrician in Gore in 2016.
Fields says his main focuses are safety, carrying out Southwestern’s mission, and taking care of customers.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to provide quality work and a safe work environment here in the Gore Maintenance Unit,” Fields says.
Kale Bailey began working for Southwestern in 2007, first as a Journeyman Lineman, then as a Foreman in 2019, and finally as Regional Maintenance Manager of the Springfield Maintenance Unit in June 2022.
Like Holmes and Fields, Bailey says he focuses on safety and the delivery of power.
“I’m most excited about the opportunity to promote safety among our employees and carrying out Southwestern’s mission of delivering power to customers,” Bailey says. “I also look forward to the opportunity to work with more people around Southwestern Power.”
Director Ryan Hoog agrees with his Maintenance Managers that people are a big part of the Division’s success. “The Gore, Jonesboro, and Springfield Maintenance Units include Linemen, Substation Electricians, and Right-of-Way Vegetation crews,” Hoog says. “One of my favorite things about this job is the comradery and working relationship among the crews.”