After 41 years at Miami-Cass REMC, Mike Long will retire on March 12. Long started his career at the REMC in 1976 as a meter reader. After a year and half, he began the four-year apprenticeship process and became a lineman in 1981. Later in his career, he worked as foreman for around 10 years and for the last four years has served as the cooperative’s line superintendent.
Over the course of his four decade career, Long said he has seen a lot of changes, especially in the area of equipment and technology. He said that safety has increased quite a bit due to improved equipment. He also commented that technology has allowed more work to be done remotely, allowing things to be done more quickly. The position he was initially hired to do is now obsolete due to technology changes. Membership at the REMC has also almost doubled in that time.
During his career at the REMC, Long has helped with two major hurricanes — Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and Hurricane Gustav in September 2008. He said the devastation left by the storms was incredible and the people were so appreciative of the work that the crews did. He has also worked many storms around the state throughout the years, from ice storms to wind storms to tornadoes.
Long said he has really enjoyed his years at the REMC. He’s thankful that during his entire career he had never been laid off. Long also said he is thankful to the REMC for the opportunities he has had and has really appreciated the co-op as an employer. He remarked that each day brought new changes, and he’s enjoyed the challenges that came with each day. He also said he has enjoyed, and will miss, the camaraderie he’s had with those with whom he’s worked. He has been proud to be a lineman.
When asked about retirement plans, Long said he doesn’t have any major plans right now. He’s just looking forward to spending more time with family, especially his 12 grandchildren.
“Mike has been a very influential part of my life. He is the type of man that most men would like to see their boys grow up to be,” said Miami-Cass REMC CEO Rob Schwartz. “He is a strong man of character with a strong sense of family. He brought those values with him to work. He would do anything for anyone. Now, you may get a hard time for it, but in the end, he would always help you make it right.
“He was my sounding board, because I trusted him and he trusted me,” continued Schwartz. “We at Miami-Cass REMC will miss his knowledge and his willingness to serve the company he has served faithfully for so long. We wish him all the best.”
We congratulate Mike on his retirement and thank him for his many faithful years of service to Miami-Cass REMC.