Heartland REMC honors 50 years of dedication: A spotlight on Nick Parker

Posted on Feb 21 2024 in Heartland REMC
Nick Parker

In the heart of Heartland REMC, where the hum of electricity meets the warmth of camaraderie, there stands a stalwart figure of commitment and service — Nick Parker. After 50 years of staying committed to the cooperative, Parker’s journey isn’t just about how he grew professionally. It’s like a story closely connected to how the cooperative has changed and developed over time.

Parker embarked on his REMC journey on August 23, 1973, a time when the cooperative was experiencing growth and upgrades. However, his commitment to service commenced long before, as he proudly served in the U.S. Navy from 1970 to 1972 aboard the USS For Sherman DD931. Parker, who signed up at the tender age of 17, served as an IC electrician, focusing on the ship’s crucial phone lines.

Upon returning from his military service, Parker sought opportunities with Bell, the phone company, only to find no immediate openings. Fate, however, had other plans as Heartland REMC welcomed him into its fold. Starting in the Tree Crew, Parker quickly ascended the ranks, transitioning to the line crew and becoming a journeyman lineman in 1978.

His journey within the cooperative continued to evolve, marking 20 years on the line crew before transitioning to the engineering department in 1993 as an engineering aide. Parker’s career trajectory took another turn in 1997 when he embraced the role of a staking technician — a position he has proudly held since. For Parker, staking is the epitome of the best of both worlds, allowing him to be in the field while contributing to the broader system.

Reflecting on his tenure, Parker noted, “It’s been a blessing that I’ve gotten to work for the REMC.” His sentiment is deeply rooted in the cooperative’s familial atmosphere. At Heartland REMC, the spirit of cooperation transcends the professional realm, creating an environment where employees become family. “We watch out for each other. I love the family orientation,” said Parker.

Throughout his half-century tenure, Parker has witnessed profound changes, particularly in the integration of technology. From hand-drawn sketches to the efficiency of computers, the cooperative’s embrace of technology has streamlined operations. Parker underscores the positive impact, especially in the staking process, where enhanced abilities and improved teamwork with linemen have become the norm.

Outside of the REMC halls, Parker’s life is a canvas painted with family and martial arts. Practicing Tan Su Do, a Korean martial art, Parker finds balance and discipline, which undoubtedly contribute to his steadfast approach to work. His family remains at the core of his priorities, with five children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren — all witnesses to Parker’s unwavering commitment to Heartland REMC.

Heartland REMC CEO, Colt Burnau, expressed his gratitude, “Nick Parker is the epitome of dedication and service. His 50 years with Heartland REMC have been marked by exemplary commitment and a true team-player spirit. Nick’s legacy will continue to inspire us, and we are deeply thankful for his invaluable contributions.”

As we bid farewell to Parker’s active service, the cooperative is left with an indelible legacy of dedication and resilience. His imprint on Heartland REMC is a testament to the cooperative’s ethos, emphasizing the importance of family, camaraderie, and adapting to the winds of change.

Heartland REMC expresses its deepest gratitude to Parker for 50 years of service — a journey of resilience, growth, and an enduring commitment to the cooperative’s mission. May the next chapter bring as much joy and fulfillment as you have brought to the REMC over the last five decades.

Nick Parker collage