Passing the torch is never easy, but the appointment of two new leaders made the transition that much smoother.
With the retirement of former Operations Manager Terry Helmer earlier this year, the leadership of the operations department — including the right-of-way crew and linemen — was in flux.
But soon, two dedicated employees found themselves in a position to transition into new leadership roles and continue the good work of our crews.
Though it wasn’t a position he was actively seeking, Randy Troyer, who has been with the co-op for 15 years, recently added operations manager on top of his role as engineering and technical services manager.
When presented the opportunity, Troyer saw a chance to step up and do what was best for the cooperative.
“Engineering and operations are two departments that are already entwined, and this position gave the opportunity for better collaboration,” Troyer said. “It also provides a new avenue to focus on improving our processes.”
He’s still learning the operations side of his position — a challenge he’s enjoying — but he’s spotting areas where projects and maintenance of our grid system can be made more efficient and reliable through new technology, a goal that came with his new responsibilities.
“My goal is to come to work every day and do the best that I can,” Troyer said.
A 20-year co-op veteran, Delmar Bontrager hopes his new position as operations foreman will allow him to be the bridge between the “outside” and “inside” of the company.
With experience as a journeyman lineman and most recently, a crew leader, Bontrager is already implementing initiatives to meet goals he’s set for himself and his department.
“I’ve always lived by, ‘You should be the best you can be with the seat you have at the table,’” Bontrager said. “Twenty years ago, I never thought of being in the corner office, but this was my time to apply myself in a different role at the company.”
First, he’s hoping to improve safety practices by updating the high standard at which we already hold ourselves by working more closely with Indiana Electric Cooperatives’ Safety, Training and Compliance Department.
Second, he wants to ensure that the culture of collaboration and education that he developed with his fellow crew leaders continues. He’s already implemented a mentoring program to pair new employees in the operations department with an apprentice lineman. It’s a two-fold benefit in helping the new hire quickly learn our protocols, while also allowing an apprentice to learn leadership in a different role.
Congratulations to both Randy and Delmar on their new roles! Thank you for your continued dedication to LaGrange County REMC and to our members.