Energy At Work Co-Worker Spotlights
John Kelly, supervisor, Electric Ops, St. Francois District, Ameren Missouri
|Get to know John Kelly
|John Kelly pours his heart into whatever he’s doing, and he doesn’t shy away from a challenge. In fact, he confesses that most his money and vacation time go to logging thousands of miles coaching a travel softball team in his community. So, when Ameren Missouri called co-workers to Puerto Rico earlier this year to assist with massive restoration efforts, his girls were mid-winter practice, but knew their coach, a near 30-year Ameren veteran, was going to suit up and head south.
John’s not new to high-profile restorations (he answered the call for Hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy, too), but the three weeks he spent in Puerto Rico did hold some surprises. “I was surprised by the people,” John says. “They’d been without power for six months, but they went out of their way to take care of us. I couldn’t believe how community-oriented they were, pulling together and cooking for our guys every day because they wanted to show their appreciation. That’s not something I’ll ever forget.” For many Puerto Ricans, Ameren crews were also pretty unforgettable. Some officials commended their commitment to reliability after crews completed work that others had turned away from.
“Some of the areas were very remote and difficult to get to. We were told Ameren was the first company to come in with the total mission of ‘get to work and get the job done.’ It’s something we can take a lot of pride in,” John says. That commitment isn’t exclusive to major outage restoration, either. For John, it’s a mindset he brings daily to his job in the St. Francois District.
“It’s part of the Ameren culture. When it comes to outages, emergencies, and every day work, we all have a shared focus,” he says.