Bevers retires after 35 years
After 35 years of service, it has finally hit former Manager of Engineering Ed Bevers, he is retired.
“It is finally sinking in, I am not on vacation, but I am retired,” Bevers explains.
While Bevers who grew up around Wynnewood, Okla. he began his cooperative career in Cherokee, Okla. at Alfalfa Electric Cooperative. He worked there for three and half years working on Engineering and Member Services related things.
Soon a Staking Engineer position became available at REC and Bevers was excited for the opportunity to be closer to family. When Bevers started in 1985, he was also hired to build REC’s electrical system on the computer in addition to staking. Beginning in 1986, REC conducted at system inventory which helped Bevers with his system model and he was then named the Planning Engineer.
He remained the Planning Engineer until 1996 when he was named Manager of Engineering and Operations. He remained the manager of both departments until an organizational assessment was completed. In 2006 he was named the manager of the Engineering Department.
“Truthfully I didn’t feel I was doing both jobs justice, as my office was across from dispatch and I was always being called in there to answer questions and I wasn’t able to focus on what was needed from me,” Bevers adds.
With the different retirements of former employees allowed for new positions to be created and let employees move into roles to better meet the needs of the cooperative.
“Becoming manager of the Engineering Department allowed me to focus on the problem-solving side of engineering which I enjoy,” Bevers explains. “I have always said as a co-op employee you can’t be excellent in just one area, but passable at everything.”
Bevers says his favorite memories from REC are the ice storms and the tornadoes.
“Oddly enough those are my favorite memories, because during those events the entire staff become of one mind and that is to restore the power completely,” Bevers explains. “You will see guys go home and take a two-hour nap and then turn around and work another 20 because it has to be done.”
He also loved the problem solving and challenges his job provided.
“I enjoyed helping our members solve their problems,” Bevers adds. “It didn’t matter if it was one of our large commercial accounts and helping solve their demand costs or a residential member needing more assistance. It was like a puzzle needing to be solved.”
While Bevers says he will miss the people, the coffee conversations and staying the most current on the industry, he is looking forward to being able to spend more time with his family, volunteering and working on projects around the house.
“I am hoping to do some volunteer work in disaster recovery," Bevers explains. "I am in the process of building a shop and will have a grandson in September.”
As Bevers looks forward to the future, he also knows he will miss the everyday challenges his job presented.
“As a co-op employee you have to be well rounded – you never know when you will have to talk to a member about rates, trees or demand and I will miss those daily conversations with our members and our employees,” Bevers concludes.