UPDATE: This article is by Katie Kilcoyne From Alabama NewsCenter. Learn more at: http://alabamanewscenter.com/
When Alabama Power founder William Patrick Lay turned over control of the company to his successors, he told them: “May it be developed for the service of Alabama.” These words over a century ago molded the company’s culture of service to the state, and are reflected by many employees like lineman Daniel Nance who strive to give back to their communities.
“As a lineman, we see a lot of devastation ranging from house fires to storms, and some of these families have lost absolutely everything,” Nance said. “The way I see it, we are in an extremely fortunate position and we were put in this situation to help others, so I always try to give back in any way I can.”
Nance is an example of the thousands of linemen at Alabama Power and other electric utilities that the state honors on June 1 with Alabama Lineman Appreciation Day. Two years ago, the Legislature designated the first Monday of every June to recognize “these brave men and women (who) are essential to the protection of our communities and our nation.”
Nance is also an example of an Alabama Power lineman who views his job as more than just a way to pay the bills, but as an opportunity to serve his community daily.
“People at the company know they can depend on Daniel if they need something, and he is very well-respected because of his knowledge and work ethic as a lineman,” said Foreman Cory Eubanks. “But you can see that respect grow when they get to know him and see his community outreach and service at church.”
Whether it is working trouble for Alabama Power or serving as a deacon at his church, Nance goes above and beyond to contribute to those around him.
“There are really not enough good things you can say about him,” Eubanks said. “On any given day he can be working on a job site, driving the church bus, teaching vacation Bible school or leading the United Way fundraising tour for the crew. He is always looking for ways he can help.”
Nance is a United Way leadership giver and said through his work with the company he has seen firsthand the support nonprofit organizations give to families who need it.
“A part of our job is to help families when they have fallen on hard times,” Nance said. “These organizations are there for families during rough times and for us just to give a portion of our income to help other families is another way we can give back to our community.”
Distribution Manager George Hightower was in Nance’s interview 16 years ago and said he knew from that meeting that he was a genuinely good person.
“He began his career on the tree crew and progressed to journeyman lineman,” Hightower said. “Daniel is a go-to lineman who never backs down from hard work, and his activity in the Gadsden community is admirable. He has become one of Alabama Power’s finest employees.”
When asked what he enjoyed most about being a lineman, Nance said it is working storm restoration.
“As far as getting people’s lights back on after storms, that is the most meaningful part of my job to me,” Nance said. “When it is toward the end of a storm we have been off working for three weeks, and people start telling you how much they appreciate your work and to know you have helped communities recover from an emergency. That is one of the best parts.”
Nance recalled when his hometown was hit by tornadoes on April 27, 2011.
“The April 27 storms were the largest I have worked on and there was so much devastation in our own backyard,” Nance said. “That was a time when everyone we typically go help came and helped us restore our city.”
Though he sets the bar high as an example for others to serve their community through work and philanthropy, Nance quickly turned the praise back to the linemen on his crew.
“When we go on the United Way fundraising tour, there are times when our smaller crew will out-raise other larger crews,” Nance said. “It is the heart of our people at Alabama Power to be concerned about the community around them.”
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