2009 Hall of Fame
With more than 40 years of experience as a lineman and instructor, Mike Gross has trained more than 500 new lineman over the course of his career. Mike chose to remain in a position where he could teach the lineman trade to others, revamping the apprentice training program at his company and never missing a Lineman's Rodeo. One year, eight of the top ten at the International Lineman's Rodeo where his apprentices, speaking volumes about the training he gives and the dedication he has to the field.
Harry "Chuck" Burnett
Harry "Chuck" Burnett began an almost 40 year career as a groundman, soon moving up to journeyman lineman, service crew foreman, troubleman, distribution operations technical specialist, and transmission/distribution training manager, before gaining his current position as program director/instructor of the East Los Angeles Skills Center Powerline Mechanic Trainee Program. Chuck has been actively involved in teaching, training, challenging, and mentoring groundmen, apprentices, and journeymen as well as his own peers and supervisors. He was instrumental in launching a variety of training programs and courses and was such a dedicated teacher that at times he held both day and evening courses, while also coming in on Saturday to be available to those who desired further study or time to hone their pole climbing skills.
With more than 40 years of experience, Steve Faw was still hooking 100 poles at 57 years old. He worked as a lineman in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina until 1974 when he went to work for R.H. Bouligny Construction, traveling the country on their high line crew. Steven returned to Santee Cooper in 1976 as a journeyman lineman and by 1985 was promoted to Crew Supervisor. In 1989, Steve was one of the primary coordinators in Santee Cooper's efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Hugo, working 120 hour weeks running his crew as well as several outside contract crews, all with no injuries on his watch. This dedication continued when he chose to remain a crew supervisor rather than move up to an "office job" that would have taken him away from the climbing he loved, and remained in the position until his retirement in 2008.
Thomas "Tommy" E. Buchanan, a third generation lineman, began his career as a groundsman, advanced to line crew foreman and ultimately became Electric Safety and Training Director with Gainesville Regional Utilities in Gainsville, FL. A dedicated leader and educator, his career has been marked with efforts toward the betterment of generations of lineman as he spent countless hours developing training and safety education programs and promoting careers in the electric industry through county schools and community and civic groups. In 2003 Buchanan and the Florida Lineman's Planning Committee recieved the Member of the Year Award at the FEMA-FMPA Annual Conference. Buchanan retired in 2007 after 31 years of dedicated service with Gainesville Regional Utilities.
William "Jeff" Morris has spent more than 30 years in Texas's electric utility industry. He began his career in 1979 as a lineman, shortly after graduating from high school. His experience constructing overhead and underground distribution lines, troubleshooting and restoring power outages, meter reading, engineering and drafting of underground and overhead lines, coordinating communication and workflow between the service areas and line crews, and training apprentice linemen over the course of his career gave him the experience needed to become a teacher and trainer helping develop and implement curriculum for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.
William Wister Haines
Author William Wister Haines, born in Des Moines, IA in 1908, was earning a degree in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania when money ran out due to the Great Depression. He was 19 at the time and found night work as an electric lineman, alternating his time between work and school until he received his degree in 1931. He continued to support himself as a linemen for a time and his cumulative seven years of experiences in the field served as a basis for his first two books, Slim (1937) and High Tension (1938) as well as some of his short stories. Slim became a movie, produced by Warner Brothers in 1937, staring Henry Fonda as the title character. Throughout his life, Haines remained incredibly proud of his years as a linemen and greatly admired those in the profession.