2021 Hall of Fame
Born in 1930, raised on a farm, and an army veteran of the Korean War, Ernest Woods eventually became a lineman at Ohio Power. Ernest worked in underground as well as overhead, eventually becoming Foreman and led crews on multiple types of projects: new construction, rebuilding distribution, and transmission circuits. His main priority with each of his line crews was to “get the job done right the first time.” Over his 35-year career at AEP Ohio, Ernest Woods had zero safety incidents on all of his jobs. He was innovative, meticulous, and determined to complete each job and to complete it correctly.
In over 46 years in the line industry, Mike Fitzpatrick has become a strong leader and teacher in the trade. He upholds a level of professionalism and dedication to the industry and those he trains that he promotes every day he works. Mike has a reputation for being an excellent mentor and is a person who will help answer difficult questions the industry poses. In addition to teaching linework to up and coming lineman, he also trains others on how to teach this profession. He is working to lead a better, safer, and more knowledgeable future for the next generations of lineman.
Nathan "Kelly" Hodge
In over 34 years of life dedicated to linework, Nathan “Kelly” Hodge has led his career in a manner that can only be described as “safety first.” Linework is a dangerous profession, and the best way to make the work safe is to learn safely. Apprentices under Nathan “Kelly” have claimed they always felt safe with him and learning from him – he never let anyone put themselves in an unsafe situation, no matter how small. A leader by example, “Kelly” worked many hard jobs that required long hours, rough conditions, and hard work. In 2005, Kelly went on storm work in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. In 2008, he was the first Area Foreman in Sandy Valley Electric Co-op and pushed for upgrades and rebuilds of the system, successfully dropping the rate of outages in the area. A hard working and diligent community member, Nathan Hodge promotes safety and hard work on every job.
Norman "Chuck" Dixon
A hardworking Marine Corps Veteran who served in Vietnam and a lead by example lineman, Norman Dixon has led a solid career in his 39 years in the industry. Montana can have rough weather, especially in winter, yet through all his years in the industry, Norman Dixon was unafraid to go in through any weather to get a job done. Leading crews through freezing rain, he always took care of his crews be it stringing new wire or repairing poles. His pride for the trade led him to participate in Lineman Rodeo Competitions where he went on to compete three times in the National Finals. Through his years in the industry Norman made a name for himself as a the person to call when you needed a tough job done the right way.
Richard D. Geddis
Richard Geddis is the definition of a hard-working, dedicated, and well-rounded lineman. No matter what the time or the weather, if Richard gets a call for a job he takes it. In his 50 years of linework dedicated to National Grid, Richard Geddis has done it all: overhead, underground, and training–he is exemplary in all aspects of his career. Multiple generations of lineman have apprenticed under Geddis and have been glad to have him to learn from each time. Geddis has also spent time as a local safety advocate and over 20 years as the IBEW Local 97 Shop Steward. While a dedicated career lineman, Richard is also a community centered family man who always seeks to do right by everyone.
Many Linemen in the Hall of Fame have been described as a “true lineman” or a “lineman at heart.” Rick Shaw, in his many nomination letters, was always referred to as a true and dedicated Christian, and one who put his faith first. While faith or religion is not necessary or even a category in how nominees are selected, it stood out just how much Rick Shaw’s faith meant to him but also how clear it was to everyone around him. In his over forty years of service as a lineman with Shelby Energy, Rick Shaw has become one to be counted on for help, for teaching, and for advice. A patient and dedicated lineman, he is a loyal member of his community, his family, and his co-op. No matter the weather or the situation, Rick has always been known to be there for the job, not shying away from any aspect of it no matter what.