Winter warms up to retirement
When asked what a 35-year career at Associated Electric Cooperative was like, Mike Winter said that while his job wasn’t always easy, the people he worked with at Thomas Hill Energy Center made it all worthwhile.
“My best memories all center around the people I’ve worked with and some of the things we did … that at the time weren’t very funny, but looking back on them later, we’d laugh about what happened, and we learned from it too,” Winter said.
He explained there was always something new to learn, and by working as a team he and his co-workers managed to get things done and keep the units running reliably and affordably for members.
“Your shift is a lot like a family,” said Winter. “Many of us have been together for a long time and through a lot, and I’ll miss that connection when I leave here.”
Hired as a general utility in 1979, Winter said excellent wages, benefits and job security originally drew him to AECI and Thomas Hill Energy Center. Progressing to auxiliary operator during his first year with the cooperative, he moved up to assistant control room operator in 1982, control room operator in 1983 and finally assistant shift supervisor in 2002. His hard work paid off when he was promoted to shift supervisor in 2003, a position he held 11 years.
Not only did his role change, but Winter said processes and procedures around the plant evolved with him, as well. “When I started in operations, you would tell the shift supervisor what needed to be worked on and he’d write it down on a Big Chief tablet for the maintenance supervisor to look at and assign jobs,” he explained. “Some of the guys now don’t even know what a Big Chief tablet is. The changes have been unbelievable, especially … with the use of computers and electronic controls. Electronics are changing so fast, it’s impossible to keep up.”
Winter retired from Associated earlier this year, and he’s looking forward to relaxing and taking up a few rounds of golf or fishing to start.
“I’d like to do some traveling and see more of the U.S.,” he said. “It’ll be nice to have the time to do the things I’ve missed out on, … like Cardinals, Blues and University of Missouri games, and especially being with family during the holidays.”
Winter lives in Moberly with his wife, Sheila. He looks forward to spending more time with daughters, Ashley and Jodi, son, Jeremy, and four grandchildren.
Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. is owned by and provides wholesale power to six regional and 51 local electric cooperative systems in Missouri, southeast Iowa and northeast Oklahoma that serve more than 875,000 customers. Associated Electric’s mission is to provide an economical and reliable power supply and support services to its members, including the “Take Control & Save” energy efficiency program, www.TakeControlAndSave.coop. Associated Electric is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.
An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V