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Ron Bond
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Most of you don't know me but I worked for Capital Electric Line Builders for 28 years, mainly in the line construction side of the business. In 1995, KCPL had a early out and all the good design planners, including John Blackman took the early retirement package. I went to KCPL for work for my crews and was told they were not going to have any until they figured out how to get them designed as all the good planners had retired. I knew John Blackman very well and I call him and three other retirees and asked them if they were still wanting to work. I hired all four and approached KCPL with my plan to start a desgn group. I still ran all the field work but now had a gesign group. I have to say that I don't think my boss, Bob Asher thought we would be successful. The designers worked in the basement of the Kansas City office and it was soon apparent that we needed more help. John told me about his son Joel, that he was a fireman but knew AutoCAD and could work part time cleaning up drawings for us. That was the beginning of a long relationship with Joel. It wasn't long before Joel was the best designer that I had (sorry John)and was helping with the marketing of our department. Joel decided to retire from the fire department and work for me full time. I have never seen someone come from a completely different background and be as successful as Joel was. Who would have thought a fireman could be a design planner? Joel was named planning manager and continued to grow the department. In 2001 Capital was sold, and within the next few years Bob Doran the owner and our boss Bob Asher were gone. The work for the planning group had fallen off significantly and Joel and I were very aware that something had to be done. In November 2006 we moved to PAR Electric along with 20 other employees. We had no work and a large overhead. Joel, Earl Howard and I worked many hours marketing and believing in our employees. Today the Planning, Engineering and Technical services group has over 100 employees working in many states. I very much miss Joel Blackman, his friendship and his business sense. All the employees in our group are indebted to Joel. Without his hard work we would not have the good jobs we do now. Joel, I hope you are looking down and smiling with that smile mentioned in another post. We all miss you.
Toggle Commented Sep 12, 2009 on Joel Blackman's Legacy Box at Makn Memories