Q&A with Operations Assistant Allan (Rusty) Vorhees, retiring Feb. 28, 2020
Tell us about your home and family:
I’m 61 years old and have been married to Ann for 36 blissful years. We live in Celina and have two sons. Doug (32) lives in Kettering with his wife, Alyssa, and their two daughters, Lucy (3) and Maggie (1). Nate (29) just moved back into his house after it was destroyed during the Memorial Day tornado that went through Celina. (Rusty's family is pictured above.)
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The people. I love talking to members. At our member appreciation day, an older member came up to me and said what a great company Midwest was. He was 8 years old in 1939 and remembered Midwest building power lines down his road. On Christmas Eve 1939, they hooked up the farm, and his family had electricity. He said it was the best Christmas of his entire life. It boggles my mind that that was such an impactful, life-altering time in that 88-year-old man’s life and that my company contributed to that.
Why did you want to work for Midwest Electric?
A now-retired Midwest employee, Don Hay Jr., was lucky enough to land a job here as a custodian. He told me he was moving outside into a groundsman position and the co-op would need a new custodian. When he started telling me about how nice it was to work at Midwest Electric, I about flipped. At the time, I was working part time as custodian for the Mercer County Commissioners in the courthouse. I was lucky enough to get the job.
What’s one of your biggest accomplishments?
Equipment Operator Steve Horn and I changed out some 10,500 meters when Midwest Electric moved to automated meter infrastructure. That took a few years!
What will you miss most?
I’ll miss the day-to-day camaraderie with my fellow workmates. You’re with them for a third of your life, so it’s tough to just “up and leave.”
How have you grown as a person over your career?
I’ve always tried to treat people how I wished to be treated. When members would call in upset, I’d do my best to listen carefully to their problem and try to solve it on my own. Collaboration has been key, though, and if I needed help, I knew who to go to. I’d always tell them that if I didn’t have an answer, I’d get them in touch with someone who did. I always followed through on that.
How do you plan on spending time in retirement?
I hope to enjoy each day in retirement doing a lot of the same things I do now — just without time restraints. This includes spending time with family and friends. My whole life I’ve been into training standard-bred race horses. My father and I had them at the Mercer County Fairgrounds since I was a teenager. He’s passed on, so it’s just me now. I’ve only got one horse, so it’s more of a hobby than a business. My ultimate goal is to make money racing.
We will miss Rusty dearly, but we wish him all the best in this next chapter of his life!