We’d like to honor our Holland BPW team members and teams who have gone above and beyond in supporting our community, environment and company throughout the year. From Broadband to Facilities, from Maintenance to Mutual Aid, and from Service to Water Treatment and more, we work with a great group of “heroes.”
When Local Hero Ashley began working as an Education and Visitor Program Specialist, her role expanded a previous position. Ashley coordinates tours of not only Holland Energy Park but also of Holland BPW’s Water Treatment and Water Reclamation facilities.
Ashley also creates fun, hands-on STEAM activities that teach students about topics related to HBPW facilities and services.
We’re proud to introduce Eddie, Holland BPW Broadband Network Specialist. With a reputation for great customer support and going the extra mile, Eddie is the first person that Downtown Shared-Gig customers meet from our Broadband Services team.
Eddie creates solutions that make residents’ internet experiences faster, easier, and more reliable. Eddie was instrumental in our recent fiber expansion to multi-tenant buildings on 6th Street.
Eddie is a model for excellent service, demonstrating how our community benefits from having a community-owned utility.
Mike & Kelly
This Water and Wastewater Professionals Workforce Week, we’re celebrating all our team members who provide customers with essential water and wastewater services.
Water Service team members Mike Highstreet and Kelly Allen serve multiple roles within and outside of Holland BPW, all to do with water. Mike serves as Water/Wastewater Services Supervisor, with Kelly serving as Water/Wastewater Programs Technician. Mike coordinates the team and Kelly helps to serve as one of the primary contacts with customers for services like metering, troubleshooting, leaks, and sanitary sewer backups.
Both team members also serve as volunteer firefighters. Fire service combines safety, community education and expert customer service, all skills that Mike and Kelly use in their positions at Holland BPW.
In order to keep our many digital processes running smoothly, Aish Apte serves as a Database Administrator for Holland BPW. Between systems, databases and integrations for our business administration, customer electric and water usage, GIS, linecrew notifications, safety reports and much more, Aish ensures that internal BPW users have the data they need.
Integrating systems, coordinating with vendors and acting as a translator between IT vendors and Holland BPW users, Aish provides critical support and automation to our systems.
For those fortunate enough to have worked at the same facility as Tim Martin, many BPW employees know him for his positive attitude. Working in a Utility capacity first at the Service Center and now at Holland Energy Park, Tim ensures that our facilities are in excellent condition, both indoors and outdoors.
As an Energy Production Maintenance Mechanic, John Rademaker performs anything mechanical that’s related to preventive maintenance, machine repair, and facility repairs. John has served at Holland BPW for over 20 years, starting his BPW career at the James De Young Power Plant.
We’re grateful for John’s passion for learning and teaching with his teammates to keep Holland Energy Park in tip-top shape.
Customer Service Team
Holland BPW’s Customer Service team truly embodies the heart of Local Heroes. Often, this team is a new resident’s first experience with our community. We know that moving is a big deal, and strive to help make your utility hook-up as easy as possible. We’re proud that this team is one of your first impressions of Holland.
As a group, they speak four languages and are experts in understanding customer needs. They know the ins and outs of Holland BPW. This team is versed in helping customers get financial assistance for utilities, Holland BPW’s value-added programs, billing, and the City’s refuse program.
Caring about people is a common thread among the members of this team and it shows in their work and personal lives. They are active in our community as volunteers, neighbors, friends, and family.
Facilities, Purchasing, ED Team
Holland BPW’s Warehouse, Purchasing, and Electric Distribution teams collaborate to ensure we stay ahead of potential challenges.
Supply chain disruptions have affected products large and small, including Holland BPW’s transformers and electric distribution equipment. Our teams worked together to overcome long lead time challenges by quickly finding and approving new vendors to provide high-quality essential services to our customers.
The warehouse teams also installed new racking, poured concrete for additional staging and reorganized our storage to provide flexibility for this equipment.
Facilities & W/WW Team
Lift stations keep our sewage collection system flowing by pumping wastewater to a higher elevation, where gravity moves it through the sewer system. Last summer, thanks to our facilities team and water/wastewater crews, almost all 36 lift stations in Holland received a much-needed makeover.
The teams collaborated to landscape the lift stations so they would look nice for our community—and stay nice with a low-maintenance design. The general strategy involved cleaning up the areas, power washing, painting, removing weeds and dead vegetation, installing weed-prevention fabric, and laying down new decorative rocks.
Each lift station is different and needed to be customized to meet unique needs. The time spent renovating each lift station ranged from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. It took an entire season to complete the whole project.
Pollution Control Team
Because our wastewater treatment process relies on living microorganisms to clean sewage, our teams ensure those microorganisms are happy and healthy.
Local Heroes Reid and Rick monitor the wastewater discharged to our system to protect this living infrastructure.
The #PublicPower family sent Mutual Aid to assist with Hurricane Ian’s widespread power outages. Holland BPW, @ZeelandBPW, and @GrandHavenBLP organized a team of eight line workers and five trucks to help restore power outages caused by the catastrophic storm.
Mutual Aid is one reason that Public Power communities can provide reliable electric services. Restoration can happen faster with help from the network 2,000 public power communities!
Steve Bruinsma, Electric Distribution Superintendent at Holland BPW, is a regional coordinator of Mutual Aid for @americanpublicpower and @mipublicpower. Steve works with MMEA to assemble teams from Michigan’s public power electric utilities to respond to Mutual Aid. “I am proud to see so many people from different places rally together to help other communities,” said Bruinsma. “It is an honor to be a part of Mutual Aid.”
Billing & Metering Team
Year-round, our diligent metering and billing team works hard to provide accurate, timely billing for customers. With four meter read dates and 10 billing cycles per month, Sara, Becky and Emily orchestrate many processes to bill customers correctly. A wide array of additional team members validate bills, coordinate with vendors on distributing bills, fix field equipment failures, and validate metering issues.
Next Article: James De Young Power Plant, A History 〉