They’re in it for the long haul

By Ellen Cooke

long_haul_3“Janet epitomizes the kind of employee I love to see in my organization. She’s experienced, she knows her job and executes. There’s no role ambiguity and she loves working, and helping bring along, younger employees.”

Energy Procurement Director John Allocca is talking about veteran employee Janet Prag, one of 26 individuals who’ve achieved 40+ years of service with our company in 2015!

Eleven of those employees joined Janet at The Carltun in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, Long Island last fall for a true ‘milestone’ celebration with family and National Grid executives.

Janet started her career here in 1975, working her way through college and job sharing for several years while raising young children. She echoed others at the luncheon when she talked about changes she’s seen over the years (“I was afraid of computers that were trying to talk to each other”), her long career progression (from the ‘New Business’ department to Mapping to Customer Relations to Legal to Contract Management), and the fact that she has many great memories, long-term relationships with “absolutely great people” and still loves what she does.

CMS’s Patrick Riley came down from Albany, saying he’s not ready to retire from the company he’s worked at since he was 18 years old and where his brother worked too. “I think I’ll stay on another year.”

Field Tester Jim Rougeux, whose father worked at the company, started working here in the summer of ’69 as an intern, and officially, full-time, in 1974. “I really enjoy what I’m doing – working with different departments in all different areas. It’s easy to see how it all comes together and it’s great to be part of it all.” Jim made the trip down from Syracuse to be recognized at the luncheon.

Barney Bivona and Bruce Chance are both 40-year employees working out of the Canarsie Gas Service Center. Barney reminisces that while the company’s gotten a lot bigger over the years, “There are still really nice people, even the kids coming up now.” And Bruce mused, “We used tosee old timers at work. Now we are the old timers!”

And at 71 years old, our 50-year Gas Designer John Colucci still enjoys his job and was happy to make the trip down from Albany. John was a gas mechanic for his first 15 years here and gas designer since 1980.

Demonstrating his true passion for our long-time employees, keynote speaker / Chief ExecutiveSteve Holliday talked about what the world looked like in 1975 – when the average house price was $39,000; VHS videos at home were considered ‘high-tech’; and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Jaws and Wheel of Fortune premiered. Steve arranged his visit to the US around the milestone luncheon, saying, “One of my most inspiring jobs is to sit at home in my kitchen and personally sign long-term service awards – all of them!”

long_haul_1NY Jurisdiction President Ken Daly echoed Steve’s appreciation for our long-timers, joking, “I’ve been with the company for 27 years. This is the only place I feel like a ‘newcomer! In all seriousness, though, these employees are true role models who — for more than 40 years — have led by example with their dedication and commitment to the customers and communities we serve.”

Here’s a complete list of 40- and 50-year anniversary employees invited to this special luncheon. (Other 40+ year employees periodically participate in milestone recognition events across our US service area.) Congratulations – and a great big ‘thank you’ – to you all:

Francis Ayers  | Elbe Baisden  |  Barney Bivona  |  Maria Branco  |  Thomas Brown
Thomas Burke  |  George Carnacchio  |  Arthur Castle  | Bruce Chance  |  John Colucci
Anthony Eng  |  Joe Frederick  |  James Gale  |  Andrew Harmon  |  Michael Holder
Karen Howell  |  Thomas Kelly  |  Greg Noto  |  Lawrence O’Rourke  |  Janet Prag
Doug Purver  |  Richard Reeves  |  Patrick Riley  |  James Rougeux  |  Margaret Session
Matthew Zatwarnicki

Who do YOU appreciate? Let them know NOW!
Career milestones like these are a great reason to recognize – and appreciate – our employees. But our appreciate program is also a satisfying, and appreciated, way to recognize your coworkers’ or employees’ everyday contributions and work.

Why not nominate someone you know deserves it? Take a look at our updated appreciate Infonet page today and log onto appreciate to send your appreciate e-card.

And take a look at the recent recognition Pat Quigley got from Chief Executive Steve Holliday for receiving our 100,000th Appreciate Award winner!

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