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Tory Tedder-Loffland


Co-op People


Mike Buck Just a big kid playing with electricity, but don't worry—he's a professional.


You would be hard pressed to find anyone more excited about


going to work than Mike Buck, manager of maintenance. I might even go so far as to say he is "giddy" when he talks about line work. When I was a new employee, Buck was one of the first people I did a "ride along" with to learn about OEC's system. He gets very animated when discussing the merits of 8- versus 10-foot cross arms and the ideal spacing between the hot lines and the neutral. Buck admits visiting other co-ops for fun. He and his wife, also an OEC employee, have visited many co-ops while on vacation in Hawaii, Costa Rica, Alaska, and many other places. "Co-op employees provide local information not readily available to the average tourist," Buck reports. In Costa Rica, for example, the co- op employees took the Bucks to visit a member's coffee plantation. "It doesn't matter if you are in the U.S. or Central America," he continues, "the members and employees of an electric cooperative are especially hospitable, providing experiences we would not have had otherwise." Buck adds, these visits are great learning opportunities, too. Buck came to Oklahoma from Iowa to visit his sister in 1982


and never left. As a graduate from power line school in 1981 with contracting experience, he was an easy hire for OEC. "It was simple. I came in, took a test, and went to work," Buck said. Buck has seen many changes in his 31 years with OEC. "For


one, we didn't have volt meters; we had light bulbs." He explains when a lineman thought a line's voltage was off, he would touch a light bulb to it. How brightly or dimly the bulb burned would tell him if there was a problem. Of course, that was a different era. "It's better today," he concedes. "Linemen are smarter and have access to real-time information with the iPads and vehicle laptops." Buck feels on-the-job training is the best way to teach linemen. "We have great on-the-job training with our experienced linemen—the legendary Dean Davis taught me." In his spare time, he and his wife, Jonna, like to spend time


at Lake Eufaula where Mike is beginning to pride himself as a fisherman. Te Bucks have three children: Jared, 27; Jordan, 24; and Abby, 18.


Mike Buck, from top to bottom: Employee portrait, Dec. 2012; As a new hire in 1982; Helping Special Olympians stay on track at the 1997 Special Olympics of Oklahoma with his son, Jared, age 11, on the right.


News Magazine 7


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