Mr. Mickey Wiley retired from the Baldwin EMC marketing and member services department in 2000. When we asked him to sit down with Energy Marketing Specialist Brad Taylor, we knew they’d have plenty to “talk shop” about, from our home energy efficiency programs to Youth Tour. But what they also share in common is their military service. Mr. Wiley is a U.S. Army, Army Reserves and Air Force Reserves veteran, and Taylor served six years of active duty in the Air Force followed by four years in the Air National Guard. Read a snapshot from their conversation below, and Happy Veterans Day to all who have served our country.
Brad Taylor: What made you initially apply for a job at Baldwin EMC?
Mickey Wiley: I’d grown up in Baldwin County and two weeks after I graduated from Auburn in 1962, I was drafted. I served two years in the Army and then two years in the Army Reserves. This was in the middle of the Korean War, and I was stationed just outside of Seoul.
B.T.: Really? I was actually stationed about 45 minutes south of Seoul.
M.W.: You know, it took us 23 days to get there by boat.
B.T.: My trip was actually my very first plane ride. I couldn’t believe it took us 15 hours to fly there from Seattle, I can’t imagine 23 days.
M.W.: It wasn’t so bad. But when I returned, I worked a few years in Decatur and then took a job in Mobile. I had a buddy of mine tell me about a job opening here. The main attraction for me at the time was that it meant I wouldn’t have to commute to Mobile every day!
B.T.: What department did you start out in?
M.W.: I first got a job in the engineering department and worked the Stapleton area all the way up to Uriah. I would meet with people and draw up the work orders for the crews to build the lines. When an opportunity opened up in Summerdale, I took it. After about 20 years we expanded into what was then known as the member services department.
B.T.: What were some of your responsibilities?
M.W.: I think I wore about eight different hats, but it was everything from promoting “Good Cents” homes, to conducting energy audits, to issuing heat pump rebates, to controlling meter theft, and then there was the magazine every month. But over the years I had more and more help, good help.
B.T.: It sounds like you did it all! You really are the founding father of energy services.
M.W.: Ha! I don’t know about that.
B.T.: I know being in the military, it was that feeling of camaraderie that I loved. I feel like we also have that here.
M.W.: Yes, when I first took the job I knew so many of the guys because we had grown up together. It already felt like a family. It was a blessing to work here, all 31 years were a blessing.