• Quick Wit
• Neat Handwriting
• Engaging Smile
Bill began his cooperative career as an apprentice lineman in 1985. While still in high school, his drafting teacher at Rantoul High School, saw a talent in Bill and encouraged him to use his drafting skills. Bill’s first job was working for the Village of Rantoul at the power plant. A close family friend worked for Illini Electric and encouraged Bill to join the cooperative. For 33 years he’s been serving members and providing his expertise to assist in the delivery and management of safe, reliable electricity. Bill is one of two remaining Illini Electric employees who were part of the 1987 merger that joined together Eastern Illinois Power and Illini Electric.
Bill’s coworkers really like working with him. They describe him as knowledgeable and dedicated. They enjoy his great sense of humor and they are a bit envious of his creativity. If you need a document completed with neat handwriting, take it to Bill. Handwriting is more than just a form of communication. For Bill, it is part of his identity along with his quick wit and engaging smile.
In his current role, Bill is an engineering technician/serviceman. On most days, he’s busy meeting with electrical or building contractors to make sure new builds, upgrades and renovations are completed to specifications. Bill has a great deal of interaction with members daily. They have come to rely on Bill for accurate, complete and insightful answers to their questions. His job often involves talking to township road commissioners and community leaders throughout the Eastern Illini territory. Implementing the annual EIEC work plan for pole rebuilds involves Bill staking out all the lines, so crews can do installation and upgrades.
Bill’s favorite part of his job is talking to members. He likes meeting new people and building business relationships. He’s found out over the years that asking the right questions and engaging in dialogue works best and builds long lasting rapport. The most challenging part of his position is having to have hard conversations explaining and justifying policies and procedures. Safety is a top priority with Bill and his decision making begins with making sure members and employees are always safe. Bill wants members to be aware of the power lines around their homes and property. He’s seen farming equipment become more expansive over the years and it is so important to stay safe around electrical poles and lines.
Bill feels blessed to work at Eastern Illini. He is truly appreciative that the board of directors and senior leadership are committed to safety and to providing the tools, equipment and training needed to work effectively and efficiently.
Bill was fortunate enough to be able to help with the cleanup after Hurricane Katrina. He was dispatched with a crew that provided assistance in Picayune, MS. Bill worked long hours cleaning up downed trees and restoring power. The people of Picayune were extremely appreciative. Even though devastation was widespread, their spirit and attitude remained positive. Bill had the opportunity to assist Sonny and Elaine Smith while in Picayune and Elaine prepared some delicious home cooked meals that were enjoyed by the linemen. To this day, Eastern Illini still receives a Christmas card from Sonny and Elaine.
Each year around Thanksgiving, Bill and his wife Renee, make their annual trek to Gatlinburg, TN where they enjoy the scenic views, majestic mountains and tranquil log cabin accommodations. They relax, listen to blue grass music and enjoy all that the Great Smokey Mountains have to offer.
In his spare time, Bill keeps busy farming his in-laws farmground and helping out neighbors during harvest time. He is a member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gifford where he currently serves as a trustee and is the 2018 Chairman of the Church Council.
Bill and his wife Renee, have three daughters: Jennifer, Holly and Hope and five grandchildren. He also has a big old Bloodhound named Red who weighs over 100 lbs. and keeps him company.