100 Years, 100 People: 1970 - 1979
Growth, environmental protection and the role of women in the work place
Albert Warren Howard
Albert Warren (Bert) Howard was born and raised in Calgary. He joined Calgary Power as an apprentice engineer in 1935. He was part of a new program in which new recruits spent their first couple of years working in the plants, gaining exposure to the “grassroots” of the company. Howard also worked as a maintenance man at the Seebe control centre. He was promoted to junior engineer in 1939 and then transferred to the Montreal Engineering Company for 10 years. When he returned to Calgary Power in 1949, Howard became executive assistant to the general manager. In 1952, he was promoted once again to general manager, a position he held until 1956. Howard was made a director of Calgary Power in 1956, vice-president in 1959, and then became president of the company from 1965 to 1973. During his administration, the company initiated important environmental protection projects such as fly ash removal, weed clearing operations in Lake Wabamun and land reclamation at the Whitewood Mine. Howard retired in 1984, after a total of 39 years with Calgary Power.
Sue Adams moved to Calgary from Port Arthur, Ontario in 1953 and started with Calgary Power on November 16, 1959. Adams was hired on with the Calgary Power’s Sickness and Accident Fund (S&A Fund), a program to help pay for and look after employee’s medical expenses. Adams was the stewardess of the fund, which meant she was keeper of correspondence, books and paperwork. She was also the secretary-manager of the Calgary Power Employee Association (C.P.E.A) during her first three years with the company. The S&A Fund was discontinued on December 31, 1970 and replaced by the Alberta Health Care program; as a result Adams left the company on July 29, 1971 after 12 years with Calgary Power. The surplus from the S&A Fund was donated for medical research to Alberta universities, including the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta.
Gordon Milligan is a great example of self-discipline and determination. He was born in Switzerland in 1908 but was raised in Alberta after his family moved to Canada when he was four years old. Milligan’s lengthy career with Calgary Power started when, in 1925, at the age of 17 he became a floorman at the Horseshoe plant. He also lived in the town of Seebe until 1928, when he went to work on the Ghost Dam construction project. In 1931, Milligan became superintendent of the Ghost plant. Eight years later, he was promoted to Edmonton district manager, a position he held for 14 years. In 1961, as his career continued to grow, Milligan became director of employee and public relations. Under Milligan’s leadership the company celebrated its 60th anniversary by producing the “Our Alberta Heritage” book series, which celebrated the history and culture of Alberta. After nearly 50 years with Calgary Power, Milligan retired in 1975 as vice-president, Administration. He is remembered today as an example of how far hard work can take you – from floorman to vice-president.
Marshall Williams was born in Londonderry, Nova Scotia and received a Masters’ degree in Civil Engineering. He worked with the Montreal Engineering Company before joining Calgary Power in 1954 as an assistant to the general manager. Williams then became executive assistant in 1960, executive vice-president in 1966 and President and CEO of Calgary Power in 1973. During his administration, Williams helped see Calgary Power through important historical events, including transitioning the company to TransAlta, and surviving an ATCO takeover bid. Williams also helped develop SEEDS (Society Environment and Energy Development Studies) in 1976, which is a nonprofit organization that helps Canadian educators teach students about the environment and energy industry. He later became Chairman of the Board in 1984. In 1985, after 31 years with the company Williams retired. He is married to Joan Williams and has four children.
Arthur Patrick Davis
Arthur Patrick Davis started with Calgary Power in late 1952 as part of the telecommunications department. Before joining the company, Davis built the first power line carrier in the summer of 1940 while doing summer work between terms at University. At Calgary Power Davis helped to make radio communication and power line telecommunication possible between plants, thanks to his work designing the equipment in the communications system. His affection for the company has also been shared by some of his closest relatives. Art’s brother, William Roe Davis was one of the original employees who travelled to the Kananaskis area and mapped out the future lakes and subsequent power stations between the Upper Kananaskis Lake and the town of Seebe. While his son, Edward Arthur Davis, worked as a power line worker in the early 1970s. Coming full circle is Edward’s son, Brian Cory Davis, who started as a contractor for Cowley Ridge last summer and then turned into a full time wind tech at the Pincher Creek office on June 1, 2010. Arthur Patrick Davis retired in 1979, making his time spent at Calgary Power almost 27 years.
Will Greenough was born in Boston, Massachusetts but grew up mostly on the east coast. After serving in the Air Force as a Flight Simulator Technician, Will enrolled at the University of Washington, where he graduated with a B.Sc in Geological Sciences in 1981. In 1988, Will received a Master’s in business administration from the Pacific Lutheran University.
“I started at the Centralia Mine as a summer student in 1979,” said Greenough. “My duties consisted of channel sampling coal in the pits, logging the geology of core samples, drafting geologic maps, coal sample preparation and analytical work in the onsite lab.”
Over the years, Will has transferred to numerous positions within the mining team and has been involved in several projects. Some of his greatest contributions include:
• Participating in the design and installation of the new coal blending system in the Centralia coal yard in 2001 and 2002.
• Participating in the design and installation of the new rail infrastructure to efficiently handle coal unit-trains between 2005 and 2007.
• Participating in fuel evaluations for conversion of plant to Powder River Basin coal in 2007.
• Participating in the monitoring of coal quality systems and blending systems upgrades at Alberta coal in 2010 and 2011.
Among his peers, Greenough is recognized as the author of the “Special K” coal project in 2007. The project allowed attainment of full generation on Unit 1 at Centralia without the Powder River Basin modifications to the boiler. This not only allowed Centralia to have significantly more production than expected prior to Unit 1 modification, but also allowed indefinite deferment of $20 million in capital modifications to this unit.
Will feels proud to be a TransAlta employee because in his opinion, TransAlta consistently values the contributions of employees and provides challenges and opportunities that stimulate top performance. “We are a different corporation because we devote significant resources in being a valuable part of the communities in which we operate,” added Greenough.
Will currently works as a senior fuel specialist at Centralia plant. In the summer of 2011, he will reach his 32nd anniversary with the Centralia team.