KISSIMMEE, Fla., June 1, 9:00 a.m. – William N. “Bill” Groover, line crew supervisor for Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA), retires today after 42 years, one month and three days of service to the electric utility.
Groover, 62, was honored this morning by KUA’s board of directors and presented with proclamations from the utility and city of Kissimmee as well as framed personal letters of commendation from President Bush, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Mel Martinez.
In addition, the board presented Groover with an engraved brass and leather climbing hook – symbolic of the climbing hooks he carried daily for four decades to scale utility poles in need of maintenance, repair or replacement.
A graduate of Greenville High School in Greenville, Pa., Bill joined the utility as a lineman’s helper on April 29, 1963, at the age of 19. Bill’s starting pay was $1.30 per hour. Over the years, he worked his way up the utility ladder to lineman apprentice (1964), second class lineman (1965), lineman (1966), foreman (1971), and finally in 1998 to his current position, line crew supervisor.
Over the years, Groover witnessed some of the most significant chapters in the utility’s history, including the unveiling of KUA’s first modern energy control center in 1979, the creation of a separate utility authority in 1985 and the opening of the Cane Island Power Park in 1995.
Though many co-workers describe Groover’s departure as a loss for the utility, the event will not be a complete loss for the community. Even in retirement Groover will be no stranger to Osceola County as he and his wife Kathy own and manage Jordan/Norris commercial printers in downtown Kissimmee and St. Cloud.
KUA president and general manager Jim Welsh expressed confidence that Groover’s presence would be felt for years to come, saying, “I don’t think Bill Groover will ever be completely gone from KUA.”
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric, water and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
# # # Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116
(407) 933-7777 x 1116