Cleve Faison, transformer quality and product test supervisor extraordinaire, is no stranger to hard work. Growing up on a farm, Cleve never shied away from his chores and always knew they needed to not just be done, but done right in a timely manner. “I developed a great respect and appreciation for getting a job done in the most efficient manner possible from working on my family’s farm. Crops require perfect timing. Planting seeds within the right time frame helps ensure growth, and the timing of crop harvesting is a science. I look at delivering transformers to our customers in the same way – we need to have perfect timing to be successful.”
While transitioning from youth to adulthood, Cleve was drafted by the Army to fight in Vietnam. When given the opportunity to serve his country, he did not shrink away from his responsibilities. Our country’s freedoms were worth fighting for, and he served with pride.
Cleve was trained and assigned the job of Military Police (MP), which earned him the rank of E-3. He was soon given a promotion to Confinement Officer at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and, as luck would have it, that promotion also allowed him the opportunity to meet his lovely future bride who was working as a nurse at Munson Army Health Centre Military Hospital at Fort Leavenworth. Looking back on his time at Leavenworth, Cleve only sees the positive, “Although military prison was not a fun place to work, I always looked at it as a chance to grow, a chance to develop solutions instead of focusing on the problems. And I met Princella Clay. How much luckier can a man be?”
Cleve pursued an associate degree from Wayne Community College once he was released from military duty. Upon graduation, Hevi-Duty scooped him up, and the Goldsboro facility has housed his work family ever since.
November 6, 1968, marked the beginning of Cleve’s journey with SPX Transformer Solutions (then Heavy-Duty Electric). Starting in the Test Department as a tester, Cleve was promoted over the years to the positions of test technician, test supervisor, test engineer, and, finally, to his present position as product test supervisor.
During Cleve’s career, a variety of transformer types have been developed and manufactured along with other industrial products, as Hevi-Duty/General Signal acquired and sold various businesses throughout Cleve’s tenure. And Cleve touched them all as they passed through the Quality/Test Department:
- Low voltage (general purpose) dry-type transformers
- Dry cast resin type transformers
- Small liquid-filled transformers
- Motor-starting auto transformers
- Motor-starting reactors
- Airport runway lighting regulators (built to provide a constant steady output of power to runway lights)
- Acu-Volt power centers
- Many more!
With every new acquisition and every new task, Cleve developed a plethora of new skills. However, a keen focus on safety has remained a constant for him — and never taken for granted. Cleve recites a once secret mantra daily to keep his safety record intact, “I walked in the building in one piece, and I’ll walk out in one piece.”
Cleve has received many awards and recognition for his work performance. Even customers have extended their compliments in writing, for the knowledge, professionalism and warmness Cleve exhibited to them while visiting the Goldsboro plant.
The “Winner’s Award,” a Hevi-Duty company award, was given to both Cleve and co-worker, Major Strickland, in March 1987 for their above and beyond contributions. The customer was Corning’s Cornelle Ware, and the critical delivery problem was for a large and complex power supply designed to control the temperature and power to a glass melting furnace. The testing cycle was further complicated by the impending test cycle. Through that challenging ordeal, Cleve and Major worked extra hours to prepare the lengthy part listings and drawings, minimizing both engineering and manufacturing time. Both worked nights, weekends and holidays and, as a result, the power supply shipped on time, requiring only five hours of customer witnessed quality assurance testing. Corning Glass was elated, and Cleve and Major were rewarded.
From farm life to a successful manufacturing career all these years later, Cleve has certainly seen the world change drastically. Technology has evolved beyond any of our expectations, and, yet, throughout all the changes, Cleve remains constant and consistent. His passion, dedication and technical expertise have never waned.
Thank you, Cleve, for your loyalty, hard work and perseverance — then and now.