Hired on the Same Day Over 46 Years Ago, Bill and Ron Share Their Insights and Memories

Posted: September 25, 2020

On November 5, 1973, two gentlemen walked into what was then RTE-ASEA, neither imagining they would still be here more than 46 years later.

Bill Pease, Coil Winder/Shield

From machine operator, painter, department lead, winder, spacer fabricator, lead supervisor, coil winder and quality assistant to his current role as a shield maker, Bill Pease’s 46 year journey built him a reputation as the “Go to Guy”.

Bill has seen a lot of changes over the years, some of the biggest of which have been continuous improvement of products, quality of transformers and the increase in size of the units we manufacture. “Change can be hard, but you have to be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” says Bill. When asked how he has promoted a safe work environment while moving throughout the plant in his different roles, he credits common sense, “Common sense is the key to safety. If you see something, say something.” Bill’s advice to new employees follows the same common sense theme, “Don’t be late, come to work every day and give 100%.”

Bill recalls all the good times and friends he has made through the years, especially the fun they had playing for the MagneTek softball team. In 1990, they won out of the loser’s bracket twice to qualify for the National Softball Association World Series of Softball Tournament in Fort Worth, TX and the United States Specialty Sports Association Regional in Detroit, MI. Despite not coming home victorious, the experiences they shared were unforgettable.

Bill Pease Softball
1979 RTE-ASEA softball team. Bill is located in the bottom left corner.

Bill’s family is proud to tell people he has worked for the same company for over 46 years. “You never see that kind of loyalty anymore,” said his wife, Jan. “We are so proud of Bill for all he’s done over the years to support his family – both at home and at work.”

When he finally retires someday, Bill is going to enjoy coin collecting and gambling. Some of Bill and Jan’s favorite gambling spots are Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee, Ho-Chunk Gaming in Wisconsin Dells and Q Casino in Dubuque, IA. As for his coin collection, it’s nothing too fancy, but when he sees a unique or special coin he will keep it in a safe place. Every now and again, he will purchase rare coins, but the unique finds are the ones he appreciates the most.

Ron Kieck, Shipper

Ron Kieck started on 3rd shift in the spinning department back when we spun all our own conductor. After about a year, Ron transitioned to a 2nd shift coil winding position, where he spent six years learning how to wind all the different coil types: layer/barrel for regulating and tertiary voltage windings, screw/helical for low voltage and booster windings and continuous disc for high voltage, low voltage and booster windings. He has spent the last 39 years in shipping enjoying a variety of work and meeting new people. “Being in shipping you work with many different departments and talk to truck drivers from all over the country,” says Ron.

Ready to send out another transformer.

Ron has seen some impressive technology advancements in every department in which he has worked, including air lines for tools, electric tools, Trackmobile for moving rail cars — better equipment that makes work easier, more efficient and safer. Speaking of safety, this is something Ron takes very seriously. “We use to carry heavy equipment up a ladder, which was really unsafe. While accidents can happen, you still need to work to improve unsafe situations and look out for yourself and others,” says Ron. “Speak up if you see something that isn’t right. I hate to see anyone get hurt!”

Through the years, Ron remembers a lot of people that left an impression on him, but the one that sticks in his mind the most was one of his supervisors, Steve Foth, “You knew what to expect from him and what he expected from you. He liked to have fun, but expected you to get the job done. He was quite the prankster, too!” Ron’s advice for new employees is to follow the example set by his respected friend, Steve, “Work smarter, not necessarily harder. You can have fun at work and still get your job done right and on-time. By keeping a good balance, you won’t burn yourself out.”

Ron’s experience working at SPX Transformer Solutions has been wonderful, but he is ready to retire. Once free from his commitments here, Ron plans to stay active by enjoying some of his favorite activities, such as cross country and downhill skiing, kayaking, hiking and golfing. “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” says Ron. He does not want to lose his reason for getting up in the morning or his zest for life!

Bill and Ron have been an integral part of SPX Transformer Solutions’ success for over 46 years, with their dedication and years of experience forging a path for future generations. We thank you for your loyalty and for always putting your best foot forward!