BUILDING POWERFUL CONNECTIONS SINCE 1964

IES Airfield Lighting Conference 2015

Brett Bieberdorf

Another great technical meeting with the crew from IESALC.  Denver was this years location and the you really couldn’t have asked for a better place.  Great papers, networking and all things aviation, airfield lighting and Navaids made for a good opportunity to bring home some new knowledge.  Art Gonzalez and Kief Hough were also in attendance!

Sky Harbor Sky Train – T3 update

The Sky Train at Sky Harbor International Airport will soon be arriving to Terminal 3! Rural Electric, Inc. has been selected by McCarthy-Kiewit JV to provide the electrical installation for Stage 1A GMP 4. This project started in May 2013 and consisted of many overnight shifts to complete a numerous amount of different power outages and cutovers to this very busy airport.

We were contracted to complete the Grand Hallway at Terminal 3 from the Connector Bridge at Sky Harbor Boulevard and extend into Terminal 3 which allows passengers to easily navigate to their gates. In order for this Grand Hallway to be built we needed to relocate a large portion of the existing kitchen to Bowtie’s Restaurant. Working many overnight shifts when the restaurant was not occupied allowed us to relocate Distribution Panels, Transformers, Panel boards, Lighting Control Systems and Light Fixtures. Once the kitchen was relocated we were able to begin working on the Grand Hallway which included over 100 recessed LED fixtures, low-voltage string lights and architectural fixtures.

Another scope of our work was to extend an outdoor walkway from the Terminal 3 Sky Train Station to Terminal 2 which would allow passengers to connects to their gates. This installation included exterior wall packs, under canopy fluorescent fixtures, architectural sign lighting and security systems.

Our team which consisted of John Colonna (PM), Jaxon Kelley (PE) and Erick Flores (Foreman) has kept this project on schedule and under budget. We continue to build powerful connections with McCarthyKiewit JV, City of Phoenix and Gannett Fleming.

LAX Update

The pace of work is picking up at the LAX – TW T project. The site is due west of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), which is an impressive engineering feat in itself. Our project is the construction of TW T which parallels TW S which is right in front of the TBIT. There are several large, old hangars that some of the airlines use for maintenance that prevent TW T from being a continuous, parallel TW, but LAX has plans to demo these buildings and finish the last piece of the TW in the future.

What is really impressive is the number of large aircraft that fly in/out of LAX. It is not uncommon to see 3 or 4 Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 aircraft all lined up at the same time. These aircraft make 767′s look small and 737′s look downright puny. Phoenix Sky Harbor, for example, may only see a 747 arrival once per day.

The project is interesting and complicated in the fact that it contains multiple types of work in a relatively compact site. Airport lighting (in-pavement and edge), medium voltage distribution, high mast apron lighting, 400hz generation/distribution, and jet fuel system control/montoring are all part of the scope. Lots of retrofit work, phasing conflicts and aircraft detours add to the challenge.

Our team of Kief Hough, Lance Attaway and Geoff Eden keep everything running smooth as we stay ahead of what the airport needs, the engineer wants and Coffman Specialties (our GC) has to have to make schedule and build a safe and quality project.

San Angelo Project

My New Year’s Resolution for work was to get out of the office more (you can have business resolutions, right?). Well, my first trip of the year was a swing through Texas to see our San Angelo project start up. Darrell Bar Jr is kicking this one off accompanied by all the Knippa guys.

A pretty straight forward project, installing new lights, wire and home runs for their primary instrument runway 9/27, it is nonetheless important. The system is quite old and current reliability of the system is questionable. In 2 months however, San Angelo – Mathis Field will be the proud owner of a new runway lighting system!

IES Airport Lighting Conference 2013

It is October (my busy time of year), which also means it is time for the IES Airport Lighting Conference. It is a week that is packed full of networking, hearing about the latest trends and technology advances in the airfield lighting industry. Rural Electric has been representing at the conference since 1997 and am still impressed every year at the quality of the people and information at this conference.

Yesterday afternoon was the “Day Show”, which is the only time that vendors (who help tremendously in paying for the show), get an opportunity to market their products to the dozens of airports, engineers and contractors that attend the show. The show is only about 4 hours long, and with over 300 attendees, it makes for a “fast and furious” day of business development and marketing. The bang for the buck factor is fantastic.

This year’s conference is in Tucson at Lowes Ventana Canyon resort. The location is beautiful and serene, right at the foothills of the Catalina mountains with the city of Tucson in the distance. The food and service have been impeccable, and the executive committee and Ken Lepera, as committee chair, have done a fantastic job ensuring all 259 attendees have been well taken care of.

Tonight is the closing banquet and that will finish up this years successful conference. It will be at the Pima Air and Space Museum (an epic location for an aviation related conference). I am already looking forward to hearing about next year’s venue and seeing my industry pals for another great conference next year.

Ride 430 – 2013, Mission Accomplished!

Another year, another epic ride. We launched out last week with 50 riders and dozens of support staff to complete our fundraising effort for Ride430. The ride was a little different this year, since we switched our route from Scottsdale to San Diego. This year was going to take us from Mesa to Wickenburg to Prescott to Payson and back to Mesa. There was over 14,000 ft of climbing and around 360 miles.

This year we were able to raise approximately $430,000. We presented checks in the amount of $100,000 to the MARSOC Foundation, the Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund, and the Knights of heroes. After paying the expenses of the ride, we will be also setting up an endowment that we will use to directly assist Service Persons striving to return to duty and to a more independent life.

Each evening there was a presentation that helped set the tone for why we were doing this ride, and created camaraderie among the riders and staff. On night two, Col Thompson performed a moving presentation of the “honor table”.

An additional impressive moment was riding through town of Yarnell and seeing the memorial to the 19 firefighters that lost their lives this year. It was moving to see that so many people had left patches, coins, and other remembrances at the site of the memorial to honor the 19 firefighters.

In the end, the ride was a huge success, in funds raised and lives touched. This is year six, and I can’t imagine my October being the same without it!

First Day of Ride

First Day of our Freewheel Ride

A great first day of riding in our freewheel foundation charity ride. Also known as the #ride430 challenge, it is a bicycle ride that has raised over $400,000 this year for wounded veterans, children of fallen soldiers, the #marsoc foundation, and the injured marine semper Fi fund.

45 riders, dozens of support staff and hundreds of miles with lots of climbing through Arizona makes for a lot of great memories and lots of needed help for our charitable recipients!

Here is a picture of our final water stop after 75 windy miles with 20 to go. Keep up the fight guys!!!

Arizona Diamondbacks

Final Diamondbacks Game

The last Dbacks game for 2013 just finished with a nice 3-2 win for the home team! One thing I appreciate with the AZ Dbacks is how genuinely good the players and management is. It truly is an organization I am happy to patronize.

San Bernardino Project

IES Airport Lighting Conference

Less than a month until the IES ALC. It is in Tucson this year, October 20-24. I have been involved in the conference for about 10 years now and must say that this is by far the best place to get airfield lighting and Navaid related information. Most, if not all, of the experts in the industry are there, sharing what they know about new technology as well as how to work with legacy infrastructure.

If you don’t know about it, check it out at www.iesalc.org/. If you know about it and aren’t sure you can go? Figure it out, you will be glad you did.

A Big Thanks to our Web Goddesses

It seems fitting that my first blog entry for the Rural Electric blog would be for the designers of our new website, Small Giants. To say that these ladies have skill, artistic ability and patience is an understatement! I have personally known Danielle Feroleto for over 5 years and she has been a maven in the marketing and construction fields for as long as I have known her.

All you have to do is look at their web designs, marketing material and business development stuff to know that you are dealing with some very talented ladies. However, I need to relate a funny story to demonstrate the patience side of the story. About 2 years ago, we as a company (a small business at that), decided to re-brand our organization. Our logo was from when the company was first formed in 1964 and it looked that way. We decided to go with Danielle and her team to brush up the logo, and collateral materials (letterhead, business cards) and work up a new website for us. I remember sitting down with her and pressing her on the schedule of getting this new website up and operational. I didn’t want this to “get drug out” I said.

Well, Kimberly and Elisabeth did an awesome job of getting us our logo done, building the framework of our website, doing the design so it all coordinated. It was perfect! Except for one thing…..

They needed “content”. This is code for, “You need to tell us what jobs you have done, who your team is, give us pictures, tell us about your divisions, etc”. Well, we told them that we were working on it…… so they waited

And waited

And waited some more.

About 1 ½ years after we first sat down with Danielle, she called my office and told me pretty directly about how proud she was of our new website (that was gathering dust on some server somewhere) and how she wanted, nee “demanded” that we get this content done, so she could show it to the world! Well, when Danielle calls you and “asks” you to get something done, you do it. So we did it, and pulled our information together. A few revisions later, we had a sparkling new website that we have gotten dozens of compliments on.
You don’t really realize how much your online presence impacts you. Prospective employees check it out, clients look at it, and even savvy vendors look at it to see if you are someone they want to do business with. It is not the only thing they take into consideration, but it is an important piece of information to them. We are proud to say that our online presence is as good as it has ever been.

We have Danielle, Kimberly, Elisabeth and the rest of the Small Giants team to thank for it. Thanks for waiting, we are glad you did!