Staff Feature of the Month – December 2018

Name:  Jeffrey Ellis

Role on the Project:  Inside Plant Construction Operations Manager

My Short:  I was born into a military family and moved a lot when I was young. I started working in a service station when I was 12, this was back in the days where we did all kinds of vehicle maintenance, not just sell gas. I learned a lot about mechanics and it fueled my desire to learn how things work. I joined the U.S. Air Force when I was 19 and served for 20 years. During this time, I took every opportunity to learn all I could. I was a component level electronic maintenance technician working on radar, microwave, radio, and satellite systems. I loved every minute of my military career. After I retired from the military, I started my second career in the Telecommunications field working cellular, microwave, and fiber projects. Again, I used this opportunity to expand my knowledge of how and why things work.

What motivates me the most is learning, sharing my knowledge, and wanting to do the best job possible, I strive for self-satisfaction. There is nothing better for me to know when I go home at night, I have done everything I could that day.

I have a wife, 9 children, and 5 grandchildren. I love them all and would do anything for them. We love fishing, camping, and family time together playing games or just talking. I have been in 47 of the 50 states and my goal is to hit all 50, then start with European countries. I moved to the Commonwealth in 2015 from Knoxville, TN. I started my life here in a campground, then finally moved into Lexington. I live here with my wife and our 4 fur babies. We love the Commonwealth and have been looking for land to retire on. There is so much to do, and the outdoors is beautiful.

Why I Joined the DBLLC:  I heard about this project in 2014 and thought how great it would be for the Commonwealth. I joined the DBLLC in mid-2015 and love every aspect of the project. The most important thing about this project is bringing high-speed data to all counties in the Commonwealth. Since our future is tied to technology and to have technology you need a fast way of moving information and this project is just that. You can already see companies moving into the Commonwealth that are technology driven, and more will follow.

2018 Toys for Tots Drive – DBLLC

The DBLLC has opened their hearts once again to participate in the annual Toys for Tots program.  This is the third year the employees have volunteered to donate toys to make the Christmas holiday better for children throughout the Commonwealth.

1,000,000 Hours Incident Free

The KentuckyWired project reached an impressive milestone in September with Zero Lost Time Incidents in over 1 million person-hours worked on the project.  It is the largest P3 (Public-Private Partnership) Telecom project in the United States.  Upon completion, KentuckyWired will consist of over 3,400 miles of fiber optic cable serving more than 1,000 network sites statewide.

The project brought together two mature, telecom engineering and construction organizations, Ledcor and Black & Veatch – each with their own robust safety programs – to form a joint venture call NG-KIH Design Build LLC (DBLLC).  Three years ago, the DBLLC team collaborated to create a comprehensive Project Hazard Assessment (PHA) and Project Specific Safety Program (PSSP).  Through this early collaboration, the best available tools, templates and training, and continuously walking the talk, the DBLLC has created a strong project safety culture.

This monumental safety achievement was made possible by the participation of more than 1,200 staff, with 528 of those being DBLLC employees who have gone through the DBLLC Safety Orientation Program to work on the project since inception.  More than 565 Safety Scorecard observations have been performed on working crews to date, with an average score of 96.17%.  In some cases, our business partners apply elements of the DBLLC safety program into other opportunities outside of the project, demonstrating further evidence of the success of the program.

Staff Feature of the Month – November 2018

Name:  Jerry Duncan

Role on the Project:  Project Facilitator

My Story:  Born and raised in Central Kentucky, I have watched this community grow and prosper over time.   I feel very fortunate to have traveled across Kentucky and experienced the diversity of people, places, and unbridled beauty the Bluegrass state offers.  I am very fond of the summers I had growing up because I got to help my grandfather survey the rolling hills around the small town of Bucksville in southwestern Kentucky or spend a couple weeks exploring the big city of Louisville and the Ohio River with my other grandparents.

I am motivated by the essential values of life experience – family, God, and work ethic – and I will always succeed in life, meet new friends, and travel to new places with these values in mind.

Why I choose the DBLLC:  I am a very curious person, who is always trying to challenge myself to continue learning new technologies and new methods of communication; that is why I am very proud to be part of the DBLLC and the Kentucky Wired Project.  Essentially that is the purpose of this project – to better connect the Commonwealth and provide opportunities for individuals to learn, achieve, and watch their own community prosper – however big or small it may be.

Staff Feature of the Month – October 2018

Name:  Jay Parr

Role on the Project:  Safety Specialist / Quality Inspector

My Story:  Twenty-five years in construction have provided me with confidence in a wide array of experience. And humility to know that there is more to learn, every day. These many years have allowed me to travel to many places around North America, as a construction electrician and Wind Turbine technician. Through my service in the Army Reserve, I’ve seen parts of Asia and Europe. Experiencing life in other parts of our country and our world continues to be the best way that I’ve found to expand one’s mind.

Raised in Wisconsin, near the Twin Cities of Minnesota, I am re-energized whenever I visit my roots of family, friends and home. Having lived mostly near lakes, I’ve been fortunate to live comfortably close to nature. Relaxing weekends can include days enjoying fishing; Or watching eagles fish while we relax with the waves, on the pontoon. Evenings might include cooking over and visiting around the fire-pit with family and friends.

I’m very appreciative to have found a feeling of home in Woodford county, where new friends from all parts of the Commonwealth have also found Woodford County as their home. Keeneland, Legends, Bourbon Trail, beautiful countryside peppered with picturesque ranches are just a few of the amazing experiences I’ve appreciated. And the energy felt surrounding Derby weekend might only be matched by the energy felt in a City with a team in the World Series. And we get to enjoy Derby every year. Additionally, Safety & Quality inspection duties bless me with the ability to travel to many beautiful and friendly parts of the Commonwealth. I’m eager to see more. Much, much more.

Why I chose the DBLLC:  The more I learned about the benevolence of this Kentucky Wired Project before joining in October 2017 the more interested I became for a chance to join this team. Understanding the logistical and physical challenges, this team continues to be enthusiastic about delivering broadband network infrastructure on behalf of the Commonwealth. Building and delivering Kentucky Wired to places where private industry networks have not and will not deliver. Kentucky Wired Infrastructure is owned and maintained by the Commonwealth, for the common wealth of all Kentuckians. It’s exciting to be a part of the construction. And after construction is complete, Kentucky Wired will continue to deliver ever improving network connectivity and revenue for many decades. Well done, Kentucky! Well done.

Go Cats!

Staff Feature of the Month – September 2018

Name:  Jim Askins

Role on the Project:  Field Representative for Government & Resident Relations

My Story:  My wife, Cynthia, and I have been married over 24 years and we have four children.  We have been homeschooling parents for over 13 years and our oldest son is in his freshman year at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY.  I have over ten years’ experience in the construction industry, including industrial electrical work in power plant and steel mill construction.   I have also worked with my father in two family-owned businesses:  a residential and commercial electrical contracting business and a rack-and-pinion industrial elevator business.  I have served in both federal and state government positions.  First, as a Field Representative in the 2nd Congressional District for U.S. Senator Jim Bunning’s two Senate terms, and then as Deputy Commissioner at the Department for Local Government for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Finally, I coached college basketball at the University of the Cumberlands, Kentucky Wesleyan College, and the University of Central Oklahoma, and served as Director of Athletics at Kentucky Wesleyan.  God, family, and church are the most important things in my life.  I enjoy reading, the outdoors, and sports, especially college basketball and golf.

I was born and raised in Daviess County.  We lived in Ohio County for fourteen years, where all four of our children were born.  I have also lived in Whitley and Franklin counties, and we currently live in Oldham County.

Why I chose the DBLLC:  I joined the DBLLC for two reasons.  One, the opportunity to again work with my long-time friend Holly Hopkins Scoville (we both worked in Senator Bunning’s office).  Two, with my background in higher education and as a homeschooling dad, along with my entrepreneurial experience, I understand the tremendous educational and economic impact that the KentuckyWired Project will have on the Commonwealth, and I wanted to be a part of a project that will have such a positive impact upon my home state of Kentucky.

Staff Feature of the Month – August 2018

Name: David Laigle

Role on the Project: Materials Manager

My Story: I grew up on a dairy farm in Connecticut and joined the Navy right after graduation to become an airplane mechanic.  20 years ago, I was offered my first position in Telecommunications, and I never looked back.  I have found my niche in material management and procurement.

My wife, Sheila and I have been married for 25 years.  Telecomm has offered us, and our golden retriever, Beau, a chance to live in Colorado, Florida, and now we are finally home in New Braunfels, Texas.  I am loving life in the Texas Hill Country.  I enjoy exploring Texas, golf, skeet shooting, fly fishing, entertaining, cooking for friends, and more recently, bee keeping.

I have been thrilled to work in the Commonwealth for the last 3 years, however whenever I have been in the state, I have been so focused on the project, I was unable to see what Kentucky is all about.  For my 50th birthday this spring, I was finally able to enjoy the spoils of Kentucky.  I chose a trip of a lifetime through the Bourbon Trail, the rich history of thorough breeds, and all the beauty this state has to offer.  It is a memory that will last a lifetime.

My brother in law attended University of Kentucky, and had such a strong love for the state, and its people.  I now understand what he was talking about.  I am truly blessed to work with such an amazing team, and I am proud to bring Kentucky up to speed in telecommunications.

Staff Feature of the Month – JULY 2018

Name: Lydia Dixon

Role on the Project: Project Facilitator working with easements and MRC

My Story: Before moving to Lexington, KY and working on the Kentucky wired project I lived in Cincinnati, OH for two years while going to school. I have now been in Lexington for a year. I like doing activities around Lexington that are mildly active but relaxing at the same time, like hiking or walking around the city. Doing things that are going to make me a more well round person is what motivates me.

Why I joined the DBLLC: I joined the DBLLC as my first job out of college. This project will help provide a service to Kentuckians that is needed to help connect the community to each other and the world.

Staff Feature of the Month – June 2018

Name:  Loyal Lovelady

Role on the Project:  Lead Splicing and Testing Manager

My Story:  I’ve been working in Telecommunications for forty years; fifteen years in the Cable TV Industry from installer to Head End Technician, and twenty-five years as a Fiber Optic Splice and Test subject matter expert. I’ve been blessed to travel to diverse types of Fiber Optic Infrastructure projects across the US, Mexico, Canada and the tropical island of American Samoa.

My Wife, Susie (DBLLC Office Manager) and I have been married thirty-seven years. We have two successful married boys; Louis, who lives in New Jersey and is a Director of TYCO SUBCOM, a global undersea fiber optic constructors and maintenance company, and Matthew who lives in Seattle, Washington, he is a Seattle Firefighter and CrossFit Gym Owner in Lynden, Washington. We also have four wonderful grandchildren.

I enjoy Golf, Water Sports, Grandchildren and my new Blue Healer pup, Teddy on my time away from the KentuckyWired Project.

I moved to Lexington from the Pacific Northwest in 2015 for the KentuckyWired project. I’ve always been interested in Lexington for the Thoroughbred horses and enjoy being here to see the beautiful pastures and ranches. It is truly wonderful to see the beauty of the Bluegrass and its history.

Why I joined the DBLLC:  Prior to joining the DBLLC, I had returned from a two-year FTTH project in American Samoa and was offered the position of Lead Fiber Splicing and Testing Manger for the KentuckyWired Project.  I’m excited to build out the network to bring the Commonwealth’s broadband infrastructure services into the 21st century.

Safety Week – 2018

Every minute of every day we are dedicated to thinking, planning and acting safely. This continual dedication to Safety is celebrated annually by our participation in Construction Safety Week activities.

This year’s Safety Week was May 7th through May 11th with this year’s theme being The Power of Safe Choices. At our Kentucky Wired offices, we started each day with a Safety Meeting highlighting various self-paced activities ranging from simple (quizzes, a puzzle and a maze) to our slightly more ambitious Safety Week Treasure Hunt. As individual’s schedules and workloads allowed, people enjoyed engaging with these fun activities. 

Among our quizzes we included Bulletin Board Safety Slogan Pop-Quiz. Each morning, the Safety Slogan was changed on all bulletin boards. Later in the day, when a random name was drawn, our team member had a chance to win a small prize if they could correctly say the day’s Safety Slogan. For example, Friday’s Bulletin Board Safety Slogan was Safety is a value, not just a priority. Because priorities can be, and often are, changed by outside influences. Our values however, remain firm, and cannot easily be changed by outside influences

In our Treasure Hunt, professionals formed teams to locate and photograph various Safety items around our offices e.g. our AED, First Aid Stations, Fire-Extinguishers, Shelter-in-Place locations, Emergency Evacuation Muster Points, etc. This fun exercise proved to add great value by engaging newer team-members to become more familiar with specific emergency safety resources in our offices.

Additionally, two morning meetings were hosted by guest speakers. Tuesday, Fire Fighters from the Lexington Fire Department  presented Fire Extinguisher Safety. They facilitated an engaging conversation on fire prevention and also brought a Fire Extinguisher Simulator providing a hands-on experience for our professionals. On Thursday we had Gayle Walters of Central Kentucky Damage Prevention Council. Damage Prevention Councils have been formed throughout the state in an effort to raise awareness about safe excavation practices and serve as a resource to help address damage prevention issues. Gayle spoke to our team not only about safe excavations of the project, but also about safe excavations at home, whether it be gardening, fencing, home improvement and yard projects.

Being mindful that these activities were mostly self-paced and completed during breaks, while work load and schedule allowed, we had great participation. Since we remain continually dedicated to Safety throughout the year we still have a few activities initiated in Safety week, yet to enjoy. For instance, on Monday during our Weekly Toolbox Talk Safety Meeting, we’ll each have fun signing this year’s Kentucky Wired Safety Week poster as our annually refreshed, commitment to Safety. Also, next week we will be offering Adult First Aid / CPR / AED Training to our professionals who’ve joined the project since the last time training was offered.  

This Kentucky Wired project is fully engaged in Safety as a value. There is often recognition of this commitment to safety, by professionals, crews and contractors. Check back frequently, for future updates.

Thank you. 

P.S. One of OxfordDictionaries.com definition of Values is Principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgement of what is important in life.