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Pioneer's Manager of Operations & Safety to retire on Sept. 1

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Doug Fox, Pioneer’s manager of operations and safety, is set to retire on Sept. 1, 2017, after more than 30 years of service at the cooperative.

Doug admits that he was focused on joining Pioneer early on — applying to Pioneer multiple times during the first decade of his career. He wasn’t hired immediately to no fault
of his own. Pioneer had a anti-nepotism policy — a policy still in place today — that would not allow multiple family members to work for the company, and his aunt worked for the cooperative.
Upon her retirement, his persistence finally paid off, and he was hired as a groundman at Pioneer in 1987. Despite being hired as a groundman, Doug had another position in mind.
“I had a real desire to be a lineman,” says Doug. “It’s just what I wanted to do, something that not everyone else wanted to, or was able to do.”

He worked his way up the chain to first class lineman in 1991, lineman in charge in 1996, and leader lineman in 1998 before becoming Pioneer’s first manager of safety in 2005. Doug then moved into the Piqua operations supervisor role in 2007, manager of operations in 2014, and landed finally as the manager of operations and safety in 2015.

Doug says that at heart, he will always be a lineman, and looking back, he would have been happy to stay in that position.

“Being a lineman is hard work, but with that comes a lot of job satisfaction,” says Doug.

Doug has had experience working with other line crews and has taken part in storm restoration repairs in other states. Through his years of experience, he is certain that cooperative employees are among the nicest people you will meet.

“I will miss the relationships — some of my best friends and the people I trust the most work here,” says Doug.

He says that when he began considering retirement a couple years ago, one of his main goals was to make sure that Pioneer’s three operations supervisors and assistant safety managers had the training and knowledge that he will take with him upon retirement.

“They won’t miss a beat,” says Doug. “I have no concern that this group will continue to operate just as smooth as they have in the past.”

During his retirement, Doug, a self-proclaimed sports nut, looks forward to watching a few more Cincinnati Reds games at Great American Ballpark, spending more time with his four grandchildren, and figuring out how to slow down after so many years in a fast-paced profession.

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