He’s a championship fiddler, a reserve sheriff’s officer, city councilman, doting grandfather, Harley enthusiast—and, oh yes, an electric operations assistant who keeps Warren RECC linemen and service crews working safely.
We don’t throw the “h” word around lightly, but it would seem to apply in more ways than one to Harold Miller, electric operations assistant at Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. in Leitchfield, Ky. He’s dedicated to his work, to his family and to his community in ways that seem almost superhuman.
He’s a championship fiddler who plays with the pros in the Jack Thomas Band, and worked to get Leitchfield designated as the Fiddling Capital of Kentucky. With that title under its belt, Miller then helped launched the Twin Lakes National Fiddling Contest, which feeds directly into the National Oldtime Fiddling Contest in Weiser, Ida.
He’s been elected to the City Council, and has worked as a reserve officer for the Grayson County sheriff’s department for the past 15 years. He’s coached basketball, football and baseball for his son’s teams (they’re now 31 and 32); he still works actively with the Boy Scouts. (“I love working with kids,” he’ll tell you.)
He adores his wife, Becky, an assistant principle at the local middle school. And he will be the first to admit he’s a fool for his two-year-old twin grandchildren, Hadley and Thatcher.
But what really lights up his life? His work in public power. “I’ve grown up wanting to serve the community and to come to work for Warren RECC that has the same mission as I have and wants to serve the community…it’s been really nice for me,” he says.
He got where he is today the old-fashioned way: by climbing the ladder. “I’ve been with the company for more than 30 years. I started out reading meters, did that for several years. Then I became a customer service rep, then customer service supervisor of our Leitchfield office. Then during the ice storm of 2009 I moved over as operations manager, and that’s what I’m doing now.”
His job changes from day to day, but he sees himself as a critical link for the crews out in the field. “Anything that the outside crews need, I get it for them,” he explains. “If they get into any kind of situation and need help, they call me. I could be anything from a family emergency to calling the police to come out and stop traffic. I handle it.”
Miller enjoys the times he gets out of the office, too. “If a member calls in with a bill that’s higher than usual we will go out on site and see if there is anything unusual and sometimes we’ll hang a voltage recorder to see what issues might be,” he explains. “Sometimes it’s a matter of going out and counseling people about usage and telling them what uses what so they can understand where their money goes”
He also teaches energy safety, an aspect of his job that’s near and dear. “I do all the school safety programs—elementary through high school,” he says. “My best friend here at work had done that for 37 years. He passed away in 2009, and his wish was that I continue that for him. We have a Van de Graaff generator, and the kids just love it.”
None of which are to say Miller’s sweet life doesn’t come without challenges. “We are one of the largest co-ops served by TVA,” he says. “We have about 62,000 members and cover all or some of seven counties. That’s a lot of line.
“Our biggest challenge is keeping the lights on. Our main goal is to build that relationship with our members, being able to communicate with them if they have problems when the power goes out we want to take care of them and get it right back on.
“That relationship is the key,” he says. “It’s the same way with TVA.”
He’s proud of two things in nearly equal measures: his family and his work. “I’m proud that my sons have been successful.” [One is a sports medicine physician, and the other is a professional musician working steadily in Nashville.] “And I’m proud to be a part of Warren Electric.”
He’s proud, too, of his community and will never stop working to make it the best place it can be. That’s who Harold Miller is. “I do the same thing for work that I do for pleasure: I try to serve people and be a good person in the community,” he summarizes. “My personal life and work life are one and the same.”
TVA works hand-in-hand with our 154 local power companies (LPCs) to fulfill our mission of providing low-cost, reliable public power to the 9 million people of the Tennessee Valley. See a full list of our partners throughout the region.