Senior Manager, Facilities Management, Power Operations & Transmission | Cumberland City, Tenn.
In the summertime, there is no seemingly end to the tasks a homeowner must grapple with: housecleaning, mowing, weeding, trimming, pruning. With autumn coming up and leaves falling, there will be even more to do: raking, planting, mulching, gutter cleaning, winter-proofing, etc. At this time of year, it’s worth taking a moment to consider the maintenance and upkeep of TVA’s facilities. Keeping up one’s household is a chore; maintaining over 600 facilities is a daunting task.
That’s part of what keeps Ryan Blount constantly busy. As senior manager of the Facilities Management, Power Operations and Transmission group, he leads the team that is responsible for the maintenance and cleaning of TVA’s buildings and grounds. The group maintains grounds for 12 fossil sites, 15 gas sites, over 600 substations, 49 dam reservations, 26 sites with public recreation areas, four flood control pump areas, seven dewatering areas and 14 flood control projects.
“People don’t realize how big TVA is until your job duties include maintaining all these facilities,” says Blount. “My first month on the job, I sounded like a broken record saying over and over, ‘I didn’t know we did that’.”
The team consists of 172 employees who are responsible for building maintenance, grounds maintenance and custodial services. Additionally, they hire approximately 60 part-time contractors during the growing season to help with vegetation management and to oversee contractors who are cleaning in remote areas.
“People think it’s just about mowing grass or cleaning restrooms, but the reality is, we are a very instrumental part of TVA’s success because of the many different things we do. A lot people haven’t heard of some of the services we provide,” says Blount. “These include the operations of TVA’s dewatering stations. Under the direction of TVA Public Outreach and Support and with coordination of the states’ wildlife management groups, our team will help control water levels and move water from one area to another based on what’s needed for agriculture and wildlife. We are ‘the boots on the ground’ for multiple TVA organizations and we are proud to be part of so many different services that TVA provides for the public.”
Blount has been with TVA for 12 years, having starting in Procurement and Materials Management. He’s a second generation TVA employee; his father started working at TVA as a teenager and eventually retired from the company. Blount credits his dad with encouraging and mentoring him.
“I feel that my work aligns with stewardship in a lot of different areas, but the most important is ensuring that the people I lead understand the impact with the work they perform,” he explains. “We’re responsible for the upkeep of TVA’s buildings and grounds, so our work has a direct influence on stewardship and the public image of TVA.”
An avid outdoorsman and family man, Blount lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, with his wife and three children. He is very active in his community serving as a school board director of a private school and working with the youth group at his church. Having grown up in Kingston, Tennessee, he is familiar with how TVA stewardship affects communities throughout the Tennessee Valley.
With his group responsible for maintenance at hundreds of sites, he spends a lot of time on the road. “We have 35 maintenance bases throughout the Valley, and I feel it is very important to visit them as often as I can,” he says. “I enjoy seeing our team members take pride in their work and communicating my appreciation for how their work makes life better for our employees, contractors and the public.”
Blount knows his team’s duties are essential to the very existence of TVA.
“We are responsible for activities that are critical to the integrity of TVA’s infrastructure,” he concludes. “We understand our influence on the public perception of TVA. I want to stay focused on continuing to make that perception better and better.”
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