The Sewanee Office

Each community served by Duck River Electric has its own charms and points of interest. The DREMC Sewanee office located at the top of the Cumberland Plateau is no exception.

Sewanee is a quaint village known for the prestigious University of the South, its scenic mountain overlooks and outdoor activities.

Tommy Campbell, known to many at DREMC as “TC,” serves as area manager, supporting the Sewanee team.

Campbell has worked at DREMC for 20 years. Prior to becoming Sewanee’s area manager in 2021, he worked at DREMC’s Decherd District as a lineman and then operations supervisor.

“My earliest memory of Duck River is the 1985 ice storm,” Campbell said. “I was in middle school, but I remember thinking when I saw the Duck River crews arriving to fix the broken power lines that we’d have lights soon.”

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Campbell says that “you do your best work in adverse conditions, and everyone rises to the occasion under those types of conditions” when describing how the DREMC team comes together during outages.

“We have an outstanding team,” he adds. “There’s no job too small or too big, and whatever job this team tackles, they do it with a positive attitude. This is a great community, and during the outages caused by last year’s ice storm, everyone here was kind and no one treated our team disrespectful while they waited for power to be restored.”

Rob Mason, lineman, has been with DREMC for 12 years. Prior to coming to DREMC, he worked in the automotive industry and with a heating and cooling contractor before going back to school to learn electric work. “I wanted this line of work after trying other types of employment,” Mason said. “While at the tech school, I watched a video about linework, and I thought it looked interesting, so I applied for a position at Duck River and have been here since.”

“Working in Sewanee is different,” adds Mason. “This area is very friendly, which makes our jobs easier especially during storms and outages.”

“In this type of work, we must always be focused on the job,” says Jake Fraker, a lineman who joined DREMC in 2019. Fraker grew up in Cowan, a small, Franklin County community at the foot of Sewanee Mountain, and attended school at Sewanee Elementary.

“Daily work for us includes routine maintenance and new construction,” he said, “but it’s during storm recovery when we probably do our best work because we’re so focused.”

David Britt is the working foreman and supervises the lineman team. Britt’s experience in the electric industry includes working for an electric cooperative in New Mexico and then for an electric contractor when he moved back to Estill Springs to be closer to his family. He joined DREMC in 2017.

“I enjoy helping the community here,” Britt said, “and that’s probably the most rewarding part of this job.”

When asked if there are challenges related to working as a lineman in Sewanee, Britt answered with certainty, “Yes, the terrain. Our right-of-way is in great shape, but still the number of trees and densely wooded areas can sometimes make it hard to get equipment into tight spots. But we get the work done.”

“There are certain dangers that go with being a lineman,” said Eli Gore, a lineman with DREMC since 2018. “Linework is what we do, and we can’t be afraid of it  but respect it.”

Gore grew up in Sherwood, a small community adjacent to Sewanee. He still lives on the family property with his wife and children. “It’s great to work in your hometown, and I like seeing the familiar faces of people I know.”

Gore became interested in becoming a lineman through a presentation he saw at his school. “I was really curious to learn more, and I think I was the only student that day who asked him more questions about the career.”

Senior lineman Tim Shelton lives in Cowan and enjoys working for the Sewanee members. “With the mountainous terrain, it is very important to stay on top of tree trimming, and this has gotten a lot better,” says Shelton.

Helping others is what the Sewanee team does each day, and it’s Kerri Watters, member services representative,  who assists them when they visit or call the office.

Prior to recently joining the Sewanee team, Watters worked at DREMC’s Decherd District office since 2015. “I enjoyed working at the Decherd office, but I was ready for a change and a chance to learn more about our everyday business operations. Being the only member service representative  at Sewanee, the ability to multi-task is helpful in balancing the daily office operations.”

“I love working in Sewanee,” Watters said. “Everyone is so welcoming. When members visit the office and see that I’m new here, they’re quick to introduce themselves. I’m getting to know them as they come by the office.”

Working in a small community has its advantages, and the closeness of the residents and of the Sewanee DREMC team is evidence of how each supports the other. Supporting the community through the programs and services offered by DREMC and through a team of employees who put the members first is how communities, like Sewanee, continue to grow and prosper through DREMC’s mission of providing safe, reliable electric service at the lowest possible cost put into action.

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Welcome to Sewanee Sign