Friday, October 23, 2015

42-year We Energies veteran earns national achievement award

Jim Prothero always has had a passion for engineering and science. As a young boy, he loved building with erector sets. He had a natural curiosity about how things worked. When he was about 8 years old, he remembers taking apart one of his family’s clocks. Unfortunately, he couldn’t put it back together. But that frustration only fueled his drive.

Jim Prothero, manager - substation engineering
and transmission support
By high school, it was clear Prothero wanted to pursue engineering as a career. He went to the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM), where he earned a degree in electrical engineering. He also completed graduate work at UWM and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

In 1974, Prothero reported to work at We Energies. His skills were recognized, and he earned increasing responsibility with each job assignment. Eventually, he was managing the company’s electric distribution system - overseeing planning, maintenance and reliability of the grid.

In the late ‘90s, reliability was a major concern following a blackout in nearby Chicago. Prothero formed a reliability work group at We Energies to measure, analyze, report and develop programs to improve reliability. He also implemented proactive planning measures for public events at major venues such as Miller Park, State Fair and Summerfest. He initiated the same proactive planning to ensure reliability at critical facilities such as hospitals.

For these efforts – and many, many more – Prothero has been awarded the 2015 Outstanding Personal Achievement Award from PA Consulting. He accepted the award Oct. 22 at a ceremony in Miami.

He says he was surprised to receive the award, and initially wondered, “Why me?”

“Through my work with the Edison Electric Institute and the Electric Power Research Institute, I’ve met a lot of talented people out there,” he said.

He’s also quick to give credit to his colleagues. “The reality is: it takes a team to make everything work, and I have the most dedicated and hard-working team at We Energies.”

Congratulations to Prothero for his commitment to our company and reliability of electric service to our customers.

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