Teams and apprentices from Ameren Illinois made their mark at the International Lineman's Rodeo in Overland Park, Kansas, held on October 13-14, 2023. The event saw linemen from across the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Jamaica, and Brazil showcase their skills, promote safety, and raise public awareness. Ameren Illinois participants, under the leadership of retiring VP of Electric Operations Craig Gilson, put on an outstanding performance, earning several accolades and recognition.
Jacob Carr, Buck Rodgers, and Ted Brinkoetter, journeyman linemen from Beardstown, Champaign, and Decatur, respectively, finished fifth overall in the "Best of the Best" competition with a time of 30:38.92. Additionally, Ameren Illinois had eight other teams place in the top 10, and three apprentices secured top 10 spots in individual events. The competition attracted over 1,300 participants, demonstrating their dedication and commitment to their trade.
In a heartwarming gesture, journeyman lineman Jason Novak and VP Craig Gilson led the "Climbin' for Kids" fundraiser before the event, raising more than $107,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This achievement not only highlights the exceptional skills of Ameren Illinois linemen but also their compassion and commitment to making a positive impact in their community. Ameren Illinois serves 1.2 million electric and 807,000 natural gas customers across central and southern Illinois, covering more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles.