Insights > Entergy retiree has keys to the city, or at least the grounds
Entergy retiree has keys to the city, or at least the grounds
Longtime Entergy employee and Mountain View resident Everette Sadler Jr. has the keys to the city. Or at least the keys to the gates. More like the tool shed.
“I have the keys to get to the lawnmower so I can keep the grass cut at our professional-grade disc golf course I helped create,” Sadler said recently, “which makes me pretty proud.”
Like many Entergy employees, Sadler takes care of his customers when he’s working on electrical issues and his community when he’s off the clock. Call it a family tradition. More than 100 years of service to Entergy by three generations of Sadlers ended Friday, May 29 when Sadler Jr. retired after 36 years with the company.
“It’s been a wonderful place to work, and I’ve enjoyed nearly every day,” Sadler said. “A job like mine has to be one of the most endearing in the company. I meet with customers who have needs and wants. Maybe they want to start a business or need an electric pole to build a new house or barn.
“I’m the guy who goes out and basically gives them what they want – I don’t get the complaints,” he said with a laugh.
His grandfather Owens Sadler went to work in 1917 as local manager in Fordyce, where he’d worked for several years at a local sawmill.
“That was a time when company founder Mr. Harvey Couch was more diversified in railroads, telephones and utilities,” Sadler said, “but he was passionate about electricity. When he recruited my grandfather, a lot of Arkansas Light and Power energy was generated with sawdust. Despite all the despair, floods and depression, they began building this part of the country into what it would become.”
Sadler’s grandfather eventually became General Stores manager and moved to Pine Bluff, where he worked until his death in 1940. By that time, his father, Everette Owens Sadler Sr., had worked for the company for nearly five years. Sadler Sr. started with the company as a “ground man” out of high school and stayed with the company until his retirement as local manager in Marked Tree in 1984.
“Dad had reached every milestone of service by then,” Sadler said. “They didn’t have one for more than 40 years, so the company gave him a beautiful ring to commemorate his service. Entergy has always been a great company to work for – one of the best – and back in the 50s and at least into the 70s, a lot of families worked for the company. A lot of Sadlers have worked for Entergy from my extended family.”
After a short stint teaching, Sadler went to work for Entergy in Stuttgart 1985 and moved to Mountain View in 1989, where he will retire as distribution design engineer.
“With Entergy, it’s always been about safety and customer service. Our business is so critical to everything people do,” Sadler said. “Residential and business customers need their power to stay on to do all the things they need to do every day. You can’t be part of the process, whether you’re trying to run your grocery store, teach school or live your normal everyday life, if you don’t have reliable service.”
Sadler hadn’t set his retirement date before the pandemic shutdowns started in mid-March, but said at 62 years of age, it was time.
“If you have all you need and keep working, you’re keeping someone else from getting a job,” he said emphatically. Also, he said, he and his wife Lorrie are looking forward to traveling, spending more time with their five children and eight grandkids, and being even more involved in their community.
“With the way the company has handled the epidemic – as always keeping employee safety first and customer service at the forefront – I couldn’t be prouder to have had my family work for the company the last 100 years. It has weighed on me that I’m the last in the line, but my kids have chosen different careers that make them happy, and that’s important.”
Sadler has been with the Arkansas Officials Association for many years, calling youth basketball, softball and baseball games. The spring seasons were cut short and will perhaps be somewhat different in the fall, but Sadler is looking forward to getting back to the courts and fields.
“In a small town with a job like this,” Sadler said, “you become a part of people’s lives. You build those relationships with the people in your community that help build and progress your community. It’s been a really fulfilling task and a wonderful job to have, but it’s time to let someone else come in and move up.”
While he played professional racquetball in his 20s and 30s, Sadler picked up the game of pickle ball in the last few years and hopes to begin recruiting soon for a youth league. In the meantime, he will maintain the city’s 54-hole disc golf course and the many friendships he’s created over the years.
Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to approximately 700,000 customers in 63 counties. Entergy Arkansas is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR), an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of $11 billion and approximately 13,600 employees.
PHOTO CAPTION: Everette Sadler Jr. holds one of his father's many achievement awards.