After 28 years on the job, Angel Maldonado, Sr., retired from HG&E as a well-respected Line Foreman on January 3, 2014. During his last week of work, he had the pleasure of working side by side with his 28-year old son, Angel Jr.
After completing high school in Puerto Rico, Angel Sr. moved to Holyoke to find a career. He met his wife and had two sons, Angel and Moises. After a few years working in maintenance at a local health care facility, he received a maintenance position at HG&E. From there, he climbed his way, quite literally, to the utility poles and became a lineman.
“This has been a great career, I feel very fortunate,” said Angel Sr. “I will miss the crew, we are like family. We work together in all kinds of conditions to make Holyoke a better place to live.”
Angel Jr. grew up at HG&E since he was a young boy studying the big yellow trucks. He has vivid memories of watching his father's crew compete in the Northeast Public Power Association Lineman Rodeo in Burlington, Vermont, thinking his dad was amazing. Angel Jr. is a graduate of Perpetual Help School, Holyoke Catholic High School, and Springfield Technical Community College (STCC); he officially started his career at HG&E in 2006 as a part-time meter reader. After working in various positions, Angel Jr. was promoted to Apprentice Lineman in December 2013, which gave him the unique opportunity to shadow his father for a short time, taking in as much knowledge as possible.
“As my dad leaves HG&E, I have big shoes to fill, he is a hard worker and everyone loves him,” said Angel, Jr. “All the guys on the crew have told me that it will be hard to match what my father has done, but I am up for the challenge. I know I am in good hands, with guys like Kenneth Atchison, who I have looked up to throughout my life.”
Angel Jr. has always looked to his dad for advice in all areas of life, and this opportunity is no different. “I admire his attention to detail, leadership, and relationship skills, he is a unique guy,” said Angel Jr. “Even when he has retired, I will be looking for his advice daily.”
While Angel Sr. wished he had more time to teach and train his son, he is grateful to pass along the torch and offer a lot of advice. After his final day on the job, Angel Sr. went south to spend a few months in the warm Florida sun, while his son was outdoors experiencing all the weather New England has to offer as he soaked in his new position.