To recognize National Military Appreciation Month, I&M is honoring those who served our country. This includes a number of our employees who deliver safe and reliable energy to our more than 614,000 customers.
“Thank you to all veterans who have served our country, especially our I&M veterans who now serve our customers,” said Steve Baker, I&M president and COO. “Making sure our communities have electric service to work, attend school and live takes hard work and dedication. Thank you for your service to our country and your service to our customers.”
Learn more about three of I&M's own veterans:
Jesse LaFromboise, Manager of Distribution Services for the Fort Wayne district, served for five years as a Sergeant with the United States Marine Corps in North Carolina. He was a C-130 and Harrier Jet engine mechanic and propeller system inspector.
“An important skill I learned during my service is leadership. That’s a key component in the military, at I&M and life in general,” LaFromboise said. “Honor, courage, commitment and the ability to adapt to any obstacle and do it safely were also instilled in me while in uniform, and I still use all of those skills to lead our distribution team to power our communities.”
LaFromboise's grandfather served as a Marine in World War II and was involved in the Battle of Iwo Jima. He is also passionate about helping to reduce suicide numbers within the veteran community. LaFromboise plans to become active in his local VFW chapter in Fort Wayne.
Jason Whitman, Key Account Manager in southwest Michigan, served our country for 13 years in the U.S. Air Force. Whitman served overseas in Afghanistan and stateside in Texas, Mississippi, Colorado, California, Wyoming, and Kansas. His stateside duties included Nuclear Weapons Launch Officer for the Minuteman III Weapon System and C2/Data Project Officer for military space assets. While deployed, he served as a Battle Captain and U.S. Military Liaison Officer to NATO.
Whitman has occupied several roles at I&M in his 12-year tenure and uses communication, stress management and teamwork techniques he learned while in uniform.
“The military is truly a diverse melting pot of personalities, backgrounds, expertise and a little bravado too,” Whitman said. “Everybody has something of value to provide, but it’s not always the one with loudest voice who has the best solution. Listening to different viewpoints and perspectives gives you the best chance to come up with a solution. That lesson sticks with me each day, both while working for our customers and in my personal life.”
Whitman is currently a member of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).
Jarrod Wilson, Distribution Dispatching Manager, served our country for four-and-a half- years in the U.S. Air Force. He was deployed overseas to Germany and was stationed at bases in Texas, Oklahoma and South Carolina. Wilson was a C-17 crew chief, where he learned vital skills to lead an I&M team who oversees critical, daily operations for our field employees.
“The work ethic and leadership skills I learned in the Air Force easily translate to our work at I&M,” Wilson said. “We take safety seriously in the military and our safety culture at I&M is the top priority for our employees and customers. I enjoy taking on large responsibilities, stressful situations and working with a team – all aspects I picked up during my service.”
Wilson is heavily active with local veterans in the Fort Wayne area and is a member of the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council.
Thank you to all veterans and their family who have served and sacrificed for our country.