When Brad Fontenot accepted the role of President of DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations in October 2017, he saw the opportunity work with, in his words, “an incredible team of talented, engaged people.”
Of course, that was nothing new to Brad; he had already been working as DIS-TRAN’s Vice President of Project Support Services, and he had long since realized that the people of DIS-TRAN were something special. Even before joining the company, he had been attracted by DIS-TRAN’s reputation, which he now describes as “totally earned; we’ve got a strong team that right off the bat can go off and tackle tough problems and take solutions to the next level.”
What else does he think of DIS-TRAN and his new role? To inaugurate our new employee spotlight feature, in which our blog will occasionally feature some of the “next level” stellar talent DIS-TRAN enjoys, Brad took a few minutes to answer a few questions for us.
What excites you about working at DIS-TRAN?
It’s incredibly satisfying and fun to be part of a team that can deliver outcomes like DIS-TRAN’s can. One great example is our new Factory-Built Substation line. It’s a paradigm shift in how substations are built. It’s a game-changer, but it’s just so in-character for the DIS-TRAN team of engineers, designers, project managers, and everyone to have come up with this solution that saves outage time, makes construction safer, improves overall quality, and saves cost.
What attracted you to DIS-TRAN when you first joined?
DIS-TRAN has a great reputation in the industry, and I already had enormous respect for the technical knowledge and capability that called DIS-TRAN home. That reputation is earned daily, which I would attribute it to the core values of DIS-TRAN and its parent company, Crest Operations. They give these values more than lip service; they live them every day. One of our core values is that we deliver the impossible, and I love that we embrace challenges and solve problems collaboratively with our customers.
How has your experience prepared you for your current role as President?
Before coming to DIS-TRAN, I spent several years scaling what was a little mom-and-pop shop into an enterprise organization. I really enjoyed solving the challenges that a rapidly growing business faces – and doing it in a sustainable way that will stand the test of time, building something that will last. DIS-TRAN has a well-established core business, but it’s branching out into new and unknown areas in terms of pre-fabricated and pre-assembled equipment. As it becomes more of a manufacturing operation, there’s a good alignment there with my background, and it's been a blast being involved in this.
What are some of your favorite activities outside of work?
Since I’m still new in this role, work has dominated my time for the last several months. But I always enjoy time with family and kids. We play sports together, like baseball, soccer, and golf. I love getting outside, hunting or fishing or just working in the yard. Working with my hands offer a great break from work. I also homebrew my own craft beer; I studied chemical engineering in college, and I enjoy the chemistry of the process. I’m also a huge reader, listening to audiobooks almost every day during my commute. I love books that make me think and present big ideas that I can bring back to my work.