A man’s legacy is often measured by the words of his peers.
On Thursday, February 6, Buddy Furr’s legacy was shared loud and clear as a dedication ceremony was held at New River Electrical’s headquarters in Cloverdale, Virginia. As his team stood in front of a 40,000 pound cable puller, a vital piece of equipment that Buddy designed, stories were shared about his determination, affinity for teamwork, and innovations in the industrial electrical field.
“Buddy was one of those handful of individuals that built the foundation that New River stands on today,” said Robert Arritt, CFO, going on to share how Buddy’s curiosity inspired his own growth and learning.
In the ceremony, John Lanning, SVP Operations in Cloverdale, who worked with Buddy since his first day in 1983, names him as the founding father of NRE’s Cable Division.
Buddy began his career as a teenager working in the shop. He soon became a member of a substation construction crew before enlisting in the US Navy. After returning, Buddy moved through many roles: Licensed Electrician, Foreman, Project Manager, Vice President, and Executive Vice President.
Buddy’s leadership and dedication to getting the job done safely, correctly, and on-time wasn’t the only legacy he’ll leave behind. His ability to see a problem and find or build a solution was unmatched.
Leaving a Legacy
Over the past 39 years, Buddy has been predominately involved with underground XLPE cable systems up to 345kV. In April 1994, Buddy proposed installing an XLPE copper sheathed 115kV cable system that extended 2.44 miles across the Bonner Bridge in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This proposal consisted of an under bridge conduit system with a single splice point located at approximately mid-span. This cost saving proposal was accepted and the project was successfully completed in 1995, thus starting New River into the high voltage, and later, the extra high voltage XLPE cable installation business.
“Buddy was always up to a challenge, which is why we’re gathered here today,” said Arritt. “He boldly started our Cable Division in the early 90’s.”
Today, there are pieces of Buddy’s legacy scattered around the headquarter’s facilities. If a piece of equipment wasn’t working for a job, he’d design a modification or an entire new system.
“With his Design CAD program, there wasn’t anything Buddy couldn’t draw,” says Lanning. “From cable rollers through bridge scaffolding and many other ideas, these two dedicated pieces of equipment will carry the cable division into the distant future that will afford the flexibility and capacity for New River to remain the leader in the industry for transmission cable installation for years to come.”
Both pieces of equipment will have a plaque attached as a badge of appreciation to the founding father of this division. The team at New River Electrical was honored to have him as part of the family.