According to Danny Janway, the world is smaller than most of us give it credit for and it’s all part of the “Quilt of Life” – a patchwork of people and events that blend together to define us all.
Janway grew up in the utility industry – his dad worked 28 years for Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OGE) – and remained in the field in a variety of positions. After earning a bachelor’s in math, physics and chemistry from Northeastern Oklahoma State University, he worked as a lab tech for Public Service of Oklahoma, alongside an engineer who worked with his dad at OGE. A small world in the Quilt of Life.
In 1979, Janway went to work for CH Guernsey & Company, an architectural and engineering firm, where he helped design electrical facilities for co-ops and government agencies in eight states – spanning from Texas to Wyoming and Colorado to Arkansas.
The next square in the quilt of his life was made by joining the aerospace industry, at Defense Technologies Inc. As a parts standards engineer for Boeing Military Airplane Company, this job required special security clearance because he worked on the B-1B long-range bomber.
His next hop was joining a team to help create a new state agency that served municipals (Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority). They pulled in 12 cities that were served from OGE (where Danny’s dad worked), 12 cities served by PSO (where Danny formerly worked), and two cities from Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (a G&T), and began supplying power to them. One of the engineers in this agency was also from OGE, adding to Janway’s Quilt of Life.
Janway came to Wolverine Power Cooperative in 1999. He knew former CEO Tom Stevenson and Mike Easley (operations VP) when they worked together at Western Farmers Electric. Danny told his wife he wanted to take the chance and move her and their six kids to Michigan. “Honey, the kids and I will stay in Oklahoma through the summer, then we’ll come to Michigan,” she said.
And the rest is history. Starting as station services supervisor/north-end supervisor at the Cushman Yard facility in Boyne City, it wasn’t long before Janway’s Quilt of Life showed itself again. Working with Dale Rhea, a tech at the Chanda Yard, Janway learned that both of their fathers had served in the Guadalcanal Campaign in World War II.
In the following years, with a total of 16 years at Wolverine, Janway also served the co-op as vice president of operations, vice President of engineering & operations, and until 2015 as vice president of construction.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” Janway says of his Wolverine service. “It was the quilt of commitment of everyone at every level of the organization. Working together for the benefit of all, and truly living the seven cooperative principles, is what brought it all together.”
Janway plans on enjoying more family time as his Quilt of Life continues.
(Story by Jeannine Taylor)