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Who We Are – PFS

Who We Are

Power From the SON is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Our team includes engineers, businessmen, lawyers, construction workers, accountants, and many people with varied experiences who want to use their skills to help others.
 

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Team leader Steve Vincent hopes this is only the beginning for Power from the SON, the non-profit he founded in 2008 after working 32 years for Priester Supply and Stuart Irby.

“Countries need reliable electricity to emerge from their condition,” he said in an interview. “Without it, it doesn’t matter how hard-working or innovative someone is, they almost have to leave the country to improve their situation.”

Mr. Vincent at first wanted to power up one small village and grow from there. The Rev. Sam Dixon—the top executive for the United Methodist Committee on Relief who later died of injuries from the earthquake in Haiti—had another idea.

“Sam said ‘I’ll support you with the villages, but help me with the hospital first,’” Mr. Vincent recalls. “So I said sure. Little did I know it was a campus with 55 buildings for schools, a church, and a hospital that treats 24,000 patients a year.”

Before the two-week trip in June 2009, Mr. Vincent spent a year raising funds and recruiting his team from friends at the church and former business colleagues.

“We needed a design engineer, we needed people experienced in laying cable and connecting transformers, and others to hook up the hospital and school,” said Mr. Vincent. “I looked for people who could do those things, and had a heart for mission.” *

Power From the SON has found volunteers who have a heart for missions AND who know how to get things done. It takes a wealth of varied talent to do what very few organizations will attempt to do: design and build a power system in remote areas to help those who need it the most.

* Reprinted from an article by Bill Fentum in the United Methodist Reporter.

 

Key Partners

 

Cable prep  

Stephen Vincent President of Power From the SON

 

Steve Vincent Cat Herder

Growing up in Oak Cliff in Dallas , Texas ,during the 50’s and 60’s gave me a lot of varied experiences that helped shape my life and beliefs. From Eagle Scout, to football, to science fairs, to church, to picking up garbage for the City of Cockrell Hill, my life can be summed up in my favorite line, an assessment by my wife many years ago: “Once a nerd, always a nerd.”

 

In 1973, I graduated from Texas A&M University with a BS degree in Engineering Technology and went to work for Allis Chalmers in Houston, Pittsburgh, and Gadsden, Alabama. I then worked for Priester Supply where I became the salesman for West Texas. I later moved to Arlington, Texas, where I met my wife . We still live there today, and attend First United Methodist Church Arlington along with Chris Olson.

 

For many years I drove an average of 1,000 miles a week trying to convince people to buy from me. I was most effective selling electric underground system materials, and transmission materials. For underground I told them, “Buy this from me, and I will help you install it.” In West Texas , I met Preston Kissman.

 

The installation experience allowed me to serve as an instructor at the Texas A&M Extension Service’s National Underground Training School (or NUTS) for about 10 years. During that time I met Terry Thornhill and Gary Wilson.

 

Well, Priestergrew as a business, and we sold it in 2006. I worked for Stuart Irby for two years, and then I felt called to leave and form Power From the SON. I have been to Sierra Leone to install a generator for a Baptist group and to Liberia twice to install and expand the Ganta system. I feel called to help improve living conditions in developing countries.

 

Linda and I have been married 34 years and have two daughters.

 

I love the Book of James because I believe when you accept Christ, your life should change, and people should see the results of that change. Power From the SON strives to operate under the idea of, “Teach a man how to make a fishing pole, show him how to fish, and then let him provide for himself and his family.

   

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Gary Wilson   Terry Thornhill

System Construction

GVEC Line Superintendent, Western Operations Center, Seguin, Texas

 

Started working for Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative in 1984 as a warehouseman , and moved on to the line crew in a four-year apprenticeship program. Became a lineman and moved up to the rank of service lineman, working and troubleshooting both overhead and underground service calls . Became very experienced in both overhead and underground electric distribution construction methods and repair. Moved to the rank of general foreman over all the construction of underground electric systems, within the GVEC service territory.

 

At this time I am the line superintendent responsible for the underground system at GVEC, working on the design and planning in conjunction with the installation of our crews and contract crews.

 

I have instructed the installation of UG at TEC underground schools. Worked with Power From the SON twice in Liberia , at Ganta Hospital and Mission .

I can operate any type of overhead line equipment from digger trucks to bucket trucks, and any type of excavation equipment used in the underground world.

 

Good with my hands and good at making do with limited resources when the need arises. And I work well with others for a common goal : It’s all about TEAM.

Recently remarried on the 7th of January 2012, to a wonderful woman named Susan. We have four kids between us: Kelly, 28; Wes, 25; Lindsey, 22; and Lacy, 21. We live in Cost, Texas, southwest of Gonzales.

 

System Construction

 

Starting working in the power line construction industry in 1969 as a swamper, setting poles.

 

Served in the USMC for 12 years. Vietnam veteran.

 

Started working for TLT Construction Company in 1981.

 

Worked my way up from grunt to Vice President.

 

We mainly do underground distribution. You name it, we can do it.

 

Instructor at TEEX and TEC underground schools from 1988-2008.

 

Member of the Board of Directors for Texas Lineman’s Rodeo Association since 1998.

 

Married to the same wonderful woman (Teresa) for 26+ years.

We have five children and 10 grandchildren.

 

Graduated from Sherman High School and attended Grayson County College after the Corps.

 

We have made two trips to Liberia with the “Big Kahuna” in 2009 and 2010.

 

That is all. . . . Semper Fi!!


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Christopher Olson Accounting

Knowledge base is in accounting, tax, finance, business operations and processes, and corporate governance. Areas of work: public accounting, retail, wholesale distribution, technology, non-profit, individual and small business.

 

Helped Mr. Vincent get our materials and supplies out of port and worked the balance of the Ganta project as a day laborer.

 

Work well with people most of the time. Older than some dirt, so I’ve seen a few things.


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Preston Kissman System Design Manager

As a 1971 Texas A&M graduate with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA in Management from Pan American University , I also hold a Professional Engineering license in Texas.

 

From 1971 to 1979, most of my work involved distribution design, 15 KV and below. From 1979 to my retirement in 2010, I managed different areas of an investor-owned utility business, including distribution (35 KV and below), transmission planning, design and construction. At one point, managing gas and coal-fired generation were also part of my responsibilities.

 

Growing up in the small farming community of Dime Box, Texas, on a 120-acre farm, my family produced cotton, corn, grain sorghum, hay and beef cattle. To diversify, my family also contracted with a hatchery to produce 3,000 dozen eggs, daily.

 

My part-time work at the local cotton gin, during my high school years, was both enlightening and deafening: literally, as I often find myself trying to lip-read what others are saying if the group is large.

 

I am a lifelong Christian—in the words of St. Paul, running ”with endurance the race that is set before us.” Throughout the past 40 years of my life, I have worshipped and been a member of a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod congregation . I enjoy and am blessed by my family. My wife and I have been married for a little over 40 years; we have two adult children and two grandchildren. I enjoy friends, training my dogs, judging Australian Shepherd herding trials and working on projects.

 

Board of Directors

Name

Title

Qualification

Stephen H. Vincent

President, Treasurer, Director

Texas A&M University (BS in Engineering Technology);formerly Vice Chairman of the Board and Vice President of Priester Supply Company, Inc.; and a Vice President of Stuart C. Irby Company, Inc.

Ronald B. Seidel

Director

BS Mechanical Engineering, New Mexico State University. MBA, Southern Methodist University. Principal of RBS Energy Consulting. Formerly President of Texas Independent Energy, Senior Vice President of Fossil Generation at TXU and President of Energy Trading at TXU. Registered Professional Engineer.

Dr. David N. Mosser, Sr.

Director

Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church Arlington, Texas, a 5,000-member church. Professor of Homiletics at

Perkins School of Theology (SM) and Philosophy at Navarro Community College. Writer and lecturer who lived in West Africa for 12 months.