Powering the Future: Leadership, Communication, and Safety | Quanta Services CEO Duke Austin | Ep119
In this inaugural episode in the new Powerline Podcast studio, host Ryan Lucas welcomes visionary CEO of Quanta Services, Duke Austin. As a fourth-generation leader in the electric utility business, Duke knows the electrifying world of power infrastructure inside and out.
The conversation dives deep into the current and future landscape of energy solutions, exploring Quanta’s innovative strides in leadership, communication, and safety. Duke also opens up about overcoming adversity – both in his professional and personal life.
This is a rare opportunity to gain exclusive insights, learn industry trends and understand the driving forces that power modern life, straight from the expert himself.
Subscribe now to Powerline Podcast and never miss an episode featuring thought-provoking guests who bring their personal experiences to the forefront of every conversation. Get ready to be motivated, informed, and inspired by the stories that power our world.
I first heard of Clint Vick and his music while going through barehand school at the Lazy Q Ranch about 2 years ago. We were sitting around studying one night, listening to some tunes and one of the fellas said “hey put on some Clint Vick”. Since then I was hooked and have wanted to have him on the show. Clint is a lineman, singer and songwriter with a gift for storytelling. He’s been in the industry for 20+ years and has worked all over North America doing everything from major transmission projects to helicopter line work and major disaster relief after the fires in California. Clint takes his years of experiences as a lineman and puts them into his music creating something very unique to us as line workers.
Enjoy this conversation with Clint Vick and please go follow him and subscribe to his music on platforms like Spotify and YouTube.
Link to Clints music on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/6KsdPmwyGV4eRwnJFkcvg4
Noah was a Load Master in the United States Air Force with two tours to Afghanistan. It was the second tour that changed Noah’s life and left him struggling with extreme PTSD and depression. Noah reached out to me and said “Hey Ryan, I have a pretty powerful story for veterans that I’m ready to share. Could I come on the show to talk about it?”
His story was a powerful testament to me that you just never know who’s listening and whose life you’ll impact for the positive.
I’m proud of Noah for battling hard and fighting to live. Please share this story with anyone that you feel may value it’s content. Life is worth living and you’re always just one decision away from a different life.
As linemen, we don’t always get insight into how the company is managed. Perspective is everything because we often say things like “The company is making tons of money on this one” when in fact they probably aren’t. It’s often a communication breakdown between management and the line hands. Brandon has been on both sides, lineman and management so we talk about it in this episode with the hope of shedding some valuable insight for both groups. We also talk about surviving a helicopter accident and what he would do differently next time if given the opportunity.
Cain is a female lineman from the East Coast of Canada. I had a lot of fun recording this episode with Cain. She is a driven individual that genuinely loves the job she chose. It wasn’t easy to get where she’s at today and this episode is loaded with solid gold advice on how to get there. It can all be boiled down to really hard work and the fact that you just need to get it done.
Scott is the Western Region Account Executive for Dragon Wear FR and Justin is the Safety and Environmental Manager for Clark County PUD. My conversation with these two is all about the importance of building solid relationships at work. Safety is about so many different things but two pillars are relationships and solid communication. These guys have lived by these pillars while working together to build outstanding gear and safety programs for our industry. We can all learn a lot from them and there is tons of value in this episode.
Ryan has been grinding in line work for many years. He’s one of those guys that started where everyone does, at the bottom but has risen through the ranks and has had a great career so far. This episode is full of straight talk on everything line work. It’s packed with value so please enjoy.
Paul and his wife had to go through something that no parents should ever have to go through, the loss of a child. Sudden and unexpectedly Paul’s daughter Guiliana developed a rare form of cancer that took her life in under a year. The positive impact that Guiliana was able to have on so many lives will echo in time for years to come. Paul openly shares his experience going through this trying time and what a group of rodeo linemen is achieving through their fundraiser “Climbin For Kids”.
Climbin For Kids is a Lineman rodeo team that raises money for St Jude Children’s Hospital. It was started to carry on Guiliana’s legacy by helping kids and families through tough experiences like hers.
Details about how to help can be found using the QR code in this post or by email [email protected]
Derek Egroff has had an extensive career in the line trade with a huge emphasis on all things high-voltage transmission. He’s been involved with hundreds of transmission projects and assisted in creating energized bare-hand programs, helicopter procedures, and countless other endeavors over his lengthy career. Derek is now giving back to the trade as a training instructor. In this episode, we dive into a few exciting projects that he was a part of including one of the world’s only catenary systems used for power lines as well as pioneering helicopter rope access for line work in Canada. We also explore some topics around training and adult education as it relates to the trades.
Bryce is a lineman originally from Arizona now living and working in Northern California. The question “What does it truly mean to be a journeyman lineman” is one that I’ve asked myself many times. Bryce and I collectively have more than 40 years of experience in this industry so we tackle this question head-on in this episode. Hopefully, you guys get some value from it, and at a minimum, you start to answer the question yourselves.
I first met Jason in Lawrenceburg Indiana a few years ago. We were randomly placed as pole partners in the final event of the Whiskey City Rodeo. Jason reached out to me a few weeks ago and said hey I’d love to be on the podcast if you’d have me. Of course, I said yes and it was awesome to hear his story.
Turns out he has competed at the International Lineman’s Rodeo in Kansas 22 times in his career. If that wasn’t special enough, he and a few others decided to form a team to raise money for St. Jude’s Hospital and they crushed it! They raised thousands of dollars and were able to present the check on stage during the awards banquet.
They are returning to the ILR this year with the team and goals of reaching new highs. If you feel called to support this cause (full details are in the episode about why they chose this cause) then you can scan the QR code in the photo above or reach out to them at [email protected]
This is Jimmy’s second time on PLP. Almost two years have passed since he was last on the show so we had a ton of new things to catch up on. Jimmy recently started his own power line company. This is one of those things that every lineman has thought about at one point or another so we get right into the pros and cons of running your own company as well as so much more. Plus if you’ve ever thought about traveling to work in another country, you’ll want to listen to this episode.
Join host Ryan Lucas as he relives some key clips from the past 10 episodes of Powerline Podcast. This is a new series where Ryan shares insights and commentary around select clips from previous episodes.
Powerline Podcast Website: https://www.powerlinepodcast.com/
Aaron is a Canadian military veteran, Lineman, and successful YouTuber. He has amassed nearly 100k subscribers on his channel “Bobsdecline” where he makes videos about the daily life of a journeyman lineman on the east coast of Canada. This episode has been one of the most requested episodes to date. We pack this conversation with value so please enjoy.
Episodes can be found on all podcast audio platforms and now are available in video form on our YouTube channel. Link in bio for details.
The subject of mental health amongst trade workers needs to be talked about more. Depression, divorce, and suicide are at an all-time high. Jaret Warren has been in the line trade for almost 2 decades and like many in this trade he has suffered with his own mental health issues but unlike most, he was willing to sit down and talk about it. We need to do this more. We need to talk about this subject and we need to do all we can to help before we lose more amazing family, friends, and coworkers. Much love.
If you are in the USA and need help now, dial 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Line.
If you are in Canada and need help now, dial 1 833 456 4566.
Most companies have an Employee Assistance Program and so does the IBEW if you are union.
Joe is a men’s fitness and mindset coach, father, and husband. In this episode, he shares with us the tools you need to start living a life filled with meaning and purpose. We talk about overcoming depression, addiction, and anxiety with fitness, nutrition, and mindset. This episode is packed with value so get out your notebook.
Dean is a second-generation Journeyman Lineman with an extensive background in transmission and energized barehand work methods. He’s a good friend and I can say I genuinely loved working with him. Growing up with a father as a lineman and now having almost 20 years in the trade himself, we talk a lot about how the trade has changed. There is tons of value in this episode so please enjoy.
This is Daniels’s second time on the show. He is a lineman from Cali and I suggest you go back and listen to episode 94 if you want to get Daniels’s full story. He is an inspiration and motivation to anyone that is looking to get their life on track. Addicted to alcohol, 300 lbs, and recently in a near-fatal workplace accident, he decided to make a change and gain his life back. Fully healed, he is now addiction free, in the best shape of his life, and is helping others to live life to its fullest.
This is Dylon’s second appearance on Powerline Podcast and won’t be his last. Every time I chat with Dylon I learn something. Since we’re heading towards summer I thought it would be a great time to get on here and chat about dehydration, heat illness, and how they lead to cognitive decline. We can all do better when it comes to our physical and mental fitness so I hope this episode helps prepare you for the season ahead.
John Goodson “Goody” is a line hand from Oklahoma. I met Goody on TikTok. It’s amazing how great social media can be if used in the right way. He has a great page where he tries to impart lessons learned from his years in the line trade. Give him a follow and listen in to this episode to hear his story. TikTok @Goodson_of_the_john
This is Dennis’ second time on the podcast. If you’re interested in hearing more of his backstory of becoming a lineman, I suggest that you go back and listen to episode 042. A lot has happened since the last time we talked so I decided to get him back on the show to chat. I’m always so motivated after talking with Dennis. In this episode, we dove deep into his entrepreneurial side. He owns multiple businesses including 2 fitness centers and a powerline contracting company. On top of the businesses he is a fixed-wing pilot and supercar owner who truly models his mantra: “Live the lifestyle.”
Bo became a lineman at a super young age and has been in the industry ever since. We chat about all aspects of line work from building transmission lines, to business, social media, and mental health. Bo also manages a couple of Instagram pages which we dive into call @lockedandtagged and @semi_bolt. This episode is packed with value so please enjoy!
James is one of the most active people I know. He is a South African born trainer, coach, and business owner in the health and wellness industry. It can be incredibly difficult to know how to begin your health and fitness journey. There is so much content online and it’s hard to choose who to follow and what advice to take. This conversation is for everyone, whether you’re just starting out or looking for a new perspective. There’s definitely something we can all learn and apply from this podcast.
Inspiration is the word that instantly comes to mind after hearing Daniel’s story. Once upon a time he was 300 lbs and addicted to alcohol. Sober and well on his way to becoming a healthy man he was involved in an electrical flashover while working in a vault in Hollywood. The incident left his face severely burned with a long road to recovery staring back at him. This could send even the strongest of men back into a downward spiral but not Daniel. He recovered stronger than ever. As I said, inspiration is the word that comes to mind. Daniel is now healthier than ever with a strong, fit body and clear mind ready to help others master their own mindset.
Mackenzie Gillan is a lineman apprentice from Ontario, Canada. I just met her in person at the International Lineman’s Rodeo where she cleaned house taking home three awards in the apprentice category. I’ve followed Mackenzie for the last couple of years and one thing that I’ve noticed is that very view people out work her and I believe this is what sets her apart. Enjoy the conversation.
Scott has led an adventurous life of world travel, mountaineering, sharks, fire, and arc flash. To find out how these are all connected to line work you’ll have to listen the episode. You’re going to love this one! It’s exciting and informative all at the same time. Find it on all podcast platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcast and so many more.
This is way more than just a podcast about tools though we do dive into that. Mike and Steve have led interesting lives. Mike is from Texas and grew up with a passion for music and Steve is an East coast born and raised US Army veteran. Both of these guys open up to me sharing their stories and lessons learned in life. We also go in-depth about the history of Milwaukee Tool and the things Milwaukee has done to put itself on top of the tooling industry. You definitely don’t want to miss this one! Oh and p.s. we had a ton of fun and lots of laughs.
In this episode I’m joined by a panel of industry professionals to answer a variety of frequently asked questions about how a veteran can transition from active duty to a career as a power lineman.
Following this panel discussion are testimonies from four veterans that have just recently entered the Veteran Electrical Entry Program (VEEP) and are well on their way to a career in the power line trade.
Joining me on the panel is Robbie Foxen, Executive Director Missouri Valley Line Constructors Apprenticeship, David Ball, Quanta Services Director Quanta Electrical Line Worker Program, Kevin Castle, American Line Builders Area Joint Apprenticeship, and Jason Iannelli, Electrical Training Alliance Director of Outside Curriculum.