As we honor National Veterans and Military Families Month this November, Invenergy offers our sincere appreciation to our veterans for their service to the country and for the expertise and dedication they bring to our company and the clean energy field.

Veterans are uniquely positioned to excel at Invenergy thanks to the skills acquired during their service. Approximately 10 percent of Invenergy employees are military veterans, spanning from the staff at our Chicago headquarters to the technicians and plant managers working at our energy centers across the country. We are grateful to work alongside our veterans to build a more sustainable world and proud to highlight their stories throughout November.

Patrick Dalton Quote

How long have you been at Invenergy and what are your current roles and responsibilities?

    I have been with Invenergy for seven years. I started in the control room as an Operator and eventually moved over to become a SCADA Engineer. Today, I am the manager for the SCADA Instrumentation and Control team. We are responsible for ensuring all the substation protection and metering devices are communicating with interested parties. This involves being familiar with IT networking, fiber optics, serial communication, and computer programming. I tell people “We turn real-life into data and data into real life.”

    Please provide details about your service including your branch, rank/title, job, how long, when, and where you served.

      I served in the Navy and Navy Reserve for over 12 years. My official title was Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Naval Aircrewman). My specialty was to support and fly in surveillance aircraft. While on active duty, I was stationed on the USS Carl Vinson in Bremerton Washington. In the Reserves, I traveled to Norway and Iceland to search for Russian submarines, and to South America to search for counter narcotics missions. In 2007-08, I deployed to the Kuwait Naval Base in the intelligence shop for a unit in charge of harbor defense. Shortly thereafter, I deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan to operate drones in support of the Special Operations Task Force.

      After I left the military, I went back to Iraq and Afghanistan as a defense contractor operating Predator drone sensors for the Air Force, Army, and Homeland Security.

      How did you get your start at Invenergy specifically?

        After my work overseas I took a job repairing CNC manufacturing equipment around northern Illinois. It wasn’t a match for me. One of my coworkers was reminiscing of his days as an electrician installing wind turbines around Iowa. I asked out loud “Does anyone do that around Chicago?” Another coworker said, “You should check out Invenergy.” Three months later, I was in the Control Room working with a great group of people.

        What motivated you to join the military?

          I grew up in a small farm town about an hour outside of Chicago. My uncle was in the Navy traveling around the South Pacific. I would track his ship’s progress on a map and read the letters about his adventures with excitement. Then Top Gun came out and my fate was sealed. I wanted to be in Naval Aviation.

          How did your military experience prepare you for your job now? What skills, capabilities, and characteristics transfer over?

            Resourcefulness. There were many occasions in the military when I had to accomplish my task with the limited resources on hand. I remember one time working for Invenergy, I established a temporary internet connection at a substation under construction using 2x4s, zip ties, and parts I scavenged off of a weather station.

            Collaboration. Whether it was on a ship, on a plane, or with boots in the sand we were always a part of a team with a common goal. We all had our specialties but had to work together to get the job done. The SCADA Team, and the ICC, are great examples of a team striving for the same goal.

            Why is it important for companies to commit to hiring veterans?

              Veterans all come from varied backgrounds with varied perspectives and a drive to help others. Invenergy’s focus on creating a sustainable world is a direct match for the mission of Veterans. The variety of backgrounds, experiences, and thoughts that Veterans bring to Invenergy will help everyone at our company drive to do better. The way we can be leaders in renewable energy is to be inclusive. Veterans embrace inclusivity.

              What does Veterans Day mean to you?

                Shortly after the creation of the Invenergy Veterans Network, a few of us vets were hungrily debating where we could get a breakfast burrito. I mentioned in passing that one of my squadrons cooked burritos every drill weekend to raise money for a military-related charity. Five months later, we were cooking burritos in the 19th floor cafe to raise money for the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society’s Hurricane Katrina drive. Veterans Day is a day for me to take time to reflect on my time in the service and all the people that I met along the way. I am grateful for the impact that each one of them had on my life and how great things happen when good people come together.