During the 2000 ice storm, Alabama Power apprentice lineman Broderick Smith helped restore power for an important football game.
No, it wasn’t the Iron Bowl, it was the Super Bowl. As a young employee without a lot of experience on the line crew, he quickly realized the importance of teamwork. With the game a few days away, he worked closely with the lead lineman, setting poles and stringing wire. After several days, he made it back home in time to see his Los Angeles Rams win Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta.
Over the past 21 years, Smith moved through several positions to his current role of field service representative in the Montgomery Business Office. The former apprentice lineman is the face of the company to his local residential customers.
“Alabama Power has been a wonderful company for me and my family over the years,” said Smith. “It really is my family away from home.”
Smith spent time away from home in 2003 when his Army Reserve unit was called up to report to Huntsville. After training two months in Fort Benning, Georgia, they were sent to Afghanistan for a yearlong deployment during Operation Enduring Freedom.
In addition to serving his country, Smith gives back to his community. One of Smith’s many projects is the Montgomery Lions Club’s “Cycling for Sight,” a bike ride to benefit Community Foundation charities.
“I’ve been blessed with a rewarding career for over two decades and consider it a blessing to give back to the community,” Smith said. “To be a volunteer, you need to have a heart for caring. I volunteer because I have a passion that is much deeper and greater than my own being.”
The charity ride commemorates Helen Keller, who long ago challenged Lions Club members to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”
“Broderick is reliable and passionate,” said Cycling for Sight director Zack Camerio. “He is someone that you can always count on. Alabama Power’s rest stop was open for 10 hours in 100-plus-degree heat. He never took a break or complained. His entire team had smiles on their faces from start to finish.”
Smith also volunteers with the Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO), a nonprofit volunteer organization of Alabama Power employees and their families. In 2017, he was the first union member employee to become Southern Division APSO president. He has been an active volunteer with local blood drives, the Walk of Life for breast cancer awareness, the Boys and Girls Club and Read Across America.
“We know the people in our area, and we know their needs,” Smith said. “Community outreach is giving back to those who need your help.”
Alabama Power has more than 1,300 Transmission and Distribution employees who work to keep the lights on every day and hundreds of others supporting that mission. Though not all their titles are “lineman,” their work on the system helps to ensure that the lights stay on in Alabama.
Leading up to Alabama Lineman Appreciation Day in June, Alabama NewsCenter each week will spotlight line workers and their contributions to the company, and the role they play in elevating Alabama communities.