Fifty-nine Duke Energy line technicians to compete against the best in the world at International Lineman’s Rodeo Oct. 17

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Fifty-nine Duke Energy line technicians will compete in the International Lineman’s Rodeo Oct. 17 at the National Agricultural Hall of Fame rodeo grounds in Bonner Springs, Kan. 

Now in its 32nd year, the rodeo attracts the best linemen from around the world competing in events that test job-related skills. 

“Our line technicians enjoy competing on an international platform where they are side-by-side with the best of the best in their craft,” said Colby Quaife, technical training specialist at Duke Energy in Indiana. “Our guys know how to keep the lights on, and the rodeo is their opportunity to demonstrate to the world their day-to-day experience and expertise that our customers appreciate and count on.” 

The best line workers at Duke Energy and its legacy companies have showcased their talents at the International Lineman’s Rodeo for more than 20 years; competing in events such as hurt-man rescues, equipment repair and pole climbs. They are judged on speed, agility, technique and safety procedures. 

All Duke Energy participants at the rodeo earned their spots by competing in regional Duke Energy competitions. Fifty-nine line technicians, representing Duke Energy’s six-state service area, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, will participate in the apprentice, journeyman and senior team divisions. 

An apprentice is a line worker with less than four years of utility experience. A rodeo journeyman has greater than four years of utility experience and a senior-journeyman must be over 45 years old. 

“I enjoy the work we do as a team and feel blessed and fortunate to provide a service that helps power the lives of our customers,” said Jacob Lynch, Duke Energy lineman in Asheville, N.C., competing in the apprentice division for the second year in a row. “The on-the-job training, work and preparation for the rodeo competition have heightened my skills, and I’ve become a better lineman from this experience. I have one of the best jobs in the world; there’s nothing I’d rather do.” 

The rodeo competition begins Oct. 17 at 8 a.m. Central Standard Time with individual competitors and teams vying to earn the top honors. Duke Energy tweeters @DE_SallyT and @DE_MeghanM will be sharing live updates on their Twitter feeds and on Duke Energy’s Facebook (

Learn more about our competitors here: (

Duke Energy employs more than 5,000 line workers across its six-state service area.

Duke Energy’s 2015 International Lineman’s Rodeo Team: 


Dylan Gazdziak, Lafayette, Ind. 
John Hanisch, Lebanon, Ohio 
Steve Hickam, Danville, Ind. 
Garry Hoff, Seymour, Ind. 
Andy Irwin, Bloomington, Ind. 
Ryan Keitel, Columbus, Ind. 
Jamie Land, Seymour, Ind. 
T.J. Lewis, Moores Hill, Ind. 
Chris Moscrip, Seymour, Ind. 
Mitch Nelson, Lafayette, Ind. 
Wes Tomey, Rushville, Ind. 
Heath VanDeventer, Bloomington, Ind. 
Matt Volrich, Columbus, Ind. 
Chris Wilson, Westfield, Ind. 
Alex Wirrig, Shelbyville, Ind.

Carolinas West 

Jamie Bannister, Belton, S.C. 
Heath Barkley, Denver, N.C. 
Sandy Barnhill, Candler, N.C. 
Tryston Fain, Gastonia, N.C 
Keith Griffin, Marshall, N.C. 
Mike Haynes, Marion, N.C. 
Darick Hendriksz, Charlotte, N.C. 
Joe Jordan, Albemarle, N.C. 
Robert Lunsford, Salisbury, N.C. 
Jacob Lynch, Weaverville, N.C. 
Tony Penley, Mint Hill, N.C. 
David Phillips, Huntersville, N.C. 
Aaron Smith, Richfield, N.C. 
Jay Tipton, Marshall, N.C. 
Neal Walker, Shelby, N.C. 

Carolinas East 

Jimmy Bowden, Angier, N.C. 
Allen Denning, Newport, N.C. 
Danny Haithcock, Timmonsville, S.C. 
Josh Haithcock, Timmonsville, S.C. 
Austin Jackson, Creedmoor, N.C. 
Chandler Joyner, Sumter, S.C. 
Shawn Martin, Plainfield, Ind. (qualified while working in North Carolina) 
Bryan Minikel, Cary, N.C. 
Preston Pernell, Kittrell, N.C. 
Zach Sipes, Raleigh, N.C. 
Keith Vandervelde, Willow Springs, N.C. 
Carlton Vaughan, Oxford, N.C. 
Matt Wattenburger, Fuquay-Varina, N.C. 
Billy Webber, Matthews, N.C. 
Josh Williams, Henderson, N.C.


Joseph Badger, Inverness, Fla. 
Cody Ellis, Sorrento, Fla. 
Edward Filor Jr., Crystal River, Fla. 
Nicholas Fritz, New Port Richey, Fla. 
Jon Griswold, St. Petersburg, Fla. 
Jackie Lynn Jr., Tampa, Fla. 
William MacDonald, New Port Richey, Fla. 
William (Chase) Ritch, Tavares, Fla. 
Robert Rommelt, Palm Harbor, Fla. 
Gerald Searson Jr., Tallahassee, FL. 
George Tibbetts III, Clearwater, Fla. 
Jeffrey Tunison, Largo, Fla. 
Ivan White, Clearwater, Pinellas County, Fla. 
Curtis Wilson, New Port Richey, Fla.

Duke Energy line workers took home 11 awards at the International Lineman’s Rodeo in 2014. One Duke Energy team from North Carolina finished second in the world in the overall journeyman category, and second overall in the investor-owned utility division. In 2013, a Duke Energy apprentice won best in the world at the International Lineman’s Rodeo. 

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: