Celebration and Appreciation of Manny Guerra and his 33 years at TECO

“Get the job done, do it right, make it last.”  With those ten little words, Thermal Energy Corporation (TECO) Maintenance Supervisor Mike Handorf sums up his impression of how Mechanic Manuel (Manny) Guerra has approached his three-decades long career with TECO. 

Now with 33 years under his belt, Manny is set to retire and there are plenty of fond memories and accolades to send him on his way.  

Hired in 1989 as a Mechanic II and promoted to Mechanic III in 2002, Manny has been on hand to witness new customers, technologies, equipment, and processes evolve in TECO’s day-to-day operations. And Manny has evolved right along with them. Manny’s innate working knowledge of the plant and keen ability for troubleshooting has made him an instrumental member of the TECO team.  

“In a plant like TECO there are high-tech precision repairs, dirty repairs, and monotonous repairs,” said now-retired Maintenance Manager, Charlie Michalak. “Manny approached each job with the same precision and determination to do it correctly to the best of his ability. Whether the job was high-tech, low-tech, or no-tech he was going to do it right.”

“Manny was our “go to” maintenance guy. Any time we had after-hour issues, he was always willing to help in any way,” added Michalak. “I can’t think of one time he told me he could not come in after hours and help. Whether he was called one hour after work or 2:00 AM in the morning.”

And while a 33-year career provides plenty of those “typical” workdays at any job, there are also going to inevitably be some stand-alone moments. And for an essential services provider such as TECO, and Houston being Houston, some of those moments take the form of notable weather events.   

“One (memory) that sticks out was when tropical storm Allison rolled through,” says Handorf.  “For those who were around Houston then, it was devastating to the area and especially to the Texas Medical Center. There were a few of us who had maintained contact through the night knowing what the next morning would probably bring. Manny was one of the first folks to make it in. We went to work spread out across the Medical Center and stayed until late into the night and early morning. When Ike and Harvey came along, Manny was around to help out as needed. He has always been one to be counted on no matter what the situation.”

The TECO team was proud to celebrate Manny in his last week.  Mike Manoucheri, President and CEO of TECO, presented Manny with several gifts of appreciation, including a signed, framed photo of TECO. 

“Manny reminds me of a recent TV commercial where they reference an ex-pro football player that’s ‘never not working’.  Every time I see Manny he’s working or on his way to his next job in the plant,” said Manourcheri.

Our understanding is Manny is now looking forward to turning his attention to several hobbies, including golfing, restoring race cars, martial arts, and surfing. He is also looking forward to the opportunity to travel and spend more time with his grandkids.

We hope Manny knows the lasting impact of his tenure on TECO and those he worked with.

Said Michalak, “Manny was loyal, dependable, and respected by his fellow workers, contractors he worked with, and management personnel. What I will miss now about Manny is his upbeat attitude and friendly personality. His cup was always half full, never half empty. He was a pleasure to work with.”

Congratulations Manny on a job well done and retirement well-earned!

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Cooling and heating pacesetting institutions at the Texas Medical Center

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