Goonie Marks 40 Years of Service at TECO

1981. NASA launched its first Space Shuttle mission. Lady Diana married Prince Charles. And Ram Goonie started work at Thermal Energy Corporation. He is now celebrating his 40th anniversary with TECO.

“I started in March 1981,” says Ram Goonie, CEM, TECO’s energy director. “I was young, but I was fortunate to join TECO as it was gearing up for growth. I’ve worked for every leader of the company, and there have always been new opportunities.” (See gallery below of Ram through the decades.)

Ram’s 40 years here make him the company’s longest-serving employee ever. He began as plant operator. “When I arrived at TECO, we had a plant director, a maintenance foreman, an operations chief, and an administrator along with two assistants located in two on-site trailers,” says Ram. “Operations only had two people per shift, and maintenance had a team of about 10, including the foreman. So it was a very small group at first considering we have more than 90 employees now.”

In the late 1980s, Ram became operations supervisor before being promoted to energy manager in 1990. There his responsibilities started with handling customer billing, plant energy management and the production budget for rate projections. He has long prepared building energy consumption and cost data for customers’ operating budgets, including new facilities.

Ram started what is now the customers’ Facility Advisory Committee as the Customer Energy Forum in the early 1990s. They initially met three times a year to share information about TECO and exchange operating tips – always looking for ways to increase energy efficiency. “Right from the start the group greatly improved their collective efficiencies,” says Ram. “Within the first 10 years, TECO could cool the same amount of space with 16% less energy and heat the same space with 32% less because customers had reduced their consumption.” The group continues to meet today, virtually or in person.

Over the years, Ram has taken on even more responsibilities, including rate development, fuel hedging, power sales and customer service. He plays a major role in the company’s master planning efforts. He also was key to TECO’s preparation of a System of the Year Award entry for the International District Energy Association competition, garnering TECO the award in 2019.

Ram is a Certified Energy Manager and was named a Legend in Energy by The Association of Energy Engineers in 2007. He also is a member of the National Energy Services Association, CHP Partnership and International District Energy Association.

“Ram has been here for 80% of TECO’s history,” says Vice President of Plant Operations Jason Berrio. “He has a wonderful demeanor that has helped nourish long-term relationships with our customers, business partners and other members of the TECO team.”

Congratulations – and thank you – Ram!

November 2021
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