Jane Sandberg retires
ECE was looking for a dispatcher, and Jane (Teich) Sandberg wanted to move back from the Twin Cities to her hometown. Good timing and the right circumstances sparked the start of a career that lasted 37.5 years.
“I never thought I’d be able to get a good job so close to home,” said Jane, a Pine City native. “I’d attended Normandale Community College and was working in the Cities. I was dating my future husband, Dean, who’s from Grantsburg, WI, and my mom was going through a health issue. I was really looking to get back to the area.”
She was hired as a dispatcher in 1979 and moved to the personnel department as a secretary in 1980. She continued in a secretarial role, working for two general managers until 1986, when she joined the Operations department as an engineering assistant.
When the co-op opened its call center in May 1999, Jane became one of the four original call consultants. She found her niche in the call center, where her natural friendliness and
compassion shone. “I try to make that neighbor type of feeling come through,” she said. “I enjoy being on the phone and talking to members.”
For more than two decades, Jane has also dedicated herself to the role of storm trooper, one of the employees who mans the phones day or night when severe storms cause outages on the system.
She and Dean have lived near Grantsburg since they married in 1982, and Jane has commuted to Braham ever since. They have a daughter, Krista, and a son, Ron. Jane had family ties to the community where she worked; her grandfather, Paul Guetzkow, owned a meat market in Braham and her mother grew up there.
Memories of fun and laughter, the challenges of learning to use a computer, preparing for Y2k, carpooling to Braham with Pine City linemen John Armstrong, Denny Willert and Gary Valvoda, all come to mind as she talks about retiring from the place that’s been part of her entire adult life.
“The people we work with here are just great. Everyone is always willing to pitch in, and it’s always been that way,” she said. “I have really liked my job. Some of my best friends are people I’ve worked with. I will miss it, but it’s time.”