CN Brown Energy’s Employee Spotlight for January- Sam Chretien

Sam has been with CN Brown Company for 25 years. We interviewed Sam to hear about his journey and here’s what he said:

Tell us in your own words a little about yourself. Well……I was part of a buyout many years ago, so basically I came with one of the buildings that CN Brown purchased. The building was made into a Big Apple Store and I managed it for the first 3 years. Back then all the paperwork was done on long sheets of paper and filled in by hand. The manager sent this whole stack of forms by snail mail every day. I think sitting and staring at numbers all day made me a little stir crazy. Fortunately there were a lot of other opportunities for a guy like myself and I took advantage of what was offered. As far as projects, I’ve worked on some big ones. I’m particularly proud of the bigger piping jobs I’ve done, Mollyocket Motel’s kitchen, the Summit Hotel at Sunday River, and about a half dozen LP dispensing stations come to mind. All have been great learning experiences!

How did your career progress at CN Brown Company?

I started by managing a Big Apple Store. From there I was offered an opportunity to deliver oil for our heating oil office in Jay Maine, which was definitely more up my alley. It’s the kind of job that has it’s own sense of adventure every day! For instance, I trained during the Ice Storm of 1998! I was hooked at that point!

From there I was offered what was supposed to be a temporary 2 week stint driving a propane truck for the Bethel office while the regular driver was away. Come to find out, he wasn’t coming back. Probably a good thing, because I had no intention of giving the truck back to him. Yes, hauling propane was that much of a rush for me!

I branched out into installation and service work, and eventually became more or less the company LP trainer and planner of large projects, with a little bit of troubleshooting thrown in as well. I’ve been based in the Farmington office for about 20 years now, but cover an area from Millinocket to Montpelier these days!

What’s the best part of your current job?

I can’t really pinpoint one thing………but will give you several of the top ones.

  1. I learn something new every day.
  2. The equipment has improved tremendously since I started working in the propane division.
  3. Support from corporate has improved tremendously as well.
  4. Training, to literally see a light suddenly get switched on because I explained or demonstrated something clearly is quite an accomplishment at times.
  5. Working with the folks out in the field, the LP core of CN Brown. We’ve got some truly outstanding folks out there making the LP world a safer place every day.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Early on I would’ve said trying to accomplish great things with no manpower or equipment. Thanks to the company investing in training, trucks, technology, tanks, etc., I really have nothing to complain about in regards to those issues anymore.

What’s your favorite memory from working at CN Brown Company?

Considering that I could write an entire book on my 25 years with CN Brown, it’s tough to pick just one. I’ll give you a top 5, in no particular order.

  1. Walking out of Success Pond in the pouring rain, because every truck we brought with us got stuck that particular day.
  2. Delivering oil for the Bridgton office in the middle of January, with John Wheeler (Retail Sales Manager, CN Brown Company) riding shotgun as navigator!
  3. My first summer working for the Bethel office, which included hitchhiking to Pittsfield every week to borrow an LP truck. No trucks and no manpower that summer, but by golly we got ‘er’ done!
  4. Out running vicious dogs! (A chapter in itself).
  5. My first oil truck, a 1986 F800 I nicknamed Eeyore.

Did I say top 5?

Hey wait…..I have at least one more! The years I spent signing on and off on a 2 way radio as ‘The Legend’, “Legend Ovahhhhhhh!”

Why would you recommend working for CN Brown Company?

There’s a lot of opportunities with CN Brown Company. You have to prove that you’re head is screwed on tight, not gonna promise the moon and the stars to everyone that walks through the door. Prove yourself and go where you’re needed and the doors will open up for you.

The trucks are newer and more ‘state of the art’, no more eeyore’s in the fleet. We are working with much better equipment than we’ve seen in the past, and yes, you really are home every night, unless you choose to sleep in your truck for whatever reason.

That’s all I’ve got for now, unless you want the book version. So as I like to say, be safe out there and C-YA…………..”Legend Ovahhhhhhh!”

Thank you, Sam, for your service to our company. We appreciate your commitment and dedication!