One of Saba’s pioneers in electricity, Charles Dexter Johnson has marked 35 years of service at Saba Electric Company NV (SEC), formerly NV GEBE.
Starting his career with the company on August 1, 1985, as a linesman, Johnson has demonstrated employee loyalty and allegiance to continuous improvement of electric power distribution. He has worked his way up through the company to become the President Director of SEC in 2019. He was promoted from linesman to Supervisor of the Distribution Department in 1991, to Branch Manager in February 1996, and to Managing Director in January 2014. During his 35 years Johnson was instrumental in improving the electricity distribution grid when it was upgraded from mainly an overhead distribution grid with all its challenges, to a stable and efficient underground distribution system.
He was also successful in leading the expansion of electricity production on Saba, which called for significant modification of the now decommissioned power plant on Fort Bay.
Also, during his tenure Saba’s electricity company saw the construction of its own office building in 2008, 46 years after the existence of electricity in Saba, having rented office space up to that time. When SEC was established in 2013, Johnson played a fundamental role in the split from NV GEBE.
Furthermore, Johnson has been instrumental in the realisation of the new power plant and infrastructure in 2015, Solar Park 1 in 2016, and Solar Park 2 in 2018, thus reducing the dependence on fossil fuel and advancing the renewable energy footprint in Saba, placing Saba amongst the leaders in the Caribbean region.
Commenting on Johnson’s accomplishments, his good friend and colleague Fred Cuvalay, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Statia Utility Company STUCO, said, “We have over the many years been able to oversee the developments of our islands and I can tell you that Dexter did so with satisfaction for the love of his job, because he knew he was ensuring the reliability of the electricity service he enjoyed providing for the benefit of the people of Saba.
“I say to the people of Saba, here is one son of the soil who in 35 years of service has placed his hallmarks on the electricity supply service on the island of Saba and yet continues to inspire next steps in advancing this cause.” Reminiscing on the “electricity movement” on Saba, Supervisory Board member Hubert Roy Smith said this occasion is testimony to Johnson’s loyalty, which was evident from the moment Johnson started to work with him and the first director, the late Elmer Limey, in 1985.
“We extend our appreciation to you for your faithful consistency on the job. It has been said that performance depends on attitude; therefore, we conclude that you have a great attitude about life in general. We want to recognise Dexter’s achievement and as well encourage him to continue pursuing excellence in whatever tasks he undertakes. We look to people such as Dexter for a brighter future for Saba,” Smith said on behalf of the Supervisory Board. “Dexter is a selfless leader. He does not think twice about putting the needs of others before his own needs. Dexter’s passion in keeping up to date with the latest technology in renewable energy production has greatly benefited SEC,” said SEC Managing Director Mark Zagers, who has worked alongside Johnson for the past 23 years. Management and staff of Saba Electric Company NV extended heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to Charles Johnson. “He is and will always be a treasured colleague. Kudos to you Dexter.”
The Daily Herald.