Chris Carr had his sights set on the renewable energy industry long before becoming the Assistant Facility Manager at Belle River Wind.
His journey brought him to Pattern Canada in 2017.
A Growing Interest in Wind
“Before working here, I was an electrician in the electrical union for about 12 years. Then I got involved with some wind farm construction and became really interested in that,” he explains.
Chris says that was just the beginning.
“Earlier in my career, when I was involved in the construction side of things in the renewable energy industry, I could kind of see the transition of where things were going. That was back in 2008, and just getting into the industry early on was very exciting. This was something I felt would support the goals of making a positive impact on the energy industry, and I really wanted to be a part of that,” Chris says.
A Life-Long Local
Living not too far from the Belle River Wind site, Chris says it’s great to work in an area that he’s familiar with.
“I’ve been a LaSalle resident my whole life. I traveled quite a bit for work in the past, but I’ve always wanted to come back to this area,” he says.
LaSalle is located just outside Windsor and about half an hour from Belle River.
“It has a small town feel with just 35,000 people, so it’s not huge, but it is close to everything. Windsor is just a 10-minute drive, the border going to Detroit is only 15 minutes away, we have access to water—it’s just a really good location for families,” Chris explains.
That small town feel is definitely felt in Belle River, and like many small towns, community is everything.
“At Belle River Wind, we try to support the community as much as possible. Sometimes we don’t get requests because the community may not know about our sponsorships. Our team is really good at reaching out to certain organizations like the Fight Like Mason Foundation or the local Arts Centre to apply,” Chris tells us.
The Belle River Wind team also participates in community events and fundraisers, like the June 27th Miracle last summer. Similarly, they focused on outreach at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
“We reached out to some long-term care facilities at the start of the pandemic to see if they needed anything to adapt to COVID-19 regulations. They requested individual meal tables so residents could eat in their rooms when they couldn’t have everyone in the dining room,” he says.
Chris says that Site Logistics Coordinator Lana Downer-Arispe has helped the team develop strong connections with community organizations.
“Lana has been such a great help with this because she knows the values that Pattern looks for, especially when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She has reached out to organizations that help women work in the trades, and she lets organizations know who Pattern is and how Pattern can support them,” he says.
Some Big Milestones
Recently, Chris achieved some exciting professional and work-related milestones, and is eagerly anticipating a few more upcoming chapters in his life.
“One of the things I was looking at to help me get into the industry was furthering my education. I started taking an Energy Management course while I was at my previous job before starting at Pattern. I transitioned from that course into a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an Energy Management certificate. I’ve been doing that online for the past four years and just finished it recently,” he says.
With his degree complete, Chris says he has a bit more time to focus on cooking, which he enjoys. And as forementioned, he recently started another life chapter.
“I have a new baby girl at home, so it was good timing finishing school so I can focus my time on her,” he says.