Michael Martin Murphey entertains the audience at the SEUPA banquet.
Energy and its production is the lifeblood of Emery and Carbon counties. The industry is the largest employer in the region. To honor this important industry as well as advance and promote energy production and development within the counties, the Southeastern Utah Energy Producers Association was formed. It is a tradition to honor those who have contributed greatly to the industry and at this year's banquet the lifetime achievement awards were given to David Zaccaria of Tram Electric and Harmond Electric, founded by the late George Harmond Sr. Rick Olsen is the president of SEUPA.
The plaques were presented at the association's eighth annual banquet in the Fairgrounds Event Center. Zaccaria, who started a small after-market remanufacturing shop in 1981, was honored not only for service to the energy industry but for his humanitarian and philanthropic contributions to the community. Tram Electric's growth in clients and product lines over the decades led to several relocations to accommodate more machines and employees. The company now occupies a 44,650 square-foot building on almost six acres on Airport Road in Price.
In accepting the award Zaccaria thanked his family and employees for the success and he also paid tribute to "Harmond University," where he had worked before starting out on his own.
There were others in the audience who shared the experience of working for Harmond Electric early in their careers. The company was launched as a part-time venture in the late 1950s by George Harmond and Dominic Bruno. Harmond quit work at the old Kaiser Steel coal mine in 1961 to pursue full time work at his own shop.
The company grew from a handful of employees working in a backyard shed into an interstate mine electrical equipment service and sales organization. The business has since been sold, becoming Electrical Contractors and Baker Mine Service.
Judge George Harmond Jr. and his sister Linda accepted the award on behalf of their late father.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by country-western singer Michael Martin Murphey. He said his record producers didn't want him to do love songs because they wouldn't sell albums, but he wrote a country and western love song that he sang for his parents on their 40, 50 and 60th anniversaries and it became one of his great hits. It's called, "You Come From A Long Line Of Love." He told the audience of energy producers thank you for doing what they do and keeping the lights on in this great nation. He called them heroes. He thanked the Lord above that he is able to earn a living making music and doing what he loves. "I've been doing this all my life, I wanted to be a singing cowboy like Roy Rogers. I was told once to keep a notebook by my bed, because sometimes inspiration for songs comes while you sleep. My signature song, and probably my most famous is Wildfire. I dreamed this song, I don't know exactly what it means. I woke up at 3 a.m. and I had dreamed this song, so I wrote it down and set it to a melody." Murphey said when he gets to heaven he is going to ask God what this song means. Murphey performed his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner with a little more pep and life than the song usually is given. He also told the story of Francis Scott Key and how the flag was still flying after a long night of battle.
SEUPA honored all of the Veterans present with a standing ovation as their theme song from each of the branches of the military played and a slide show of Veterans was shown.
Olsen encouraged all to remain active in fighting for the future of Utah energy.