It began with the familiar boyhood dream of growing up to be a fireman.
There was a twist, however, for Marcos and Adrian Flores.
“Growing up, we always looked up to our dad, so a maintenance electrician was like a fireman to me and my brother,” said Marcos, who is two years older than Adrian. “That was the big, tough guy who can handle anything.”
The big, tough guy for them was their father, Marc, who has been that maintenance electrician, among other things, in his 31-plus years at Southern California Edison (SCE).
And, the boys?
Well, Marcos and Adrian are men now, but their father’s influence is obvious, with both joining Marc as SCE employees after coming of age around the company. The sons acknowledge that their career paths came, in no small part, from an admiration of their father and the “family atmosphere” and dedicated employees at SCE.
“Growing up, we were always around the company,” said Adrian. “Dad always had good things to say about the company. We were always doing stuff with other employees. It seemed like it was more than just work for him; it was more like a family atmosphere. That definitely influenced my decision to come work here.”
Marc, who started as a utility man, but is now principal manager of the Southeast Division of Grid Operations with responsibility for the substation and distribution operations within the division’s 25,000-square-mile service territory, recalls the dedication his sons witnessed.
“They would ask me about my job, they’d see me go to work and they would see the commitment that you have to have here at Edison when you’re working on the line side of the business, when you have storms or equipment failures or need to work overtime,” said Marc.
Marcos, a graduate of Cal State Fullerton with a bachelor’s in business administration, started at SCE in 2005 as an apprentice electrician and is now a test technician. Adrian, a graduate of Cal State Long Beach with a bachelor’s in communications, interned as a college senior in Local Public Affairs and joined that department full time in 2007 as a project analyst. He is now a project manager.
But those boyhood days had an impact, with Marcos and Adrian enjoying picnics, softball games and Long Beach Grand Prix outings with Marc’s colleagues. They also got a feel for the work environment.
“When the boys were small, I would work overtime a lot and I’d bring them to work,” said Marc, who still loves fishing trips with his sons that also began when they were boys. “We had family picnics and stuff. There were Edison softball tournaments and the boys would be there and just see all the people I worked with. That Edison family, we got together a lot in those days.”
The sons are recognized by many of those people to this day, with Adrian saying, “I get people looking at me cockeyed and asking, ‘Are you Marc’s boy?’ I get that quite a bit.”
They also have three uncles at the company and have had aunts work there too
And though father and sons don’t work together, their careers have intersected. Marcos’ stint as an electrician at the Del Amo substation saw him working with many of the same people his father had worked with in the mid-1980s, including the now-retired Larry Fowler and Bruce Clanton.
“My son would come home and talk to me,” Marc said. “He’d tell me stories about these guys that I had worked with, so it was kind of neat.”
Marcos, laughingly recalling the hard work demanded by Fowler, said, “Larry went through two Marc Floreses. So I got a little bit of that goodwill.”
Marc, whose division has about 300 employees, has also held jobs ranging from substation operator to electrician and maintenance foreman to superintendent.
There were, of course, influential mentors along the way, especially Walt Johnston, now vice president of Power Delivery, and Wally Aoki, a now-retired journeyman substation electrician, who made Marc realize “the sky was the limit” at SCE.
It was, however, the father and his example that imparted that same realization on Marcos and Adrian.
“It’s really afforded me the opportunity to provide for my family the way I always saw my dad provide for our family,” Adrian said. “It was always something we could rely on and now working here, it’s kind of afforded us that same opportunity, having a good, solid, stable job to provide for our families."