COG Awards 2020: Adrian Certain - Extraordinary Service


Engineering Services Supervisor Adrian Certain is described as the Public Utilities/Electric Division’s “go-to guy” for many projects. But Certain says he just tries to treat people the way he wants to be treated.
Adrian Certain group
Left to right: Dana Williams, Todd Carpenter, Adrian Certain, Joe Albright

Think of any recent big project constructed by the City, and Certain was probably involved in some way. During the massive renovation at the City’s water plant, he managed the complicated relocation of the underground electrical cables. Certain’s efforts and expertise saved the City $80,000 in consultant expenses, which was spent on other projects instead.

Currently he’s overseeing the contractors moving electrical lines throughout the FUSE District, making sure the work is done on time and within budget. And he is Electric’s contact person for numerous downtown development projects.

Certain has worked for the City for 16 years, including time as a building inspector. According to the award nomination, Certain has “vast knowledge” of planning, development, construction, mechanical and electrical matters. He is the liaison between the Electric Division and other City departments, and represents Electric at Technical Review Committee meetings that involve City management, contractors, engineers and developers.

According to Certain, the most satisfying part of his job is seeing projects evolve from plans on paper to completion.

He says his biggest challenge is juggling the workload between City projects and private development. But the award nomination says Certain does it well, describing him as invaluable, reliable, and a ”trustworthy team player” who is very conscientious and “very sensitive to our developers, and to our customers’ needs and expectations.”

Working on his own time in the evening, Certain installed colored LED lights to light up the new clearwell dome at the water treatment plant. He even purchased most of the materials himself and custom built the wooden stands for the lights. And he was instrumental in installing green LED lights at City Hall for Gaston Outside’s Go Green campaign.

Despite his extensive involvement in many City projects, one thing did slip by him. When asked about his reaction to receiving the Extraordinary Service Award, Certain replied, “I was totally shocked. I had no idea I had even been nominated.”


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