CWRU electrical supervisor retires after 47 years of service

Gabrielle Buffington, Staff Reporter

Forty-seven years ago, Dale Nenadal started work at the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University as an electrical assistant. On Sept. 30, Nenadal retired after a long career of working in CWRU’s electrical services.

Nenadal was just 19 years old when he started work here. During his tenure, he has become an expert in CWRU’s electrical grid, an expertise that will be missed by many.

“This guy is the only guy that knows the electrical grid inside and out on this campus,” said Nicholas Perry, the IT Network Administrator for Campus Planning and Facilities Management and one of Nenadal’s mentees. “You can’t replace that.”

Perry, who has been working at the university for seven years, said that Nenadal helped him navigate his way around the campus’ complicated electrical systems.

“There’s technology here that I helped put in place in regards to locations of certain things in every building, but it’s still not going to be anything near what that guy knows,” said Perry. “[He knows] where every little electrical panel is located. He’s a walking encyclopedia of every building here.”

Perry also noted how dedicated Nenadal was to his work.

“When the weather was really bad and there were storms, snow or hail, he would be there at 4, 5, or 6 o’clock in the morning, or overnight, because he was the one that knew the most about every building,” said Perry.

Nenadal has persevered through city-wide blackouts, vice presidential debates, and a number of other energy guzzling events that he supervised the campus through, most of which went off without a hitch.

It takes a lot of patience to be able to keep the university’s electrical systems under control, and Perry said that that is one of the many things that Nenadal taught him that he will hold on to.

“I’ve never seen the guy get mad,” said Perry. “He’s a man of few words. There’s no politics involved with Dale… He just taught me to be myself and be real, and I’ve taken that to heart.”

Another thing Perry will remember is Nenadal’s reluctance to touch people.

“I’m a touchy-feely person,” said Perry. “I’ll put my arm around someone while saying hey.”

“Dale hated that,” said Perry, laughing. “So I would never touch him, and he would never touch me.”

Perry said that everyone would miss Nenadal on the electrical staff.

“He’s like a dad to me,” said Perry. “I’m really gonna miss that guy.”