Back row from left, Matt Moller and Al Christensen, and front row, Kris Aanes and Dustin Cline. -- By Michelle Haacke and cutout by Stacey Bahr

Archived Story

Progress 2011: Plumbing Pros

Published 2:00pm Monday, March 7, 2011

Hero: Matt Moller

Secret identity: journeyman plumber

Base of operations: Jim & Dude’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Albert Lea

Strengths: his attention to detail and customer service

Weaknesses: none

Affiliations: wife, Angela, and children Maggie, Judd, Greta and Cleo

Origin: Moller has been with Jim & Dude’s for eight years and had never worked through anything quite like the floods of September 2010. He worked 14 to 15 hours a day during that time. He found his biggest challenges to be the occasional lack of electricity.

“Customers can be extremely distraught during a time like this,” he added.

Helping those in need, however, turned out to be extremely satisfying.

“Customers are very grateful after solving all of their problems at a time like this,” he said.

Hero: Al Christensen

Secret identity: plumber technician

Base of operations: Jim & Dude’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Albert Lea

Superpowers: Trying to take care of every customer the best that he can.

Kryptonite: Getting it all done in such a short amount of time.

Affiliations: single

Origin: Christensen had no plumbing experience when he joined the Jim & Dude’s team in Albert Lea three years ago. But he knew about hard work and dedication from serving in the Marine Corps from 2002 until 2006. The 15-hour stints during the floods were challenging and he said the hardest part was staying dry.

Hero: Kris Aanes

Secret identity: service technician

Base of operations: Jim & Dude’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Albert Lea

Superpowers: the ability with a blind eye to know what he is actually working with during a sewer back-up

Kryptonite: too many to count

Affiliations: wife and two children

Origin: Aanes has worked in this field for 15 years, the past seven at Jim & Dude’s of Albert Lea.

Hero: Dustin Cline

Secret identity: plumbing service technician

Base of operations: Jim & Dude’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Albert Lea

Superpowers: the ability to keep working on a problem until every effort to fix that problem has been attempted

Kryptonite: working in the winter because “it’s tough on your body”

Affiliations: wife, Rachel, and daughter, Viviahna

Origin: A nine-year veteran of Jim & Dude’s, Cline always liked working with his hands. He just never expected his tool of trade would be the saving grace during the flooding in September.

“I was working 15 hours nonstop trying to remove water from basements,” he said. “The biggest challenge was trying to identify plumbing drains under water while trying not to get shocked or poked by anything.”

He found his biggest rewards during the floods to be helping people fix problems and making sure the quality of life in regards to plumbing is top-notch.