People behind the power: Phil Sturm

May 11, 2023


Start your engines! Indiana natives know what May brings – the Indianapolis 500, the AES 500 Festival Parade and more! AES Indiana proudly helped kick-off the month by participating in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

On Saturday, May 6, more than 20,000 participants ran or walked in one of America’s most iconic half-marathons and took over the streets of downtown Indianapolis, including some of our own people.  

While most of our customers in Central Indiana were fast asleep at 3:00 AM Saturday morning, AES Indiana Lineman Crew Leader Phil Sturm’s alarm clock went off, alerting him to get ready for a day of volunteering for one of his favorite events. Phil was needed to assist with a huge lift – quite literally.  

AES Indiana’s tradition of providing bucket trucks with mile marker information, water and event signage started decades ago. AES Indiana has a long-standing history of sponsoring and supporting various 500 Festival events, including the Mini-Marathon, sponsoring the light show at Rev Indy and the AES Indiana 500 Festival Parade. This year, 16 volunteers at 12 stations in bucket trucks were out on the race route. Phil has led the charge for the Mini-Marathon for more than 20 years of his 38-year career at AES Indiana. 

“We have been very blessed with the careers we have, and I feel it’s an obligation to give back,” said Phil. “It’s not anything more than that. We’ve been blessed and I like to share my blessings.”

On Saturday, Phil arrived at AES Indiana by 4:30 AM to get everything set up in the bucket trucks, deliver the juice, milk and donuts he provided, while the rest of the crews trickled in by 6:30 AM to load their respective trucks and caravan to the race route together. Once crews dispersed to their assigned station, Phil made sure everyone was set up safely and ready to go. 

Runners and walkers probably didn’t see or acknowledge the AES bucket trucks while they made their way along the 5k or 13.1-mile course (understandably so as they were probably focused on finishing the race), but our people were there before the race started until after the race ended. Their commitment and time are examples of how AES people are powering the communities where they live and work.  

Phil told me his favorite part of the day is watching the waves of people go by, especially knowing that he has family, friends and co-workers running and walking it that he can see and cheer on. “It is just absolutely awesome, just the flood of people that go by,” said Phil. “It’s such a hoot!” 

AES Indiana is also proud to power the AES 500 Festival Parade on May 27. More than 200,000 people will line the streets of downtown Indianapolis to experience the floats, celebrities and dignitaries and bands — not to mention see all 33 drivers competing for the checkered flag in the Indy 500. Festivities start at 11:45 AM with the parade starting at noon. AES Indiana provides customers discounted parade tickets using the code “AES23” at checkout.  


Kelli Zuber

Communications Manager