Jul
21

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: WELLNESS COMMITTEE

It’s mid-summer and everyone is working hard to get in shape and make healthy decisions to look and feel their best! Gas South’s Wellness Committee works year-round to provide employees with educational tools and resources so they are able to become the best version of themselves. For this month’s Employee Spotlight, we spoke with Harli Gawronski, human resources coordinator, to learn more about the committee, their initiatives and why it’s important to provide employees with tools to succeed. Harli leads the Wellness Committee which is a team of six employees from different departments at Gas South.

When did the Wellness Committee start?

The committee started about three years ago in order to provide Gas South employees with more awareness about healthy lifestyle choices.

Why was the Wellness Committee created?

It was originally created to help employees get up and move, considering the majority of our employee sit at a desk all day. Since the start three years ago, we now have more concrete goals, leadership buy-in, employee engagement, participation and focus. We are currently working through a three-year implementation plan that aims to encourage employees to take more responsibility in managing their health and wellness. In 2015, we raised awareness about being healthy and the costs when employees make poor lifestyle choices. In 2016, we are requiring employees to take responsibility for themselves – employees will pay less for coverage by knowing their health numbers, and engaging in activities to get their numbers in the healthy range. In 2017, employees will receive financial rewards towards their medical coverage premiums tied to the results of the biometric screening, rather than just participating in the screening.

What are the focus areas and goals of the committee this year?

Since we want employees to take the initiative to be responsible for their healthy or unhealthy lifestyle decisions, we are focusing on nutrition in order to address, and then impact, the risk categories from our biometric screens – which take into consideration BMI and waist circumference.

What are the specific initiatives that will be implemented to reach those goals?

Every other month, we bring a local vegetable farmer into the office to encourage employees to investigate healthy eating options.  We also provide employees with a voucher so they do not need to spend any of their own money to make a purchase, unless they choose to purchase additional produce. We also continue to have fruit delivered every other month to create a culture of healthy eating.

Another initiative, the Wellness in Action Run/Walk Program, promotes movement and physical activity. We’re encouraging Gas South employees to walk or run in local road races throughout the year. Gas South sponsors a walk/run each month for up to ten Gas South employees and we have already had a few successful walks/runs to date!

Gas South also recently gave all employees portion plates to correspond with our initiative to improve and educate employees about nutrition’s role in a healthy lifestyle. The plate stresses healthy portion sizes and is split up into three sections – fruits and vegetables, grains, and proteins.

Do you have any employee challenges planned?

We are implementing a nutrition challenge in July and a weight loss challenge at the beginning of the year.

Why does wellness play such an important role at corporations?

Wellness can impact so many different areas of a corporation from retention to engagement to work/life balance. Wellness is also a major driver or healthcare costs.

Why is it important to you, personally, to be involved with the Wellness Committee?

To me, wellness is a lifestyle and I feel very passionate about it. Wellness is not only physical, but also mental and spiritual. It’s a holistic experience that bleeds into every part of one’s life. Secondly, being part of the Wellness Committee enables me to impact other people’s lives and for that, I’m very grateful.

Wellness committee members include:

Harli Gawronski
Julie Moffitt
Jonna Tiitinen
Denise Johnson
Tamika Smith
Brian Dugas
Tonya Long (Millennium Benefits)

Jul
11

Atlanta’s Premier Tennis Event is Back…

…and Gas South customers are in for some impressive tennis!BB&T_players-cool-1

The French Open, Wimbledon, the Rio Olympics – for tennis fans everywhere, it’s definitely a summer to relish. However, for local followers of the sport, catching a slice of world-class action doesn’t mean having to jump on a plane or even turning on the TV. The BB&T Atlanta Open returns on July 30th to Atlantic Station in Midtown, Atlanta where Gas South customers can again get free or discounted tickets to attend the region’s premier tennis event. Thinking of checking it out? Then here’s what you need to know ahead of the big tournament.

This year, all eyes will be on serving-sensation John Isner as he bids to win the weeklong event for a fourth consecutive time. If the North Carolina native pulls off the feat, he’ll be among some of the sport’s greatest to claim an ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) tour title event four times in a row – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Looking for another reason to get behind the crowd favorite? He’s not only considered America’s best current men’s player, he’s also a University of Georgia graduate!image007

Whether he wins or not, Isner already holds a place in the history books after winning the longest ever match in Wimbledon history in 2010. More recently, he led Team USA to victory in the first round of the Davis Cup this year. Known for a lightning-quick service game, Isner has also recorded the fastest ever serve in a tour-level match at 157 mph.

Since it started in 2009, the BB&T Atlanta Open has become a notable event on the ATP calendar. This year, it’s also the last ATP men’s event before Rio, making it the perfect primer for many competitors vying to capture an Olympic medal. Spectators can expect a highly competitive tournament, given the $693,435 prize money on the line.

To kick-off the opening weekend, tournament organizers have scheduled a much anticipated rematch of the epic final from the Atlanta games −  Andre Agassi, tennis legend and winner of the 1996 Olympic gold medal, versus Sergi Bruguera.

As the official natural gas partner of the BB&T Atlanta Open, Gas South is excited to offer our customers free tickets to attend a session through our Pick Your Perk program, as well as ticket discounts. But don’t wait too long − the tournament’s growing popularity means that tickets are going quickly! We hope to see you there!

When: Saturday, July 30 – Sunday, August 7th      
Where:
Atlantic Station
Website: www.bbtatlantaopen.com

Your Gas South Connection: For customers who have not yet used their annual Pick Your Perk offer, a free two-ticket voucher is available for select sessions. Visit www.gas-south.com/pyp for more information and to select your session. For ticket discounts, visit www.gas-south.com/offers.
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May
24

Atlanta Community Food Bank Wins $10,000 in the Gas South Charity Cornhole Tournament

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Thirteen metro Atlanta nonprofits participated in our fifth annual Charity Cornhole Challenge at SweetWater 420 Fest on Saturday, April 23 at Centennial Olympic Park. The Atlanta Community Food Bank won in the championship showdown against Georgia Jack Russell Rescue, Adoption & Sanctuary.

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Gas South awarded the $10,000 prize to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, one of the largest hunger relief organizations in the Southeast. Each year, the nonprofit connects more than 750,000 people with over 60 million pounds of food – equating to more than 50 million meals. The $10,000 will provide 40,000 meals to families in metro Atlanta and north Georgia.

In addition to the $10,000 for the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Gas South also donated $4,000 to Georgia Jack Russell Rescue for second place and $2,000 to both United Way and The Giving Kitchen for third and fourth place. The money for the donation was raised at our Charity Shindig event that was held at SweetWater Brewery last month, as well as proceeds raised during 420 Fest through T-shirt and hat donations.

Cg04Z16WIAADUKg“The Charity Cornhole Challenge is one of my favorite events because it’s a fun way to rally the community together for a good cause,” said Chris Coan, Gas South vice president and general manager of business and government markets. “Gas South is an environmentally conscious company, and we’re committed to making a local impact. Because of that, we look for opportunities to align our brand with like-minded organizations, which is why we continue to partner with SweetWater year over year.”

Through our annual cornhole sponsorship, Gas South has raised more than $55,000 for local nonprofits.

“We are so grateful to be the recipients of the Cornhole Challenge,” said Kyle Waide, president and CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “The generous contribution will help us feed our neighbors in need. Each year, we are able to distribute enough food to provide more than 50 million meals for the hungry. We couldn’t do it without strong support from our community, including our partners at Gas South. We are already practicing to defend our title next year!”Cg0sgKtWgAAxeij

Thank you to everyone that helped support the tournament – we had a great turnout! We’re already looking forward to next year’s competition!

Apr
26

It’s Official – Gas South is a Top Place to Work!

Last month, Gas South was named one of Atlanta’s best places to work by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). The award was a deserving recognition of our unique culture that values the contributions of all employees. According to the survey, Gas South’s practices of encouraging new ideas and open communication of company decisions received the highest survey scores − earning more than 20 percent above the telecommunication and utility industry category average.

event pictureGas South was the only natural gas provider to make the AJC’s list and one of only two utility companies to receive the recognition ‒ the other being Carroll EMC. So, what makes us different from the rest?

The answer has to do with instilling a clear vision of the company’s values and the role employees play in harnessing its development and growth. Kevin Greiner, president and CEO, refers to this as Vision 2020. Employees described Vision 2020 in the survey responses as a reason the company is a top workplace, with one employee saying, “knowing leadership can get everyone on board to move in the right direction motivates me to want to be part of making it happen.”

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The AJC and Workplace Dynamics nominated or asked more than 2,500 companies to participate in the contest. Workplace Dynamics, which conducted the survey on behalf of the AJC, then surveyed employees from 275 metro Atlanta companies. Almost 60,000 total workers participated in the survey and in order to be considered, each company was required to have a response rate of at least 35 percent. The survey asked numerous questions about employees’ workplaces including the company has strong values and ethics, new ideas are encouraged, we do things efficiently and well, I feel appreciated, etc. Here are a few of examples of how Gas South employees responded:

“The company has increased my personal growth.”
“I’ve been given the opportunity to grow and express my opinions.”
“We are one big family and everyone works together!”
“Management is very involved with the company and employees.”
“I admire the strong presence that Gas South has in the community.”

The award is a fitting recognition for the company, especially for employees, as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary! We have quickly gone from a small company of 50 employees, to a market leader with more than 200 employees.

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Gas South continues to work toward the company-wide vision of being the #1 natural gas provider in the Southeast, offering the #1 customer experience and being the #1 place to work. With this award, we’re inspired to work harder and make the best even better!

To read more about AJC’s Top Workplaces and to see the entire list, visit http://www.ajc.com/s/business/topworkplaces/#the-companies.

Feb
11

Three-Step Winter Survival Guide

Nobody likes spending more on bills when seasons change. So let’s do something about it this winter – take the Winter Survival Guide challenge. Following the three steps could help you save hundreds of dollars over time, if not more.GS_Daylight_Saving_Time_3-01-1024x1024Step One: Are you on a Variable or Fixed Rate for natural gas?

Check your Gas South bill to see which rate plan you’re on – Variable or Fixed. Now, let’s determine which rate is best for you.

What’s the Difference?

  • Variable Rates do as the name implies – fluctuate every month. What you pay this month could be more than the previous month, because Variable Rate prices are set by demand in the natural gas market.
  • Fixed Rates remain unchanged throughout the term of your contract with Gas South – 6, 12 or 18 months.

Why Choose Fixed?

  • Using 2014 rate prices, Fixed Rate customers saved 38% on natural gas compared to those on a Variable Rate – an average of more than $300 annually!
  • A consistent rate helps you to better manage your household budget.

Why Choose Variable?

  • A Variable Rate should be considered if you are only planning to stay at your current residence for less than six months.
  • If you don’t like contracts, you would also want to choose a Variable Rate.

Money-Saving Tip: Already on a Fixed Rate plan? Make sure you check when your plan expires. If you don’t renew your Fixed Rate plan in time, you’ll be automatically placed on a Variable Rate which will likely lead to a spike in your gas bill.

Step Two: Energy-Saving Tips to do at Home

The less energy you use, the less you spend on bills – it’s that simple. So if you’ve taken step one, let’s keep moving in the right direction by applying the simple tips that are listed below, which can also have a major impact on your bill.

  • Set Your Thermostat to 68 Degrees! For every degree lowered in the 60-to-70-degree heating range, you’ll save 5% on your heating costs. So, just a 2 degree decrease, from 70 to 68 degrees, rounds up to a 10% cut in your energy expenses.
  • Seal Ducts! An often overlooked energy-waster is leaking ductwork, which can account for 25 to 30% of heating costs in some homes! If you’re comfortable doing a little DIY, check the tightness of ducts and be sure to plug any visible open spots with insulation material. You can also consider hiring a contractor to do it for you.
  • Increase Ceiling Insulation! Want a quick 5 to 25% reduction in heating loss? Look above you – if your ceiling is uninsulated or scantily done so, it’s costing you money. For best results, consider increasing your insulation to up to R-38.
  • Plug Door and Outlet Leaks! Check your doors and windows – they could be responsible for up to 10% of your energy costs being wasted. You can fix this by installing weather-stripping or caulk around leaky doors and windows.

For more energy-saving tips, check out Gas South’s guide: www.gas-south.com/PageContents/PDF/EnergySavingTips.pdf

Step Three: Treat Yourself to a Free Perk

Congrats! Now that you’ve completed the Winter Survival Guide challenge, you’re an energy-saving machine, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop saving.

How about free tickets to one of Georgia’s top attractions? As a Gas South customer, you can Pick Your Perk for free ticket entertainment options such as the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Stone Mountain Park and more. You deserve it after completing steps one and two! Learn more: http://www.gas-south.com/campaigns/tickets.aspx.

Now that we’ve equipped you with the tools you need to save energy and money, you can rest easy during the coldest months of the year! Good luck and happy saving!

Jan
22

Celebrating 10 Years of Gas South

On January 4th, we began the 10 Days of Gas South – celebrating the company’s 10 year anniversary! Each day had a theme where employees could share pictures on their personal Twitter accounts using the hashtag #10YearsofGasSouth. Employees who participated in the activities were entered into prize drawings and winners were randomly selected throughout the 10 days. See the pictures below to find out how employees took part in the 10 Days of Gas South!

Day One: 10 Years Ago…
Gas South’s first day as a company!

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Day Two: Good Deed Day

Employees did good deeds for coworkers today!

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Day Three: Health and Wellness Day
Employees showed us how they stay healthy and enjoyed chair massages at the office.

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Day Four: #TBT Day

Employees wore their favorite 2006 fashion trends!

TBT-Day-217x300Day Five: Employees shared pictures in their new 10th anniversary polos!

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Day Six: Gas South 10th Anniversary Party

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Day Seven: Family and Friends Day – Employees shared pictures of what they do in their free time.

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Day Eight: A History of Gas South Day – Check out our old Gas South slogans.
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Day Nine: Lunch Buddy Day – Employees enjoyed a catered lunch to keep the celebration rolling!

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Day Ten: “10 Things we Love about Gas South” Day

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Dec
30

Gas South and The Salvation Army team up to make a Difference this Holiday Season

Gas South continues to give back to the communities where we live and work throughout the year, and this holiday season has been no different. This year we have taken part in many initiatives but most recently we have been focusing our efforts on assisting the Salvation Army with their Angel Tree and Kettle Bell programs.

Salvation Army Angel Tree

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program helps provide Christmas gifts to more than 12,000 children every year. The program also provides support for “Silver Bells” who are senior adults living at or below the federal index poverty level. This year, Gas South hosted an Angel Tree with 50 Angels to be “adopted.” Employees participated by choosing Angels from the tree and picking out gifts for needy families.

Gifts purchased for each Angel are given through The Salvation Army to seniors and parents who can then experience the pride of providing gifts for their children and the treasure of sharing in their excitement. Thank you to all employees who participated to make a difference in someone’s Christmas this year!
DSC_0139-680x1024DSC_0226-1024x789 Salvation Army Kettle Bell Ringing

This year, Gas South employees had the opportunity to ring the red kettle bells for the Salvation Army at Cumberland Mall. Employees were asked to volunteer for two hour shifts during the week of December 14th.

Gas South sponsored the Red Kettles at Cumberland Mall from December 14th to the 19th and all donations to those kettles were matched by Gas South up to $1,250.
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Nov
23

Gobble Jog 2015

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The 13th annual Marietta Daily Journal Gobble Jog is at Marietta Square this week, and Gas South is honored to be a sponsor of the event that benefits MUST Ministries. For many families, attending the Gobble Jog has become a Thanksgiving morning tradition before spending the day eating lots of turkey. What better way to start a day of giving thanks than spending it raising money for MUST Ministries – an organization that served 31,000 men, women and children last year.

In 2003, the Gobble Jog had 1,400 runners who raised $29,000. Now, more than 8,000 runners and walkers participate and yearly proceeds exceed $500,000.

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The Gobble Jog offers a 10K, 5K, 1K and Tot Trot. To view the course map click here: http://www.mustministries.org/file/events/Pages-1-14-from-Gobble-Job_2015-2.pdf

Are you going to be out of town or too busy cooking on Thanksgiving morning? You can still register for the Gobble Jog by signing up as a Phantom Runner and you will receive the race t-shirt. You can also donate to one of your fellow runners using their online fundraising page.

For more information about the event click here: http://www.gobblejog.org/faf/help/helpEventInfo.asp?ievent=1140124&lis=1&kntae1140124=DC918D83BA1E45B5B20B4E845E609723. Online registration closed on November 22nd, but you can register on-site the morning of the event.

MUST Ministries is dedicated to providing services to feed, clothe and assist people in need. The organization offers a range of services including emergency shelter, transitional housing, meals, groceries, clothing, job readiness, job placement and more. MUST has been serving people in need for more than 40 years and has locations in Cobb, Cherokee and numerous additional counties.

If you’re interested in donating to MUST Ministries and their great cause to address the basic needs of individuals, families and children, click here to make a donation: http://www.gobblejog.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?supId=0&ievent=1140124&lis=1&kntae1140124=DC918D83BA1E45B5B20B4E845E609723&team.

Nov
11

Employee Spotlight: Veterans Day

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 On November 11, 1919 President Wilson proclaimed the first commemoration of Armistice Day, also known as Veterans Day, to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. According to History.com, there are approximately 23.2 million military veterans in the United States, 7.8 million of those veterans served during the Vietnam War era (1964-1975), including Gas South’s own Sandra Hamilton, which represents 33% of all living veterans.

To honor the veterans that work at Gas South, we spoke with four employees about their service and what Veterans Day means to them. Don’t miss the opportunity to thank a veteran in your life for the sacrifices they have made for our safety.

Juawana Glass, Navy 

Rank: E-5
Location of service: Mayport, Fla.; Diego Garcis, Chagos Island; Agana, Guam; Atlanta, Ga.
Length of service: 8 years
Wars: Global War on Terrorism
Job/Assignment: Religious Program Specialist (RP), also known as a Chaplain’s assistant
Medals/Citations: Junior Sailor of the Quarter, runner up for Junior Sailor of the Year, President of the Junior Sailor Association, Navy Good Conduct Service Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (for serving during a war time), Overseas Deployment Service Medal (for serving overseas), Humanitarian Service Medal (for continued volunteer work), 9MM Pistol and Sharpshooter Ribbon, 14MM Rifle Sharpshooter, Letter of Commendations (5)

  • What does it mean to you to be a veteran? It means sacrifice! Sacrifice of your family for the dedication to your Country. I am proud to have served the time that I did – I often contemplate returning to duty. The comradery that you get in the military is irreplaceable!

LaTitia “Tish” Winbush, Army

  • Rank: Specialist, E-4
  • Location of service: Charlotte, N.C.
  • Length of service: 6 years
  • Job/Assignment: Unit Supply Specialist
  • What does it mean to you to be a veteran? A veteran to me means that you have separated yourself from the rest of your peers and have done something the normal person wouldn’t do for their country. It means that you are willing to give up your life for someone else’s and be proud of who you have and will become.

Sandra Hamilton, Air Force

  • Rank: Airman 1st Class
  • Location of service: San Antonio, Texas (Kelly and Lackland Air Force Bases); Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Length of service: 2.4 years
  • Wars: End of Vietnam
  • Job/Assignment: Intelligence Operations Specialist
  • What does it mean to you to be a veteran? Pride and honor to be able to serve our country and protect our freedom.

Stephon White, Army

Rank: Specialist (SPC)
Location of service: Fort Polk, La.
Length of service: 4 years
Wars: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Job/Assignment: Administrative Specialist
Medals/Citations: National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal

  • What does it mean to you to be a veteran? Simply put, it means I had the opportunity to serve and protect the greatest country on earth.

Tiara Allen, Army
Rhonda Garrett, Army
Sandra Clark, Army

Gas South will also be attending the Cobb Chamber 63rd ARMAC Military Appreciation Luncheon on November 16th. The event honors men and women in uniform, and attendees will hear from Congressman Mac Thornberry, Chairman of the House of Armed Services Committee.

Gas South offers a 2-cent per therm discount on Variable and Fixed Rate plans to military veterans and active military personnel.  No deposit is required to establish service. Visit http://www.gas-south.com/residential/rate-plans.aspx and click on Military Rates for more information.

Thank you to veterans across the U.S. for their sacrifice and service!

Oct
12

K’s Lead to Donations for The Salvation Army

Even though the Braves finished the season with a 67-95 record, fans still saw a lot of fireworks after every strikeout by a Braves pitcher.

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 For the fifth straight year of our Bring the Heat™ campaign, Gas South pledged to donate $25 to The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta every time an Atlanta Braves pitcher threw a strikeout this season.

From opening day up until the last game on October 4th, the Braves pitchers threw 1,115 strikeouts! That’s $27,875! But we didn’t stop there. To raise additional funds and awareness about Bring the Heat, Gas South ran a Twitter campaign during the Yankees series and asked fans to tweet using #BringTheHeat2015. The campaign raised an additional $5,000, thanks to your tweets, which brings Gas South’s total donation to the Salvation Army to $32,875.

DSC_0052-300x199DSC_0057-284x300DSC_0062-300x199Meredith Hodges, Gas South vice president, presented Major Todd Hawks of the Salvation Army with the check. The donation will support the 125th anniversary of The Salvation Army’s Doing the Most Good in Metro Atlanta.

Since 2010, Gas South has contributed more than $267,000 to Georgia nonprofits through Bring the Heat and we’re looking forward to another successful season next year!