Aug
4

4 Professional Development Lessons from a Gas Pipeline

IMG_1038As an HR professional in the natural gas industry, drawing the connection between a career pipeline and a gas pipeline was an ‘aha’ moment – and a teachable lesson that really resonated with me. Here’s an excerpt from my recent presentation at the Women’s Energy Network, Greater Atlanta Chapter meeting on four professional development lessons from a natural gas pipeline.

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  1. Maintenance: Over time, gas pipelines require regular maintenance and upkeep to ensure they continue to safely and properly deliver natural gas to homes and businesses. Most industries are ever-changing, which requires you to continually fine-tune your skills and hone your craft to stay on top of your game. Every day is an opportunity to continue learning and finding ways to add more value.
  1. Growth: Maintenance alone isn’t enough – gas pipelines need to be primed for long-term sustainability so they continue to serve the growing needs. Similarly, your career needs to be targeted for growth opportunities. As you move up the corporate ladder from refining skills to refining behaviors, you’ll polish more nuanced competencies such as interpersonal skills, organization habits and critical thinking.
  1. Supply and Demand: As supply and demand have leveled out recently, so has the pricing of natural gas. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for today’s job market – especially in the metro Atlanta area where the supply of job candidates far outweighs the demand for available positions. If you find yourself hitting a road block in your career path, take a risk and find a new area where the demand is high but the supply is low. I’ve done this with my career, and it’s taken me in new, exciting directions from lobbying to PR.
  1. High Quality Service: Natural gas is a commodity, which makes it a very competitive environment for the 13 natural gas marketers in Georgia. At Gas South, we differentiate ourselves by providing an exceptional customer experience and always going above and beyond for our customers. Consistently producing a top quality work product and lightening the load for others around you will help you standout in your career and get a leg up on the competition.
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)

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 https://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!

Jun
19

Employee Spotlight: Father’s Day Feature

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Did you know the first Father’s Day was celebrated in 1914 but it wasn’t until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day an official holiday, that the day became a nationwide holiday in the United States.

To honor fathers that work at Gas South, we spoke with a few to find out more about how they celebrate the holiday and what it means to be a dad.

  • Kamden Robb, Senior Account Manager, BAGM – Christian (4)
  • Greg Dunavant, Director of Customer Care – James and Woods (1.5)
  • Gary Jensen, Director of IT & PMO – Smith (6) and Collier (4)
  • Derek Outlaw, Customer Care Coach – Diquinne (20), Alexis (19), Dorian (15) and Danika (10)
  • Dion Jones, Customer Service Representative – Azaleya Yvette (8 months)


How has your own dad helped shape how you raise your child/children?

“My dad had a blue collar job and worked long hours for many years to support our family. Because he never got a college degree, he instilled in us the need to push beyond social and financial boundaries to achieve our goals. We may not have had everything when we were growing up but I always felt loved.” – Kamden Robb

“My dad has always been supportive and is an excellent role model for my family.” – Greg Dunavant

“My dad always made an effort to be at all my sporting events and school activities which is something I’ll really try to do with my kids. It’s not always easy so it makes me appreciate his engagement in my life.” – Gary Jensen

“My father was in the Air Force so I received a lot of structure and, as a child, I was also taught responsibility very young. When my father was deployed, it was my job to maintain the lawn and make sure it passed inspection. On military housing if you fail three inspections in one year, the entire family has to move out. From this experience, I’ve placed similar responsibilities on my children. None of those would result in the family having to move if not completed but giving a child responsibilities that involve the well-being of the entire family teaches them that they need to look out for their family. It allows them to feel that they have influence or a position in the family. That’s important.” – Derek Outlaw

“My father deserves credit for everything. From the small handyman jobs around the house to changing the brakes on a car, my dad instilled in me all of the morals and values I live by today. He showed me the importance of quality time and how important a father’s presence is in children’s lives and I will do the same for my daughter.” – Dion Jones

What is one of your favorite things about being a dad?

“I love watching the pure joy in my son’s eyes when he gets to experience something new for the first time. I love having a ‘mini-me’ to do things with and pass on life lessons to.” – Kamden Robb

“I love how excited my kids are to see me when I get home from work.” – Gary Jensen

“Being a dad has made me focus on something other than myself. It’s a lot of responsibility but it also comes with great reward. To see one of my children be successful in a task or to see one of them make a long term goal and follow through with it is a moment of pride that can’t be replaced. Being a dad encourages me to be a better person because I know my kids are looking up to me as an example.” – Derek Outlaw

“My favorite part is the unconditional love your child shows you, and knowing that their life and well-being is determined by your success or failure. It keeps me focused and fuels my fire to become the greatest man I can be.” – Dion Jones

Does your family do anything special for you or for your dad on Father’s Day?

“Typically we spend Father’s Day doing something outside as a family. We like to ride our bikes on the Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail. I have a tandem bike that allows my son to sit behind me while I do all the work!” – Kamden Robb

“My family usually gives me the day off. I get to sleep late and they’ll give me a few presents. Since we have a new grill, my oldest daughter will flex her grilling skills! I spend a lot of time on the grill in the spring and summer, and the kids are used to me grilling so it’s great to watch them take what they’ve seen and put it into practice.” – Derek Outlaw

“We take the day to enjoy our time together, talk about funny stories from the past, barbeque and maybe watch Rambo! I always have to watch a manly movie that day!” – Dion Jones

May
7

Employee Spotlight: Mother’s Day Feature

Capture1-300x223To honor Gas South moms, we spoke with a few mothers on our staff to learn more about their Mother’s Day plans and what it means to be a mom.

  • Tiara Allen, Customer Care Representative – daughter Cayla Surai
  • Sheirra Granville, Customer Care Representative – son Alijah Sherrod (13)
  • LaNise Jones, Operations Specialist – son Jordan (6 months)
  • Stephanie Perrone, Senior Marketing Coordinator – daughters Karina (3) and Milania (1)
  • Kimberly Rollins, Customer Care Coach – daughter Jessica (17), and sons Justus (14) and Jacobi (10)

Does your family do anything special for you or for your mom on Mother’s Day?

“Every mother in my family gets together and we cook all the favorite dishes of all the moms in the family.” – Tiara Allen

“Normally I plan Mother’s Day for my mother and mother-in-law and the whole family goes along with what I plan. Since this will be my first Mother’s Day, I have no clue how it will be spent – I have been told it’s all a surprise!” – LaNise Jones

“We have a tradition of having family dinner and spending the day together. My mother lives with me, so my kids and I make sure she is treated special by showering her with gifts and taking her to brunch or dinner. Mother’s Day is a special day for my family because I’m a single mother and my mother has been my backbone! She runs the house and I make sure the needs of the family are met. She is truly a jewel and I’m thankful for all she is in my family’s life.” – Kimberly Rollins

What is one of your favorite things about being a mom?

“The warm hugs, sloppy kisses and bright smiles.” – LaNise Jones

“Watching my daughters’ personalities grow and change on a daily basis. It’s especially fun to witness mine and my husband’s characteristics and quirks emerge in their personalities – both girls love shoes as much as I do!” – Stephanie Perrone

“I love the laughter of my children. They bring me joy daily. Just to see them engaged, healthy and productive means the world to me. They’re truly my gifts and they make me proud in their studies, behaviors and character.” – Kimberly Rollins

How has your own mom helped shape how you raise your child/children?

“My mom has always been very supportive of everything I’ve been involved in. She tells me often how proud she is of the woman and mother I have become.” – Sheirra Granville

What does it mean to be a mom?

“Being a mother is my greatest accomplishment. I never knew how one small person could give me so much motivation and the unnerving desire to be the best that I can be. I appreciate life and family so much more! I respect my mom and dad for all of the sacrifices that they made for me and it reassures me that I can do the same for my child. Being a mom is awesome and I wouldn’t change it for the world.” – Tiara Allen

“Being a mom is the best feeling in the world. I strive to be the best mom I can be for my son every day. I enjoy the time we spend together and I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be a mom. I don’t take the time we spend together for granted and I’ve learned over the years to cherish every moment. Everything I do is to help ensure a better lifestyle for my son and I. He’s my pride and joy and I love him with everything inside of me. It gives me so much joy to hear my son say. ‘My mom is my role model.’ It reassures me that I’m doing something right.” – Sheirra Granville

“Mother’s Day is very special to mothers and my hope is that every mother is appreciated every day, but especially on Mother’s Day. I’m thankful for having an employer that embraces mothers and all the activities we have to do in our roles. It’s truly a blessing to be called ‘mother.’” – Kimberly Rollins

Mar
12

Employee Spotlight – Mary Crane Orne

Mary-Crane-Orne-150x150Mary Crane Orne, senior account manager, has been working for Gas South for more than two years. Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Orne is looking forward to the biggest celebration of the year in her hometown on St. Patrick’s Day. With the holiday quickly approaching, we spoke with Orne to learn more about her family traditions surrounding the holiday and the town that hosts the celebration every year.

What are some of the things you and your family do in Savannah to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Growing up, I was in the choir at an all-girls Catholic school, St. Vincent’s Academy, and we would sing a few times each week during the month leading up to St. Patrick’s Day throughout different locations in the city. We sang at various events and for numerous groups – including nursing homes, the airport, restaurants and festivals for the grand marshal. Attending some of the events continues to be a tradition for my family during the weeks leading up to the big day.

The “Greening of the Fountain” ceremony is held the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day in Forsyth Park and the Saturday before the 17th, we attend both the Tybee Island Parade and the Tara Feis Irish Celebration. The celebration is a festival located downtown with Irish dancing, food, crafts and live music.

On the morning of St. Patrick’s Day, my family and I attend mass at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist for the feast day of Saint Patrick. After mass, everyone in Savannah quickly finds a place on the street to get the best view of the parade. We set up our spot inside Chippewa Square, which is known for the famous park bench scenes from “Forrest Gump.” Once our spot is claimed, we set up tents, tables, chairs and plenty of food and drink for all, and wait patiently for the parade to start!

What do you enjoy most about St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah?

The St. Patrick’s Day parade is a “coming home” for many Savannahians, so I’m looking forward to seeing old friends. I’m also looking forward to seeing the grand marshal, the families of past grand marshals, school groups, bands and other groups in the parade. Once the parade is over, I’ll find a pub – all of which are Irish on March 17th – listen to bagpipers and try my luck at Irish dancing!

What would you tell someone considering a trip to Savannah during St. Patrick’s Day?

Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and come ready to have a great time! The city closes down for the celebration and towards River Street it’s a wild party, but away from the river, a lot of families enjoy the festivities together.

One last tip – on St. Patrick’s Day, when someone greets you with the phrase, “Top of the mornin’ to ya’ ” you must respond back saying, “And the rest of the day to you.”

Erin go bragh!

Nov
26

Employee Spotlight, Military Series – Juawana (Croswell) Glass

This month, Gas South is spotlighting several employees who previously served in the military. We’re proud that these employees, who sacrificed so much to serve our country, have chosen to work at Gas South.

Juawana (Croswell) Glass, Executive Assistant and Human Resources Coordinator, began working for Gas South after serving eight years in the U.S. Navy. Juawana says her military experience helped shape who she is today – as a person, community member and Gas South employee. We sat down with Juawana to learn a bit more about her past.

What was your occupation while in the military? What did that role entail?  

I was a Religious Program Specialist in the Navy. I was responsible for preparing personnel for deployment overseas. Serving our country during times of war can be emotionally taxing, so I helped to prepare soldiers by providing them with counseling and spiritual enrichment services. My job also included administrative duties like accounting and coordinating deployment logistics.

Did you perform any tours of duty during times of war? If so, when and in what capacity?

I served during Operation Enduring Freedom (in Afghanistan). My main duty was to protect the Chaplain when we went into the field and on the base during what’s called “complete base lockdown.” Chaplains are non-combatants for religious purposes, so it was up to people like me to provide security.

What was the most memorable moment of your military career?

Enlisting. After I enlisted, every moment while serving my country was an amazing experience. It was a journey that I was destined to take. From the places I traveled to the people I met, every second was memorable.

Do you currently volunteer with any community organizations? If so, what is the organization and what is your role with them?

I volunteer with the Genesis Shelter, which is a homeless shelter for babies under six months of age and their families. I’ve assisted the organization in various roles including serving food, job training and holiday drives.

Has your military past had an influence on your role in the community? If so how? 

Yes, the military broadened my horizons on life and I realized my calling to give back to my community.

Why was serving your country and community important to you?

Serving my country was so important to me because it gave me a sense of pride. I’m proud to say I made a contribution to this country. I honestly miss getting up every day, putting on my uniform, and preparing to protect and serve my community.

 How has your military past affected your role at Gas South?

Serving in the military has benefitted me in my role at Gas South. I’m able to utilize most of the skills I developed in the Navy here at the Gas South office.

Nov
25

Employee Spotlight – Military Series

Each November, we honor the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces. We are honored to have a number of veterans working here at Gas South.

As a salute to these former soldiers, we’re turning the Gas South blog over to them this month. We’ll be profiling employees who have served in the military, in places as far-flung as Singapore, Iraq and Japan. We’re thankful that these talented, dedicated individuals have decided to plant roots here at Gas South. We appreciate all that they do!

Employees who have served our country are:

Army

LaTitia “Tish” Winbush, Customer Service Representative

Rhonda Garrett, Customer Service Representative

Tiara Allen, Customer Service Representative

Stephon White, Accountant

Air Force

Sandra K. (Mills) Hamilton, Customer Service Representative

Navy

Juawana (Croswell) Glass, Executive Assistant and Human Resources Coordinator

Michael Clark Guice, Customer Service Representative

In our continued efforts to celebrate and support our veterans, Gas South also began offering a discount to our customers who are actively serving or have served in the U.S. military. Eligible users can visit our rates page and enter the promo code MILITARY to save 2 cents per therm on their Gas South bill.

Oct
20

Employee Spotlight – Rony Sanon

Rony Sanon, Operations Coordinator, has worked for Gas South since 2008, when he transitioned from his role as a contractor to a full-time employee. Originally from Haiti, Sanon now resides in Marietta and says he appreciates the importance of using personal experiences to contribute to the community.

As an operations coordinator at Gas South, Sanon manages processes and reports, as well as a plethora of other duties that help the business operation run smoothly and efficiently. He also acts as liaison between Gas South and its third-party vendors, ensuring that relationships are maintained and everyone communicates their needs and goals clearly.

Sanon took some time out of his day to explain why he makes it a priority to volunteer in his community – and how doing so impacts his work at Gas South.

What projects and community organizations do you work closely with? And how long have you been working with these organizations?

I spend my weekends volunteering as a coach with Diamonds and Pearls Football Club (DPFC). DPFC is a girls’ soccer club. We use soccer as a tool to teach character building, academic excellence, and sportsmanship. I’ve worked with the soccer club since 2008, and it has been totally fulfilling. Although DPFC is located in East Point, I love being able to contribute to the community at large.

Why is community involvement important to you?

Community involvement has been an eye-opening experience for me. Volunteering with the girls at DPFC benefits the children I serve, but it is equally beneficial to me. Knowing that soccer teaches these girls lifelong skills makes it all worthwhile. I spent many days of my childhood playing soccer in Haiti, and the sport improved my character—now I can help others have that same experience.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering in the community?

Volunteering allows me to escape my day-to-day life and allows me to focus on others. I enjoy using my own experiences and skills to teach others. Since I already have soccer expertise, it’s easy for me to teach and make a big difference in the lives of the young girls at DPFC. Working with the girls quickly reminds me of how lucky I am. I have been given much in life, so I believe it’s important to give back as well. And I learn a lot from these girls.

How has community engagement affected your role at Gas South?

Gas South strives to create a culture of caring, while contributing to the social fabric of our community. I follow the same principle at DPFC: using soccer as a vehicle to do good things and improve character. The goal of teaching character building, the importance of academic excellence, and using your own personal excellence to improve the workplace are all important to Gas South. The volunteer work that I do outside of the workplace only helps to improve my performance in the workplace.

What would you tell other Gas South employees who are considering becoming more involved in their communities?

Go for it. Community involvement is worthwhile, and the personal rewards are truly priceless. The small act of giving your time is priceless. You live in the community, so don’t just take from it. You should also give back to the community in which you live. It’s all a circle: you take from it, give to it, and you will receive something in return.

Oct
8

Employee Spotlight – Roshonda Coleman

Roshonda Coleman, Senior Strategic Partnership Manager, has worked for Gas South since 2006, making an impact not only on the company but the Atlanta community. Coleman, a Louisiana native who now lives in DeKalb County, has fully embraced Atlanta as her home.

While at Gas South, Coleman helped launch the Alliance program, in which Gas South partners with local cities, counties and utilities to offer discounted rates on natural gas service to residents and businesses, while raising money for the partner organizations.

Coleman also helped Gas South bring its call center in-house, giving customers the opportunity to speak with a company representative who can best handle their needs. With the opportunity of the recent housing market rebound, Coleman introduced an emerging markets strategy for Gas South that included leveraging relationships with the Realtor Advantage Program (RAP), single family home rental companies, and building companies.

Coleman is an active member in the community and is passionate about working with young professionals in her volunteer roles with American Marketing Association (AMA) and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). She took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions on community involvement and its importance in her professional life.

What projects and community organizations do you work closely with? How long have you been working with these organizations?

I’ve been a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA) for five years and was recently appointed to the organization’s board. I have a professional background in marketing, which has led to my involvement with other volunteer organizations around the city. I definitely have a passion for working with young people, and I currently volunteer for Junior Achievement, Waller Scholars, Leadership DeKalb, and DeKalb Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. I am also helping to launch a Young Professionals blog series for the DeKalb Chamber.

What type of volunteerism do you do for these organizations?

I wanted to match my marketing background with educating young adults and helping them gain practical and applicable knowledge. Recently an opportunity with AMA allowed me to combine both of those passions by serving as the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) chair for AMA. I’m really excited about this opportunity, as I am charged with helping to educate the next generation of marketing leaders.

What inspired you to become involved with these organizations?

We do on-site certifications with DECA, where we go to schools and they present school-based enterprise and new marketing platforms. I love it— that’s how I became involved with the program originally. I went on an industry certification and judged DECA competitions for 9th through 12th grade and immediately knew this was a program I wanted to continue to work with. This past May the organization held its International DECA conference in Atlanta, and I served as a judge for that competition. It is amazing to see what young minds today are coming up with.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering in the community?

When you’re able to see firsthand the impact you have on someone’s life, that’s payback enough. I get that with DECA when I see these students show their work and am able to give them feedback. I’m from a small town in Louisiana so I know first-hand the impact volunteers can have on someone’s life.

What would you tell other Gas South employees who are considering becoming more involved in their communities?

Community volunteerism is very important to me and is something I believe everyone should set time aside for. One of my favorite quotes about giving back is from Truett Cathy: “Nearly every moment of every day we have the opportunity to give something to someone else – our time, our love, our resources. I have always found more joy in giving when I did not expect anything in return.”

I think it’s an impactful statement and it helps to guide the decisions that I make. If people keep that philosophy in mind daily they will truly be able to bring themselves and others joy.