Posts of Author ‘Catherine Jennings‘

Oct
20
2014
5:49 pm

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.

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Oct
8
2014
4:05 pm

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.

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Jun
12
2014
5:38 pm

Natural gas safety for your home

Natural gas is one of the cleanest and most reliable energy sources, but there are safety measures to keep in mind when using it around the home.

It’s important to understand how to recognize and respond to leaking or damaged pipelines.

Check out our DOs and DON’Ts for managing natural gas in your home:

DO:

  • Learn all you can about natural gas. The more you know…the safer you’ll be.
  • If you detect the smell of natural gas in the air, don’t stay—get away. You should then contact Atlanta Gas Light immediately at 877.427.4321 or call 9-1-1. In its purest form, natural gas is colorless and odorless. A harmless chemical called mercaptan is added to natural gas to give it the distinctive, rotten egg odor.
  • Look for the blue flame. If pilot lights and burners have a steady, blue flame they are operating correctly. (Decorative gas fire logs are the only exception. Their flame is usually yellow.)
  • Have all gas appliances, furnaces, vents, flues, chimneys and gas lines in your home or business inspected every year or two by qualified industry professionals.
  • Keep the areas around all appliances and equipment clean and unblocked to allow for proper air flow.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions for the care and use of gas appliances and equipment.
  • Make sure there is at least one multipurpose fire extinguisher in your home or place of business.
  • Review these natural gas safety tips regularly with ALL family members and coworkers.

DON’T:

  • Never let small children play with, or near, natural gas appliances or pipes.
  • Don’t use your stove or oven for anything other than cooking (for instance, to heat your home) under any circumstances.
  • Never move, install a gas appliance, or change a connector for any reason without professional assistance.
  • Do not use a space heater UNTIL you are sure it has been vented properly. If using a vent-free heater, make sure the automatic cut-off switch is operational.
  • Don’t install a gas appliance yourself, unless you are a qualified contractor. Instead, you should always seek professional assistance.
  • Never store household chemicals or combustible materials near gas appliances.
  • Above all, don’t forget to learn what to do if you ever smell natural gas in the air: call AGL at 877.427.4321 or 9-1-1 immediately!

Follow these safety tips and you will have a warm, happy and safe home powered by natural gas.

Questions? Ask us in the comment section below!

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Apr
24
2014
9:20 am

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta win our Charity Cornhole Challenge

For the third year in a row, we sponsored our annual Charity Cornhole Challenge at SweetWater Brewing’s 420 Festival. Even though the conditions were pretty gloomy on Saturday, our competitors didn’t let the weather stop them from helping out a great cause and we had an excellent turn out!

Cornhole Competitors – Dan and Bret, from Virginia Highlands.

Several months ago, we partnered with Cornhole Atlanta to set up preliminary tournaments around the metro area. The winners of the preliminary tournaments faced off on Saturday with a VIP party at SweetWater up for grabs. Mike Bailey, from Perry, and his cornhole partner Bobby Mumper, from Jasper, came out on top and brought home the championship title.

Cornhole Competitors – Jonathan Chavis, from Jackson, & Bobby Mumper, from Jasper. 

Cornhole Champs! Bobby Mumper, from Jasper and Mike Bailey, from Perry.

 

Thanks to the success of Saturday’s challenge, we were able to raise quite a bit of money from team registrations. Hundreds of festival goers also donated cash in exchange for some fun Gas South swag (sunglasses, ponchos, coozies, etc.). By Sunday, we had raised $7,000 which was matched by SweetWater and Gas South bringing the overall jackpot for our Charity Cornhole Tournamanent to $21,000. 16 area nonprofits competed in Sunday’s tournament for a chance to win the grand prize which was won by Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. We awarded them a big check for $15,000 and divided the remaining $6,000 among the other finalists, The Giving Kitchen, Atlanta Humane Society and Georgia Jack Russell Rescue.

Our Charity Cornhole winners!

Overall, it was a great weekend and we really appreciate everyone coming out. See you next year!

SweetWater 420 Fest

 

 

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Feb
26
2014
12:56 pm

Children with special needs get a night out at the Circus

For the fifth year in a row, Gas South teamed up with the Georgia Municipal Association, Metro Atlanta Mayors’ Association and Feld Entertainment to treat more than 130 children with special needs to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s Magical Journey at Gwinnett Center. Local mayors worked with schools and agencies across the metro area to invite the children and their families to this unique experience. The children were able to have a great night with their families and interact with the circus performance on the arena floor. A great time was had by all!

This was Gas South’s fifth consecutive year sponsoring this fantastic event. Unfortunately, the second show, scheduled for Thursday, the 12th was cancelled due to the weather. But the show will go on next year! A big thanks to our partners for making this possible.

To read more about the circus event, click here or watch our YouTube video here.

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Jan
14
2014
1:39 pm

Project SHARE and Gas South help Georgians keep the heat on

For most metro Atlanta residents, staying warm this winter is as easy as turning up the thermostat. But for low-income families struggling to make ends meet, it’s not so simple. For them, even the smallest financial crisis is enough to make bill payment impossible.

Fortunately, Project SHARE offers another option to help keep families warm this winter. Salvation Army’s Project SHARE provides emergency bill-payment assistance to families facing a temporary crisis.

For the second year, Gas South will partner with the Salvation Army to offer our customers a chance to donate to Project SHARE. Gas South will match customer contributions up to $10 per month. Contributions will be used to help families in need keep their heat on this winter as well as acquire necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medical supplies. Donations assist residents in all counties in Georgia, and the money collected through the program stays in the county from which it originates. Your donation will help your own neighbors in need.

Gas South Cares is our year-round commitment to giving back to the communities we serve. We strive to make a difference in our communities through hands-on volunteer work and corporate giving that focuses on community, culture, education, and service. Project SHARE is a continuation of our commitment. Gas South customers can sign up to donate by visiting gas-south.com/projectshare. And remember, Gas South will match your donation up to $10 per month!

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Jan
9
2014
9:33 am

Brrr!!! Higher bill this month?

It’s Mother Nature…but you can do something about it

Did you know what a “Polar Vortex” was before this week? Nope, neither did we. For those of us who had the recent “pleasure” of experiencing its frigid fringe, we learned that, as the name suggests, it’s very, very cold. So cold, in fact, that for a night, Atlanta was even chillier than Moscow, Russia, at 5  ̊F. That was just the temperature reading, however. Throw in the wind-chill factor and it felt like -11 on Peachtree Street Tuesday morning – a record-setter in the normally pleasant state of Georgia.

As expected, the local news was filled with how-to advice for battling the plunging temperatures. One segment even featured Gas South Vice President of HR & External Affairs, Meredith Hodges, who said that natural gas consumption was more than 20 percent higher in Georgia this past December than in the previous two years. And more bad news: January could be even higher! That means homes across the country could experience “bill shock” because of increased heating costs.

Since you may be using more gas than usual, your bills could be higher than you’d expect. As the temperature drops, your furnace must work even harder to keep your home warm. During this cold snap, follow a few easy energy saving tips, so you can stay comfortable AND save money. Did you know that decreasing the thermostat temperature by one degree can lower your bill by 3 percent? Or that that 40 percent of the energy loss in your home is due to leakage? We hope these energy-saving tips, some of which take little to no time or money to implement, will make a big difference for you.

In the meantime, stay warm!

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Dec
13
2013
9:57 am

CNG – Making a Difference

 

Recently, we had the honor of speaking to Robyn Gillespie about her compressed natural gas (CNG) journey. Robyn purchased a CNG vehicle, installed an at-home fueling kit and signed on with Gas South. As a Gas South customer, she received our $200 bill credit for her recent CNG vehicle purchase. We are excited to feature Robyn’s story in this week’s blog post, as she talks about saving money and going green!

So Robyn, how did you first hear about CNG vehicles?

I work for an awesome company, Czarnowski, which is located in Austell.  However, I live in Gwinnett County – so no matter how you slice it – 45 miles each way.  When the PeachPass lane was rolled out, I was one of the early adopters even though it meant I was going to have to brown bag my lunch for the foreseeable future – paying a daily toll gets expensive fast.  Then as luck would have it, gasoline jumped to over $4/gallon.  Super painful!  So my commute was not only long and time consuming, it was getting out of control from a cost perspective.

I’d longingly look over at the empty HOV lane while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic both coming and going from work daily.  Once in a blue moon I’d see a single driver zoom by with the AFV tag – which meant they got to enjoy the open HOV lane without any other passengers.  The epiphany of being able to enjoy the open road is what shifted my research into AFV options into high gear.

Now what?  Electric?  CNG?  Biodiesel?  Other new emerging technologies?

Options exist…but very limited choices and even more restricted availability of actual road ready vehicles.  I ruled out electric almost from the get go as the mileage range is too restrictive and the cars are super small.  Installing a CNG conversion kit on my existing car was a strong possibility. I stumbled upon the Honda Civic NGV model and instantly knew that was the one for me.  Good sized car, lots of bells & whistles, good mileage range for my commute…I knew I had to have one!  That’s when things got very interesting…only 3,000 of these cars make it to the US every year from Japan and the majority of them go to California, Oregon and Colorado.  Fortunately, my persistence paid off and I was connected to Robert Thompson at Honda Mall of Georgia.
Why was it appealing to you to purchase a CNG vehicle?

Really the comfort of the Honda Civic NGV, reduced operating costs and the ability to have a natural gas fueling device installed at my home is what sealed the deal.  Although there are several commercial CNG fueling stations around town the thought of filling up in your own driveway is a super-commuter’s dream come true!

 So, which vehicle did you purchase and how long have you had it?

I purchased a brand new 2012 Honda Civic NGV from Honda Mall of Georgia.  Once I felt as though I had a solid solution to my commute challenge I “introduced myself” to Robert Thompson at HMoG (he has likened me to a Rat Terrier…persistent and high energy!).  We exchanged several emails about the car, service, pros, cons, etc.  Then in late February 2011 Robert called me to say one of the “magic” cars had arrived on the lot.  We set an appointment for later that day and for me it was “love” at first sight!  Took a test drive, talked some more and did my best to charm Robert…as he had several other folks interested in the car too.  The next morning I called, made an offer and two days later signed the papers…and rode off into the sunset…literally.

The next big hurdle for really making the car an easy one to drive was to get the special home pump installed.  Robert hooked me up with several folks and I started making calls.  Chuck Moon and his folks at Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) were absolute gems to work with.  As I’m usually in a client support role for my work it was really nice to be treated like a “client.”  Chuck’s team took really good care of me and helped get all the permits, paperwork and information rolling.  It took about 30 days (granted I was one of the first real home installations) from start to finish.  The Fuelmaker Pump was on its way from Italy to AGL and as soon as it arrived the gears were put in motion to get it installed.  Tony, from AGL and Kenny Greene, the installer, came out to the house and by the end of the day the pump was in and I was fueling.

How do you fuel up?

Carefully!  Just kidding :)   I lease the Fuelmaker Pump from AGL.  They came out and installed it directly to my home’s natural gas line.  So literally I fuel up in my driveway.  Attach the hose to the car, hit start and tah-day! the pump starts filling the tank.  Really super simple!


And how long does one tank last?

The Honda Civic NGV’s tank will hold the equivalent of 8 gallons.  So based on the average highway mileage per gallon I can go between 240 – 300 miles before I have to refuel.  The pump at my home fuels at the rate of 1 gallon per hour – so a short overnight pump has me totally refueled and ready to roll the next morning.  The furthest distance I’ve traveled so far in my “magic” car has been to the Blairsville area in North Georgia and back – approximately 250 miles RT…so I had plenty to spare. Plus, I know if needed I could always hop off at Honda Mall of Georgia and get a quick couple of gallons in an emergency on my way back home.

How do you like driving your CNG vehicle? And would you recommend switching to CNG to others?

So this adventure has been almost two years in the making.  All my original apprehension evaporated quickly once all the pieces fell into place.  I’ve been driving my “magic” car on average 90 miles a day.  As the car has an AFV tag, I don’t get hit with any PeachPass fees and I can cruise in the HOV lane all the way to and from the office or airport.  And I have a great home natural gas partner in Gas South!  My commuting expenses have dropped from an average of $18+/day to around $6/day and I’m saving 20-30 minutes in traffic each way.  Talk about a win-win!

I definitely recommend looking at the options available and then matching up your needs against the possible solutions.  I really like CNG because the infrastructure is in place now it’s just a matter of building the CNG driving community to really make it less alternative and more mainstream.  Every time I pass a gas station I just giggle at the price per gallon and keep on driving!

And then another surprise…in a great way…my CPA was able to get me $1000 in tax rebates for owning an AFV and also having the home CNG pump…this just keeps getting better and better :)

Thank you, Robyn! What a great story. For more information on compressed natural gas, visit Gas South’s CNG program page here.

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Dec
10
2013
2:52 pm

Save money and energy with these simple year-round tips

Hey, what happened to fall in Georgia this year? Sure, the colors changed as planned, but doesn’t it seem like we skipped the pleasant transition of sunny, warm days with cool nights and went straight to scraping ice off the windshield and rummaging around the attic for ugly holiday sweaters?

All of this means one thing, of course – You’re using more gas to heat your home. However, there are things you can do to help offset higher energy bills. Follow these simple and important tips and you’ll be well on your way to saving energy this winter:

Lower the Temperature: In the winter, set your thermostat to 68°F when you’re home or 60°F when you’re away. But do not turn it off. It will cost more to reheat your home from colder temperatures than to keep it at 60°F. This can save 5-20% on your heating costs. Even lowering your heat by one degree during any 24-hour period can decrease your heating bill by up to 3%.

Maintain your heating system: Keep the filter clean and make sure that rugs and furniture are not blocking vents inside the house. Hire a licensed contractor to inspect your unit and consider upgrading old units for improved efficiency.

Insulate your home and seal your windows and doors: More than 40% of residential energy loss is due mainly to air leakage – yikes! Add caulk or weather stripping to windows and doors to reduce energy-sapping drafts. Caulk around pipes, ducts, vents or other openings in walls, floors, ceiling and attic.

Run appliances with full loads: Running the dryer or dishwasher with small loads uses the same energy as running them with full loads.

Open blinds and drapes during the day: Let the sun shine in during the winter for added warmth. Close at night to prevent drafts and loss of heat through the glass.

Stay warm, Georgians! For more great tips, visit our website.

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Oct
4
2013
4:24 pm

Breathe easy this winter with these carbon monoxide safety tips

Cooler weather will be here before you know it, which means it’s almost time to crank up the heat! While heating appliances are operating in your home this season, it’s important to remember a few safety tips about carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a tasteless, odorless substance produced from the combustion of carbon-based substances, and can be emitted from fireplaces, faulty furnaces, generators, water heaters, and other heat sources. If inhaled, CO can be very poisonous and may cause severe side effects including sickness, nausea, headaches, drowsiness, and sometimes even death.

To keep your household safe this winter, practice these safety tips so you can breathe easy:

  1. Have a CO alarm and monitor in the home, and test it regularly. Keep the monitor at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.
  2. Don’t use grills, generators, or camping stoves inside the home. These appliances can emit high amounts of CO, and it’s important to only use them in well-ventilated areas.
  3. Never leave a car running in the garage. Car exhaust is one of the substances commonly associated with CO poisoning.
  4. Keep gasoline stored in a locked location away from children, and keep only in small quantities. It’s also important to keep gasoline away from heat sources to prevent combustion and CO emission.
  5. Have home heating systems inspected and serviced annually by a trained technician. This includes appliances like furnaces, gas stoves and ovens, and water heaters.

Keep these tips in mind over the coming months so you can keep warm and stay safe as it gets cooler outside. For more information on natural gas and carbon monoxide safety practices, click here.

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