Posts of Author ‘Meredith Hodges‘

Nov
26
2014
10:34 am

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.

Read the rest of this entry »
Nov
25
2014
1:51 pm

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.

Read the rest of this entry »
Sep
12
2014
12:35 pm

Can you have it all?

I was asked to speak at a conference this month on work/life balance.  Upon reflection, I recalled a poem from college by Kurt Tucholsky, “Das Ideal.”  In its essence, the poem encapsulates his idea of a perfect life:

 

“Yeah, you’d like that:

A villa in the countryside with an ample terrace,

faces the Pacific, backs up to Central Park (that’s the idea anyway) …”

 

Through the poem, Tucholsky paints a picture of the perfect life, one in which you can have it all. His ideal includes beautiful views of the mountains from the bathroom, servants, old wine, lots of money, splendid children, etc.  While the bottles of wine sound pretty good to me at the moment, we all have our own versions of the ideal, don’t we?  Yours likely varies from mine but the concept is the same – we all want to “truly have it all.”

Having it all – a high-paying and fulfilling career, a big family, ample free time to spend doing things you love, enough time with your spouse, caring for your children, and remaining an active member of the community.

Doesn’t having it all sound great? Juggling careers, families, and enough free time to enjoy the pleasures in life … totally doable.

In fact, that’s malarkey.  The “wonder woman” lifestyle, being a full-time career woman, mother, and community volunteer, is highly over-rated (if not impossible).  What is useful, however, are a few tips from someone who’s been around the block a few times and would like to see you get close to your own version of the ideal.

First step:  prioritize.  It took years of ignoring my husband and my therapist before I realized they were right.  You can’t do it all. Everything is not of equal importance.  So, what should you focus on first?  YOU!  If you aren’t healthy (mentally and physically) then you can’t effectively help your kid with homework, attend a reception with your spouse or answer that next darned email that comes right after you finish working through your inbox at 12:30 am.  You need to budget time during the week to take care of yourself – get some exercise, for goodness sake get some quiet time, and do whatever makes you happy.  Your family comes second. That may sound harsh, but if you don’t take care of yourself first then you can’t be there to take care of your family.  Third: let’s talk about work and where you are apt to make the biggest contribution and get the biggest bang for your buck.  Note – keeping an empty email box is not the answer.  Instead, think of the bigger picture. If you could do one thing to make your company better, what would it be?  Spend some time on the important things – the day-to-day issues will be there regardless.

Second step: learn to say “No.”  (PLEASE don’t let my mother read this.)  Yes, she’s right too – you simply can’t say yes to everything.  One must set boundaries.  “Five board positions and a full time job?!” my psychiatrist said to me one day.  “Consider one or two max.”  You can’t be everything to everyone, even though everyone may want you on their team.  Prioritize outside work life too.  Giving back to the community is fantastic as long as it doesn’t mean robbing you of yourself.  I encourage you to find one passion and pursue it with gusto.

Last step:  find out what’s meaningful to your family.  We spend most of our time at work, and the added time for the daily commute, the after-hours emails and the like add on to time away from family.  That means we need to maximize the bang for the buck.  A mentor used to tell me, “Ask your kids what means most to them and then re-ask every year.”  That’s great advice for prioritizing which family activities are the most important.  I might feel bad about missing a practice my child doesn’t care about, but she might love for me to take her to school when that doesn’t really take any extra time out of my day.  Focus on activities that can make the biggest impact on your family.  Ask each family member what means the most to them and see what they say, then try to make that one thing happen.

Kurt Tucholsky was nothing if not an idealist. But what he depicts in his poetry is far from easy to obtain, and in reality we are seldom privy to such luxuries as wealth, servants, and bottomless wine (although we can only hope).  What we can do is focus on what is important and prioritize accordingly.  Work, family, and personal needs all need to find balance in your life. Be prepared to let some things fall off the radar.  And, be okay with your own version of the ideal.

Read the rest of this entry »
Feb
6
2014
7:15 pm

Year Up gives young Atlantans a leg up

A recent study found that Atlanta had the worst income mobility in the U.S. and young Atlantans from low-income households have just a 13 percent chance of moving into the top 40 percent of earners.

Fortunately, there is an organization in Atlanta working to improve these odds. Year Up provides young adults with the skills, support and real-world experience they need to close the opportunity divide through internships at local businesses.

This year, two young women interned at Gas South, where they developed the critical job skills they need to join the workforce.

Jomicka Green and Liliana Tapia are Gas South’s first Year Up interns, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.

I believe Year Up training can make candidates a better fit for our company and it helps mitigate the normal hiring risk we see day to day. I wish every young person we hire could go through this class.

While programs like Year Up help companies avoid hiring mistakes, it also gives young adults, who may have a difficult time moving up the economic ladder, the opportunity of a brighter future.

Liliana told me that she had to prioritize and either stay with Year Up and be something or stay with the hostess job and be nothing. She decided she had nothing to lose. I commend Liliana and Jomicka for their determination and tenacity. And we thank Year Up for creating this incredibly successful program!

For more information on Year Up, visit the organization’s website or check out a recent article published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Read the rest of this entry »
Oct
29
2013
4:28 pm

Disney on Ice comes to Atlanta

Disney on Ice came to Atlanta and Gas South was excited to partner with Feld Entertainment to provide dozens of local families with special needs children a great night out to enjoy the on-ice extravaganza, featuring all of the favorites like Donald, Mickey and Minnie.

Prior to the show, our guests, who were selected by some of our Alliance partners, were treated to a pizza party and a special meet and greet with the costumed cast. It was the perfect start to a great evening, in which our Disney friends (and villains) skated through sets of winter wonderlands, haunted houses, a royal ball, and a medley of other fairytale scenarios. We hope this special night was a memorable one for the families in attendance and we look forward to next year!

Read the rest of this entry »
Oct
8
2013
5:20 pm

Bring the Heat – 2013

The Braves and Gas South present UWGA with $31,000

Velvet Washington with Gas South and Carley Jacobs with the United Way of Greater Atlanta

Few people are called to take to the turf at Turner Field, and those lucky enough are typically Major League Baseball players and officials. There was, however, one notable exception to the rule prior the last regular-season finale between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, Velvet Washington, a Gas South employee.

Velvet was the toast of ‘The Ted’ for a few memorable moments as she presented the United Way of Greater Atlanta (UWGA) with a hefty $31,000 check from Gas South as part of our Bring the Heat campaign with the Braves.

What’s Bring the Heat? Every time a Braves pitcher records a regular season strikeout, Gas South donates $25 to the UWGA. For the record, the Braves’ regular season strikeout total for 2013 was 1232 (note to all you mathematicians, we rounded our donation up by $200 to make an even $31,000).

Since 2008, Bring the Heat has contributed more than $200,000 to local nonprofits as part of Gas South’s Hometown Value promise to advance the communities in which we live, work and serve. While the campaign is officially over for 2013, Gas South is already looking forward to continuing Bring the Heat next year. Go Braves!

Read the rest of this entry »
Aug
19
2013
2:43 pm

Gas South 101: Teaching middle school students about natural gas and household finance

Gas South is thrilled to be part of the Junior Achievement of Georgia’s Chick-fil-A Discovery Center – a $15 million state-of-the art, brand-new interactive experience designed to educate kids about financial literacy and adult responsibilities.

More than 30,000 local middle school students from Atlanta Public, DeKalb County, Fulton County and Marietta City school systems are expected to visit the center in downtown Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center, with doors opening for business on August 20.

What will the unique experience entail? A hands-on learning environment in which kids tackle the ins and outs of managing money. From creating household budgets to making investment decisions, an 18-course classroom curriculum covers many aspects of personal finance, with students then given the opportunity to practice these concepts in real-life scenarios.

That’s where we come in! JA Finance Park, part of the center’s experience, features mock storefronts where students learn to plan for and budget their monthly expenses — including utilities like natural gas.

We’ve spent weeks perfecting our Gas South store, which features an educational wall display to teach students where natural gas comes from, how it is used throughout our community and in our everyday lives. A mock natural gas pipeline and an actual gas meter are included so students learn how natural gas reaches their home and how consumption is measured. We also provide great energy-saving tips that we hope they will share at home.

We’re honored to have the opportunity to help kids master an important life skill. For more information on the Chick-fil-A Junior Achievement Discovery Center, click here. For more information on Gas South community initiatives and updates, visit us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/GasSouth.

Read the rest of this entry »
Jul
31
2013
7:08 pm

Gas South packs 1,000 summer lunches for Action Ministries

This month, Gas South employees packed nearly 1,000 lunches for Action Ministries’ Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program, which provides summer lunches to children who typically receive free lunch during the school year.  Everyone contributed by bringing peanut butter and jelly, while Gas South donated lunch bags and other supplies. Many employees even invited their own kids to help out!

We also wrote special notes on the bags for the kids to read when they received their lunch.

The break room at our company’s headquarters turned into an assembly line of bread, peanut butter, jelly and a stack of potato chips so high our employees had to stand on their toes to reach the top. Kevin Greiner, our CEO, had a spot in the assembly line and proved to be a whiz with the peanut butter and jelly!

This past week, team members at our call center held a similar event to pack more lunches for the program to help reach our goal of feeding 1,000 children in July.

For the second year in a row, Gas South pledged to help Action Ministries’ Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program meet its goal of providing 200,000 lunches to Georgia children who typically receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year. With school out for the summer, many of these kids are at risk of going hungry. Action Ministries and Gas South are working to address this problem and provide kids with the nutrition they need.

Gas South is dedicated to helping the communities we serve through our Gas South Cares program. To learn more about Gas South Cares and our community efforts, click here.

Have you volunteered for Smart Lunch, Smart Kid yet? Learn how to get involved here!

Read the rest of this entry »
Jul
26
2013
11:44 am

Gas South honored by COVA for community service efforts

At Gas South, we are committed to giving back to the communities we serve. That means taking part in social service projects, partnering with local schools, and sponsoring community events. It’s a part of an initiative we call Gas South Cares.

I’m thrilled to report that our efforts have been recognized. Gas South was recently named Corporation of the Year by the Council of Volunteer Administrators (COVA) of Metropolitan Atlanta.

Gas South was nominated for the award by the Georgia chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, one of the oldest and largest charitable organizations in Georgia.

COVA, a nonprofit membership organization of volunteer administrators founded in 1972, awards the Corporation of the Year award to businesses that have expressed a commitment to promoting volunteerism within the workforce.

The award recognizes Gas South employees’ dedication to reinvesting in the hometown community of our company.

Gas South received the award at COVA’s annual meeting, which took place in June. John Berry, president and CEO of Saint Vincent de Paul Georgia, gave the keynote address.

Guests also participated in a silent auction, with all proceeds providing funding for grants to help COVA members attend conferences and professional development workshops.

 

Read the rest of this entry »
Jun
7
2013
12:09 pm

Gas South teams up with Action Ministries to help our neighbors in need

Some of our employees at 11Alive packing sandwiches for Smart Lunch, Smart Kid. (From left: Karen, Kim, Wakeeta, Catherine, Vaughn and Greg)

As part of our Gas South Cares program, we are once again partnering with Action Ministries to provide healthy lunches to needy kids this summer. A staggering 700,000 Georgia children are at risk of going hungry this year and we believe it’s our duty to do what we can to assist our neighbors in need.

Action Ministries’ Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program connects local kids who receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year with healthy meals and educational enrichment opportunities during the summer months.

This summer, Gas South is volunteering time and resources to help Action Ministries serve as many kids as possible. Gas South has donated $10,000 and 10,000 lunch bags to Smart Lunch, Smart Kid. We kicked off the program on Wednesday with 11Alive and plan to pack 1,000 lunches at our offices next month to contribute to this great cause.

The Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program reaches children in Athens-Clarke, Butts, Carroll, Columbia, DeKalb, Fayette, Floyd, Fulton, Hall and Richmond counties. The goal: serving 200,000 lunches over the next few months.

Packing lunches with 11Alive employees

Read the rest of this entry »
About this blog ...