Posts of Author ‘Meredith Hodges‘

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.

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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!

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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.

 

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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

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Apr
18
2013
10:44 am

SweetWater’s 420 Fest is THIS weekend!

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Celebrate Earth Day at SweetWater’s 420 Fest in Atlanta’s historic Candler Park. SweetWater has long been a valued Gas South customer, one that shares our values when it comes to environmental stewardship and giving back to the communities we serve, so we are happy to sponsor this great event. The music festival, now in its fourth year, kicks off on Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday. There will be an area for the kids to run around in and plenty of delicious SweetWater on tap for the adults. It’s sure to be a great time!

Gas South will once again be sponsoring Planet 420, a special section of the festival featuring a live music stage and an area where you can learn about the amazing work being done by local nonprofit organizations.

Stop by Planet 420 on Saturday and Sunday for Gas South’s 2nd Annual “Cornhole Challenge.” Never heard of cornhole? It’s like horseshoes. The object of the game is to toss a beanbag into a hole on a raised wooden platform. Read more about the rules of game here.

On Saturday, the Cornhole Challenge is open to all festival-goers. Just form a team, make a $20 donation, and start tossing. On Sunday, the competition really heats up with many of Atlanta’s nonprofit organizations vying for the coveted title of Gas South’s Charity Cornhole Champion. The winning group will receive the proceeds from Saturday’s tournament – an amount that will be matched by Sweetwater and Gas South.

The party starts at 4:20 on Friday. We encourage all guests to take Marta, as parking is limited around the park. Admission is free, but if you wish to enjoy SweetWater’s famous drafts, you must purchase a $5 wristband with valid ID.

Now, start practicing your delicate underhand toss and join us and the folks at SweetWater in honoring Mother Earth and have fun while you do it. See you there!

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Mar
29
2013
5:33 pm

Women helping women: The importance of female mentors in the workplace

Two weeks ago I found myself standing at the Cobb Galleria alongside 14 women at the Northwest Georgia YWCA’s Tribute to Women. This annual event honors women who have made extraordinary contributions to family, community, charity and their professions. I felt incredibly honored and humbled to be recognized among Georgia’s most outstanding female leaders. But it also got me thinking: How did I get here?

The role of women as leaders in the workplace has become a hot topic recently. Just look at all the attention being paid to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” I admire Sandberg and the incredibly successful career she’s built. But I know how difficult it can be for women to navigate a business world that is still dominated – for the most part – by men.

I would never have been recognized as an honoree that night without the professional (and sometimes personal) guidance and support provided by female mentors throughout my career. These incredible women helped guide me during critical periods of my career. Ellen Lindeman, a past YWCA honoree and retired head of HR at the Southern Company, helped me hone my strategic thinking and goal setting.  Vera Arthur, Senior Vice President of HR for SWM International, mentored me as part of a Pathbuilders program (great resource for developing women), providing direction during my transition from manager to executive at Gas South. Sometimes their advice addressed issues particular to women. At other times, gender was irrelevant. Looking back, it was all invaluable.

I’m fortunate now to work at Gas South, where women are well-represented at all levels – even in the executive suite three of the company’s six senior leaders are women (including me!). We foster a progressive, results-focused work place, leaving no room for any cultural baggage surrounding gender.

At this point in my career, I have transitioned from mentee to mentor, offering my counsel to young professional women as they seek to climb the ranks. Here are some of the tips that I often pass on:

Tip #1: Always dress at least one notch more formal than is required, whether in the office, at a business lunch or charity gala in order to be taken seriously.

Tip #2: Be conscious about apologizing too often. Women tend to say “sorry” too often for things that don’t really warrant an apology.

Tip #3:  If you don’t make an issue that you are a woman, it reduces the chance others will.

Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to ask someone to be your mentor. Most people are flattered and will eagerly accept. Make sure to identify a skill set you need to work on and approach a person who is influential in your line of work.

At this stage of the game, I am passionate about the importance of giving back to other women.  I encourage all, both men and women, to seek out opportunities to mentor others who are earlier on in their careers.

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Mar
21
2013
10:22 am

Junior Achievement Day

Gas South volunteers at Norton Park Elementary

Gas South employees recently talked about business and entrepreneurship to 4th and 5th-grade students at Norton Park Elementary School in Smyrna, as part of the company’s participation in the Junior Achievement program.

Junior Achievement is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills among young people. Gas South has been participating in the Junior Achievement program for several years, helping children and teens across Georgia develop long-term career goals and gain a greater understanding of the business world. The goal of the program is to create a better-skilled workforce in Georgia.

Gas South employees relish the chance to give back to the community, and the children are always excited at the opportunity to break away from their everyday routine. It’s always a great day for everyone involved!

Have you volunteered with Junior Achievement before? Share your story here or find out how to get involved by checking out the organization’s website.

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Feb
22
2013
11:31 am

Gas South goes to the Circus

Mance, Camille and Lloyd Irvin from Decatur

You’ve all heard of the Greatest Show on Earth, right? Gas South helps make it great for local special needs children by partnering with the Metro Atlanta Mayors Association, the Georgia Municipal Association and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Circus producer, Feld Entertainment to host a pre-show event just for them and their families.

Last week, Gas South hosted more than 200 special needs children at Philip’s Arena for a night of circus magic. Working with our partners, we provided them with free admission to the Friday night show and a unique pre-show event created especially for our guests. The children interacted with circus animals and performers on the arena floor, enjoying full VIP treatment and experiences tailored to their special needs.  It truly was a magical night!

Cooper Radford from Atlanta makes friends with a clown.

Melissa Waller Longshore, the mother of twin boys who both have cerebral palsy, wrote to us to tell us about their experience at Philip’s last week, “Gas South, I want to thank you for allowing 425 special needs families an opportunity to attend the Ringling Brothers circus. I was one of those 425 families and I want to speak for those special needs families who attended the circus and let you know that your actions speak volumes about who you are as people and about Gas South, the company. That you see merit in reaching out to the community, every member in it, that you see value in people. I wanted to let you know that your generosity meant so much to so many….Thank you.”

We are now gearing up for more circus fun tonight at Gwinnett Center! We’ll be hosting the whole event again for another big group and we couldn’t be more excited.

Stay tuned for more pictures and updates next week. So, what’s your favorite circus memory?

Gas South employees, Wakeeta and Geoffrey team up with a circus clown to get ready to greet our guests!

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Jan
25
2013
12:02 pm

Gas South Employee Spotlight

For this month’s employee spotlight, we interviewed Greg Dunavant about his experiences at Gas South and his plans for his new position. Greg was recently promoted and is now our Senior Manager of Customer Care.

Greg, congratulations on your promotion! So, what are the responsibilities of your new position?

Thanks Meredith. As the Senior Manager of Customer Care, my goal is to provide our customers a best-in-class customer care experience. To do this, I am working with our team to identify processes and policies which can be improved, and once these processes are identified, we can implement solutions. I am also focused on empowering our team to help customers, developing our leadership team and associates, keeping the customer care team involved with the communities we serve and ensuring that Gas South is a great place to work.

Wow! That is great, Greg! Now, how long have you been working for Gas South?

I have been with Gas South since its inception in 2006.  I started with Gas South on the Supply and Risk Management Team as an analyst, and have been part of the Mass Markets team since 2007, working in both operations and marketing.

In terms of your new position, what are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to partnering with our customer care associates to continue to improve how we serve our customers. Since “in-sourcing” our customer care center in May 2012, we have empowered our team to make sound business decisions for the good of our customers and we’ve also implemented several system-wide changes which have improved the quality of service we are providing.  I am excited to build on this momentum. I am also looking forward to learning from the team and helping our employees develop professionally.

What is your favorite part about working at Gas South?

Our culture of empowerment is my favorite part of working at Gas South. This culture encourages employees to identify opportunities, recommend changes and implement solutions. I also love our commitment to the communities we serve.  All of our 150+ employees live in Georgia and are encouraged to give back through volunteering time and resources.

Those are a few of my favorite parts too! So Greg, how do you spend your free time?

Well, I am graduating from the Georgia Tech MBA program in May so much of my free time is dedicated to preparing for class, going to school and studying. When I am not focusing on school, my wife and I enjoy spending time with family and friends, exploring Atlanta and pulling for the Auburn Tigers.

Thanks Greg. We are all looking forward to working together with you to continue to grow and improve. 2013 is already shaping up to be a great year!

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Nov
28
2012
4:31 pm

What is Pay-As-You-Go?

Have you heard about our Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) program yet? We created PAYG in 2008 to help credit challenged customers get natural gas service. This program allows customers to obtain service without a deposit or a pre-payment. PAYG is an alternative to the regulated provider program and can actually help people strengthen their credit scores.

How does it work?      

Each month, our PAYG customers are billed only for the gas they are forecasted to use over the next 30 days. This estimate is based on historical usage and the current gas prices. We also calculate the difference between the usage from the prior month and the charges you received. This calculation is reflected in the next bill to ensure that you only pay for the gas that you use. After 12 months of good payment history, you can move to a lower rate plan and we will report your good history to a consumer credit reporting agency to help improve your credit score.

The PAYG program offers low fixed and variable rates without any upfront costs. We also partner with several non-profit organizations through the program to help those in need. CredAbility, The Salvation Army, United Way, St. Vincent de Paul, Atlanta Community Food Bank and Action Ministries are all PAYG partners of Gas South.

How can I sign up?

If you think PAYG would work for you, please check out our website for more information. You can also call us at 1-877-347-7243. Temperatures are dropping outside, so let us know if you want to Pay-As-You-Go!

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