The 2017 Marketing, Customer Experience & Communications Conference (MCEC) was held earlier this month in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Close to 150 natural gas industry professionals gathered to learn best practices, share ideas and engage in active dialogue.

MCEC hosted two keynote addresses for attendees including “Becoming a Customer-Centric Gas Utility in the Consumer Age” by presenters from E Source and “Researching Our Energy Future” by Dr. Ken Morgan, director at Texas Christian University’s Energy Institute. The conference was punctuated with several opportunities for attendees to learn from experts and each other, including a crisis communications workshop, a marketing seminar and several peer-focused receptions.

At MCEC, SGA also recognized eight volunteer leaders with the Committee Service Award as well as winners of the Corporate Communications Award and the first-ever Marketing Excellence Award – Members’ Choice. Please join us in congratulating the following the Committee Service Award recipients:

  • Marsha Barber of Atmos Energy
    • Chair of the Residential Sales & Marketing Committee
  • Pierre Abry of Piedmont Natural Gas, Duke Energy
    • Chair of Contact Center Operations Committee
  • Carmen Luevanos of ONE Gas, Texas Gas Service
    • Chair of the Communications Committee
  • Tom Anderson of Xcel Energy
    • Chair of Customer Field Service Delivery Committee
  • Greg Shinaut of Black Hills Energy
    • Chair, Commercial/Industrial Sales & Marketing Committee
  • Jennifer Eugene of Washington Gas, a WGL Company
    • Chair, End Use Codes & Standards Committee
  • Kristi Cheatham-Petit of Clearwater Gas System
    • Chair, Growth & Retention Managing Section
  • Kerry Hogan of Southern Company Gas
    • Chair, Meter to Cash Committee
    • Chair, 2017 Marketing, Customer Experience and Communications Conference Planning Committee Chair

Thank you to everyone who helped plan, support and deliver an outstanding experience, from volunteer leaders to speakers to sponsors.

Thank you also to the sponsors for the 2017 Marketing, Customer Experience and Communications Conference! 

Be sure to mark your calendar for MCEC 2018 on August 7-9 in Denver, Colorado.

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At the 2017 Marketing, Customer Experience & Communications Conference in Fort Lauderdale, SGA hosted the first-ever Marketing Excellence Awards – Members’ Choice competition. There were three worthy programs submitted for the inaugural year. Participants presented onsite to conference attendees and had table top exhibits on display to answer additional questions about their respective programs and results. Conference attendees voted live through the SGA mobile app.

Please join us in congratulating the first Marketing Excellence Award – Members’ Choice winner, Florida Public Utilities!

  • Florida Public Utilities
    • Spring Showers Campaign

All entries will be entered in the overall Marketing Excellence Award competition, which will be recognized at the 2018 Management Conference. If you are interested in submitting your company’s program, please contact Veronica Garza with any questions.

For more information about the SGA Awards Program, please visit

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At the Marketing, Customer Experience & Communications Conference (MCEC), held in Fort Lauderdale earlier this month, the SGA Corporate Communication Award for 2017 was announced.

Please join us in recognizing the winner, HOERBIGER, America Holdings, Inc.!

    • MarCom Portal Program
    • Topic: Communicating to a Multi-Generational Workforce

For more information about the SGA Awards Program, please visit

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Southern Gas Association (SGA) is proud to celebrate Gary W. Hines as he was recognized in Toronto this week for earning the Certified Association Executive (CAE®) designation from the American Society for Association Executives. The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry.

In 2011, Gary Hines began serving as vice president at SGA. He works with the membership to promote and advance training, plays a key role in SGA’s Operating Conference and Executive Conference as well as marshals efforts to engage many of the organization’s committees and task forces to better serve the industry. Previous to joining SGA, Gary worked in the natural gas industry for more than 15 years. He holds a Master in Business Administration from Colorado State University and is also a registered Professional Engineer.

“Gary shows a deep commitment to personal and professional development on a daily basis, which shines through in the work he does with the membership and our staff,” said William N. Cantrell, president and CEO at the Southern Gas Association. “Undoubtedly, the time he invested in preparing for and receiving this credential will benefit the organization and the membership immensely.”

To be designated as a Certified Association Executive, an applicant must have a minimum of three years’ experience with nonprofit organization management, complete a minimum of 100 hours of specialized professional development, pass a stringent examination in association management and pledge to uphold a code of ethics. To maintain the certification, individuals must undertake ongoing professional development and activities in association and nonprofit management. More than 4,200 association professionals currently hold the CAE credential. The CAE Program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world.

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The August issue of the Network News is now available in our Communication Center.

To subscribe to the newsletter, visit your SGA profile to adjust your communications preferences.

Continue reading

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August 11 marks an unofficial holiday in the industry, affectionately termed 811 Day, reminding local communities to call before digging.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of 811 Day. What is 811 all about? 811 is the national phone number designated by the Federal Communications Commission that connects professionals and homeowners who plan to dig with their local one call center. Common Ground Alliance (CGA) members promote the 811 phone number as the first step in the damage prevention process. CGA maintains a list of all one call centers and damage prevention information by state.

You can access this information by clicking here.

SGA and SGA’s Public Awareness and Damage Prevention Committee encourage you to discover more information about safe digging practices in your region and to share the information with your community.

View CGA’s resources map here.

Happy 811 Day and remember to call before you dig!

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Held in Atlanta at the Hilton Downtown and the Marriott Marquis, nearly 1,000 attendees gathered last week for the 2017 Operating Conference and Exhibits to learn from experts and each other, make new connections and discover new ideas.

This year’s event hosted a sold-out exhibit hall, 130+ number of sessions spanning 19 topical areas, a keynote address from former NFL quarterback Tom Flick, a special event at the College Football Hall of Fame and a fundraiser for Freedom Service Dogs of America. More than 300 planning committee volunteers, speakers, onsite volunteers and staff  helped make this year’s conference a great success.

In particular we would like to thank the several key volunteer leaders from member companies who were also recognized onsite with the SGA Service Award. Please join us in congratulating the following 2017 Operating Conference recipients:

  • Andrew Vondrak, Southern Company Gas
    • Asset Management & GIS Committee
  • Brian Sloan, TransCanada 
    • Compressor Station Automation & Controls
  • Jeremy Sprouse, Columbia Gas of Virginia 
    • Distribution, Construction, Operations & Maintenance Committee
  • Chris Canino, Florida Public Utilities 
    • Distribution Engineering Committee
  • Lauren Basham, Southern Company Gas 
    • Distribution Integrity Management Committee
  • Russell Webb, Memphis Light, Gas & Water
    • Everything DIM Committee
  • Rus Hayslett, Virginia Natural Gas
    • Distribution Regulatory Compliance Committee
  • Glen Boatwright, York County Natural Gas Authority
    • Emergency Management Committee
  • Glen Koch, The Williams Companies – Transco
    • Engineering & Construction Management Committee
  • Steve Duebelt, Southeast Alabama Gas District
    • Field Service Operations Committee
  • Bill McNair, Southern Company Gas
    • Gas Control Committee
  • Jeff Gorman, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline
    • Gas Measurement Committee
  • Amanda Johnson, Piedmont Natural Gas/Duke Energy
    • Legal Committee
  • Jonell Carver, Dominion Transmission, Inc.
    • Pipeline Construction, Operations & Maintenance Committee
  • Shawn Miller, Dominion Transmission, Inc.
    • Pipeline Regulatory Compliance Committee
  • Sandra Panos, TECO Peoples Gas
    • Public Awareness & Damage Prevention Committee
  • Shawn Moffatt, Spire Energy
    • Regional Directors & Managers Committee
  • Cheryl Thrift, TransCanada
    • Right of Way Committee
  • Thomas Schaller, Spire Energy
    • Supply Chain Committee
  • Stephanie Friend, TransCanada
    • Transmission Integrity Management Committee
  • Mbride Mbride, Enable Midstream Partners
    • Underground Storage Committee
Thank you also to the sponsors for the 2017 Operating Conference! 

Mark your calendars for next year’s Operating Conference July 30-August 1 at the Marriott Waterside in Tampa, Florida!

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Each year the SGA Growth & Retention Section Managing Committee opens the exclusive competition of SGA’s Marketing Excellence Awards to members only. The Marketing Excellence Awards program is dedicated to identifying marketing campaigns that demonstrate success with measurable results in Growth & Retention. At the 2017 SGA Management Conference, the committee officially unveiled a reformatted Marketing Excellence Awards Program.

There’s a new award category! At the 2017 Marketing, Customer Experience & Communications Conference (MCEC), the inaugural Marketing Excellence Award – Members’ Choice will be chosen onsite by conference attendees voting live through the SGA mobile app!

What’s changing? Submissions will be entered online; entrants will present live with table top exhibits at MCEC on August 8 from 2:30-4:00 pm. During this time, other conference attendees will be able to hear the latest marketing strategies from these entries, enjoy food, drinks and prizes and finally pick the winner!

Want to submit your company’s program? To enter your company, please complete the registration process and submit forms and material by July 24, 5:00 p.m. CT. All entrants must officially register for the 2017 SGA Marketing Excellence Awards program. The entry fee is $100 and is donated to Freedom Service Dogs.

  • More information and next steps on how to submit can be found here.

Need more help with how to enter? Hear what past judges have to say and watch the What is a Winning Program and How to Submit presentation to learn more! If you have questions regarding the SGA Marketing Excellence Awards program, please contact Veronica Garza.

Previous SGA Marketing Excellence Award Winners (2015-16):

Example of Program Ideas: 

  • Local Government Building Programs
  • New Home Builder’s – Single or Multifamily Programs
  • Extension of Gas Main New Customer Programs
  • Trade Ally New Innovative Equipment Programs
  • Code and Standards Programs
  • Government Regulation Changes
  • Safety and Education Programs
  • Energy Efficiency Programs
  • Social and Customer Assistance Programs
  • Local Legislative Programs
  • Cooling and Heating Programs
  • Water Heating and Efficiency Programs
  • Innovation
  • Manufacture Trade Ally Support Programs
  • Value Added Programs to promote behind the Meter and/or Account Services
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The July issue of the Network News is now available in our Communication Center.

To subscribe to the newsletter, visit your SGA profile to adjust your communications preferences.

Continue reading

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SGA’s 2017 Environmental, Safety & Health, and Training Conference (ESHT) met in Fort Lauderdale this year and hosted five highly interactive roundtables. This year’s conference also included two new areas of focus, gas forecasting and inclusion and diversity.

More than 250 attendees were inspired in new ways to soar to success by keynote speaker  Elizabeth McCormick, former U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot and #1 best-selling author. Participants engaged in interactive learning sessions, open roundtables and made new peer and vendor connections from across the industry. Amec Foster Wheeler hosted a tour at Secret Woods Nature Center, and SGA, R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates and AECOM hosted a reggae jump-up picnic at Fort Lauderdale’s beautiful Bamboo Gallery.

Several individuals and organizations were recognized at the conference for their contributions to SGA, the industry and their communities. Please help us in celebrating the following award recipients:

  • The Environmental Excellence Award for Partnership was presented to TransCanada, and the Environmental Excellence Award for Stewardship went to The Williams Companies.
  • Carol Donnellan of CenterPoint Energy and Peyton Franco of Kinder Morgan were recognized with the Humanitarian Award.
  • Tim Bowles and Tina Revak of Louisville Gas & Electric Company were recognized with the Meritorious Award.
  • Dominion Energy Ohio, CenterPoint Energy, Energy Transfer and Louisville Gas & Electric were presented Safety Video Awards.

A special thank you and recognition goes out to the committee leaders who were recognized with Service Awards this year:

ESHT 2017 was a great conference with something for everyone. This would not have been possible without the help of the many committee members who helped with the planning as well as all of our 2017 sponsors.

Participating Sponsors

Please mark your calendar for the 2018 Environmental, Safety & Health and Training Conference to be held June 5-7 in Denver, Colorado!

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