The September issue of the Operations & Engineering Newsletter is now available in our Communication Center.

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As Hurricane Irma approached the southeastern part of the country, SGA was in close contact with local members in its path including companies in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. While some member companies did suffer damage from the impact within their service territories, SGA’s Mutual Assistance Program did not need to be activated. All affected member companies took appropriate precautions, and several member companies not affected were prepared to step in to help.

“As our staff facilitated appropriate communication during this time, SGA members who were not impacted were standing ready and willing to support those in the path of Hurricane Irma,” said Kent Hobart, vice president at SGA and contact for SGA’s Mutual Assistance Program. “It is this spirit of community and support that makes our members unique. SGA will continue to maintain this program and foster further relationships with other organizations and member companies to bolster its mission.”

For questions or further information about the Mutual Assistance Program, please contact Kent Hobart by email or by phone at (813) 917-8952.

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In the wake of the recent hurricanes affecting a large portion of SGA member companies and their service territories, it is important to reinforce community relations between operators and first responders. In recent years, SGA’s Emergency Management Committee developed a resource for member companies utilize in the field, the “Control of Natural Gas in an Emergency” booklet.

This short booklet is an easy-to-use reference guide for first responders to use in preparing for natural gas emergencies. Operators across the country are using the booklet as a component of their public awareness campaigns, and many companies have given the reference guide to local fire departments to educate and foster better relationships.

The Control of Natural Gas in an Emergency booklet includes an emergency response checklist, useful resources for pipeline emergency response planning and a short message about damage prevention. Additional topics outlined in the reference guide include:

  • Procedures During Emergencies
  • Typical Gas Installations
  • Gas Detection
  • Incident Command
  • Security

This is a great resource to have available when operators, technical and frontline workers and community-facing employees are working in the field or public eye. If you are interested in getting a sample copy of the booklet or learning how the booklet can be customized for your company, please contact Jake Wagner.

Click here to learn more about the booklet or to place an order.

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As Hurricane Harvey approaches the Texas coast, SGA has been keeping in close contact with local members in its path. As all affected member companies are taking appropriate precautions, SGA staff has been proactively preparing for any necessary action to be taken with regards to the organization’s Mutual Assistance Program.

When Hurricane Katrina impacted natural gas operators along the Gulf Coast in 2005 the lack of a formalized SGA mutual assistance agreement limited the ability of operators to send aid to those impacted by the storm and associated flooding. In response, the SGA Distribution Operations and Engineering Section Committee developed SGA’s first Mutual Assistance Program. In 2015, SGA merged the program with the Northeast Gas Association to increase resources, diversity and footprint of participating members.

“While we can’t control weather events, SGA works to partner with members to help them be as prepared as possible during events like Hurricane Harvey through the Mutual Assistance Program,” says Kent Hobart, vice president at SGA and contact for the program. “We will be checking in with our members over the weekend, and we hope all communities affected will not suffer any major damage.”

SGA encourages caution and safety to all members and will be available to help as appropriate in the event of any damage or disruptions. Please remember to heed local news and government advisories during this time.

For questions about the program or immediate help, please contact Kent Hobart by email or by phone at (813) 917-8952.

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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.

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The August issue of the Operations & Engineering Newsletter 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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