Greetings! My name is Mike Kirkwood, and I am very happy to become the newest member of the Pascoag Utility District family.
I started interviewing with Ted in August for the possibility to assume his role as General Manager upon his retirement, and I immediately became enamored at the possibility of coming to work for this fine organization. IÕve mentioned this to Ted more times than he probably has wanted to hear, but I could tell when I saw the advertisement for the position in the trade publications that it was written by someone, namely Ted, who cares deeply about this organization, and who wanted to pass the baton to someone who thinks and feels passionately about the place they work the way he has.
Right after I accepted the position, Ted invited me to the Utility DistrictÕs Annual Meeting, and the warm welcome that I received from our employees and our customers-owners reinforced with me that I had absolutely made the right decision to come here. Our chairman, Al Palmisciano, kindly introduced me at the meeting and asked me to say a few words, and I immediately felt at home.
So a little bit about me and my philosophy. I have worked in this industry for a little over 30 years, and have loved it, even in often turbulent times. My first 20 years was spent with a public utility in Massachusetts now called NSTAR, where our primary focus was on good service to our customers at reasonable rates. For the past 10 years, I have worked for several companies that own, manage, operate and develop electric power plants, and I have also been involved in project development for natural gas projects in both New England and New York. My work has always had me interface closely with the communities where we have done business, and many of the relationships I have developed over the years are ones that I cherish and will carry with me forever.
My management style is one of inclusiveness and collaboration. I have found that people do great things for their companies when they feel empowered to think and create, and are part of a dynamic team structure. I have brought that philosophy with me wherever I have gone, and it has worked for me very well over the years. I find that I like coming to work every day when I know as a team, we will have fun while at the same time accomplishing important objectives for the business and its customers. And I think nurturing that team environment motivates everyone who is part of that family to bring their best to the job at hand. A positive atmosphere is often self-perpetuating in my experience.
So I am thrilled to have been brought into the Pascoag Utility District family, and I look forward to this adventure that we will be on together.
Please feel free to call me or drop by to say “hi” in 2011!
And to the amazing Ted Garille, who is retiring at the end of the yearÉ no one could have done a better job than you!