After graduating and going to school to be an auto mechanic, Steve Sylvester heard about a job opening at Columbia Gas of Ohio (COH) from a neighbor in Delaware. He applied for the pipefitter position and after interviewing joined the company in 1986 as the first new hire in 15 years.
Since then, Steve has served in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility and is now the new vice president and general manager of Field Operations for COH. Recently we had the opportunity to sit down and talk with him about where we are heading as a company and a little about life outside the office.
How do you see the company changing in two years?
I’d say the biggest difference I see in the next two years is how our heightened customer focus is going to impact how we work, who we are and how we deliver natural gas. I think it’s a great endeavor and believe as we keep more of an eye on what the customer’s needs are, we will be able to figure out what it is that we need to do more or less of, and then better fit our resources around how that mix works.
Any insights on what customers can expect in the future?
I think what is going to be key for us as an organization is to really develop how COH should look five years down the road. One of the things I want to keep an eye on is ensuring we don’t get behind on all the changes taking place. I want to stay a step or two ahead and be real transparent with everyone about what that looks like. It’s critical that we keep all our customers in the know and ensure they are aware of any differences in our workflows, how our work is changing, and how any initiatives we put in place may impact them.
What would you say about COH to job seekers?
You can do anything you want in this organization, and you can truly pave your own road. When I think back on what I’ve been able to do, the areas I have been able to work in, and the people I have been able to meet, not every organization has that kind of opportunity.
What do you like to do when you have free time?
I like to spend time with my family and friends, as well as time outdoors – hunting, fishing, and camping. I also love to cook; ribs are my specialty.