2021 APGA Award Winners

Each year APGA presents awards to recognize individuals within our organization who have gone above and beyond to represent the interests of APGA and public gas. 

We have listed our Award Winners below:

  • J. Hardie Johnston Service Award
  • Harry M. Cooke Personal Service Award
  • Personal Achievement Award
  • Public Gas System Achievement Award
  • Distinguished Service Award
  • APGA Marketing & Sales Awards
  • APGA Safety Management Excellence Award
  • APGA SOAR Award Winners
  • APGA Safety Contest Winners

J. HARDIE JOHNSTON SERVICE AWARD

This recognition is given to individuals who are retiring after serving at least 25 years in the natural gas industry and have been active as an APGA public gas system member representative or a retiring APGA Charter Member.
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moser
The recipient of the 2021 J. Hardie Johnston Service Award is: Doug Moser, Philadelphia Gas Works, PA

Douglas Moser is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Philadelphia Gas Works, the nation’s largest municipally owned natural gas company, serving more than 500,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the City of Philadelphia.

Mr. Moser received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a Master in Business Administration degree from Widener University.

Mr. Moser started with the organization in 1979.  During his 38 years of service, he progressed through the ranks and in 2012 he was moved to his present position as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

He serves on the Gas Board of the Energy Association of Pennsylvania, the Board of Directors of the American Public Gas Association and the Leadership Council of the American Gas Association. 


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eaton
The recipient of the 2021 J. Hardie Johnston Service Award is: Tae Eaton, Paris-Henry Country Public Utility District, TN

Tae Eaton Is the General Manager for Paris Henry County Public Utility District. Mr. Eaton is a 27 year energy professional having previously served as the Gas Division Manager for the City of Clarksville, Tennessee and the Operations Manager for the Gas & Water Department for the City of Clarksville. Before working for the City of Clarksville, Mr. Eaton worked for Koch Industries in Corpus Christi, Texas. He has a BBA degree from Austin Peay State University and holds several certifications.

Mr. Eaton serves as a board member for the Tennessee Gas Association, serving as President in 2015/2016, board member for West Tennessee Gas Association, currently serving as the Secretary, is serving as a board member of the American Public Gas Association, is a member of Society of American Military Engineers, and the Southern Gas Association.

Mr. Eaton is involved in several local civic organizations, and is currently serving as a board member of the Paris Henry County Industrial Development Board and was a license building contractor.

Mr. Eaton is married and has one grown daughter and two grandchildren. His hobbies include traveling, hunting and spending time with his grandchildren.


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reeves
The recipient of the 2021 J. Hardie Johnston Service Award is: Owen Reeves, Henderson Municipal Gas, KY

Owen Reeves has been the Gas System Director for Henderson Municipal Gas (HMG) since March 1, 1999. Owen had full responsibility for HMG, which is the largest municipal gas system in Kentucky with just under 10,000 customers.

Owen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University and a MBA from the University of Southern Indiana. He is a Professional Engineer (PA) and Professional Surveyor (WV). He serves as chair of PEAK (Public Energy Authority of Kentucky), and is a Kentucky Colonel.

Owen is married with two grown children and enjoys hunting, fishing, and motorcycle riding.


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gundreson
The recipient of the 2021 J. Hardie Johnston Service Award is: Mike Gundersen, Elk River Public Utility District, TN

Mike grew up in a military family (U.S. Navy) and was raised primarily in Jacksonville, Florida. He started working in the gas industry dispatching, service and installation work for Florida Gas Company in Jacksonville, Florida. Mike joined Elk River Public Utility District (ERPUD) in June 1978 and was appointed General Manager of the District in August 2005. ERPUD is a public utility district, franchised to serve Coffee and Franklin Counties in southern middle Tennessee. Approx. 58 employees, 15,000 customers, and 2,700,000 Dth annual sales.

Active in the American Public Gas Association, Tennessee Gas Association, Served as TGA president during 2008-2009, Tennessee Association of Utility Districts, Middle Tennessee Gas Distributors, East Tennessee Group; holding officer positions and/or serving on and chairing various committees among these associations. Served on the State of Tennessee, Energy Efficient Schools Council.

Married to wife Diane since 1974, they have a daughter, Heather and a son, Christopher, (4) grand-daughters, Katya, Hadley, Madeline and Rachel and (1) grandson Luka. Active in area various community groups and activities in Coffee and Franklin Counties. Enjoys spending time with family along with outdoor activities including fishing, canoeing, hiking, etc.


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APGA HARRY M. COOKE PERSONAL SERVICE AWARD


This award is given to individuals who have made substantial contributions toward the goals of APGA and the natural gas industry, and who are employees of an APGA associate or joint action agency member.
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piazza
The winner of the 2021 APGA Harry M. Cooke Personal Service Award is: John Piazza, Southern Cathodic Protection, Atlanta, GA

As the President of Southern Cathodic Protection Company for over 39 years, John Piazza has been a Professional Engineer within 13 states and NACE International Cathodic Protection Specialist while growing his company. Piazza started Southern Cathodic Protection Company in 1979 which is now an Atlanta-based company with satellite office in Altamonte Springs, FL. He is Chief Executive Officer of the company with a wealth of knowledge throughout this industry.

Before starting his company, he was the COO at General Corrosion Services Corporation where he coordinated the operation of contracting and engineering for the firm specializing in corrosion control with annual sales of $35 million.  He has extensive off-shore experience along with international business experience from his professional time.

Piazza graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia State University.

Piazza is a member of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, National Society of Professional Engineers, National Council of Engineering Examiners, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Florida Engineering Society.

Congratulations to John!
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APGA PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD


This award is given to individuals who have made substantial contributions toward the goals of APGA and the natural gas industry, and who are employees of an APGA public gas system member.
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donnie sharp
The winner of the 2021 APGA Personal Achievement Award is: Donnie Sharp, Huntsville Utilities, AL

Donnie Sharp has been with Huntsville Utilities for over 36 years. Donnie spent the first part of his career in inventory control and materials procurement. In 2002 Donnie was moved into natural gas supply management and he currently serves as the city’s Natural Gas Supply Manager with duties including budgeting, rates, procurement & supply management Donnie has thus far survived the school of hard knocks and has long hair to cover all of the bruises.

Congratulations to Donnie!

APGA PUBLIC GAS SYSTEM ACHIEVEMENT AWARD


This award is presented to public gas systems that have demonstrated a commitment to their community, the natural gas industry, and APGA. 

huntsvilleThe winner of the 2021 APGA Public Gas System Achievement Award is: Huntsville Utilities, AL

Huntsville Utilities (HU) is located in Huntsville, Alabama and is owned by the City of Huntsville. As a Public Utility, we answer only to the people we serve. Decisions are based on what is best for our customers. We do not pay dividends to stockholders. Instead we provide lower prices to our customers.

APGA DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD


This award is given to individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for APGA, their community and the natural gas industry, and have a long record of such commitment.
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leary
The winner of the 2021 APGA Distinguished Service Award is: John Leary, Gas Superintendent, Borough of Chambersburg, PA

John has managed the Borough of Chambersburg (PA) Gas Department as the Gas Superintendent since 2001. Chambersburg is the only municipality in Pennsylvania that owns and operates the Gas, Electric (including generation), Water and Sewer utilities for its residents. The Borough has a population of about 22,000, with 6,200 gas customers that use over 1.2 BCF per year.

In addition to the Gas Department, John is also responsible for the Borough Emergency Dispatch Center and the Borough Warehouse Department. In addition to serving on the APGA Board of Directors, he also serves on the Board of Directors for the APGA Research Foundation. He is greatly deserving of this year’s APGA Distinguished Service Award.

John has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. John and Amy, his wife of 30 years, have two grown daughters, Shannon and Mara.

RF DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD


This award is in recognition of outstanding public service, devotion to duty, contribution to the natural gas industry, and exemplifying the highest ideals in the promotion and administration of natural gas research, development, and commercialization among and for publicly owned natural gas systems
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The winner of the 2021 RF Distinguished Service Award is... Don Suarez, Pensacola Energy, FL.

On January 7, 2000, Don Suarez was appointed director of Pensacola Energy, formerly known as Energy Services of Pensacola (ESP), Florida's oldest and largest municipally owned natural gas distribution system. He first joined Pensacola Energy in July, 1984 after six years in the propane gas industry. He has a broad range of experience in marketing, operations, and management.

Don is a native of Pensacola and a graduate of Auburn University. He has served in leadership roles of various civic, business, and government organizations and he is the immediate past president of the Florida Natural Gas Association.

APGA MARKETING & SALES AWARD


This award is presented to the APGA public gas system member considered to have the most innovative and successful marketing or sales program, project, promotion or customer service. To be eligible, the program, project, promotion or service must be active in the previous and current year and have measurable results to demonstrate value. Congratulations to...
  • First Place: Interior Gas Utility, AK for Breathe Easy
  • Second Place: Tallahassee Natural Gas Department, FL for 5% Growth with Infill Marketing
  • Third Place: Philadelphia Gas Works, PA for Project Philadelphia mCHP
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APGA SAFETY MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE AWARD


This award is given to an APGA member system that consistently operates at the highest safety levels, clearly establishing the system as an achiever of excellence in the field of Safety Management. Congratulations to... Vernon Public Utilities, Gas Division, CA
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SOAR WINNERS

SOAR applicants are awarded a rating based on a total cumulative score of points achieved from the program criteria in system integrity, system improvement, employee safety, and workforce development areas. Utilities can receive one of three SOAR recognition levels: Bronze (80-89% of possible points), Silver (90-96% of possible points), and Gold (97-100% of possible points). SOAR status continues for three years, at which point the utility may apply again to maintain recognition. Congratulations to…

GOLD
• City of Rocky Mount, NC
• Greenville Utilities Commission, NC
• Knoxville Utilities Board, TN

SILVER
• Midwest Energy, KS
• Watertown Municipal Utilities, SD
• City of Ellensburg, WA
• City of Las Cruces, NM
• Scottsboro Water, Sewer & Gas Board, AL

BRONZE
• Austin Utilities, MN
• Chester County Natural Gas Authority, SC
• Clearwater Gas System, FL
• Corinth Gas & Water Department, MS
• Fort Pierce Public Utilities, FL
• Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District, TN
• Richmond Dept. Public Utilities, VA
• City Utilities of Springfield, MO

SAFETY CONTEST AWARD WINNERS


Congratulations to all 38 winners of the 2021 APGA Safety Contest! These gas systems highlight the dedication of APGA members to maintaining the highest safety standards within their system, their communities, and in the natural gas industry.

Among the winning systems, the City of Rangley Gas, CO, will be receiving an award for meeting the criteria to win the safety contest five years in a row. In addition, The City of Fort Morgan, CO, will be receiving an award for meeting that criteria ten years in a row. These are remarkable achievements and serve the entire industry by exemplifying what it means to set and maintain high performance and safety standards. Congratulations to…

2021 GROUP A WINNING SYSTEMS (≤ 8,000 HOURS)
• Town of Rangely Gas, CO (5 YEAR WINNER)

2021 GROUP B WINNING SYSTEMS (8,001 – 18,000 HOURS)
• City of Vernon, CA
• City of Fort Morgan, CO (10 YEAR WINNER)
• City of Americus, GA
• Orange City Municipal Gas System, IA
• Hawarden Municipal Utilities, IA
• City of Ellensburg, WA

2021 GROUP C WINNING SYSTEMS (18,001 – 38,000 HOURS)
• Scottsboro Water, Sewer & Gas Board, AL
• City of Covington, GA
• City of Moultrie, GA
• City of Winder Natural Gas Utility Department, GA
• Coon Rapids Municipal Utilities, IA
• Owatonna Public Utilities, MN
• Borough of Chambersburg, PA

2021 GROUP D WINNING SYSTEMS (38,001 – 70,000 HOURS)
• Decatur Utilities, AL
• Interior Gas Utility, AK
• Henderson Municipal Gas, KY
• Easton Utilities, MD
• Austin Utilities, MN
• City of Wilson - Wilson Energy, NC
• Chester County Natural Gas Authority, SC
• Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities, SC
• Paris-Henry County Public Utility District, TN
• Smyrna Natural Gas Utility, TN
• City of Boerne, TX

2021 GROUP E WINNING SYSTEMS (OVER 70,001 HOURS)
• Clarke-Mobile Counties Gas District, AL
• City of Mesa Energy Resources, AZ
• City of Tallahassee Gas Utility, FL 
• Lake Apopka Natural Gas District, FL 
• City of Lawrenceville, GA
• Midwest Energy Inc., KS
• City Utilities of Springfield, MO
• Greenville Utilities Commission, NC
• Metropolitan Utilities District, NE
• City of Hamilton, OH
• York County Natural Gas Authority, SC
• Jefferson-Cocke County Utility District, TN
• Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District, TN

Questions?

If you have any questions on this event, please contact us!

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