Q&A with Mike McMasters, President & CEO
What does being a Top Workplace honoree mean to you…to the Company?
Being a Top Workplace is an honor, and for me it reflects our employees— who we are.
For the Company, the honor recognizes and reinforces our character and how we treat our customers and each other; our dedication to our work; and our commitment to the communities where we live and work.
I am grateful for our employees as it is their enthusiasm, perseverance and teamwork that make us the Company which we are today, and all that we have achieved is credited to their countless contributions.
In your opinion, what has been the driving force that has led to the Company’s Top Workplace recognition for five consecutive years?
It all starts with the quality of our employees. Our employees are the driving force, the creative energy behind our performance and our continued long-term growth.
Across our Company, our employees’ determination to excel and continuous teamwork has led to our Company’s success and truly our five-year Top Workplace recognition. Our Company is comprised of talented, hardworking professionals who are always looking for different ways which they may help our customers and communities.
Our employees’ creativity and dedication enable us to pursue growth initiatives to achieve our objectives and generate positive results. In support of our employees’ efforts, we offer a variety of employee programs that recognize our employees’ contributions and accomplishments, and allow people to connect with one another on a personal level, creating more of a family atmosphere.
Our employees form our caring culture, working together aligned with our strategic plan; encouraging each other; and identifying new and challenging opportunities to utilize their creative ideas, innovative solutions and operational excellence. Whether it is a strategic project such as the Eight Flags Energy CHP Plant, a holiday toy drive for our communities, or an Annual Celebration, our employees follow that same teamwork approach when interacting with customers and communities.
Our employees are the strength of our Company and everyone plays a valuable role in accomplishing our goals. Our employees are driven to serve our customers and communities well, and remain disciplined in the execution of our growth strategy. As we continue on this path, we will continue to be a Top Workplace.
You have been with the Company for more than 30 years. What is different that distinguishes the Company as a Top Workplace now?
Thirty years ago we were a smaller company with a family-like atmosphere committed to doing our best for each other, our customers and our communities. Since then, as we have expanded our geographic and market footprints, our employees’ committed spirit has remained constant. Currently, we still embrace a family-like culture, and our employees continue to be persistent in identifying new ideas and strive to excel in everything that they do.
Perhaps, not so much different from 30 years ago, but more of a key factor to our success within the last three decades, has been the continuous companywide collaboration. Even as we continue to grow as a Company, our strategic planning process requires that all of our business units look ahead together as one Company to develop a five-year plan. This concerted effort generates a dynamic plan that challenges all of us to focus on investment opportunities that can sustain the growth required to achieve our aggressive targets over the long term.
So year after year, we remain both aggressive and disciplined as we continue to build upon the foundation that has already been laid and identify new opportunities which we pursue collectively, utilizing expertise across the Company.
Growth of the Company has been significant and successful. Going forward, what is the key for Chesapeake to continue to grow?
Throughout the year, I am amazed by our Company’s accomplishments and all that our employees do.
Aspire Energy has been successful in extending our service territory in Ohio. This enabled us to identify additional opportunities in the Ohio area, contributing $3.7 million in operating income in 2016. As of 2016, Sandpiper Energy has converted more than 3,700 customers, bringing safe and affordable natural gas to Worcester County, Maryland. Sandpiper Energy recently extended our service to customers in the town of Ocean City, Maryland.
“AS WE CONTINUE TO ENGAGE OUR EMPLOYEES, OUR COMPANY CONTINUES TO THRIVE.”
— Mike McMasters, President & CEO
In 2016, we hosted a groundbreaking event for the new building being constructed in Dover, Delaware. Our new facility will be home to Chesapeake Utilities, ESNG and Customer Care. This exemplifies the growth we have experienced. Sharp Energy completed the construction of its new office location in Georgetown, Delaware and hosted a ribbon cutting event this past summer. This location positions Sharp Energy for the growth occurring in Sussex County.
Sharp Energy has been a leader in AutoGas growth. With the reduced emissions and lower costs, Sharp Energy’s AutoGas currently fuels over 600 vehicles with 12 public and 19 private fueling stations, displacing approximately one million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuels annually.
Our Eight Flags Energy CHP Plant on Amelia Island in Florida held a commissioning event in honor of the completion of the CHP Plant. This plant is the first of its kind for our Company and an example of our employees’ strategic solution to meet our customers’ needs while reducing emissions and providing savings to our customers. PESCO has experienced significant growth in 2016. We expanded our business across major pipelines, expanded into new geographies like Ohio, grew our revenue and recruited a strong team to provide the foundation for new growth.
Lastly, ESNG finalized a precedent agreement with seven existing customers for the largest single pipeline expansion in our Company’s history. This will increase the firm transportation deliverability by approximately 25 percent.
All of this is rather incredible and a direct result of our continuous teamwork and determination to excel!
Lastly, for recognition in 2017, how are we going to “top” this year?
Our employees are the strength of our Company and everyone plays a valuable role in accomplishing our goals. Our employees are driven to serve our customers and communities well, and remain disciplined in the execution of our growth strategy.
We strongly emphasize a caring culture through our employee programs and our strategic planning that recognizes employee accomplishments, encourages our employees and provides employees with new and challenging opportunities to utilize their creative ideas, innovative solutions and operational excellence.
As we continue on this path, we will continue to be a Top Workplace.