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Strategy

Meet Gary Gibson, The New General Manager of Springfield's City Utilities

Gary Gibson has worked for City Utilities for 28 years, and has worked his way up to management and supervisory positions. Now, in the company’s 75th year, Gibson is stepping into the role of general manager.

By Jamie Thomas

Mar 2020

Gary Gibson photo by Brad Zweerink
Photo by Brad ZweerinkGary Gibson is the new general manager of City Utilities

What’s kept him at City Utilities for 28 years:
“It comes down to people. I had worked a couple of different places in college, but when I came to work at City Utilities the caliber of the people I got to work with was noticeably different. My co-workers and their commitment to the community is really what’s kept me here for 28 years.”

Where he finds his inspiration:
“It definitely has to start with my father when I was growing up. We grew up in a very small community where he worked in the farm supply business. I remember spending lots of weekends as a little guy out with him just helping other people. That's kind of what cemented that service ethic.”

His vision as City Utilities general manager:
“Scott [Miller] did an excellent job. He’s leaving us on a solid foundation. I feel like my mandate from the board and the community is to maintain and build on the success that he’s left us with, have a vision for technical innovation and take some reasonable risks with a focus on customer engagement.”

The advice he’d give to his younger self:
“Don’t be afraid of confrontation. I’ve always felt like I’m a nice guy, and early on in my career, it was one of those things where you didn’t want to offend anybody. But you have to just be honest and open.”

The first thing he put in his new office:
“Going back to my dad, one of the things he did when he retired—I lost my dad about eight years ago—he did scroll saw art. I have a scroll saw decoration of a train that he’d cut out that he was working on when he passed away. I put that up in here because it reminds me of him and the things he taught me. I also have a lamp made out of an electric meter that a former City Utilities colleague made for me. It reinforces that we’re here to keep the lights on every day.”