OGA Pipeline 2016 - 16


FEATURE

Ohio Family-Owned Gas
Utilities Survive and Thrive
BY NEIL DURBIN

OHIO'S NATURAL GAS UTILITIES range from large subsidiaries
of Fortune 500 companies to smaller, family-owned companies.
Three of those firms, whose origins date back to the late 1800s,
have endured into a third century of service - under a fourth
generation of family leadership.
Without doubt, the business and customer service experience
can differ between large corporations and family enterprises, notes
Robert Stitt Black, whose great-grandfather, R. G. Stitt, founded
The Waterville Gas Company in 1888. He is part of the fourth generation to manage the family business. His brother, Jamie Black,
former secretary-treasurer, retired in 2015 after 38 years' service.

OGA Founding Families: Bert Sheldon, of Sheldon Gas, front row, third from left, attends an
early Ohio Gas Association meeting in the 1970s. Tim and Mike Poole of Arlington Gas, barely
visible in the fifth row, second and fourth from left, respectively, also attended the meeting.
Photo courtesy of Sheldon Gas.

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"Your customers are your next door neighbors," Rob Black
says. "Our customers appreciate the personal touches that our
team provides."
Another advantage of operating a family company, according
to Rob Black, is that his company's employees can focus on pleasing customers, rather than appeasing shareholders. "We do not
worry about Wall Street just Main Street. We are able to think and
perform generationally not quarterly."
R. G. Stitt came to northwest Ohio to drill oil wells, and then
entered the natural gas business in Waterville. His son, Robert,
joined the family business. Robert Stitt had one daughter, whose
husband, William Black, ran the company in the third generation.
Black's sons, Rob and Jamie, continued the line of family leadership. Waterville Gas now serves 6,700 customers in the village of
Waterville and portions of Middleton, Monclova, Perrysburg and
Waterville townships
Mike Poole, secretary-treasurer of The Arlington Natural Gas
Company in Van Buren, shares a similar story: "My family has been
involved with the company since its incorporation in 1916, but our
history goes back to the company's inception in the late 1800s."
Originally founded as The Van Buren Gas Company to serve
customers with local natural gas production, the firm temporarily moved its offices to nearby Arlington, where the company
was incorporated as the Arlington Gas Company. Although the
company soon moved back to Van Buren, it remained under
the Arlington banner to save the legal hassle of changing the
corporate name.
"Four generations of the Poole family have worked with the
company, beginning with the founder, our great-grandfather,
Peter Poole," Mike Poole recalls. "Then there was our grandfather,
John Poole, and then our father, George Poole. My brothers, Tim
and Tom, serve as co-presidents."

www.ohiogasassoc.org


http://www.ohiogasassoc.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of OGA Pipeline 2016

President’s Corner
Executive Roundtable
Generation to Generation: Ohio Family-Owned Gas Utilities Survive and Thrive
OGA Members Work to Refill the Jobs Pipeline in Response to Pending Retirements
Using New Approaches to Proclaim the Call Before Digging Safety Message
Vacuum Excavation Delivers Safer, More Precise Digging, Expediting Restoration, Reducing Costs
Practicing the Art of Safety: Protecting Employees Helps Protect Companies
Pipeline Spotlight: PUCO Chair Asim Z. Haque
2016 OGA Affiliate, Associate and Corporate Members Listings
2016 OGA Executive Board and Committee Listings
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
OGA Pipeline 2016 - cover1
OGA Pipeline 2016 - cover2
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 3
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 4
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 5
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 6
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 7
OGA Pipeline 2016 - President’s Corner
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 9
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 10
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 11
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 12
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 13
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Executive Roundtable
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 15
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Generation to Generation: Ohio Family-Owned Gas Utilities Survive and Thrive
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 17
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 18
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 19
OGA Pipeline 2016 - OGA Members Work to Refill the Jobs Pipeline in Response to Pending Retirements
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 21
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 22
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 23
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Using New Approaches to Proclaim the Call Before Digging Safety Message
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 25
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 26
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 27
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Vacuum Excavation Delivers Safer, More Precise Digging, Expediting Restoration, Reducing Costs
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 29
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 30
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Practicing the Art of Safety: Protecting Employees Helps Protect Companies
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Pipeline Spotlight: PUCO Chair Asim Z. Haque
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 33
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 2016 OGA Affiliate, Associate and Corporate Members Listings
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 35
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 36
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 37
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 38
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 39
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 2016 OGA Executive Board and Committee Listings
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 41
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
OGA Pipeline 2016 - cover3
OGA Pipeline 2016 - cover4
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 45
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 46
OGA Pipeline 2016 - outsert1
OGA Pipeline 2016 - outsert2
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