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Meet the Speaker: Maryann Heil of Atmos Energy

Meet Maryann Heil of Atmos Energy. She is presenting on how to Leverage Resistance at the upcoming Change Management for Utilities Conference this September in San Diego.

 

Q: Name, title, company?
A: Maryann Heil, Business Process and Organizational Change Management, Atmos Energy Corporation

heil windermere

Q: Family, hometown, where you live?
A: I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, where my great-grandfather started a moving and storage business in 1901. He built his business by moving steam trunks for John D. Rockefeller and other oil executives. I grew up working for my father in the business. And toiling away in a family enterprise taught me a lot. Patience, mainly. But before I was 16, I knew how to balance and read a balance sheet, drive a tractor-trailer, operate a tow motor, and pack/load a truck. Most importantly, I learned how to work with and respect people. I currently live in Dallas, Texas.

Q: What is your utility/change management experience?
A: I have worked for two natural gas companies. Working at these two companies connected me to colleagues, customers, and markets from the Atlantic Coast to the Rocky Mountains. I have worked on all sizes of projects, ranging from spinning off a pipeline group to be a separate entity to streamlining a financial system and creating one standard general ledger for all divisions to use.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working? Hobbies?
A: We moved to Dallas last year so we have spent most of our time getting to know our new home state. 

Q: Notable achievements?
A: This year my white paper for ACMP was selected as one of the top three submissions and was published for the 2017 ACMP Conference. I recently was elected as ACMP North Texas Regional Director.

Q: Where do you see Change Management in utilities in two years?
A: The utility industry will face a number of issues in the next few years, including aging infrastructure and uncertain regulatory environments. As a result, leaders will ask employees to adapt to change much quicker than in the past, without sacrificing quality and without disrupting company culture. Change management will be crucial to this process.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: Getting use to the Texas heat. I once thought two or three days of 90 degree temperatures was a heat wave. Now it’s relief from a week’s worth of 100 degree days.

Q: What did you do prior to working in your current role?
A: Before entering the natural gas industry, I worked for the State of Ohio – in the Department of Taxation and at the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Q: Who are a couple of your role models (and why)?
A: I had a great role model when I worked for the State of Ohio fresh out of college. My boss taught me a great lesson: “know your worth.” I mentioned to him once that a co-worker was makig a lot more than I was even though I had a lot more responsibilities. I knew my co-worker had been at the agency for over 20 years, but I felt I deserved a raise. He asked me, “How much is the market willing to pay for what you do?” I rose to his challenge, updated my resume, and applied for jobs. I found that I was paid pretty well for someone who had little experience in her early twenties I learned to figure out what the market is asking for — whether it is experience, certification, or education.

Q: What is one of your biggest goals (in life or business)?
A: To travel more.

Q: What’s the biggest misconception you run into in your role (or what people seem to think about Change Management?
A: Communication and training is all you need to ensure change.