This story was originally published in The Star-Herald.
By Nancy Green
Bringing additional natural gas service to Kosciusko and Attala County is bringing economic development as the result of the Attala Industrial Park being one of the first beneficiaries of the commission-approved fund of $2.1 million.
Atmos Energy on Veterans Memorial Drive, hosted a groundbreaking last summer as the announcement was made of the proposed gas line that will ensure an adequate gas supply for area businesses and industries.
Atmos Energy supplies a service from which most everyone in the area benefits. Whether in the home or at a business, an interruption of gas service or other problem that affects anyone brings a problem.
Behind the scenes, there is someone who makes it his job to see that every day operations of the company are carried out and should problems arise, getting them solved is a priority.
David Skinner, operations supervisor with Atmos in Kosciusko, is the person who fits that job description. With 28 and one half years with the utility, the Kosciusko native can say he has come “full circle.” His position with Atmos brought him back to Kosciusko after he spent years advancing through the ranks working for Atmos in several Mississippi cities.
When the company was known as Mississippi Valley Gas and the Kosciusko office was located just off the square, he submitted an application shortly after he earned credits from Holmes Community College attributing that listing on his resume as being very beneficial to his success.
His first job with the company took him to Louisville as a laborer. He entered an apprentice program and advanced to a service technician to begin his climb through the company positions.
“I’m a people person and I enjoy helping where there is a problem. When someone has been told something cannot be done, I like to do the best I can to solve it and do what is best for that person,” said Skinner. “And I try to do it with a smile.”
In the day-to-day operation of the Kosciusko office he is responsible for a three-man construction crew, six service technicians, one operations assistant and one meter reader. His operations assistant in the office is Donna Vance, and Beverly Graham is with the revenue management department of the company.
From Louisville his advancement to marketing representative/technical assistant took him to positions in Cleveland, Yazoo City and Jackson.
His return to Kosciusko came in May, 2009. He succeeds the late Harrold Sturdivant as operations supervisor.
Skinner said he likes to have his day planned but knows that one telephone call can change everything. “My main concern is to make sure customers are safe and that the service men take care of problems,” he said.
Skinner takes pride in his involvement with a major utility that serves the city and its residents. He pointed out
that Atmos has made a significant investment in our gas system to make it safe and reliable to customers. The efficiency of the company is noted, Skinner said, in the fact that during the extreme cold weather in December there were no problems. “The natural gas supply is abundant with enough available to last the next 100 years.”
In keeping with the company’s policy of giving back to the community Skinner has taken that personally. He serves as vice president of program operations and facilities of the Oprah Winfrey Boys and Girls Club, is a member of the Lions Club and serves on the city planning committee.
He and his wife Bernadette are parents of 12 year-old twin daughters, Amelia and Cecilia who are seventh graders.