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Hometown Pride: Steve Green

Hometown Pride features a person each week who helps make the community better.

Steve Green is the senior manager of quality assurance and special projects at Liberty Utilities. After serving in the army, Green graduated at Southeast Missouri State University and has been working in utilities for the past 35 years. He lived in Jackson from 1985 to 1990, and came back in 2000.

He started at Associated Natural Gas Company until they were sold in 2000 to Atmos Energy. Green then worked for Atmos until they sold its Missouri, Iowa and Illinois operations to Liberty Utilities in 2012. Green has been with Liberty Utilities ever since.

How did you first get into the utilities business?

After graduating high school, I went to college for three semesters. This was at the time of the Vietnam War. so I ended up joining the army. I spent three years in the army — two-and-a-half years were in Germany so it wasn’t so bad. I did not go to Vietnam.

And when I got out, I worked full-time as a heavy equipment operator and went to school at night and on Saturdays. This was before the computer age where you do things online.

When I was 30 years old, I graduated from SEMO and the utility company came to the placement office and did interviews. I was interviewed and hired out of the placement office at SEMO in 1982, and I’ve been with them now 35 years.

Where are you from?

I was raised in Scott City. I graduated high school in Scott City. I moved to Jackson in 1985, and was the local manager of the gas company here from 1985 to 1990. A lot of people still remember the previous manager, Bob Brock, for his world famous barbecue.

What aspect of your job do you find most rewarding?

I respond to all the customer complaints that go through our regulators in three states — Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.

We don’t have very many. In the three states, we’ll have usually less than 20 complaints per year where they call and talk with our regulators.

Solving those problems and working with the customers in that area is probably the most rewarding.

What are you most proud of at Liberty Utilities?

Probably that we interact with the community. Right now we’re in a big campaign for Pink Up at Saint Francis hospital, sponsoring a golf tournament. Last year was the first time we did that, and we were able to provide seven or eight thousand dollars to Saint Francis for breast cancer awareness.

What do you like most about this area?

Oh gee, I love it. What I love the most about this area is primarily the people and the rolling hills. See when I left here in 1990, I was transferred to Arkansas — flat as a pancake.

And the people are a little different down there too. I was very fortunate to get to come back to Jackson in 2000. I’m not going to leave again.

What is something people may not know about you?
 
I’m a clock collector. When I was in Germany, I bought a few clocks and got interested in them. I collect a particular brand of clocks from Germany that existed from 1854 to 1930 called Lenzkirch. They were the Cadillac of German factory clock makers at that time.

I built a case for a [Lenzkirch clock] movement. You have a mechanical movement that is 150 years old, you take it apart to clean it and there’s no wear in it whatsoever. They’re extremely well engineered, and you have to respect that. Their craftsmanship and work is unmatched.

Another thing that people probably don’t know about is that I’ve actually published a six-page article for a magazine on those clocks.

What else are you involved with in Jackson?

I’ve been the president of the chamber. I’ve been president and vice president of the Jackson Industrial Development Company, and I’m still on that board.

I’ve been on the board of the Jackson Heritage Association. One year back in the 80s I was even president of the Cape Girardeau [County] Genealogical Society, which you don’t hear a lot about but they’re still a good group.

I’m also on the board with Rotary. I’ve been a Rotarian all of those years.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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