Meet Mountain’s plant manager Steven Gullett
By Noble Sprayberry
Steven Gullett wondered how far from home a career might take him. He grew up in West Liberty and attended Morgan County High School.
“I always thought it would be nice to stay home, but I didn’t know if it would be possible,” he says. “I’ve been fortunate.”
In February, he was named Mountain’s plant manager, stepping in for Rick Pelfrey, who retired. The job oversees 46 employees and many other responsibilities, including crews, lines, buildings and technology.
“In the past, we’ve had some real good leadership from our board, GM and our plant managers,” he says. “They’ve made good decisions over the years, and I hope to do the same.”
Gullett, 41, can rely on experience to guide his choices.
Seizing an opportunity
After graduating from high school, he began commuting 30 miles north to attend Morehead State University. “When I went to college, I thought that I would be a schoolteacher,” he says. “But when I started working summers at the co-op, they couldn’t get rid of me.”
His first tools were a mower and string trimmer. He kept grass clear at remote sites. “I got to see our entire service area, learning all the parts and the way it works,” Gullett says.
And he kept working. Eventually, he was offered a full-time job, but he would first need to complete a college degree. “I was able to get a degree in university studies, and then I started work (in 1998),” he says.
Over the years, Gullett worked in the Mountain departments responsible for service to homes, as well as businesses.
“My morals have stayed the same, and I’ve grown up,” he says. The company’s culture helped him develop a work ethic and an understanding that a job needs to be done well. “The way we work, we don’t have someone standing over us telling us how it’s done,” he says. “You have some control.”
Now, his days begin around 7 a.m., lasting late into the afternoon. “Being available is the most important aspect of the job,” he says. “When someone calls, I need to answer.”
Keeping pace with
During the years he grew into the job with Mountain, technology also developed at a blistering pace. “When I started, it was pretty much just dial-up Internet service, and it was foreign to everyone,” he says.
Mountain has evolved to meet the challenges of new technology and customer demand, offering services such as IPTV, which transmits a high-quality television signal through an Ethernet connection.
“Technology is always changing, and we have to change with it,” Gullett says. “And the only thing you can predict is that it’s going to keep changing. But, I think we have the staff to keep up.”