Southern Company System Operations Director in Crystal Lake, Illinois

System Operations Director



The purpose of this System Operations Director position is to provide strategic leadership and direct the safe and reliable operation of the gas distribution system. This role includes the strategic development of departmental business and financial plans and monitoring of performance objectives that drives efficient and effective operating results. This is a key leadership role that provides guidance to the business to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations and maintain and improve reliability, safety and customer service. This person is accountable and responsible for developing department plans and for delivering on performance and financial results, developing and maintaining a competent workforce, ensures company brand image is maintained in the communities they serve while maintaining safety, and quality customer services in best cost-effective manner. This role is responsible for directing operations on the natural gas distribution pipelines and city regulator stations, managing field operations and coordinates construction tie–ins on distribution pipeline and regulator facility replacement projects.


Functional Expertise:

• Accountable for the safe and reliable operations of the distribution system regulator stations, valves and pipeline.

• Responsible to develop emergency response plans supporting Integrity Management Plan - ICDA activities.

• Accountable for security and control access to system facilities.

• Leads & directs personnel to ensure the efforts of all employees align with the corporate strategies.

• Accountable and responsible for maintaining compliance with CFR part 192 and company policies and procedures.

• Accountable for ensuring company technical design specifications and practices are followed (sizing regulator/reliefs).

• Directs emergency response and incident command response within the region.

• Reviews and approves work order main tie in design associated with Public Improvements, System Improvements and other facility improvements.

Business Acumen:

• Responsible for analyzing and interpreting information effectively while responding to system emergencies by taking measures necessary to control system pressures and ensuring public safety during emergency response situations.

• Set strategic direction with internal and external support departments to ensure resources are available to meet the global plan.

• Constructs staffing models to optimize supply and demand requirements for field resources.

• Conducts monthly operational review process including variance explanation and corrective action plans.

• Analyzes and interprets key operating metrics in an effort to create opportunities for improvement.

• Identifies and analyzes opportunities to increase productivity, quality, customer satisfaction and/or safety performance while driving cost out of the business.

• Develops and implements departmental business plan initiatives.

• Develops and implements new processes and procedures resulting from “lessons learned” meetings and “root cause” analysis.

• Recommends mitigation strategies for key operating risk.


• Leads staff selection and performance development through coaching and training opportunities.

• Collaborates with peers and intra-company departments to ensure appropriate performance of service providers and best practices sharing.

• Manages the relationship with internal bargaining unit employees including response to grievances within the local utility.

• Balances external stakeholder (customer, regulatory agency, permitting jurisdiction, etc.) needs with company goals and objectives to reach a favorable resolution to stakeholder issues and/or concerns.

• Develops individual development plans to ensure talent pool growth.

• Participates in appropriate civic activities to ensure company maintains a positive profile in local communities.

Driving Results:

• Establishes environment of positive safety culture.

• Develops and executes annual O&M and capital budget within targets.

• Ensures the development and execution of annual work plans.

• Establishes monitors and drives work goals that are consistent with the department’s and corporation’s overall strategy.

• Drives results through performance management of staff including setting goals and expectations, evaluating results and taking corrective action as needed.

• Assist in development and effectively communicate departmental Business Plan targets, ensure timely monitoring of results and clearly holding self and other accountable for results.

• Conducts monthly operational review with local management and senior leadership.


Education, Certifications/Licenses:


• BA/BS degree or 10 years of gas utility experience.


• MBA, BS (engineering or construction)

Related Work Experience:


• 10 years of supervisory or field experience in natural gas operating/maintenance or construction industry.


• Previous transmission pipeline or station experience with managerial experience directing people

• Applicant may possess a combination of equivalent education and work experience.

Specific Skills & Knowledge:


• Ability to read and interrupt project design plans.

• Develop and approve critical operating routines.

• Develop budgets using software products.

• Develop Business Plans.

• Organize and lead emergency response incidents.

• Solve complex system issues.

• Size regulator and relief capacities.

• Solid knowledge on federal IMP rules.

• Compliance oversight and management leadership skills.

• Project leadership skills.

• Labor management skills.

• Valid driver’s license.

Working Conditions/Physical Requirements:

• The incumbent works in an office environment with occasional trips to the field.

• This position occasionally requires walking of job sites and could require the individual to bend, kneel, or crouch from time to time.


This information describes the general nature and level of work performed by employees in this job. The description is not designed to be a comprehensive inventory of duties, responsibilities and qualifications required in the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to qualified disabled individuals for performance of essential duties and responsibilities.

Southern Company Gas provides for the energy needs of millions of U.S. households and businesses. As the largest natural gas-only distribution company in the United States, with more than 150 years of history behind us, we're working to ensure that Americans have access to an abundant, safely delivered supply of natural gas for decades to come. We offer our customers a wide range of energy services under one umbrella: seven regulated utilities as well as non-regulated businesses that offer retail, wholesale and storage services.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is America's premier energy company, with 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity and 1,500 billion cubic feet of combined natural gas consumption and throughput volume serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries . The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in four states, natural gas distribution companies in seven states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America and a nationally recognized provider of customized energy solutions, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications . Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices that are below the national average. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, Southern Company and its subsidiaries are inventing America's energy future by developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency, and creating new products and services for the benefit of customers. Southern Company has been named by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer, recognized among the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc, listed by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity and designated a Top Employer for Hispanics by Hispanic Network. The company has earned a National Award of Nuclear Science and History from the National Atomic Museum Foundation for its leadership and commitment to nuclear development and is continually ranked among the top energy companies in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at

Southern Company is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Job Field: Gas Pipeline Operations & Maintenance

Job Type: Standard

Primary Location: Illinois-Northern Illinois-Crystal Lake

Operating Company: Nicor Gas

Job Type: Standard

Travel (Up to...): No

Work Location(s):

300 West Terra Cotta (300CrystalLakeCODE)

300 West Terra Cotta

Crystal Lake, 60115

Req ID: GAS2001278