History of Grey Forest Utilities
Grey Forest Utilities was founded in the fall of 1967 when the City of Grey Forest received a bond for the purpose of constructing a gas utility system. The elected officials of the City of Grey Forest at that time wanted to provide natural gas to the citizens of their community and in the process realized that they would also be able to serve the community and other areas in which natural gas was not readily available at that time.
The foresight of Mr. Jack Nottingham and his dream of what a natural gas company could mean to Grey Forest and the surrounding communities created a motivation that was unstoppable. He fought for the utility to succeed. Jack worked day and night as the Utility’s only employee. When the utility first started there were some very lean years. Jack never lost hope or momentum and his enthusiasm was contagious. Grey Forest Utilities owes its initial establishment and success to the vision of Jack Nottingham, the Grey Forest City Council, and a hand-full of citizens. At our annual meeting for 2007 Mr. Nottingham was presented the paid bond coupons for the original 1967 Bond that was retired at the end of 2007.
In 1980, Grey Forest City Council created a board of trustees with the vision that a Board of Trustees would provide for the future growth and management of the utility. The Board of Trustees is tasked with the management of the utility and all decisions related to utility operations. The Board was also tasked with hiring a General Manager of the utility for the purpose of professional management of the utility on a day to day basis. The founding board members consisted of Mary Stiles, Claude Yeager, C.O. Brown, W.A. Muir and Grey Forest Mayor Virginia Springer. Since 1980 various citizens from the City of Grey Forest have served on the Board and provided guidance to the utility management. The current board consists of Harry Drought, since 1985, Claude Yeager, since 1986, Pat Tiner, since 2016, Phil Howard, since 2018 and Arnold Briones, Jr. since 2014. The trustees, both past and present, have worked to sustain the vision of Jack Nottingham and the other original supporters of the utility.
In May of 2003 the trustees hired William “Jeff” English as General Manager. Jeff replaced Jim Tipton who retired officially that July. Since 1981, Jeff has gained experience in publicly owned natural gas distribution, gas construction management, development of energy service projects and natural gas marketing and sales. He has worked both domestically and internationally as a senior level utility operations expert. He has been published in the areas of natural gas and energy deregulation and is considered an authority on management process revitalization and streamlined decision making at all management levels. He is a past President of the American Public Gas Association.
Grey Forest Utilities has grown steadily over the years. One of our extraordinary qualities is one-on-one attention that we feel is crucial. We have avoided the frustrating telephone menus that other companies have adopted. Our exemplary customer service continues in the field. Unlike other companies we do not schedule a range of times to meet with a customer or prospective customer. We understand your time is valuable. We schedule a precise time for a meeting in a way that is mutually convenient. These are the services for which we are recognized.
We proudly serve northwest metropolitan San Antonio. Our reputation for service extends beyond residential customers. There are developers, builders and major engineering firms that have cited our organization as the utility company easiest to do business with and we strive to maintain that reputation. There has been a general consensus that we are large enough to get a project completed quickly, yet small enough for each project to be a priority. Some of our customers include Lifetime Fitness, The Shops at La Cantera, Valero Headquarters, Martin Marietta Materials and the Resort at La Cantera to name just a few.
Grey Forest Utilities will never hold claim to be the largest natural gas utility company but every one of our employees has committed to make it the best utility provider experience for our customers.
Our goal is to always be “Real People Who Care”.