Chesapeake Utilities Strong!

Chesapeake Utilities Strong!

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jeff Householder, President and CEO, has been conducting weekly all-employee calls. For approximately 16 weeks, Jeff’s discussions, and featured guest speakers, have provided us with valuable information related to the pandemic, the safety of our customers and communities. These calls address the well-being of our colleagues and families, contributions to our communities, global and local updates as well as the daily operations of our Company, new initiatives and continuing successes. These weekly calls have kept us connected, reporting valuable information and offering inspiration and reassurance to many. Though the all-employee calls are transitioning to be conducted monthly, the discussions will continue to be engaging, educational and very encouraging. The following are some leadership quotes per the various calls presented over the last three months, which highlight our dynamic culture especially during this unprecedented time:

  • March 25: Jeff Householder, President and CEO

“So our Chesapeake efforts as they’ve been from the start are aimed at two fundamental objectives. First we want to keep our people, our customers and our communities as safe as possible. All of the actions we’ve taken have been designed to lower everyone’s exposure to the virus. Reducing our interaction with other people, social distancing when we are with others, and washing our hands continues to be the best recommendations for keeping all of us safe. Our second objective is to ensure the continuity of our business so that we can continue to provide the energy services that people depend on. Let me make sure we are all clear on this next one because I know there has been some confusion. We are an essential service. The gas and electric services that we provide are absolutely essential to the communities we serve. We are going to keep providing as many of those services and performing as many of our normal business functions as long as possible. We may not do things exactly as we did them before this virus showed up but we will keep operating.”


  • April 8: Guest Speaker Kevin Webber, Senior Vice President, Unregulated Energy Delivery, and Business Development

“I know it seems like all we talk about is COVID-19, and to some degree that probably is true. But, there are a lot of other great activities that don’t pertain to the virus that are occurring every day. These efforts will make our communities and our Company really much stronger when we emerge from this pandemic. In my lifetime, I’ve seen, you know, a presidential assassination; a war that tore the nation apart; an oil embargo that had us running out of natural gas that we couldn’t even put a new gas service in; the 911 terrorist attack; major storms like Andrew, Katrina, Sandy and Michael; the 2008 housing crisis; and many other things. And every one of those, we’ve come back even stronger than we were before as a country. And, I know we will get through this, especially with a really good team like we have at Chesapeake. We will come back stronger and we will make a difference going forward.”


  • April 15: Guest speaker Jeff Sylvester, Senior Vice President, Pipeline Transmission and Regulated Gas and Electric Distribution

“During the first quarter of this year, we’ve been socializing a plan with our leadership team to ensure safety remains our first thought in everything we do.  This in turn will create an environment for us to talk, act and achieve better outcomes in safety. We all need to realize that safety is a journey, not a destination. And continued improvement is critical to our process.”





  • April 22: Guest Speaker Jim Moriarty, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Policy and Risk Officer

“Needless to say, these are extraordinary times. The world as we knew it has changed dramatically. It seems like overnight. For how long, none of us really know. Here at Chesapeake Utilities, we are ever mindful of the evolving landscape and the sacrifices being made across our nation. So, I just want to let you know that we are committed to helping those impacted by the coronavirus and to being a safe haven to our employees, your families, our customers and the communities that we serve. Since the beginning of this pandemic, our goal has been to do our very best to protect and look after each other and to ensure that those who need us most continue to receive our services uninterrupted.”


  • April 29: Guest Speaker Jeff Tietbohl, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company, Peninsula Pipeline Company and Aspire Energy

“I was glancing through the Company’s new annual report this past weekend. The front cover spoke volumes to me and highlights the many positive behaviors and qualities of our employees. They were including commitment, agility, strategy, collaboration, growth, leadership, safety, sustainability, solutions, strength, improvement, team, service, adaptability, performance, community and value. That was quite a mouthful. Did you notice anything missing from this list? There is no mention of coronavirus, pandemic, virus, COVID-19 – why? Our current situation does not define you or who we are as a Company. While our daily lives and business operations are clearly impacted, our Company values do not change, our operational mission remains clear. Whether we perform our jobs remotely from our homes, our vehicles, our many job sites or our office locations, physical location does not matter. Our values drive and bind us as a Company. Our values extend far beyond the brick and mortar of any four office building walls. While we do not see each other on a regular basis in the office these days, the operational results of your tireless and committed efforts to serve our customers and each other are highly visible to everyone every day. We are a great team, today. Going forward, how we team in our new normal will be just as important as the team itself.”


  • May 6: Guest Speaker Danielle Mulligan, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Communications and Marketing

“How do we consolidate the communication gains we have made during the pandemic? By continuing to work together to problem solve; to share best practices; to standardize the look, feel, and tone of all of our messaging; and working together for the greater good of the entire organization. This has to be our new normal in order to overcome the challenges and threats that lie ahead. What needs improvement is our ability to reach you and our customers through preferred communications channels with consistent and always useful information. And finally, where do we go from here? We have to have the right technology in place to help us work smarter and better. Two-way communication throughout the entire organization so we can all engage in helping our Company improve and grow is critical. And making sure we have a well-executed internal and external communications strategy in place will keep our brand flourishing and all of us safer.”


  • May 13: Guest Speaker Shane Breakie, Vice President, Chesapeake Utilities and Sandpiper Energy

“So as you just heard a lot is going on and it is due to a great team we have around the Company. There are a lot of people to thank and if I didn’t mention you, I apologize and I will thank you personally. All of those stretch goals I mentioned earlier have become reality. Those silos are coming down and we are benefiting with increased productivity. And this virus didn’t slow us down. I believe it has actually motivated us more. And we are setting ourselves to be in a much better position when we come out of this and well into the future. We will be more efficient, we will communicate better and safety will always be our priority.”


  • May 20: Guest Speaker Lou Anatrella, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

“It is essential that we hear from everyone and clearly understand the behaviors and all the things that you value most about our culture. So we don’t lose our secret sauce during a time when so many things that affect our culture are changing – like as Jeff said this morning, things like figuring out what our new normal looks like post COVID, returning to our workplace, changing our physical workplace, work from home arrangements, our policies, and rethinking work itself. All those things have a huge impact on culture. And I mentioned earlier about being in this spot to turn the crisis into an opportunity. We are really in the perfect position now and have the momentum to engage all of you. The entire Company can take a giant leap forward. And the more people we have engaged in this, the bigger the leap. So, I invite all of you to fully participate and encourage you to keep giving us your valuable feedback. We’ll use this to make your Company stronger and better.”


  • May 27: Guest Speaker Bill Hancock, Assistant Vice President, Fuel Supply and Logistics

Each member of our team has a unique perspective that was formed through their particular experience whether that be regional – Florida, Ohio, the Mid-Atlantic – or commodity based- propane versus natural gas. You might fairly assume given the disparate and dispersed composition of our team that it would take a while for us to become fully operational. But, not yet six months into the new organizational structure and even considering the headwinds of a virus-driven pandemic, I can assuredly report that our Energy Logistics group is already hitting its full stride. This is a testament to the discipline and effort of our Energy Logistic teammates as well as the empowering and quite entrepreneurial culture of Chesapeake. We’ve got people who take personal responsibility for the Company’s success and they’re committed to deliver even in difficult conditions.”


  • June 10: Guest Speaker Andy Hesson, Vice President, Propane Operations

“Our success comes from our employees executing at a high level – building relationships in the community and offering the little extra that creates a positive word of mouth, which allows us to grow and retain customers at an amazing clip. This is why Chesapeake is resilient. It continues to hit milestone after milestone. It is part of why we accomplished so much as a company. Our employees know how to overcome challenges. We know how to take care of each other. We know how to grow our business. And we know how to deliver results. So the new expectation we have before us is to return to work after this pandemic, a better company than before. This pandemic should not be an obstacle but an opportunity to rethink, redefine and establish a new approach that benefits everybody. And all we have to do to achieve it, is to look back and see how time and again we have come together not only in need, but to exceed each expectation that is placed in front of us. This is who we are. This is what we do. This is the Chesapeake company we’ve come to love. I look forward to being part of the next wave of success with all of you.”


  • June 17: Guest Speaker John Schimkaitis, Chair of the Board, Retired President and Chief Executive Officer

“The Board constantly addresses risk factors and I don’t believe that any of us ever thought that there would be a crisis of this magnitude that impacted not only the Company but the entire nation and the world. As a board member, I want everyone to know that all members of the board are extremely impressed and appreciative of how the employees have dealt with and handled the COVID-19 crisis. It is difficult to say when all of this will end, but the Company has adapted quickly and I believe will continue to do so with the continued commitment and dedication of the employees. Again, thanks for your efforts and sacrifices to keep Chesapeake running for all of its customers during the past few months.”

  • June 24: Guest Speaker Ch
    eryl Martin, Vice President, Regulatory & Governmental Affairs

“In recent conversations with Jeff about gender diversity, he asked me to help organize a broader diversity and inclusion effort at Chesapeake Utilities that recognizes our need for continued work on addressing inequalities beyond just gender. Our nation and communities have had a tough year so far. We are not only dealing with the pandemic and economic losses. But, we’re also dealing with heartache, anger and frustration over race, inequalities and prejudices in our communities. The hopeful news, from my perspective, is that I also believe we’re dealing with the emergence of something with the potential to be truly transformative. A nationwide movement that will result in more awareness, understanding and equality for all, including race, religion and sexual orientation.”


  • July 15: Jeff Householder, President and CEO

“You know I am often asked if there is anything positive that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an easy answer for me. I’ve seen a remarkable change in the way we communicate and seek employee input across the organization. There’s been a positive change in the culture. I see collaboration between units that simply was not present before the pandemic. We’ve identified numerous weaknesses in our processes and the ‘way we run the business’ as a result of dealing with this rotten virus. We’ve also accelerated our transformation planning based on what we learned and what we now know we have to address. I also think that figuring out how to handle a pandemic – keep operating, keep our major capital projects going – has increased our confidence that we can meet difficult challenges head on and be successful. I hear that almost every day. Most importantly, I believe we’ve advanced our safety awareness in every area of the Company. I would not wish COVID-19 on anyone. But, there are very many positive aspects to our response.”


  • August 12: Guest speaker, Beth Cooper, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Corporate Secretary

“I am fortunate to be surrounded by a great team of finance professionals whose sole focus is to be a business partner as well as serving as the communications conduit to the financial market and our shareholders.  I feel very blessed to work with this great team each and every day; to be a part of this growing company; and to support you as you successfully position and lead us through the next steps of our growth strategy. There was never a better time to be with Chesapeake Utilities.   I know many people who have lost their jobs and many others who do not know what the future holds. They are certainly not employed by organizations that are focused on trying to generate performance close to budget. We are operating from a very unique place and one that makes me very proud.”


To listen to a replay of any of Jeff Householder’s all-employee calls, visit our CaresConnect employee app or the SharePoint site, Pandemic Response Employee Updates, at