TECO welcomes group from MacDill Air Force Base

Phil Barringer, second from right, talks with visitors from MacDill Air Force Base for Operation Partnership.

Phil Barringer, second from right, talks with visitors from MacDill Air Force Base for Operation Partnership.

They can see Big Bend Power Station from where they work, and like everyone, they see electrical infrastructure everywhere. But it was a visit to TECO Plaza that truly brought a group from MacDill Air Force Base closer to the electricity and natural gas provider that serves them.

Operation Partnership is the name of the program that paired Air Force personnel with TECO team members on May 8. Coordinated byTampa Electric’s Bruce Napier, senior administrator of Training & Organizational Development, the goal was to help the visitors get to know TECO and how it operates. After meeting Phil Barringer, senior vice president of Corporate Services and chief human resource officer, the group split up for tours of the Skills Training Center, the Manatee Viewing Center and other areas. They also learned about TECO’s alternative fuel vehicle efforts from Keith Gruetzmacher, senior manager of Marketing Services with Peoples Gas. Gruetzmacher even held an electric vehicle demonstration outside TECO Plaza.

TECO team members and visitors from MacDill Air Force Base at TECO Plaza for Operation Partnership.

TECO team members and visitors from MacDill Air Force Base at TECO Plaza for Operation Partnership.

Other TECO team members who participated in Operation Partnership included Laura Crouch, Steve Dosal, Mindy Phillips, Peggy Steele and Jamie Woodlee.

“We’re proud of our relationship with MacDill, which we’ve had since the very beginning,” Barringer said, noting that about 10 percent of TECO’s workforce is comprised of military veterans.

That includes Napier, who spent 25 years in the Air Force.

“Whether they’re new to the area or not, I wanted this group to feel at home with TECO as their electric and natural gas utility,” Napier said. “Everyone seemed to respond enthusiastically to Operation Partnership which, true to its name, brought a great group of TECO team members and military personnel together.”

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