We’re excited to spotlight Cole Society Leadership member James D. Anderson!
Tell us about your role at Southern Company.
I lead the accounting team at one of Southern Company Gas’ non-regulated businesses – SouthStar Energy Services. I also serve on the Board of Directors for the company’s sponsored credit union, as well as Treasurer of the Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation.
How have you seen your work change in the last 18 months?
We embraced the new dynamic during the first few weeks of remote work in 2020 by ensuring personal connections for long-term and new employees remained strong. This included having dedicated time to connect in person or by video for purposeful conversations to celebrate together the milestones of life that we used to do in the office. I found that many of us actually know more about our work colleagues, as work and personal was blurred together on our screens. Clearly the future of in office work will be different than before and being flexible to a hybrid work model will be important to our success as many of my colleagues thoroughly enjoy less time in the office.
Southern Company Gas also embarked on meaningful and challenging DEI discussions, which I have heard others describe like climbing a mountain, and you look down and say we have come so far and we are proud of ourselves, but then look up and see how much further we have to climb and we have a long way to go.
You have been supporting United Way for almost 20 years! What inspires you to Live United?
One of Southern Company’s values include total commitment to the success of our communities. This is important in who we are as a company. I also recall my first United Way Campaign in 2001, and through each subsequent year the personal stories of those in the community that have benefited from the United Way motivates me to continuing my support. I believe one of the reasons for the success of metro-Atlanta is due to the United Way.
United Way recently launched the Unite for More campaign. What do you want to see more of in our community?
At this point in the pandemic, we need to advocate for more housing assistance for those who are at risk of losing their homes.
What is your favorite book?
Usually the last one I read, which happens to be historical background on Greece and the island of Santorini, which I hope to visit later this year.