Pensacola, Fla. native Jarl T. “J.T.” Young has decided to leave the community that family, friends and acquaintances say he loves. He’s on track to move to Memphis as the next president and CEO of Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division.
The choice of Mayor Jim Strickland, Young’s appointment is subject to approval by the Memphis City Council, which gets the first opportunity to meet him on Tuesday. Young now serves as the general manager of customer service and marketing for Gulf Power in Pensacola.
Strickland is banking on Young’s 35 years of experience and customer service prowess.
“J.T.’s knowledge and experience in the industry, along with his record of creating a culture around excellent customer service, grabbed my attention,” Strickland said. “He’s highly qualified and I know he’ll fit in well here and lead MLGW into the future.”
A graduate of the Harvard Business School General Management Program, Young has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of West Florida and an electrical engineering degree from the University of Florida.
“MLGW and the community of Memphis have a rich history and a bright future,” said Young. “I am blessed and eager to serve with the great team at MLGW as we move the company forward in delivering exceptional customer value.”
On a 3-minute-plus video produced in conjunction with Young’s 2017 selection as the PACE (Pensacola Area Commitment to Excellence) Awards Community Leader of the Year, his wife, Deidre Young, gave the lead-off reflection.
“Whatever Jarl does, he gives his heart to it,” she said. “So what he does in the community is a reflection of who he is all the time.”
The Youngs have two sons, Jarl II (‘Thomas’) and Joseph.
“My dad is passionate about helping people,” Thomas Young says on the PACE video. “He’s also passionate about doing the right thing. Integrity is very important to him. He’s always tried to instill that within my brother and I as well. That no matter what, when nobody is watching, your integrity is who you are.”
Joseph Young said his father was committed to seeing Pensacola do well, grow and flourish and took advantage of the opportunity to make that happen.
Most recently, Young was honored with Pensacola’s 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. “Living the Dream” award. He emerged from a national search as Strickland’s choice to succeed MLGW CEO Jerry Collins, whose retirement is effective Jan. 31.
Pending City Council approval, Young’s tenure as MLGW’s CEO would begin March 19. Meanwhile, Dana Jeanes will handle the utility company’s daily operations as the chief utility officer, a new interim position. She is chief financial officer and secretary-treasurer. The interim president and CEO is MLGW’s Board of Commissioners Chairman Steven Wishnia.