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MLGW’s new CEO lays out his plans

Jarl “J.T.” Young’s first encounter with the Memphis City Council netted unanimous approval of his appointment as the next president and CEO of the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division.

Mayor Jim Strickland announced on Monday that Young, who serves as the general manager of customer service and marketing for Gulf Power in Pensacola, Fla., was his choice to succeed Jerry Collins, whose retirement is effective Jan. 31.

Customers doing business with any company want reasonable prices, Young said. “You want high reliability, too. I plan to make sure those two thing are delivered to customers.”

As CEO, Young would earn $320,000 a year. His tenure, which begins March 19, will be a departure from the history of hiring MLGW CEOs from within. 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.

 During a meeting with media on Tuesday, Young said he wanted to take a closer look at rates before addressing any possible rate increases.


The council also has been asked to consider increases in the electric and gas rates.

“It’s a complicated issue. I get it,” Young said. “I will do my best to work with our great team at MLGW. I know they’ve done a good job pulling together the resources and the need for the increase, but I just want to put my own eyes on it.”

Memphis City Council will take up rate hike talks at the next city council meeting in two weeks.

“We’re going to do our best to make sure rates remain low,” Young said.

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