About the author: Hi, my name is Montana and I had the great fortune of being recruited into Williams’ Professional Development Program after graduating from Black Hills State University. For the very few of you who have never heard of BHSU, it’s situated in the northern Black Hills of western South Dakota. As a business track PDP, my first rotation was in Gas Management, my second was Economic Project Analysis, and my third was Treasury & Insurance. During my Treasury rotation, I accepted an offer to join the Appalachian Basin Operating Area team as their East Operations Supervisor. While a leap from Finance & Accounting to an Operations leadership position is a non-traditional path, my prior experience – in addition to being a PDP – helped make a smooth landing.
Into the Fray: From the Tower to the Tip of the Spear
I came into Williams’ Professional Development Program on a path less traveled, and I have now exited on a similar path. Prior to even considering higher education I attended a trade school in Laramie, WY, to obtain vocational training in the field of automotive technology, high performance engines, and chassis fabrication.
After working as an auto technician for about a year I enlisted in the active duty United States Air Force and became an aircraft fuel system specialist. My first assignment was at Osan, AB, on the Korean Peninsula, otherwise known as the “tip of the spear,” where I worked the U2 airframe.
A year later I was reassigned to Aviano, AB, in Italy, where I had the pleasure of working on the finest fighter aircraft ever manufactured, the F-16 Falcon (don’t let F-15, A-10, or F-18 enthusiasts convince you otherwise). As a fuel system specialist in the USAF I was introduced to an operations culture rooted in strict adherence to safety procedures, integrity, and excellence. An operational culture not unlike the one within Williams.
I am fortunate, once again, to find myself at the “tip of the spear,” within an organization focused on safety, integrity, and excellence. Williams and its leadership are dedicated to achieving the right results, the right way, in the face of significant challenges inherent to a growing and successful business with strong customer demand. I look forward to the challenge of managing a team, and going back to my roots.