On Friday, March 18, natural gas utility providers across the country will celebrate “Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day” to recognize the hard work and dedication of those who serve their communities in the utility industry.
From serving his country to serving his community, Delshawn Logan continues to learn so he can lead.
“I was raised very old school by my mother, and she taught me the importance of giving and earning respect,” he said of his Southside Chicago upbringing. “You look someone in the eye, you ask questions, you say ma’am and sir. Those skills prepared me for life in the military.”
After studying for two years at Florida Memorial College in Miami to study Aviation Aeronautics, Delshawn found himself back in Chicago and figuring out his next step.
“I was watching ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ and it was in that moment that I knew what I wanted to do. I walked two miles to the recruiting office and joined the Navy that day.”
After graduating bootcamp and his training courses, Delshawn began his naval career as a deck seaman responsible for keeping the ships clean, safe and in the best shape to protect his country and fellow sailors.
He made his family and community proud by bravely serving in Desert Storm on the USS Barbour County LST 1195 and as part of the first battle group to arrive in the occupation of Kuwait.
“The process of moving up in the Navy taught me humility. Nothing is given to you. You have to work toward what you want. It truly taught me growth.”
Delshawn’s military service brought him immense life experience earned traveling around the world three times by the time he turned 21, along with unmatched teambuilding skills he has built upon throughout his life.
“The military breaks you down to your lowest common denominator to make you stronger and it teaches you about being on a team,” he said. “The guy to your left and right might be the person who saves your life – it’s all about being able to trust one another.”
Working hard, the brotherhood of service and the diversity of every different individual on the ship prepared him for a role as an operations specialist – better known as an “OS3” – in the Navy and for who he is today as a leader at Nicor Gas, where he has excelled for the past 14 years.
“The military prepared me to lead people. They taught me that delegation is earned. You have to earn that respect to delegate to someone.”
He has worked his way to a Field Operations Supervisor responsible for leading utility specialists, truck hauling and the leak survey compliance program at the largest natural gas provider in his home state of Illinois. Prior to Field Operations, he worked in Resource Management as a dispatcher and the lead for maintenance – with the skills he began to fine-tune as a 19-year-old in the Navy.
Delshawn believes that in order to be a successful field leader, he has to have the confidence and participation of his team.
“You can’t follow someone blindly,” he said. “I have to have buy-in from my team. The core values that I learned from my mom and dad and during my time in the Navy are what I carry every day. I give everyone respect so I expect that same respect as well.”
Delshawn prides himself as being a “people’s person” who ensures everyone is acknowledged for a job well done.
“Life is too short; you’re not promised tomorrow. I know it’s important that I tell my team thank you and that they have done a great job.”
He also prioritizes support of the people on his team in growing to their fullest potential in their roles.
“I wouldn’t be here without the support of those who trained me, encouraged me, pushed me and developed my shortcomings from day one,” he said.
He is thankful for the support of current and retired leaders from Nicor Gas including Paul Grimes and Dan Rosanova, who are both directors of Regional Operations, Tracy Wurm, a senior specialist of Compliance Safety, Beth Trimarco, a retired supervisor of Resource Management, Dirk Dunlap, a supervisor of Field Operations, Andre Wallace, director of Resource Management, and Nina Hunter, recently retired director of Regional Operations.
“There are several people I am forgetting, but all of these people developed me and saw something in me. They built me up so I could lead people.”
Today, Delshawn lives in Naperville. His most important job is being a father to six kids ages 36, 34, 32, two that are 30 and a 14-year-old. Three of his six children were willed to him after their parents died when Delshawn was 24 years old.
“I raise my children with the same values that I have. I’m strict, but we have a lot of fun. My job as a father is to prepare them for when I’m gone.”
His mother, Patricia Logan still lives on the southside of Chicago while his father, Khalil Washington passed away in 2007. The values they instilled in him are now being passed down to their grandchildren.
He has also given his time for the past 28 years as a Prince Hall Free Mason where he is known officially as “Past Master (P.M.) Logan, District Deputy Grand Master (D.D.G.M.), State of Illinois and its Jurisdiction.” The masonic order is a nonprofit that gives back to the less fortunate in the community. There are 33 degrees in the masonic order, and Delshawn is the 32nd.
“We pride ourselves on brotherhood and community,” he said – two important traits that Delshawn has carried with him throughout his life, his military service and his career at Nicor Gas.
Delshawn Logan is one example of the many veterans who help Nicor Gas serves 2.2 million customers daily delivering the clean, safe and reliable service they expect and deserve.