Mississippi Power’s Mike Gibson brought back a lot of memories from his whirlwind visit to New York City.
Gibson, an electric serviceman in Columbia, was one of six employees from across the Southern Company system invited to ring the New York Stock Exchange closing bell with CEO Tom Fanning and Southern Company Gas CEO Drew Evans as part of the celebration of the new corporate brand.
“As I was standing there looking out at all of the people, machines and lights, it feels like you’re at the casino,” Gibson said. “But I was quickly reminded of the spotlight I was in standing on that stage with Tom, Drew and my Southern Company family. It was impressive.”
Gibson has worked for Mississippi Power for 21 years, including roles as a meter reader and customer serviceman before his current job.
“I am very appreciative that I was picked for this opportunity to be a part of celebrating the merger between Southern Company and AGL Resources. Out of all of my fellow employees at Mississippi Power, to be chosen to experience this, I’m very grateful. It’s an experience I’ll never forget,” Gibson said.
He flew into New York City on July 19. And that was the start of his run of new experiences. He’d never been on an airplane.
“If God wanted me to fly, he would’ve given me wings,” Gibson said. “If it wasn’t a free flight, I wouldn’t have been flying!”
Once Gibson arrived in New York, it didn’t take long to realize this wasn’t Mississippi.
“The cab ride was crazy,” Gibson said. “The driver was weaving in and out of lines, cutting people off. I told him if he drove like that in Mississippi he’d cause a road rage incident, but it was a normal cab ride up there. The whole town was on a mission. They had stuff to do and places to be — FAST! If you’re standing still, you’ll get run over or a shoulder bump.
He enjoyed his time on Wall Street, taking the traditional tourist photo with the iconic bull statue and learning about the history of the New York Stock Exchange.
He admired things that particularly catch the eye of an electric serviceman.
“It’s an old building with creaky old wood floors, but it’s really nice,” Gibson said. “They have all of those machines and all of those lights and numbers, kind of like a casino, but you don’t see any wires. All of the piping you see is hiding the wires. They’re all tucked away.”
In addition to taking pictures with Fanning and Evans, Gibson also posed for a photo with “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston, who just happened to be on the floor of the NYSE that day.
Back home, some of Gibson’s family watched the live telecast of the bell-ringing ceremony, then the video ended up on social media where it quickly spread among his friends and family.
“I got a lot of texts from family saying how proud they were of me,” he said. “I got a lot of comments and likes on Facebook. It was all just very special.”
Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power earned the 2015 ReliabilityOneTM Award for outstanding midsize utility for excellence in storm restoration and recovery efforts as well as being a leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at www.mississippipower.com and www.mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.