Columbia Gas President On Communication, Rebuilding Relationships

mark kempic

Mark Kempic. (Karyn Regal/WBZ NewsRadio)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Columbia Gas Massachusetts President Mark Kempic took over the job after the Merrimack Valley gas explosions, but he's crystal clear about the company's failings on that fateful September day.

"Communication is obviously extremely important to us, and we didn’t do the job that we should have been able to perform," he told WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal.

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the disaster, Kempic sat down with Regal to discuss how to better communicate with customers and the media, safety and training changes that have been put into effect in the last year, and the effort to rebuild relationships with customers in the communities Columbia Gas serves.

He spoke about the difficulty of understanding the situation as it unfolded, especially due to the enormity of the situation.

"Never before in our company has something spanned this many miles of pipe, this many customers, this many communities," Kempic said. "That scale makes this not one emergency response, but hundreds if not thousands of emergency responses."

Kempic shared some of the lessons the company learned from the aftermath.

“What we’ve learned in the Merrimack Valley is that we need to have better relationships with the community leaders, with the non-profits, with the media because the media can be a huge benefit—a huge asset—during these times of dire need and in times of situations like this," he said.

Listen to the full interview below.

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WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

 

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