General Manager – Mike Whitman
“Safety is my number 1 priority; we strive to put everyone’s safety before anything else.”
Mike Whitman serves as Lebanon Utilities’ General Manager, where his responsibilities include keeping employees focused on the tasks at hand, facilitating decision-making, coordinating many processes, and focusing on safety. He must communicate with the mayor, the community, and the city to make sure that Lebanon Utilities contributes to the effort to make Lebanon a great place to live.
Whitman makes sure that all Lebanon Utilities employees know his philosophy for running a business: “Spend the customer’s money as if it were your own.”
Two years ago, Whitman was pulled out of retirement from Duke Energy, to work for Lebanon Utilities as a part-time project manager. This position soon turned into a full-time position as general manager when the previous manager left. While he only got to enjoy retirement for six weeks, he loves his position at Lebanon Utilities.
“I love working through various challenges each day in all areas of Lebanon Utilities. My favorite part is being able to help others figure out issues, and creative ways to solve them,” said Whitman.
Outside of work, Whitman’s hobbies include backpacking with groups of friends in places such as Yellowstone National Park and Hoosier National Forest. He also enjoys photography, reading, bicycling, and running 5K’s. He and his wife love to travel, and they are mainly traveling domestically now.
In the coming year, Whitman’s goals are to increase safety by going a calendar year without an accident at Lebanon Utilities. He also hopes to present the board with a succession plan that includes a solution for when the maturing workforce retires. Whitman believes this will make the transition smoother with 40 percent of the workforce retiring within the next five years.
“If I had to share some life advice, it would be to go for the gusto and don’t limit yourself. It is important to expand your horizons and do things outside of your comfort zone. You can do anything,” said Whitman.