Steve Robinette combines old school hobbies with new world views on PeopleService today.
Steve Robinette appreciates things from the past, like the vintage baseball cards he collects and his vinyl record collection that gives him inspiration for playing guitar in his band, The Lost Tracks, which is back to live performances after a COVID break playing the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa (the site of Buddy Holly’s last show), in June.
When he’s not at work or playing with the band, Steve will tell you he “likes to fish and tries to golf.” He fits in time to read biographies and historical books and search for Chicago Cubs memorabilia and some modern baseball cards to round out his collection. Yet with all this activity, Steve says that “watching my youngest daughter’s high school sporting events gives me the most enjoyment.” Steve’s middle daughter (whose scholarship we mentioned in a previous issue) is starting her junior year at Iowa State, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. This Fall, she will intern with the USDA.
Steve’s view on water management today.
When asked what has changed the most and least in our industry, Steve put it this way: “Technology and advancements in the industry have been the biggest change, whether it be advanced SCADA systems, how we use computers, phones and the internet to do our jobs or advances in treatment technology. The thing that has changed the least is the type of person required to do the job, because no amount of technology is a substitute for a good operator who is vested in what they are doing and responsive to the customer’s needs and concerns in a compassionate manner. People trust PeopleService to manage, maintain and operate their plants because of our vast amount of experience and resources. I can’t imagine a scenario or problem we haven’t encountered and solved. Finding qualified personnel, or training inexperienced personnel, to manage these facilities in today’s competitive job market becomes our problem and not the client’s, should they choose to work with us.”
Steve’s take on forming relationships with local firefighters, working for PeopleService and more.
“Another advantage to partnering with PeopleService is the confidence and control we give city administrators and council members. They, and their citizens, expect everything water to function perfectly. It’s human nature to take water for granted, because the vast majority of the time it’s available, clean and safe. It takes something going horribly wrong before the actions we take every day are fully appreciated (i.e., loss of function or an outbreak of some sort). Our customers trust that we get ahead of issues and do all we can to prevent them or, as in the case of floods or other natural disasters, mitigate the ill effects of these as efficiently as possible.”
Why PeopleService partners with local firefighters
“At the core of assuring safe and clean water and wastewater is the use of the technology I mentioned, and the knowledge of how to manage a breadth of potentially-toxic and dangerous chemicals. This is why we form relationships with the local firefighters in the communities we serve. We are always prepared to handle a spill or other issue, and it is often our responsibility to maintain fire hydrants so they are available for use and to make sure enough fire protection volume and pressure is available while still serving the day-to-day water needs of the community. Without respectful relationship, neither party would know what their needs are and how mutual goals are accomplished.
This standard of respectful relationship is what we expect from everyone on the PeopleService team and that they know they are a positive reflection of us and our values. When you join the PeopleService team you’ll always be treated with respect and you’ll always have resources to access if a problem should arise either professionally or personally.”