National Women’s History Month: Debra Jackson
Debra Jackson has been servicing our customers for the last 44 years and is currently a Customer Service Center Manager for our Oakhurst, CA location since 2015. Debra started her career in the propane industry back in 1977 as a computer operator/programmer for RockGas in El Cajon, CA. RockGas was then purchased by Petrolane and she stayed on as a Dispatcher, then moved into the office as a Clerk. In 1980 she was promoted to Office Manager in their Las Vegas, NV branch where she held that position until Suburban Propane purchased the company in 1986. She stayed with Suburban Propane after the acquisition as a Customer Service Representative for the first few months, then promoted to Service Manager until 1997, then became Customer Service Center Manager. In December 2007 she was transferred to the Fresno, CA location as their Customer Service Center Manager where she remained until February 2015. She was then transferred to her current position in Oakhurst, CA as well as serving as an interim manager at the Placerville, CA location.
According to Debra, “I have stayed with Suburban Propane for 44 years because I truly love my job, my company and the people I work with. This is family to me and I have built lifetime relationships.” She recommends working for Suburban Propane because, “aside from the reasons why I’ve stayed here for so long, this is a great company to grow and advance with.”
In these uncertain times, she is proud of how the company has found a way to connect with our communities throughout the pandemic via our social media channels. “It’s great to see how our teams across the county have supplied food and support to those in need.” Over the years, her Oakhurst location has participated in Toys for Tots, various food bank drives, adopted underserved families during the holidays, and donated school supplies for children in need.
When asked what she finds the most interesting about her role in this industry, including any challenges she’s faced in a predominantly male industry, she replied “I have always loved a challenge and although the gender separation is not as prevalent now as it once was, being a female leader in a predominantly male industry has not been without its moments. Earning the respect of my peers and team members was not hard when they saw that I was willing to work alongside them both out in the field and in the office. Customers really found it hard to believe that a female could actually be the manager of their propane branch, let alone the person delivering their fuel or setting their tank.” She’s not called on to work out in the field as much these days, but she appreciates being able to talk with the drivers and technicians and understand what they are going through. “We have great teams at Suburban Propane and I am proud to be a member.”
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