Tenn. – For Michael McWhorter, who’s worked for the Clarksville Gas & Water Department for more than four decades, the first day on the job remains among the most memorable.
“I was 18, just out of high school, and this was my first full-time job,” McWhorter said. “On the way to work that Monday, my car ran out of gas at the Kraft Street/Riverside Drive intersection., so I ran all the way to Gas & Water, which was on Public Square in those days. I was about five minutes late, but it turned out all right.”
That spirit, determination and foot speed in April 1972 set the stage for a long and still-thriving career with the City of Clarksville for McWhorter, who earned a 45-year pin and a round applause from scores of coworkers Thursday at Mayor Kim McMillan’s employee service awards breakfast.
McWhorter, who now serves as a Materials Management Supervisor, was the longest serving of the 285 City employees who received pins marking service in 5-year increments. Two others joined the 40-year club this year -- Fire Chief Michael Roberts and CDE Lightband’s Chuck Dowdy.
Mayor McMillan told the crowd gathered at the Wilma Rudolph Events Center for breakfast and pin presentations that she was honored to lead the City’s more than 1,200 employees.
“What you do everyday in service to our citizens is what’s important,” McMillan said. “You are what makes this City a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
McWhorter, a lifelong Clarksville resident and graduate of Northwest High School, Class of 1971, said he was glad to have a long career with the City.
“It’s been exciting to see Clarksville’s improvement, especially the sustained growth that started after we annexed St. Bethlehem in 1987,” McWhorter said. “It’s simple, really. I’ve just always enjoyed coming into work, and doing my best.”
Dawn Thomack, McWhorter’s supervisor at G&W, said her colleague is respected and well-liked by his coworkers, and is a great asset to the department because of his experience.
“Michael is so dependable, and he’s very thorough,” she said. “Because of his longevity he really knows the operation, and knows which parts are needed to solve a problem.”
Gas & Water Director Pat Hickey echoed those sentiments: “Michael is very valuable because he knows exactly what you need, and better yet, he can tell you exactly where to find it.”
Michael McWhorter, Materials Management Supervisor at Clarksville Gas & Water, accepts a 45-year service pin from Mayor Kim McMillan. He was the longest serving of the 285 city employees who received pins from McMillan during her annual employee service awards breakfast on Thursday.