Springfield, MO

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Ozarks Profile

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Manager-marketing and communications for City Utilities, Springfield's community-owned utility. CU provides gas, electric and water service to residential, commercial and industrial customers in Springfield. The utility also provides public transit services. Viguet's is a new position, intended to direct the utility's effort to create brand identity for itself as it prepares for deregulation in the electric industry. Viguet joined City Utilities in April.

Age: 33.

No. of years in Springfield/area: Two months.

Education: Received a bachelor of science degree in journalism from Texas A&M University and a master of journalism from Louisiana State University.

Early career: Viguet's first job was as a pizza cook. During high school, he spent his after-school time baking pies at Ken's Pizza. In college, he worked for a newspaper, the Mid-County Chronicle, a weekly publication that covered the area around Beaumont, Texas, Viguet's hometown. "I wrote, edited, took pictures and covered city council; I did a little bit of everything," Viguet said. He also got experience laying out the paper, both by hand and electronically. After graduate school, Viguet took a job with Gulf States Utilities in Beaumont, working as a communications representative in the company's public affairs department. He worked in that position with Gulf States from 1987 until 1991, when he took a position as communications specialist in the corporate communications department at the utility company. From March of 1994 until he went to work for CU, Viguet was senior communications specialist for Entergy Corporation in Little Rock, Ark.

Current projects: "Right now, we're working on learning more about our customers: how they see us now, what they think they'll need for their future," Viguet said. He is also working to develop a brand concept for the utility, and on a number of customer-service and marketing issues related to coming deregulation. "The concept of branding is not a new one, but it is new to this industry. The idea behind branding is to develop road maps for your customers that will help people make choices, and evaluate what we offer," Viguet said.

Management philosophy: "If you take care of your customers, lots of good things happen. I always try to remind myself of what the customer thinks and what I would want in a situation if I were a customer," Viguet said.

Spare time pursuits: Family, golf, reading, movies.

Family data: Viguet and wife Amy have two children, a son, Drew, 4 years old, and a daughter, Hiliary, 4 months old.

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