Phil Andreas has brought his 30- plus years’ experience in the energy industry to Lampasas, where he began work recently as public works director.
In his new post, Andreas is responsible for construction and maintenance of city streets, as well as for oversight of the municipal electric, water and wastewater systems.
A native of Long Island in NewYork, Andreas received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology and a master of business administration from the New York Institute of Technology.
Pursuing a career interest that developed in high school science and electrical classes, Andreas worked 22 years for Long Island Lighting Co. and KeySpan Energy.
KeySpan was formed when Long Island Lighting sold its transmission and distribution system, and the Shoreham Power Plant, to the state of New York in 1998 to create the Long Island Power Authority. What remained of Long Island Lighting merged with Brooklyn Union Gas to create KeySpan Energy -- which received a contract to operate the Long Island Power Authority electric transmission and delivery system.
Andreas worked for Long Island Lighting and KeySpan in various engineering, technical, managerial and leadership roles. He also was responsible for project management and heavy construction.
As manager of one of Long Island Lighting’s four operations divisions, Andreas oversaw the daily workings of the electrical system, as well as storm and emergency response.
“As you might expect, we were exposed to coastal storms that included nor’easters, the remnants of tropical storms and hurricanes, as well as blizzards and so forth,” Andreas said. “So I’ve lived through my fair share of hurricanes and challenging storms through the years.”
Technological changes have increased utility automation, Andreas said, allowing power providers to monitor and control their systems more effectively. That benefits electrical, water and wastewater systems, he said, particularly in terms of providing reliable service and restoring power quickly when outages occur.
Andreas said when he began working for Long Island Lighting his goal was to pursue a lifelong vocation in the energy industry.
“Actually, the company had a saying, ‘Come for a job. Stay for a career,’ " Andreas said.
His work made a new turn in 2002, when Andreas took a job with NSTAR Electric and Gas. The company provides electrical service for about 3 million people, and gas service for about 900,000, in Boston, Cambridge and southeastern Massachusetts.
Andreas and his wife, Karen, eventually became interested in moving south, as their older daughter – a University of Texas graduate – lives in Austin. The couple, who have a younger daughter in New York, have been visiting the Hill Country for about 10 years and enjoyed the rural setting, Andreas said.
“This opportunity in Lampasas fit with our personal goals and objectives in terms of where we wanted to live and the kind of work I wanted to do,” Andreas said, adding that he and his wife look forward to developing roots in the community.
The public works director said he plans to work closely with municipal staff, the Lampasas City Council and Lampasas residents to build good relationships, improve the city’s infrastructure and provide high-quality service.
“I’m impressed with the caliber of my team, and I think there’s a lot of great people in the organization,” Andreas said. “In the short time I’ve been here I can see that people really care about the work they do. They enjoy working for the city, and they want to provide good service. And to me that makes all the difference.”
Andreas said he is impressed with the new high school campus, the recently dedicated fire station and public works projects the city of Lampasas is pursuing.
“That to me is positive to see the city investing in significant improvements,” he said. “Those benefit all the residents on a long-term basis.”
The public works director said he aims to ensure Lampasas residents and business owners have reliable and efficient utility service, high-quality water and good roads.
“Those are the things that attract people and businesses to come to the city,” he said. “It promotes a high quality of life.”
Andreas said he looks forward to learning more about the city’s public works operations and making Lampasas a better place to live.
“To me, it’s a privilege to work with people,” he said. “That’s what drew me to the city, is people who want to be progressive.”