Simms family honored with Pioneer Award

Lester H. Simms, Fayetteville Gas System's first manager, was honored posthumously with the 2010 Tom Bell Pioneer Award, presented by the Tennessee Gas Association.  Receiving the award were Lester's widow, Faye Simms, his daughter Jan and two sons, Lionel and Wayne.

The Pioneer Award is given each year in honor of men and women who contributed much to the natural gas industry and played vital roles in breaking ground to establish gas service in their communities. These award recipients have made lasting contributions to the natural gas industry by helping it grow and by dedicating their lives to serving their natural gas customers.

Simms was unanimously elected to serve as the first general manager of Fayetteville Gas System in 1950. Simms also served as a board member for the Tennessee Gas Association from 1962 until his retirement from FGS in 1979. During his years at FGS, Simms was dedicated to helping the natural gas industry grow. Under his leadership, the system extended gas service lines to encompass the city and educated customers about the benefits of installing natural gas in their homes.

Today, Fayetteville Public Utilities' Natural Gas Department serves 6,000 customers in the city and parts of Lincoln County with many of those homes being first served by natural gas while Simms was manager in the 1950s.

Simms Family

Pictured at the Pioneer Award presentation at TGA’s annual meeting are Larry Buie, Tennessee Gas Association’s president, Faye Simms, Lionel Simms, Jan Eldridge, Wayne Simms.
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