“I’ve always had a strong connection to Pittsburgh growing up in the region, and it’s exciting to see the transformation and be a part of the region’s future leadership.”
Born and raised in Rochester, PA, less than an hour outside of Pittsburgh, Mychael Wells always felt connected to the city and frequently traveled downtown to support local sports teams and attend events. A high school and college football player in an area that takes credit for football legends like Darrelle Revis and Joe Montana, Mychael learned hard work, persistence and leadership on the football field and was able to transition that drive into his career.
After graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a criminal justice degree, Mychael took a laborer position at Columbia Gas without any construction or natural gas experience: “The learning curve was steep, but I was able to train alongside staff who have been with Columbia Gas for 30 years. Our leadership recognizes the gap between entry-level talent and those nearing retirement, and they’ve done a great job creating the infrastructure for knowledge transfer to make sure people are ready to step into more responsibility and leadership roles.”
Mychael committed himself to working hard and learning the company and upward mobility followed. He became a crew leader and then a damage prevention coordinator working with contractors and discussing pipeline safety, which gave him exposure to new areas of the company and also outward community engagement. He is now going on 3 years as a field operations leader and oversees day-to-day operations of the field crew. It’s a dynamic role working with internal and external partners and aligns with his professional and personal commitment to giving back to the community.
Within the company, Mychael has led an Inclusion and Diversity committee and currently serves as the lead on The Leadership and Education for African American Development team. Mychael sees himself as a community leader and role model: “As a kid, we’d see the Columbia Gas trucks coming through our neighborhood, but never really knew what they did or how gas worked. When I started my laborer job, I had friends ask me why I was working at a utility when I’d come home dirty and worn-out. Now they see me in a leadership role with my company truck and they want to know how to get a foot in the door.”
Outside of work, Mychael is passionate about mentoring youth in his community and discussing everything from career awareness to football plays. He regularly spends time with about 10 kids that range from 7 to 16 years old: “Being at Columbia Gas opened doors for me to give back to my community and use my platform to inspire the youth in my neighborhood. I bought one of my mentees a lawn mower because he was interested in starting his own business, and since then he’s been knocking door to door looking for work. Having the financial flexibility to help him out and the opportunity to teach him about entrepreneurship is invaluable, and that’s grounded in what I’ve learned here.”
For fun, Mychael enjoys exploring the city with his family. They love going out and riding bikes on the cities extensive trail networks and more locally at Brady’s Run Park in Beaver County. With the exploding restaurant scene they try to pick one new restaurant a month to check out, most recently targeting the East Liberty neighborhood and visiting Muddy Waters Oyster Bar, which has great New Orleans-style cuisine. A lifelong sports fan,Mychael supports the Pittsburgh teams, but is the most passionate about the Pitt Panthers football team who always have 2-3 players from his old stomping grounds. “My mom put me in football as a young kid, and it’s really part of the fabric here. Things happen during the week, but you can guarantee on Friday nights everyone comes together to celebrate and enjoy. Football does a lot to bring the community together here, locally, and across the Pittsburgh region.”