Military Appreciation Month Employee Spotlight: Matt Ferguson

Military Appreciation Matt

May is designated as Military Appreciation Month, and to celebrate, the TECO Veterans Alliance (TVA) is showcasing stories from various team members throughout our organization. Join us as we feature Matthew Ferguson, Workforce Management & Planning Manager at Tampa Electric, who shares insights on how his time in the United States Air Force has influenced both his personal and professional life.

In general, describe your daily role/responsibility while in the military.

As part of Nuclear Command and Control, I flew on the National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) for five years. The NAOC advises and executes Emergency War Orders from the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States. I was also the Senior Enlisted member for the Base Operations Center, where we are the single point of communications for the base commander to higher headquarters and vice versa.

What were some of the reasons you joined the military? How did you choose your branch of service?

I came from a long line of family service and wanted to serve my country, too. Most of my uncles were in the Marines or Navy, but all of them said the best branch to join was the Air Force – of course, I agree.

I was very proud when I came home. During my 22 years of service, I was deployed multiple times (Afghanistan, Germany, England, Bosnia, Cuba and ‘South Korea). Although being away from family was hard, the welcome homes were the best.

How did military service change you?

I learned a lot of life lessons and leadership skills in the Air Force. I was a supervisor at the age of 22, so I’ve been in a leadership position since then. It really taught me to think about and mentor my subordinates so that they can eventually replace me. As a leader, it helps you sleep at night knowing you impacted the kind of person and leader they would eventually become.

I’m a firm believer that that former military men and women can make an organization better. We come in with ready-made skills for leadership, time management, discipline, team dynamics and we are open to feedback.

How did your past military service impact your job at TECO?

My first hiring manager outside of the military told me that she hired me strictly because of my military background. She had a group in Tampa that she felt needed a good leader – someone who could develop a good team and make them better individuals while maintaining a strong culture. I am currently the Workforce Manager for the TECO Contact Center, where we build Customer Service Professionals (CSP) schedules, set paid time off (PTO) allotments by department and forecast call and email volume to ensure that we have CSPs ready to serve them when our customers contact us. These are things I was solely responsible for in the military, so it was an easy transition.