Employee Life

Retiree Spotlight – September 2020

Staff Reports

Name: Gene Williford

Former role: Senior Operations Technician

Number of years with Williams: 15.5 years. In early 2002, a friend of mine put a bug in my ear that there was a company called Williams interviewing for an offshore assignment related to a project nicknamed Canyon Station. He recommended I follow up on it. I listened attentively as my interviewers explained what was being offered — an offshore gas facility with over 70 miles (one way) of a loop subsea pipeline tapping into multiple subsea wells feeding the Canyon Station facility. They would be using some pretty sophisticated control systems and technology, and were expecting to operate it with a relatively small crew over 60 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. I thought about it for a moment and told myself, “I don’t think so,” and thanked them for their time. Before I reached the front door, I thought to myself, “Gene, what are you doing? This sort of adventure and challenge is right up your alley.” I did an immediate about face, walked back into the interview room and said “If you will still consider me, sign me up. I want to be a part of this adventure.” Lucky me, they held no grievance, and I had the great pleasure of working for an incredible company with great integrity, adherence to regulations and business focus for the next 15-plus years.

Number of years retired: Just over three years

How have you been spending time in retirement? I guess mostly just doing what my wife tells me to do … just joking … maybe.

Home maintenance projects, mostly supporting gardening activities, constructing green houses and garden spaces. My wife and I have also been experimenting with hydroponic gardening, which has been challenging, but fun.

Whenever possible, I try to get in some fishing and water sports with my four water babies. These little ones keep me pumped up. They seem to love the water almost as much as I do

I also spent some time trying to restore my old C3 Corvette that went under in Katrina. The old girl looks pretty good, but at over 40 years old I am not so sure how much cosmetic surgery is going to help her. 

Are you involved in any community/volunteer activities? 

Regrettably, no. I am certainly not against these opportunities, but I have not been nearly so active as I probably should have been.

So far, what has been your favorite thing about retirement? 

My retirement has been quite enjoyable overall, and I have had a most wonderful life of adventure, fun, family and accomplishment. Unfortunately, on Aug. 12, 2016, I was diagnosed with advanced IPF. This was the dynamic that convinced me it was time to hang up my shield. Not knowing how long I had left to conquer the world, I decided it was time to take advantage of my personal relationships and spend some prime time with family. These moments are my favorite thing about retirement. Having an opportunity to share with loved ones in an atmosphere free of financial stress or outside obligation. How much better does it get?