Employee Spotlight - August 2016

Hunt Armistead


Hunt Armistead started at GDS in the Austin office in November of 2008. He was brought on board when LA Williams (currently with East Texas Electric Cooperative, but then with GDS) recognized a need for Hunt’s practical knowledge and electrical and instrumentation expertise when GDS assisted ETEC in purchasing and moving four GE Frame 7EA combustion turbines from Vicksburg, Mississippi to two sites in East Texas. Like LA Williams and Bruce Walter, Hunt had spent a number of years in various positions at Austin Energy, starting as an electrician in 1980, and eventually serving as Plant Engineer at Austin Energy’s Holly Power Plant. While at Austin Energy, Hunt led projects to rebuild steam turbines and turbine control systems, analyze and correct power plant metering irregularities, and to refurbish plant switchgear, circuit breakers and cathodic protection systems.

Upon joining GDS, Hunt immediately went to work with Zachary, the engineer ETEC had retained to coordinate electrical installations at ETEC’s Hardin County and San Jacinto County Peaking Facilities and facilitated the resolution of numerous electrical problems unique to the installation of existing equipment from a single four-unit site to two separate two-unit sites. Hunt was also on hand for the commissioning of both plants and has acted as asset manager on ETEC’s behalf since the plants were commissioned. He was instrumental in coordinating the installation of the network structure required for control of the Hardin, San Jacinto, Harrison County, and Woodville/Lively plants by system operators at the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). More recently, Hunt has been involved with the commissioning and system integration of a 64 MW reciprocating internal combustion engine-generator for the City of Alexandria, Louisiana, and he is slated to provide operator training for the new equipment in the near future. Hunt is a Texas native who attended the University of Texas and still bleeds burnt orange. He has numerous interesting hobbies, including scuba diving and photography/videography, and his wife Brenda is an accomplished potter who has provided many cherished gifts at Austin office functions.

What are your favorite places to visit?
Prague, Czech Republic; New York City, and Cozumel, Mexico.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned since joining GDS?
The many different ways that cooperative, municipal, and investor-owned utilizes are managed and operated.

What do you like most about the work you have been doing?
Figuring out solutions to a wide variety of challenges.

Steven Spiegel


Steven Spiegel joined GDS as a full-time employee in the Power Supply department in June 2016. Steven first started working with GDS part-time in January 2016 as he was finishing his last semester at Georgia Tech. He graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. Steven is originally from Pensacola, Florida, where he worked in a rotational program with Gulf Power cycling through various hands-on and technical positions at everywhere from a coal plant to their corporate office. Steven spent the first few years of his college career at Florida State University, and while not in the library was out recruiting members for a downhill skateboarding club he co-founded. Steven’s intense dedication to his education continued while he transferred to GT, which resulted in him graduating with highest honors and the privilege of giving a speech at the GT Spring Commencement.

Since joining GDS, Steven has been immersed in projects for multiple clients, including a redesign of a client’s power billing program that is testing Steven’s knowledge of Visual Basic, assisting with evaluating RFP proposals for new power supply arrangements, and managing power supply issues for clients in various RTOs. When Steven is not working hard to solve client’s issues, he spends his time playing drums or synthesizer and studying for the FE exam. We are really excited to have Steven as part of the Power Supply team and the GDS family.

Best vacation you’ve been on?
Approaching graduating, I was short on cash and eager to begin working full-time. I was planning to start the Monday after graduation, but my boss, Chris, insisted that I take some time off. I ended up driving across all of Florida for over a week, visiting old friends I haven’t seen and likely wouldn’t see in years. It was by far the greatest vacation I have had.

What do you like most about GDS?
The incredible people that make up the company. There is such a broad variety of intelligent, hard-working people that continue to learn and grow together. Their dedication to their clients’ success is inspiring. I really enjoy and look forward to being a part of the GDS family.

What is your motto or personal mantra?
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.