By Elna Seabrooks
HOULTON — When the Dead River Company needed a new district manager in early October to oversee the Houlton office, officials expanded the role of Wallace (Wally) Tapley, Jr. who had been performing in that same capacity for the Millinocket and Lincoln offices.
Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Elna Seabrooks
NEW MANAGER — Wally Tapley says Houlton is a great community and he praised the staff he now supervises for the Dead River Company since taking over management of its Houlton office in October. Tapley’s role as district manager was expanded to include Houlton with the Millinocket and Lincoln area offices.
“Wally is a proven leader and the person to help us to continue to provide our customers with the quality service they have come to expect as well as grow our business in this key market,” said Robert Moore, Dead River Company president. “He is known for his commitment to the communities he operates in and for creating a positive team environment for our employees. We’re pleased that he will be managing the Houlton office.”
Tapley said he will be overseeing the petroleum side of the business in the Millinocket, Lincoln and Houlton markets. “I manage the fuel and propane office and everyone knows me by Wally.” Tapley said he will split his time between offices and his responsibilities will remain the same. “It’s just more territory. But, the job is the same.”
As the new manager in Houlton, Tapley said if customers have questions or concerns, his door is open: “I’m very approachable and I’m very accessible.” And, he added, “It’s a great community. I love the community. Anytime they want to speak to the manager, I’m there.”
Although Tapley said he hasn’t worked with the Houlton staff in the past, he did say he knows most of them since the Millinocket and Houlton districts overlap each other. “We have an exceptional staff and we offer exceptional service. We truly do,” stated Tapley. He added that 24-hour service is a must, especially in northern Maine and he also described the service technicians as exceptional. “That’s what we expect from our service technicians.”
In addition to the straight retail and fixed rate for fuel, Dead River Company offers an Easy Cap budget plan for customers. When crude oil futures spiked last week approaching $90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, it contrasted sharply with January 2009 prices when oil was selling for less than $32 per barrel.
That, along with dips to freezing and near freezing temperatures, had Tapley saying calls for fuel and service “are starting to pick up for the season. I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I know what to expect.”
Tapley began his career as a service manager in Millinocket for Dead River Company. According to officials, he was instrumental in helping the company start a service department there. In 2001, he was promoted to district manager for the Millinocket area.
Prior to joining Dead River Company, Tapley worked in the finishing department for the Great Northern Paper Company in Millinocket.
He and his wife, Dianne, have two children, Ryan and Lindsey. When he is not working, he said he enjoys golfing, hunting, fishing and wood working.