People of Etowah – Steven Hildebrant


Name: Steven Hildebrant

Where were you born and raised?

“Born in Evansville, Indiana; my family moved to Jacksonville, Alabama in the 1970’s while I was in middle school.  I call Jacksonville my hometown.”

What is your occupation?

“I am an Area Manager for Alabama Power. I manage the business office operations for Alabama Power in Etowah, Blount and St. Clair counties.”

What made you decide to work in your field?

“God gave me the opportunity to work for Alabama Power as a co-op student while I was a freshman in engineering school at Auburn. Now 37 years later, I have worked in a variety of departments within the company in several different leadership roles. Each of these opportunities helped prepare me for my current job.”

Tell us about your family and pets. 

“I met my wife Nancy in Gadsden while she was a student at Jacksonville State.  We were married two years later, on October 14, 1984. She is from Alexander City. We have two dogs (Hanna and Honey) and two cats (Riley and Will).”

Describe an average day in your life. 

   “I have a great staff.  For the most part, they manage their offices on a daily basis. That gives me the opportunity to spend time working within the community. My focus is Education and Workforce Development. I am the current President of the Gadsden State Cardinal Foundation, and I just stepped down as the President of East Alabama Works, the Regional Workforce Development Council. Whether its raising money and providing equipment for Gadsden State or helping parents and students realize the value of technical skills, my day stays pretty full.”

What school or schools have you attended? 

“I have a Bachelors of Electrical Engineering from Auburn University. But I attended classes at Gadsden State, Jacksonville State and UAB.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I play a little golf. I also enjoy going to the beach.”

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?

“Being married to my wife for 34 years. She’s a beautiful lady and a big part of who I am.”

Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?

“Both my parents and my wife’s parents have been very influential in my life. But my dad is a great example for me. He is a man who enjoys life, puts his faith and his family first and never sacrifices his principles.”

To what do you credit your success?

“The support and encouragement I receive from my wife is invaluable.  She makes me better. Also, I have been around many great people my life. From Elmer Harris, my friend Jeff Shelton, my former boss Julia Segars, to Martha Lavender and many, many, more. I have tried to learn from everyone.”

Are you involved in any service organizations?

“In addition to the Gadsden State Cardinal Foundation and East Alabama Works, I am the current President of the Family Success Center, the immediate Past President of Gadsden-Etowah Chamber of Commerce, and the Gadsden Rotary Club. I am on the board of United Way of Etowah County and the Mary G. Hardin Cultural Arts Center. I also serve on the Alabama Workforce Board.”

What is your favorite thing about this community?

“Gadsden is a beautiful and unique town. Few cities have a river and fewer still have a river and a mountain. Go to Sunset Sips and stand on the bridge. When you see the reflection on the water as the sun fades, you know you are in a special place. Also, the City of Gadsden is incredibly supportive of the arts, recreation and the non-profit community. We have a top-notch library, Museum of Art and Cultural Arts Center. Walk in downtown Gadsden and listen to the music, go to one of the free summer concerts at the amphitheater, watch the July 4th fireworks over the water, visit Noccalula Falls or walk in the new park at Coosa Landing. These things and many more do not exist without the support of the mayor and council.”

What would you like to see change in the community?

“Unity to move Gadsden and Etowah County forward. You see and read about divisiveness all the time. Groups compartmentalize and consider what is good for me or mine, then tear each other down. Divisiveness is not healthy for our community and restrains progress. We can disagree without being divisive. Remember, a rising tide floats all boats. Also, respect for our cities and our natural resources. I pick up litter every day in my neighborhood, around town and at my office. We have a great recycling program in Gadsden and trash cans on every corner. People should use them. Lots of other things need solving like the poverty issues and drug problems within the county.”

What are three words that describe you?

“Determined, compassionate and trustworthy.”

What is something surprising that many do not know about you?

“I like to run. Really, I like to eat, so I run to offset it.”

What is your favorite quote?

“I’m not sure it’s a quote, it’s more of a life lesson.  Don’t be afraid to ask, no doesn’t hurt.  It reminds me to challenge myself to move forward.”

What is on your bucket list? 

“A cruise to Alaska for one. I hear the scenery is exceptional. I would love to fish for salmon or ride with a dog sled team.”

What is your hidden talent?

“I’m pretty good at fixing things. I worked for several years in a mobile home park, so I got a lot of experience. I can do electrical work, plumbing and basic carpentry. I’m pretty good with ceramic tile and fixing appliances. ”

If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?

“Audie Murphy. He was one of the most decorated soldiers in World War II. After the war, he went to Hollywood and became an actor. I have a huge respect for our veterans and what they went through to provide us the freedoms we enjoy today.”

What advice would you give yourself as a child? 

“Slow down; adulthood will get here in its own time. Never miss a chance to learn from a new experience.”

If you would like to nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, email or call 256-547-1049.

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