Oil derricks dot the windswept prairies of western North Dakota, bobbing amid infinite shades of brown and green. When a vehicle passes, more often than not, it’s a well-used pickup. In this rugged landscape, some twenty miles from the Montana border, Williston serves as a commercial, residential and cultural oasis for the sparsely populated region. For Darryl Cross, Midco’s Field Service Manager, it’s an adopted home where he’s watching his team and family thrive – thanks largely to his persistent, positive attitude.
Cross joined Midco in 2007 as a field technician in his native Minot. Over the years, his work ethic, resourcefulness and positivity helped him move up the ranks to Trainer, then Construction Coordinator, which brought him full-time to Williston – along with wife Andrea and their young daughter.
Creating a Community
When the Crosses arrived in Williston, new houses, apartment complexes, retail spaces and hotels were quickly filling the horizon. The breakneck pace of progress meant an expanding customer base for Midco, but it also led to setbacks, including a succession of avoidable fiber cuts. Cross decided to address the situation head-on – by making friends.
“Williston was booming like crazy,” he remembered. “They were building new developments, new commercial buildings, and there was just no coordination with the other utility companies. No one was working together.”
“We started doing these construction meetings every other week, and all the utilities around Williston would come and we would talk about what was going on. Working together was crucial. It saved a lot of money. It saved headaches. The great thing about it, though, is it built relationships with the other companies in Williston.”
Cross’ penchant for relationship building and positivity has a meaningful impact on his team, especially in his current role as Field Service Manager. His supervisor, Field Operations General Manager Jerry Eggert, says Cross treats his team like family, which is a big deal when employees come from all over the world.
“Darryl is the guy who is going to do what is best for his staff at all times,” said Eggert. “He wears his heart on his sleeve, and he wants his guys to know that he is there for them 24/7.”
Supporting his team could mean grabbing a shovel and helping to dig a new line, serving as a translator for team members who speak English as a second language, or addressing other surprises that occur on any given day. Cross rolls with it – and that courtesy extends to their families, as well.
“One of the technicians, his wife got stuck in mud,” remembers Inventory Specialist Kevin Scott. “It didn't faze Darryl at all. He hopped in his truck, took off and pulled her out – no questions asked. It wasn't like it was any time out of his day to go help her. He just did what he thought needed to be done. It was pretty awesome actually.”
Cross and his wife, Andrea, have grown their own family in Williston, welcoming a second daughter and a rescue dog into the mix. Together, the Cross family loves exploring nearby parks, camping and taking advantage of Williston’s ample array of family activities and events.
“He's the fun parent,” said Andrea. “He's teaching them to be kind and to be generous and to know that they can do whatever they want, as long as they strive for it. His work is very important to him, too. What he does with Midco and his guys – he respects all of them so much, and vice versa.”
“Darryl is just a wonderful person,” she added. “I'm glad everybody gets know.”
Leaders like Cross make Midco a great place to work – and they make our communities better places to live. Learn more about him, and other remarkable Midco neighbors at Midco.com/Trailblazers.