From Park City grocery to oil CEO | ParkRecord.com

From Park City grocery to oil CEO

by Andrew Kirk, OF THE RECORD STAFF

Park City resident Greg Goff began a new challenge today; he’s now president and CEO of Tesoro Corporation. With several decades of experience in the oil industry, the company in a press release said he is well qualified for the position.

His mother, life-long Park City resident Catherine Polychronis Goff, said his first jobs in Park City set him on the path he’s on today.

April was a rough month for Tesoro. An explosion in Washington State killed seven people the most severe in the nation since 2005. Just last October the company had a fire at its Salt Lake City plant. The company’s stock is trading at $13 to $14 per share down from the June 2007 high of almost $63. That high is less than what Exxon shares trade for now.

But Goff’s mother Catherine Goff said since his days playing Park City High School sports he was always up for a challenge.

"He thinks he can pull them out of it. He’s very aware of them, and has met with them. He thinks he can do it," she said.

Goff’s first foray in the oil industry came in his early twenties when he leased the American Oil Station at Kimball Junction in the late 1970s.

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The station belonged to his uncle Bud Gasparac. After finishing a degree at the University of Utah, and having worked for Catherine’s brother George at Mount Air (previously Palace Grocery) since he was 13, he decided to go into business for himself running the station.

He fixed cars, but eventually hired a mechanic while he went back to the university for a Master of Business Administration degree. It was something he always wanted, she said.

After he was done with an MBA, Greg looked to work for a major company himself. The small businesses he’d grown up around in Park City were struggling in the early 1980s, she said.

His father Calvin had a successful career with General Electric. Greg chose the oil industry with ConocoPhillips.

After pumping gas and fixing cars in the Basin as a student, Goff eventually rose to the position of senior vice president with that company before agreeing to take the helm at Tesoro.

Catherine remembers Greg once saying that working for his uncle at Mount Air was the best preparation for business he could have received.

"It taught him more about business than he could have imagined. (George) was a noted, good business man and he taught him a lot," she said.

George Polychronis still lives in Park City as well. He remembers teaching all the teenagers who worked for him the importance of accepting responsibility.

"Even when they were young kids I’d put them in charge of an area in the store and it was their responsibility. And they often had to choose between recreation and their job," he said.

"Greg was a super intelligent young man and followed what he wanted to do," Polychronis added. "He did well no matter what he did."

Greg’s wife Sylvia, who could not be reached for this article, lives in Park City full-time with one son currently attending Park City High School. Another son graduated in 2005 and currently lives in Texas, Catherine said.