The March issue of the Network News is now available in our Communication Center.

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Texas Gas Service’s “Appliance Alliance Program” wins the SGA Marketing Excellence – Judges’ Choice Award. 

The annual SGA Marketing Excellence Award recognizes strategic and creative natural gas marketing initiatives, with successful results in growth and/or retention. The program celebrates the achievements of the winning companies. However, it also provides opportunity for SGA members to share their best practices, thought processes and resources with peers–ultimately helping utilities and the industry to grow.

Candidates of the Judges’ Choice Award were evaluated and scored on the following criteria:

  • Marketing plan
  • Company or industry research and analysis
  • Financial results, including available ROI
  • Employee Involvement
  • Collection of metric and results
  • Presentation supporting materials
  • Presentation delivery

Participating utilities first competed in August at the SGA Marketing, Customer Experience and Communications Conference. This segment of the competition is called the Members’ Choice Award. Candidates present in front of a live audience and their natural gas peers vote on their favorite campaign.

The second part of the award program is called the Judges’ Choice Award and is judged by industry and non-industry marketing professionals. Each candidate has 5-7 minutes to present to judges, via webinar, followed by an opportunity for questions. This year, the judges were marketing professionals from natural gas utilities and Marymount University, a school based in Virginia.

  • Learn more about the award-winning “Appliance Alliance Program” at the Growth & Retention Executives Roundtable, part of SGA’s Management Conference, April 18-20 in Tampa, Florida.

Congratulations again to Texas Gas Service, winner of SGA’s Marketing Excellence Award – Judges’ Choice! 

For more information about the SGA Marketing Excellence Awards Program, please contact Veronica Garza


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SGA’S 2018 Management Conference will be held April 18-20 in Tampa, Florida. Industry volunteers and leaders have designed a conference with ten roundtable tracks to choose from, several opportunities for open dialogue and two great keynote sessions to hear from today’s thought leaders.

Jack Uldrich, global futurist and author, will be speaking Thursday, April 19. He is a frequent speaker on technology, change management and leadership. Uldrich has addressed hundreds of corporations, associations and not-­for­‐profit organizations on different five continents.

His keynote session, “The Big AHA – Future Proofing Your Business Today,” will address the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of changing and new opportunities with a three-step approach. Watch his special sneak peek below.

Don’t miss his message, and register today!


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The February issue of the Network News is now available in our Communication Center.

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The January issue of the Network News is now available in our Communication Center.

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The December issue of the Network News is now available in our Communication Center.

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Since its original incorporation in the federal regulatory code, the industry has consistently sought new ways to improve performance for operator qualifications (OQ). The Southern Gas Association (SGA) has specifically worked with its membership through workshops, conference roundtables and other industry forums pushing for further OQ progress to drive performance.

Earlier this year, a new opportunity to enhance OQ integrity developed through a partnership with the Distribution Contractors Association. Since the implementation of the new regulations in the early 2000s, this new endeavor marks the first time multiple national and regional associations are banding together looking for ways to go beyond standard compliance and working to create a stronger competence model. This is borne of a need present across the industry and will encourage additional OQ efficiencies and enhance overall performance integrity. To date, six regional and national trade associations have aligned to support this endeavor.

    • America Gas Association
    • Distribution Contractors Association
    • MEA Energy Association
    • Northeast Gas Association
    • Southern Gas Association
    • Western Energy Institute

Throughout 2017, this joint industry coalition has discussed several ways to systematically increase the integrity of OQ programs for all operators and contractors. From this collaborative dialogue, three areas of improvement have been identified moving forward.

  • People ­– Trainers, Proctors, Evaluators and Auditors
  • Process – Common Core Competencies, Training Requirements, Knowledge Testing, Performance Evaluation and Management of Change
  • Program Validation – Record Keeping, Documentation, Electronic Data Interchange of Records, Independent Third-Party Audits

To share the current success of this group, SGA will be hosting a webinar for member companies in January 2018. This webinar will provide an opportunity to review the work product to date and to outline proposed next steps in the development of the framework document for consideration by the industry.

  • Those interested in participating in the webinar should contact Gary Hines for more information.


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SGA’s 2017 Executive Conference was held at The Breakers Palm Beach Resort this year, bringing together senior executives from across the industry. Attendees enjoyed a robust conference agenda filled with discussion and insight related to current issues impacting the natural gas industry.

The conference hosted a special panel discussion, “The Politics of Energy,” with moderator Don Raikes, senior vice president at Dominion Energy. Washington politics are not what they were just a few years ago. While a new administration always changes that, this administration brings a new approach to governing. In addition to the heightened opposition to hydrocarbon energy projects, the recipe of those two combined provides many unknowns. Speakers included Dave McCurdy, president and CEO at American Gas Association, and Don Santa, president and CEO, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.

Thomas Tobin, partner at Wilson Esler, discussed the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as it relates to the natural gas industry. Tobin highlighted the NTSB history, their role within the industry and how to partner with them more effectively during a pipeline incident.

Tisha Schuller, principal at Adamantine Energy, and David Holt, president at Consumer Energy Alliance, shared their insight about opposition groups to the oil and natural gas industry. Together, they highlighted current opposition tactics, the effectiveness of current industry strategy and unique opportunities to find common ground.

The meeting concluded with the passing of the gavel from 2016 SGA Board Chair Kimberly S. Watson of Kinder Morgan to 2018 SGA Board Chair Caron Lawhorn of ONE Gas, Inc. Lawhorn concluded the conference by unveiling the theme for 2018—Natural gas makes sense for today…and for the future.


2017 Executive Conference Sponsors

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The November issue of the Network News is now available in our Communication Center.

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Last month, Southern Gas Association (SGA) and University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business hosted the first-ever Gas Supply Marketing Executive Energy Forum. Both parties worked in partnership to bring together energy executives, students and academia to hear presentations and discuss the lessons learned managing human resources and critical natural gas and electric infrastructure before, during and after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

This event was the product of SGA’s Gas Supply Marketing Section Managing Committee, who has served as a thought-leader for the SGA membership in the area of natural gas, LNG, NGL and product supply and demand. The committee has long since been committed to sponsoring an event to engage students and academia in an energy dialogue with natural gas and energy industry executives. Agreeing to cohost the event, the University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer College of Business worked in tandem with the committee members to involve graduate students and faculty to actively participate in the forum’s content development. Together the groups executed a great event while also establishing a template for creating similar opportunities for collegial connections between industry, students and academia regarding energy, the environment and the economy.

The forum opened with Jack Williams of ConocoPhillips and Jeffery Benjamin with the University of Houston providing their experience of how they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey and how they managed the human element of a natural disaster. Brian Wagaman from CenterPoint Energy served as the moderator for this session.

The following session was moderated by Camilo Amezquita of The Williams Companies.  Panelists included: Randy Pryor, vice president of Texas regional operations at CenterPoint Energy; John Slanina, vice president of business and operations support at CenterPoint Energy: Rick Wall, vice president of operations at Emera/Peoples Gas/Tampa Electric; and Emily Browning, director of gas supply and trading at Cheniere Energy. Each of these experts provided insightful observations and lessons learned from dealing with the recent natural disasters affecting the Houston area and southeast United States. The conversation focused on the perspective of critical infrastructure–electric and natural gas services–and major energy facilities.

The luncheon keynote featured speakers, Scott Prochazka, CEO at CenterPoint Energy; Stan Chapman, president of U.S. natural gas pipelines at TransCanada; and Pete Tumminello, group president of commercial business at Southern Company Gas. Scott and Stan provided brief personal insights into managing natural disasters and focused the majority of their presentations on the future of the natural gas industry in an era of lower carbon emissions, renewables and sustainability. Scott, Stan and Pete provided the students present with a very promising view of the future of the natural gas business and appealing career paths for their consideration.

SGA’s Gas Supply Marketing Section Managing Committee dedicated a percentage of the proceeds from the forum to go to the University of Houston’s Cougar Emergency Fund to help students who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey and assist with replacement of textbooks, laptops, phones and other essentials lost in the flooding as well as financial aid for tuition resulting from losses. Additionally, SGA also provided scholarship funds for the University of Houston College of Business Foundation.

Thank you to all the attendees, students, faculty, SGA committee members and sponsors for your support in making this inaugural event such a success. More than twenty industry partners contributed financially as sponsors for this event. Together more than $8,000 was raised for the University of Houston College of Business Foundation and nearly $11,000 was raised for the University of Houston Cougar Emergency Fund.

SGA would like to especially recognize 2017 Gas Supply Marketing Committee members who stepped up to plan the event including Camilo Amezquita, Marshall Lang, Sarah Stabley, Brian Wagaman, David Hamilton, Lori Leeder, Denny Yeung, Emily Browning, Matt Fleming, Mark Lowe, Rick Whitworth and Tony Nee. Without their time commitment, thoughtful planning and dedication to advancing the industry, this event would not have come to fruition.

Plans are already under way for offering the forum again in 2018 with an emphasis on a student competition within the University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business. Future plans will also look at a wider competition for additional universities to participate. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Gary Hines.

2017 Gas Supply Marketing Executive Energy Forum Sponsors

Sequent Energy Management – Luncheon Sponsor

The Williams Companies – Platinum Sponsor

Cheniere Energy – Platinum Sponsor

CenterPoint Energy – Gold Sponsor

Vega Energy – Gold Sponsor

WGL – Gold Sponsor

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation – Gold Sponsor

Shell – Gold Sponsor

ConocoPhillips – Gold Sponsor

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners – Gold Sponsor

United Energy Trading, LLC – Gold Sponsor

Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline – Gold Sponsor

Piedmont Natural Gas/Duke Energy – Company Table Sponsor

Tenaska Marketing Ventures – Company Table Sponsor

Black & Veatch – Company Table Sponsor

CenterPoint Energy – Company Table Sponsor

TransCanada – Silver Sponsor

Engie – University Table Sponsor

Double R Associates – University Table Sponsor

RBC Resources – Scholarship Sponsor

Randy and Alice Randolph – Scholarship Sponsor

William N. and Patricia Cantrell – Football Ticket Sponsor


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