Event Calendar

Natural Gas Champions 

NGCLogo 2018

The Natural Gas Champions program was developed in cooperation with SGA member companies and prepares participants with the knowledge, confidence and a concise, effective list of easy to remember takeaways that can be used during conversations with friends, family, community leaders and virtually anyone with questions about the natural gas industry.

The natural gas industry is facing increased attention from a variety of interest groups that have concerns with natural gas and hydrocarbon energy development. SGA has designed a robust program to prepare natural gas industry employees to respond to questions about the industry and the concerns expressed. Now is the time more than ever to pull together natural gas industry professionals to ensure we are telling a compelling story to reinforce natural gas as part of the low carbon future.

 

Instructor-Led Course

As part of this program, this instructor-led course (designed for 4 Professional Development Hours) provides a brief overview of the natural gas industry, the groups challenging the industry and fundamental communication skills to engage in critical conversations with neighbors, family members, community partners, and other parties where individuals may enter into a casual conversation.

This course details the role natural gas plays to provide clean, reliable energy and the efforts of the industry in general and how specific industry companies work to operate in a safe, efficient and environmentally-sound manner. The goal of this course is to provide a company’s overall employee base with a general understanding of the concerns and prepare them for those casual yet critical conversations.

At the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Link how natural gas moves from a drill bit to a burner tip.
  • Explain how the natural gas industry is addressing non-governmental organizations’ concerns on hydraulic fracturing, climate change, renewable energy and pipeline development.
  • Develop effective communication methods on how natural gas benefits our society.

 

How is the Instructor-Led Course Content Delivered?

  • In-House – This program is offered at your company’s offices in a 2-hour or 4- hour format for up to 30 participants per class. Material will cover industry basics and will include engaging activities to train your employees to engage in meaningful dialogue. The content can be customized to meet specific company and/or regional challenges.
  • Open Registration – Hosted at SGA conferences, your employees can receive the benefit of training and material on a per person basis. This low-cost option works well when you want to train only a select number of employees. Material covered will be general to the industry.
  • Regional Partnerships – Partner locally with another company to host a customized workshop and save by sharing the cost of the program. Specialty programs like this can be customized to focus on unique regional and/or company challenges.
  • Train-the-Trainer – This full-day program will equip your in-house trainers to deliver the same program to your employees. This empowers your company with maximum flexibility to customize and deliver the materials on the schedule that fits best for you.

Web-Based Training

Sample clip of the Natural Gas Champion web-based training.

These are a series of engaging web-based courses providing a more comprehensive understanding of the key topics from the instructor-led course. For additional information on when these courses will be available and the associated costs, please contact learn@southerngas.org.

 

The courses include additional foundational topics necessary to engage in responsible dialogue with community constituents, including: 

  • Being A Natural Gas Champion – This course provides an overview at a high level of the different sectors of the natural gas industry to move natural gas “from drill bit to burner tip.” It also provides an overview of groups that have concerns for natural gas being utilized in the future. Lastly, there is an intentional focus on creating an elevator speech to concisely and convincingly share the passion that exists within our industry’s workforce.

  • Benefits of Natural Gas and The Role Within Our Society – Natural gas has a much more diverse utilization than just heating our homes or boiling our water. But what are those? We’ll explore that within this course so that uses can be put in practical and relatable terms for all of us to be able to share.

  • The Safety and Security of the Natural Gas System – One can take a deep dive in this area of knowledge, but we’ll keep it high level to establish a basic understanding of what our industry does to be the safest mode of transportation. We’ll also explore the importance of security and the establishment of safety management systems within the energy industry.

  • Understanding Renewables – This is a rapidly changing environment with the leveraging of technology to continually push the boundaries of energy produced from renewing resources (mainly solar, wind, and geothermal). This will be a look at current renewable energy alternatives, their opportunities as well as their current limitations.

  • Climate Change – We’ll explore different terminology used to define climate change, including global warming, and discover how natural gas has helped reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions. We’re not working to convince anyone one way or another, but it is important to be able to have a conversation, ask questions, and provide relevant information for how natural gas is helping to solve some of our climate challenges.

  • Hydraulic Fracturing – Better known in our communities as “Fracking” to the point of producing a negative connotation, we’ll look at the full-scale operation of fracking – what happens, the benefits of this methodology, and other related types of work. As an example, water disposal by method of well injection has been the topic of conversation in many states as it relates to seismic activity. How is all this related? We’ll take a journey and better understand it all!

  • Pipeline Permitting and Infrastructure Development – Preparing for the construction of a pipeline takes a lot of work. A lot of planning and analysis occurs before a project starts. This often takes many years of work before a spade of dirt can be turned. What are the environmental considerations before building a pipeline? What best practices are used during the actual construction process? We’ll look at these challenges within this course.

  • Electrification – There is an overall movement of powering all things with electricity. This is a major shift from what is experienced today. Is it possible? Are there any limitations? Does it make sense to migrate all things requiring power to use only electricity? We’ll look at these questions and others through this course.

  • Generational Perspectives on Energy Use – We all know that different generations have different work styles and how we each use technology. But what about how we consume and make choices in energy? It’s a good question, and this course will explore understanding some background on how each generation developed their societal thoughts and how those characteristics apply to energy consumption and utilization.

  • Critical Skills Used to Engage Your Community

    • Building Trust – Through various surveys and research reports, the industry employees are to be one of the most trusted resources within their communities. But how do you leverage that for your organization? How to you use that base established trust factor and build upon that? We’ll develop those skillsets here.

    • Critical and Active Listening – There may be times we are engaged in a conversation with someone and what they are talking about is of little interest to us. Or, their tone and inflection of words is one that makes it hard to stay engaged with the conversation. How do we overcome that? What skills can we use to find the critical components that are the root of concerns or questions for those we’re engaged with. We’ll develop those skills within this course.

    • Leading with Emotional Intelligence – Being a trusted resource increases with your ability to turn your own emotions into a positive experience during the conversation. Using a happy emotion while someone else is upset in a conversation may not be appropriate. This skill is certainly applicable outside of this program and should be used in everyday discussions and interactions.

Member Price: $300 | Non-Member Price: $600 

Want to learn more? Contact SGA staff.  

 

Instructors

SGA strives to bring subject-matter experts and prides itself on finding individuals that can facilitate dialogue and engage the participants in the assigned program. We're happy to bring these instructors to this program for consideration.

BillCantrell NatGasChamp

Meet Bill 


William N. (Bill) Cantrell is president and chief executive officer of the Southern Gas Association (SGA) and its subsidiary, the Gas Machinery Research Council. With more than 40 years of experience, he has become a trusted leader across the energy industry and developed a passion for working to advance the field. Bill leads SGA as the organization works to link people, ideas and information across the natural gas industry. Previously, Bill was named president and chief executive officer at SourceGas, now part of Black Hills Corp., an SGA member company. In 2009, he led SGA as chairman of the board of directors. Beginning his career at Tampa Electric Company, Bill advanced through several technical and senior management positions, including director of the merger transition with Peoples Gas Companies to become part of TECO Energy. He served as president of Peoples Gas Companies from 1997 to 2009. He received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tampa and a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

 

Meet Mike


Currently serving as president of Strategic Convictions, Michael McGonagill has a proven reputation for successfully identifying, suggesting and sponsoring organizational change and technical innovation, while simultaneously developing and achieving key pipeline performance objectives. He is a focused and communicative leader experienced in North American natural gas transmission operations. Mike currently serves the natural gas industry as a teacher of Pipeline Safety Management Systems and as a selected advisor to individuals and energy organizations. In addition, has served as an expert advisor/witness to a legal firm representing the board of a large diverse energy company who was undergoing shareholder litigation. Additionally, he is teaching young business leaders on the fundamentals of business and leadership through a volunteer organization and a university forum. Mike served as chief operating officer for Alliance Pipeline from 2007-2015 and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Young Pipeline Professionals. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

Meet Mary Jo 


Mary Jo Pennino is a senior management executive and experienced leader excelling in motivating people and driving results with an emphasis on relationships at all levels and with all stakeholders. Mary Jo drove the implementation of various large-scale Smart Grid and Smart Streetlight projects for some of the largest domestic investor-owned utilities as well as Singapore Electric. She has held various engineering positions including power plant performance testing, generation planning, water and fuel chemistry engineering and interfaced with the Florida Public Service Commission on regulatory matters including testifying in fuel and conservation hearings. Mary Jo holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida.

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What Your Peers Are Saying

Great delivery of critical data points that will change people’s minds! – CenterPoint Energy Employee

Great for employees to gain a better understanding of the industry and where we fit in! – NiSource Employee

SGA team did an excellent job on content. Amazing job making this information bite size. – ONE Gas, Inc. Employee

 

 

NaturalGasChampions infographic 010319

Additional Resources

SGA continues to look for ways to improve and build this program through various partnerships. Currently, SGA is partnering with the following organizations:

Many industry organizations make resources available learn more about the story of natural gas, including:

 

For additional information, please contact SGA staff.

 

Become A Champion

 

Interested in this program for your company?

Looking to invest in your workforce? Discover the different options to bring this training in-house on your company's own learning platform. Send this completed form to Lauren Callon.

 

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Do you want to become a champion right now?

You can start your journey to becoming a natural gas champion immediately. Access the online learning modules below.

 

Begin Now

 

 

 

Have questions about this program? Contact Lauren Callon.