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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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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Southern Gas Association Announces Strategic Restructuring 

New departments created to better serve members and advance the industry

DALLAS, Texas, Nov. 1, 2017 – Southern Gas Association (SGA) today announced an organizational restructuring to more efficiently meet the needs of members. The leadership team will be realigned to manage five functional departments—events, learning and professional development, marketing and communications, content development and volunteer engagement, and administration.

The events department will be dedicated to enhancing and executing quality meeting experiences for the membership to connect in a non-competitive environment enabling the free flow of ideas and information. Jane Butler will lead this team serving as vice president of finance and events.

The learning and professional development department will refocus SGA’s initiatives by evaluating the training landscape, homing in on the industry’s most critical needs and determining practical delivery options. Gary Hines, serving as vice president of learning and professional development, will lead this team.

The marketing and communications department will focus on strategically promoting the organization’s value proposition to the membership and the industry, including peer connections and leadership opportunities. This team will work in tandem with the events and the learning and professional development departments. This team will be led by Veronica Garza, who has been promoted to senior director of marketing and communications.

The content development and volunteer engagement department will coordinate committees, interest groups and task forces across the membership. Kent Hobart will direct member activity by leading this team as vice president of content development and volunteer engagement.

The administration department will foster member relationships, maintain office facilities and administer human resources. This team will be led by Amanda Morgan, who will serve in a dual role as executive assistant to the president and CEO and now also as director of administration.

“This new functional organization including the new departments and promotions reflect SGA’s commitment to growing individuals internally and throughout the industry,” said William N. Cantrell, president and CEO at Southern Gas Association. “We have a dedicated staff, who will now be better equipped to engage the natural gas industry for a sustainable tomorrow through roundtable meetings, training and member engagement.”

About Southern Gas Association

For more than a century, SGA has been focused on growing individuals and advancing the industry by linking people, ideas and information. Representing the industry as a whole from drill bit to burner tip, SGA’s membership comprises 200 businesses across the distribution, pipeline and gas supply marketing sectors as well as more than 300 industry partners who serve the industry as vendors, suppliers and consultants.

For further information, please email press@southerngas.org.

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The October issue of the Operations & Engineering Newsletter is now available in our Communication Center.

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

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SGA Network News – October 2017

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As Hurricane Irma approached the southeastern part of the country, SGA was in close contact with local members in its path including companies in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. While some member companies did suffer damage from the impact within their service territories, SGA’s Mutual Assistance Program did not need to be activated. All affected member companies took appropriate precautions, and several member companies not affected were prepared to step in to help.

“As our staff facilitated appropriate communication during this time, SGA members who were not impacted were standing ready and willing to support those in the path of Hurricane Irma,” said Kent Hobart, vice president at SGA and contact for SGA’s Mutual Assistance Program. “It is this spirit of community and support that makes our members unique. SGA will continue to maintain this program and foster further relationships with other organizations and member companies to bolster its mission.”

For questions or further information about the Mutual Assistance Program, please contact Kent Hobart by email or by phone at (813) 917-8952.

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In the wake of the recent hurricanes affecting a large portion of SGA member companies and their service territories, it is important to reinforce community relations between operators and first responders. In recent years, SGA’s Emergency Management Committee developed a resource for member companies utilize in the field, the “Control of Natural Gas in an Emergency” booklet.

This short booklet is an easy-to-use reference guide for first responders to use in preparing for natural gas emergencies. Operators across the country are using the booklet as a component of their public awareness campaigns, and many companies have given the reference guide to local fire departments to educate and foster better relationships.

The Control of Natural Gas in an Emergency booklet includes an emergency response checklist, useful resources for pipeline emergency response planning and a short message about damage prevention. Additional topics outlined in the reference guide include:

  • Procedures During Emergencies
  • Typical Gas Installations
  • Gas Detection
  • Incident Command
  • Security

This is a great resource to have available when operators, technical and frontline workers and community-facing employees are working in the field or public eye. If you are interested in getting a sample copy of the booklet or learning how the booklet can be customized for your company, please contact Jake Wagner.

Click here to learn more about the booklet or to place an order.

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

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SGA Network News – September 2017

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