Happy New Year from SGA

Happy New Year

 

Happy new year to all our members and supporters. 2019 has been a transformative year for the Southern Gas Association. As 2019 draws to a close, I would sincerely like to thank our Board, our members, employees, and partners who have been an essential part of setting a positive course for SGA.
At SGA, we strive to put our members at the heart of everything we do. Because of your trust, support, and engagement that we were able to accomplish everything we did in 2019.

2020 promises to be an exciting year, and I’m looking forward to working with you all – as individuals, organizations, and experts. Together we can work on the best solutions to the challenges we will no doubt face as an industry.

 

2019 Top 5 Milestones 

 

However, before we look forward to 2020, I would like to cover a few highlights from this year. The following is a selection of some of the many great things that have taken place in 2019. They will help propel SGA forward as the leading energy association, provider of technical training, professional development, peer-to-peer learning, conferences, and networking.

  1. Conferences and Training: SGA delivered 40 conference and training events to more than 4200 happy members and participants who earned nearly 58,000 professional development hours. From California to Texas to the Carolina’s to Virginia and many other places in between, we helped our members increase skills and share knowledge across the United States and Canada.
  2. Focus Groups: In July, at SGA’s Natural Gas Connect conference, members had the opportunity to participate in focus groups. These groups provided qualitative information on how members utilize their membership, which features of membership they value most, and what their experiences are like at our conferences and events. We are incorporating the insight gained from these meetings into the association 3-year strategic plan.
  3. Governance: The Board of Directors Planning Committee took on a comprehensive review of our By-Laws to ensure that SGA is in the strongest position to benefit members for years to come. Our member companies were invited to participate and then approve the revised by-laws, and they provided overwhelming support.
  4. Culture and Team: We know that success is a direct result of culture and team. In 2019 SGA invested in both – recruiting the best and brightest to lead member-focused initiatives in learning and professional development, sponsorship, member experience and volunteer engagement. Click the links below to meet the SGA leadership team.
    Nicolle Billmyre
    Lauren Callon
    Cindy Mitchell
    Telesa Walton
  5. Thought Leadership: SGA partnered with Adamantine Energy to bring three exclusive pieces on how members can mitigate social risk. Also related to helping members deal with challenges facing our industry – 21 member companies participated in a Joint Industry Project to create ten web-based training modules on subjects ranging from Hydraulic Fracturing to Climate Change to Renewable Energy. This effort was part of our Natural Gas Champions effort, and those web-based training modules are available for use in 2020.

 

2020 Initiatives

 

We are looking forward to 2020 with high expectations, and we will continue to maintain, and improve on, the professional, servant leadership, high service levels to all our members.

We appreciate the importance of our services to members. Networking, training, knowledge transfer, and innovation can help improve safety, customer service, commercial opportunity, and exchange of ideas. The SGA staff, supported by its members and guided by the Board, will work hard to ensure we remain the center of excellence, and knowledge, for the wider natural gas community. As part of that, we’ll be focusing on initiatives, in the coming year, including:

  • Building on the activities identified as ‘of great value to members’ in feedback from our recent Focus Groups. These include our popular events, which keep members up-to-date with the latest developments in natural gas (both technical and business) and provide excellent opportunities for professional networking.
  • Ensuring we continue to deliver the right services to meet the needs of existing members and to attract and engage new members across the United States and Canada.
  • Making sure that SGA remains a viable organization for our young professionals
  • Fostering leadership and professional development opportunities that will advance a diverse base of agile leaders for the industry of tomorrow including Women and Leadership and Emerging Leaders
  • Offering PSMS workshops to assist members on their path to implement RP1173 and Technical Guidelines, packed with the latest knowledge and best practices, that will help members operationalize PSMS.

 

While 2020 is not without challenges and threats to our industry, SGA has a great future. Our member companies and the association are strong and relevant. Natural gas is of eminent importance for our clean energy future. We see many opportunities ahead for our industry, including the rise of LNG exports and renewable natural gas. The increased availability of natural gas will continue to lower GHG emissions and provide the cleanest air in the last decade. Linking ideas and information has always been SGA’s priority. In 2020 we will continue to lead the way to advance the natural gas industry and industry professionals.

I’m very proud to be in the privileged position to lead SGA in this critical work and in continuing the excellent work of previous presidents. I wish you and your families a joyous, peaceful, and restful holiday and all the best for the New Year in 2020.

 

Sincerely,

Suzanne Ogle  |  President & CEO Southern Gas Association (SGA)

 

SGA Year-End Video: Message from the President & CEO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a-2sqkYZd8&feature=youtu.be

 

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We look forward to seeing all NGC planning meeting attendees. It’s our committee SGA volunteers’ collective efforts that make NGC a unique opportunity to not only make connections that empower the industry, but also to discuss the technical, commercial and strategic issues facing the natural gas industry.

The planning meeting for SGA committee members is scheduled for January 13 and 14 at Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas, Dallas (Irving), Texas.

If you have any questions regarding the meeting or the conference, please contact Telesa Walton, Director of Volunteer Engagement.

Thank you for your support and participation and we look forward to seeing you!

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Southern Gas Association (SGA) is pleased to announce the committee members for its intended formation of the new Women & Leadership Committee.

For the committee, SGA sought out a diverse group of men and women from across the natural gas industry who are passionate about training and developing tomorrow’s leaders.

The Women & Leadership Committee will consist of the following individuals:

  • Quynh Bowman, Duke Energy
  • Nancy Conder, CenterPoint Energy
  • Francene S. Diehl, Florida Public Utilities
  • Raven Elliott, BGE, Inc.
  • Rachael Engel, Atmos Energy
  • Shelley Frisby, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners
  • Christina Gregory, Atmos Energy
  • Lisa Holleron, Kansas Gas Service
  • Lila Jaber, Gunster
  • Sylvia Joure, Memphis Light Gas and Water
  • Alexis “Allie” Kiever Meyer, Kimley-Horn
  • Ashley Knight, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline
  • Jen Kostyniuk, Dominion Energy
  • Kimberly V. Lawson, Southern Company Gas
  • Carol McKnight, AECOM
  • Rita Nguyen, Enbridge
  • Emily Rogers, TC Energy
  • Rachel B. Williams, Tetra Tech, Inc.

As a key deliverable, the Women & Leadership Committee will provide a learning road map for core competencies that will help create effective leaders.

Additionally, the committee will provide an opportunity for members to grow their professional network, act as or seek mentors and business partners and advance learning throughout the industry.

These leaders were selected from an outstanding pool of over 60 applicants from across the United States and Canada covering each of the identified competencies, spanning every age group and representing many aspects of the natural gas field.

The SGA Board of Directors will vote on the approval and official formation of the Women & Leadership Committee at its next Board meeting.

Thank you,

Team SGA

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Gas Machinery Conference opening session

GMRC’s Gas Machinery Conference 2019 attracted more than 1200 professionals from the natural gas industry to share the latest information via 70 sessions that included Technical Papers, Short Courses and Technology Updates. GMRC met its objective to share current research & development in the interest of keeping professionals in the industry up to date on important safety and technological advances.

GMC 2019 featured over 30 Technical Paper presentations, designed to educate and advance the natural gas workforce, and targeted at everyone from beginners to 40-year industry veterans.

The Conference also included 15 Short Courses of about three hours, allowing industry leaders to go in-depth on topics important to the safe and efficient delivery of natural gas to end users.

The Exhibit Hall at GMC

GMC also hosted 22 Technology Updates provided by service providers and manufacturers, sharing insights on new developments, designs and products that will be of value in the natural gas industry.

Gas Machinery Conference 2019 also had plenty of time for relaxed networking through seven sponsored receptions, where colleagues from industry manufacturers, developers, service providers and operating companies got a chance to share ideas and network for their own professional development and for the betterment of the natural gas industry as a whole.

Finally, more than 110 companies showed off their latest products in an 87,000 square foot space the Exhibit Hall during GMC 2019, giving attendees a first-hand look and real product demonstrations of the latest machinery and technology.

All told, GMRC’s Gas Machinery Conference offered attendees access to millions of dollars’ worth of industry research, and allowed attendees to earn up to 18.5 Professional Development Hours for their individual learning path. It also allowed each attendee to learn and grow by building and expanding relationships with their peers in the field, and share their thoughts on the conference in real time through comments and posts in the conference Mobile App.

GMRC would like to thank the sponsors of Gas Machinery Conference 2019:

Premier Sponsors: Ariel, HOERBIGER, Siemens

Platinum Sponsor: Universal Plant Services

Gold Sponsors: Cooper Machinery Services, Shell, Waukesha Gas Engines, an INNIO Company

Silver Sponsor: Caterpillar

Bronze Sponsor: ACI Services, Advanced Gas Engine Solutions, IDC Engineering

Copper Sponsor: ENEngineering

Thanks to all for attending and contributing to a great conference. We will see you next year in Tampa, October 4-7, 2020!

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Southern Gas Association and the Gas Machinery Research Council are pleased to announce our 2020 Vision for major conference events for next year, and we encourage you to save the dates for what promises to be an incredible year of learning and development opportunities for natural gas professionals.

Here is a look at the full calendar for major events.

Technical Conference on Environmental Permitting & Construction

  • February 12 – 14, 2020
  • Savannah, Georgia

Conference attendees can access over 15 separate learning sessions demonstrating how they can overcome challenges to get pipelines permitted and built. Professionals will come away for the conference with valuable insights on how to successfully navigate regulations and permitting processes to construct projects within environmental compliance.

Supply Chain Management Conference

  • February 26 -28, 2020
  • Bastrop, Texas

This one of a kind annual meeting brings supply chain professionals from natural gas midstream, pipeline, and distribution companies together with businesses who provide goods and services to the industry.

Spring Gas Conference & Expo

  • March 16-18, 2020
  • Columbia, South Carolina

SGA’s annual Spring Gas Conference & Expo is a technical skills and leadership training conference for natural gas operators.

Management Conference

  • April 15-17, 2020
  • Louisville, Kentucky

The SGA Management Conference is attended by executives from a wide range of functions. General sessions on the hot topics of the day, plus joint sessions on issues of common interest and focused roundtable sessions make this a valuable opportunity for education, sharing of best practices, and relationship building.

Southwest Regional Gas Conference

  • May 12-15, 2020
  • San Marcos, Texas

Natural gas operators, frontline employees, supervisors, managers & directors have the opportunity to learn technical skills and receive essential job and leadership training developed and facilitated by industry experts

Natural Gas Connect Conference

  • July 13- 15, 2020
  • St. Louis, Missouri

The Natural Gas Connect conference offers more than 30 SGA roundtables, opening up limitless cross-learning opportunities. It will also help bridge any gaps in your business outlook and connect you with other engaged peers in the industry beyond operations and engineering.

Gas Machinery Conference (hosted by Gas Machinery Research Council)

  • October 4 – 7, 2020
  • Tampa, Florida

GMRC’s Gas Machinery Conference offers three days of leading-edge technical training and educational presentations designed to equip you with the skills you need to be successful in your own operations, while connecting you to other motivated professionals and service providers from across the country and world. The educational sessions are valuable for design engineers, facility engineers, and technicians with an emphasis on the operation, maintenance, and testing of gas compression machinery.

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Applications sought for Committee Members

The Southern Gas Association is pleased to announce the intended formation of a new committee, Women & Leadership, and SGA is seeking members interested in charting a path for this committee.

The Women & Leadership Committee will be a diverse group of men and women from across the natural gas industry who are passionate about training and developing tomorrow’s leaders. The committee, as a deliverable, will provide a learning road map for core competencies that will help create effective leaders.

Those core competencies include:

  • Financial Literacy/Acumen
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Marketing
  • Communication Skills
  • Strategic Planning
  • Building a Business Case
  • Fostering Innovation
  • Presentation Skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Talent Management
  • Mentorship
  • Professional Presence
  • Building Culture
  • Change Management
  • Influencing Others
  • Building Collaborative Relationships

 

Additionally, the committee will provide an opportunity for members to grow their professional network, act as or seek mentors and business partners and advance learning throughout the industry.

Please consider lending your voice to the effort to develop and enrich the professional and personal lives of many others in your field of work, or please share this note with anyone you think might provide excellent leadership on this committee.

Meetings are planned for the second Tuesday of each month starting at 8:00 AM Central time, with the first meeting scheduled for October 2019.

Interested applicants can apply for the Women & Leadership Committee by clicking on this SGA Volunteer Application link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/sga_volunteer.

The application deadline is Thursday, September 26 at 12 Noon, Central time.

Committee Applicants will be asked to submit:

  • Résumé / CV
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Endorsement from company leader

For questions or more information about applying, please contact Telesa Walton, Director of Volunteer Engagement, Southern Gas Association, at telesa.walton@southerngas.org.

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The key to providing crucial communications responses to a crisis is always preparation, not only how well you plan for crisis situations but also how you analyze and re-analyze your efforts in a spirit of continuous improvement.

Southern Gas Association is pleased to honor Black Hills Energy with its 2019 Corporate Communications award, for revising its crisis communications plan from the ground up.

Melissa Garcia (ctr) accepts the 2019 SGA Corporate Communications award on behalf of Black Hills Energy at the Natural Gas Connect conference in July. Suzanne Ogle (L) and Bill Cantrell (R) of Southern Gas Association presented the award.

Award Detail:

Corporate Communications – Melissa Garcia, Black Hills Energy
“Ready for the Unthinkable” — Black Hills Energy’s goal was to replace their traditional crisis communication plan with a new model that could proactively answer the call of effectively building relationships and trust with all of the stakeholders, internal and external, during and following an emergency.

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Joel Zeff - Keynote Speaker

If you’ve signed up for the 2019 Gas Machinery Conference, you are in for a treat!

The Keynote Speaker for the event is Joel Zeff, nationally recognized speaker and humorist. In Joel’s dynamic and motivational keynote presentation, you will appreciate the value of fun in the workplace and learn how to make the simple choices to have more fun, and increase your team’s passion and success.

If you have NOT yet registered for the GMC conference, be sure to do so by visiting www.gmrc.org/gmc.

 

Watch a sneak peek of what Joel will be sharing in the video clip below!

 

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Southern Gas Association encourages all of its member companies to be good stewards in the communities they serve.

The SGA Community Service Award for 2019 went to Summit Utilities, which put into place a Volunteering program so its employees could take paid time off to volunteer in their communities.

The effort has created many hours of volunteer time for non-profit organizations, and SGA was proud to honor Summit Utilities at its Natural Gas Connect conference in July.

Allen Sopshire (ctr) accepts the Community Service award on behalf of Summit Utilities from Suzanne Ogle (L) and Bill Cantrell (R) of Southern Gas Association at the Natural Gas Connect conference in July

Award Detail
Community Service Award – Tony Parker, Summit Utilities
“Using Volunteer Time to Expand Impact in Rural Communities” — Summit Utilities implemented a Volunteer Time Off Program that gives qualified employees 20 hours of paid time off to use volunteering with nonprofit organizations in local communities.

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Safety preparations can pay off in the most unexpected ways.

Southern Gas Association is proud to honor Ryan Williams of Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District with the Safety Award for Meritorious Service, after he stepped up to save a co-worker in a choking situation.

Ryan’s quick action prevented a tragic outcome and garnered the Safety Award given at the Natural Gas Connect conference in July.

 

Ryan Williams (ctr) of Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District accepts the Safety Award from Suzanne Ogle (L) and Bill Cantrell (R) of Southern Gas Association at the Natural Gas Connect conference in July

Award detail:

Safety Award for Meritorious Service – Ryan Williams, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District

On the way back from meeting with a neighboring utility, Ryan and his office manager Amanda Schubert stopped for lunch. During their conversation, Amanda began choking! In Amanda’s words, “It was one of the scariest moments that I can remember, he was honestly my guardian angel.” Ryan jumped to the task and performed the obstructed airway maneuver and saved her life!

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