SGA Blog

Inside Look at SGA’s Executive Conference 2016

SGA’s 2016 Executive Conference convened earlier this week in Pinehurst, NC. This conference brings senior executives together to discuss current issues impacting the natural gas industry. This year’s conference was well attended with a robust agenda focused on the future of natural gas.
Industry panelists Paul Koonce, CEO of Dominion Generation Group, Scott Smith, president and CEO of Midstream Energy Holdings, LLC, and Fred Hunzeker, president and CEO of Tenaska Marketing Ventures, provided dialogue on the convergence of the natural gas and power industries as well as the outlook for the future de-carbonization of the U.S. electric grid.

  • TakeawayLow-priced natural gas is displacing coal resulting in a 40% reduction in carbon output by Dominion Resources, Inc., since 2000.  The landscaping is changing with utility scale, renewables becoming price-competitive and energy delivery being shaped with mergers and technology.

Maryscott “Scotty” Greenwood, principal at Dentons, discussed the 2016 presidential election results and how it will affect the energy industry as a whole.

  • TakeawayFrom Greenwood’s perspective, the industry overall is better positioned with President-elect’s new administration, but it remains to be seen what can be done to restore the coal industry as promised on the campaign trail.

Dr. Andrew Urich, Associate Professor of Management at Oklahoma State University, provided the audience with a relevant, entertaining message for advocacy in the industry.

  • TakeawayThe industry needs to be better communicators when dealing with the public. Urich urged, ”Authority is out and influence is in!” Building trust, admiration and respect is critical in becoming a persuasive advocate for natural gas.  From the wellhead to the customer, we are all in this together.

The meeting concluded with the passing of the gavel from 2016 SGA Board Chair Frank Yoho of Duke Energy to 2017 SGA Board Chair Kimberly Watson of Kinder Morgan. Watson finished the conference by unveiling the theme for 2017—Natural Gas: Navigating Change through Leadership and Innovation.

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