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Inaugural Gas Supply Marketing Executive Energy Held at University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business

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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