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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Themed around “Courage”, the 2019 Women & Leadership Forum provides two days of practical advice for women professionals and leaders around courage and pushing you to be courageous in your personal and professional life.

Register for the Women & Leadership forum today at

SGA also has Sponsorship opportunities available for companies interested in supporting the effort.

For more information on the Forum, click on the infographic on the left.For more information about sponsorships, click on the infographic on the right, or call Southern Gas Association at 972-620-8505.

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As the natural gas industry takes care of our energy future, we are also taking care of our people and our planet.

Southern Gas Association is proud to recognize Enbridge as the winner of the 2019 Environmental Excellence Award for Partnership, thanks to its efforts in a local partnership to design a native seed mix to restore native Texas plants in a pipeline right of way in South Texas. These efforts restored a natural habitat for migrating Monarch butterflies.

Congratulations to SGA’s Environmental Excellence award winners, Enbridge, whose award was presented during Natural Gas Connect.

Devin Hotzel (ctr) of Enbridge accepts the 2019 Environmental Excellence Award from Suzanne Ogle (L) and Bill Cantrell (R) of Southern Gas Association at the Natural Gas Connect conference in July

Award entry detail:

Environmental Excellence Award for Partnership – Devin Hotzel, Enbridge
Enbridge partnered with South Texas Natives, Valley Crossing Pipeline, Douglass King Seed Company and landowners to design the best possible commercial native seed mix to restore native plants communities to the Valley Crossing Pipeline right-of-way in Kenedy County. Their restorative efforts provided the Monarch Butterflies a superior habitat.

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The spirit of innovation is at the heart of the natural gas industry, and key to the mission of the Southern Gas Association as it seeks to share new information and ideas throughout its membership.

Member companies such as Summit Utilities lead the way in continuing innovation, and are a big reason why this industry continues to improve its collective safety record.

Congratulations to Summit Utilities for earning our award for Engineering Innovation – Local Distribution Companies category, which was presented during Natural Gas Connect.

Allen Sopshire (Ctr) of Summit Utilities accepts the award for Engineering Innovation from Suzanne Ogle (L) and Bill Cantrell (R) of Southern Gas Association at the Natural Gas Connect conference in July 2019

“WOFA – Work Order Field Application” — Summit Utilities decided to turn the challenge of new guidelines into an opportunity to create a fully integrated traceability and asset life cycle management too. The day and life of a field professional has been reinvented with the Work Order Field Application.


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Driving innovation in an organization begins with a culture that inspires and recognizes ideas, not just the results. Innovative companies like Southern Star rely heavily on employees to encourage innovation. At Southern Gas Association (SGA), we want to recognize our members and the ideas that are driving their company and our industry forward. Moreover, we believe peer-to-peer awareness and recognition will drive innovation in all areas of the industry. SGA is proud to recognize Southern Star’s hard work, operations excellence, thought-leadership and dedication to industry advancement.

Congratulations to our Engineering Innovation – Transmission and Midstream – award winners, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, whose award was presented during Natural Gas Connect.

Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline

The Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline team earns the Engineering Innovation Award-Transmission and Midstream, at SGA's Natural Gas Connect conference, July 2019

AWARD ENTRY DETAIL: “Modernization through Data Analytics” — Southern Star has been at the forefront of implementing the Windrock Platinum system in compression and as a result have 5 Cooper GMV units running at one station and have real-time data analysis and continual monitoring. They are currently monitoring 9,137 unique shutdown points on 88 compressor units.

Our gas compression engines that move gas across our system have what are essentially on-board computers that control the engines as well as annunciate an alarm or shutdown if a run parameter issue occurs. This is similar to the check engine light on a car. At that point, we are on the reactive side of the maintenance, because the issue has already occurred. We thought it would be pretty neat if we could bring all the data that these computers (Programmable Logic Controllers or PLCs) are processing to one location so we could display the data in a more user-friendly fashion and run analytics on it to catch items before the check engine light comes on.  This would put us on the proactive side of the maintenance. To accomplish this, we purchased Pi software from OSISoft. This software allows us to gather and historize the run parameter data we are receiving from our PLCs across our system. We are then able to analyze the parameters we are capturing and make notifications when we catch items trending outside of the norm and can also compare the data for the various units in a more efficient manner. One of the first items we caught was an internal leak on a compressor cylinder. It was registering a leak index of 20%. Temperatures were not different than what was expected. We were able to schedule the repair, take the unit down, and make the repair before it got to the alarm or shut down stage. The issue was a faulty gasket under a compressor valve and completing the repair lowered our leak index to 2%. This maintenance was completed on the proactive side of the maintenance. We are also utilizing the program to catch in-efficiencies across our units for items such as lubrication amounts, fuel usage comparisons, etc.  The capabilities that we are now building in the system are helping us to operate more efficiently and reduce unplanned outages.


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Natural Gas Connect Wrap Up Blog

Earlier this month, Southern Gas Association hosted attendees at our first ever Natural Gas Connect. This conference merged SGA’s ESHTMCEC and Operating Conference to create a premier experience for the natural gas industry.

Connecting at the J.W. Marriott San Antonio Hill Country, nearly 1,300 leaders from across the natural gas business and country gathered together to network with 117 exhibit booths, engage in 150+ sessions and learn from 331 speakers all in a matter of three days.

Sessions included experts from the industry and facilitated open discussions involving the challenges our industry is facing. SGA volunteer leaders led the exploration of new ideas and continued the push toward a cleaner energy future.

The conference began with registration in full swing, general session and then dusting off the cowboy boots dancing the night away at the special event at Knibbe Ranch. After a night of armadillo racing and line dancing competitions, day two had a full schedule of the exhibit hall, roundtable sessions and ending the day with the Section Connection Hub, a place to network with a twist of competition. Day three wrapped up those meaningful conversations with committee breakouts and joint sessions before heading home.

We are excited to see the conversations and ideas generated at Natural Gas Connect become part of our 2020 vision and strategy.

SGA continues to drive engagement with our members through our awards program. We appreciate the opportunity to recognize their hard work and dedication to the industry and SGA. Congratulations to our award winners, which were presented during Natural Gas Connect:

Thank you for engaging through your social networks and the GoMobile@SGA timeline with #naturalgasconnect over the past few months. SGA’s core focus is linking people, ideas and information, and we loved seeing you connect to our mission by posting online.

Here are our top social media shout outs:

  • Top LinkedIn Activity: Mosaic
  • Top Twitter Activity: Hi-Alloy Value
  • Top Facebook Activity: Weld Fit
  • Most Engaged Member: Devon Bergeron, Spire – Congratulations to Devon for consistently interacting on the SGA Mobile App and social media. She won a free registration to 2020 Natural Gas Connect.

Finally, thank you to the sponsors for this year, including:

Once again, thank you to the attendees, speakers, panelists, facilitators, exhibitors and sponsors for creating an interactive experience allowing everyone to connect and drive our industry forward.

Mark your calendar for Natural Gas Connect next year — July 13-15, St. Louis, Missouri —See you under the Gateway Arch!

For more SGA networking and learning opportunities, check out our upcoming events.


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DALLAS–(Southern Gas Association)–The Southern Gas Association (SGA) announced today that William N. Cantrell will retire as Chief Executive Officer and that the Board of Directors has named Suzanne Ogle to succeed him in the role.

Mr. Cantrell will step down as Chief Executive Officer on August 31, 2019. Mr. Cantrell has been Chief Executive Officer since January 2017 and has a long history with the SGA, previously serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2009. Subsequent to his retirement, Mr. Cantrell will continue to support the SGA in a contract role of liaison for two very important groups, the Gas Machinery Research Council and the Associate Members. He will also continue as an instructor for the Natural Gas Champion program, a initiative developed during his tenure.

“The Board of Directors and I are grateful for Bill’s leadership and dedication to the SGA mission,” said Adrian Chapman, Chairman of the SGA Board of Directors. “Bill has been a tireless champion for the natural gas industry, both during his time as a member and with the association itself, including his service as chairman of our Board. He leaves a lasting legacy for us to build on, especially with his work building up the Natural Gas Champions program, which helps educate the public about the many benefits of natural gas.”

“I’d like to thank the board for the opportunity to lead the association,” said Cantrell. ”When I moved from the electric side of our industry to the gas side back in 1997, the very first industry meeting I attended was an SGA conference. The association has played an important role throughout my career adding value for each company I’ve represented. The SGA has demonstrated great resiliency and strength over its 111 year history.”

“SGA is well-positioned for a smooth and successful leadership transition with Suzanne moving into Bill’s role,” Chapman said. She has demonstrated a proven ability to build and grow businesses, identified creative ways to enhance our culture and has put members at the center of our strategy to showcase the critical role natural gas plays in our clean energy future.”

Ogle came to SGA with more than twenty-five years of experience in the oil and gas business and more than a decade of membership and volunteer leadership with the Independent Petroleum Association of America. She is a member of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Women’s Energy Network. She earned the Accreditation in Public Relations credential from PRSA in 2009 and the Investor Relations Charter credential from NIRI in 2018.

She holds an Advanced Marketing certificate from Southern Methodist University, both a Finance Management and a Business Analytics certificate from Cornell University and an Executive Leadership for Energy Professionals certificate from the University of Houston. She received a Master of Education in Educational Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Marketing from California Lutheran University.

About the 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.

Follow the Southern Gas Association On:||

David Magana, 972-620-8505

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Imagine if you could tap into resources from across the natural gas industry at a single meeting.

Imagine if you could connect with 1,300+ like-minded professionals who want to share their secret insights.

Imagine if you could see the latest innovation and cutting-edge technologies from 100+ of the industry’s best partners in one room.

Imagine if you could line dance and chase an armadillo all in one place!

Natural Gas Connect has all of that and more! It’s the place for connecting people, ideas and information.

This new conference offers 30+ SGA roundtables, opening up limitless cross-learning opportunities to you and your team. Access to that much knowledge will help bridge any gaps in your business outlook and connect you with other engaged peers in the industry beyond just operations and engineering.

Think expanded content, improved connection centers, exciting onsite events and more opportunities for idea sharing and innovation. This is your chance to enhance your skills sets, understand current trends and advance your career more in three days than you could in three months!

Still looking for more? Coming together as one force, Natural Gas Connect will host an even larger, more diverse exhibit hall exposing you to the industry’s latest and greatest. We’re also doing something special for first-time attendees, volunteer leaders and industry champions, including a bonus Connection Hub Networking Event Tuesday night open to all. Trust us, you don’t want to miss any of this.

There’s still time to join us and get connected like never before. Learn more and register to attend today!


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The very first Natural Gas Connect (NGC) is right around the corner, and we hope you’ll be able to join us there in San Antonio. We’re using this opportunity to merge SGA’s ESHTMCEC and Operating Conference and create even more connections for you and your team!

This newly updated format offers more than 30 avenues of learning through SGA roundtables, opening up limitless cross-learning opportunities. It will help bridge any gaps in your team’s business outlook and connect you with other engaged industry peers across the value chain. NGC is now your one-stop connection point for meeting people, learning new ideas from your peers and the uncovering important information to help you succeed tomorrow.

Check out what your peers have to say about attending roundtables like these:

“The growing diversity of the attendees has greatly improved and added to the conference experience.”

“Impressive speakers … Very insightful … Great industry forum.”

“The networking opportunities are solid—there are numerous chances to meet new people and catch up with acquaintances.”

“A lot of material, valuable discussions, contacts to be made and relationships to be built.”

“Good discussions that directly relate to my current work and position and can take back with me to my office.”

“Great opportunity to meet and collaborate with colleagues from multiple companies to discuss relevant topics.”

“Don’t ever change the roundtable format…this always provides the best and most useful information and great interaction among participants.”

Want to join us July 15-17? Learn more and sign up to attend today!


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Don’t miss Mark Mathis, President of Clear Energy Alliance, at SGA’s 2019 Natural Gas ConnectMathis will kick off the conference with his special keynote, Energy’s False Moral Panic.

Mark Mathis is on a mission to cure “energy blindness” by providing practical energy truths and is president of Clear Energy Alliance (CEA). CEA strives to raise the EIQ (Energy Intelligence Quotient) of our society. Much of what the media and activist groups tell us about energy is misleading or entirely false, which can lead to dangerous and expensive outcomes. CEA challenges false claims and premises in a fun, interesting and shareable format.
The goal is to have us arrive at our conclusions using logic, reliable data, human experience, history and rational analysis.

Mark has written, produced and directed two documentary films on energy. In Fractured, Mark explained how language is used to dangerously deceive us about the most essential component to the function of the modern world—energy. In spOILed, he examined the public’s ignorance of the central role oil plays in our lives. spOILed was shown theatrically in dozens of cities across the United States. Mark conducted Q&A sessions with audiences at the conclusion of more than 180 shows.

Before becoming a documentary filmmaker, Mark was a TV news anchor/reporter, media consultant/trainer and talk radio host. Mark founded the energy education non-profit Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy and testified before Congress on the dangers of anti-energy extremist groups that same year. Over the past 20 years, Mark has been a keynote speaker for many dozens of organizations from the National Football League to the Independent Petroleum Association of America to the Saudi Research and Marketing’s International Speakers Program.



Join us in San Antonio, Texas, on July 15-17 for SGA’s 2019 Natural Gas Connect, and register today.


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