It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner! As we get closer to wrapping up this year, I want to take a moment to express my genuine gratitude to the folks below who have put in countless hours to help our section endure and transition through all the uncertainties that came with 2021. I remember writing a newsletter this time last year and wondering how much longer I’d be stuck inside my 4 walls waiting for the smallest glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll be the first to admit that it was difficult to stay motivated and positive about the outlook but the folks below kept me afloat and found creative ways to stay connected with the membership. We would not have been able to make such smooth transitions to virtual and now back to in-person events without their hard work so please be sure to reach out and thank our volunteers:
- Alex Shih (Program Chairperson) joined us almost 2 years ago as we were in the thick of the pandemic as the Education Chair and managed to find a plethora of speakers who could present virtually on a broad range of topics. This year, he has been instrumental in helping our section transition back to in-person meetings at Dallas College (formerly Brookhaven) and is already setting a great lineup of speakers for 2022. Be sure to thank him for bringing back our traditional BBQ luncheons.
- Ana Trevino (Scholarship Chairperson) has led the scholarship committee for several years and if you’ve interacted with her for even a few minutes, you can immediately sense her passion for helping students find their way to the energy space. Ana and her team worked on reviewing numerous applications this year and awarded $25,000 in scholarships to students in dire need of financial support.
- Ashish Ghotekar (Treasurer) has managed our money for the last 2 years and has done a great job keep tracking of our expenses to make sure we stay fiscally responsible with the limited cash flow we’ve had during the pandemic. He has also explored ways for us to minimize fees as a non-profit organization.
- Austin Caudill (YP Chairperson) stepped into his role during the peak of the pandemic and explored creative ways to organize virtual networking activities. Through his drive and motivation, the YP group was able to restart in-person networking events as early as April this past year. He has managed to secure sponsors for events, bring back some of our traditions like the annual Thanksgiving dinner, and has much more in store for 2022.
- Cal Lundberg (Information Chairperson) has been critical in communicating with the section via email reminders for all upcoming in-person events (especially with changes in location and venue). I’m sure all of us have had those weeks with heavy workloads but Cal’s strategically timed emails serve as a reminder to carve out time to attend all the events that SPE has to offer.
- Clayton Conine (Sports & Social Chair) has been working diligently to get some sports events on the calendar for next year. Things have gotten tricky with where we normally host the annual golf tournament but rest assured, he’s putting the band (the committee) back together to churn through other options so we can have some fun in 2022.
- Colin Beasley (Past Chairperson and Interim Sports/Social Chair) has been a guiding force on the board and has recently taken on additional responsibility as the interim Sports and Social Chair to help plan events like our sporting clays tournament and Casino Night. I’m confident his execution skills will get give us something to look forward to next year.
- Danny Bell (Community Relations Chairperson) has served on the SPE Dallas board in almost every position and with that, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Having such a resource is helpful to bounce ideas off of when trying to impact change. I appreciate his encouragement and drive to continue to do more for the membership.
- David Hamilton (Awards Chairperson) is responsible for many of the regional, national, and international awards that have been given to Dallas Section members in years past. This year, we were lucky to have a few regional award winners from the Dallas section so kudos to David for pushing those nominations through.
- Ishank Gupta (Advertising Chairperson) has taken on a challenging role as advertising chairperson when money is still tight even though commodity prices have increased. Despite the odds, he managed to renew some sponsors and find new ones this year and I’m thankful for his efforts and continued dedication to the board.
- Jamie Heinecke (Treasurer Elect) has been on the board for close to 2 years now and previously served as the Information Chair. He’s currently training as treasurer elect and will one day manage the money bag.
- Joseph Fu (Chairperson Elect) has served in a variety of roles in the past few years including Advertising Chair, Programs Chair, and now Chairperson Elect. He has brought a unique skillset to the group and organized our first virtual skills workshop this past year with much more to come. He has become a valuable contributor to the team and I’m excited to see how SPE Dallas will continue to grow and change once he takes the reins.
- Kristi Bartlett (Digital Engagement Chairperson) manages our LinkedIn page (which recently received approval to begin streaming live content due to our increase in followers). She regularly posts our events, polls, and additional information to the LinkedIn page to make sure our membership is up to date on the latest developments. She has been someone I can lean on and bounce ideas off of when the path forward isn’t clear and I’m so thankful for our friendship both within and outside of SPE.
- Madeleine McBee (Technology/Communications Chairperson) has undertaken website management and it’s safe to say this is no easy task. She’s been working diligently to make our website more user friendly and organized with limited hiccups in registrations for all our in-person and virtual events.
- Randy Klein (Speakers Bureau Chairperson) has taken been managing our Speakers Bureau. With the pandemic, many in-person speaking opportunities have diminished but rest assured, we’re ready to engage the community with speakers from SPE both in-person and virtually.
- Robert Martinez (Membership Chairperson) has served on the SPE Dallas board in several positions and is a great asset to the team. Robert brings a wealth of past experiences and wisdom to the board and currently manages overall membership. He is actively working on organizing another exclusive members-only event next year and wanted to make sure I provided all of you with the link to renew your membership HERE.
- Rui Kou (Education Chairperson) joined the board this past year and has taken on one of the more challenging roles to find technical speakers for study group. Despite the challenges, he’s managed to find some industry heavy-hitters from a variety of E&P companies and I’m confident he will continue to line up great content next year to keep you up to date on the latest industry trends.
- Sophie Yi (Secretary) keeps me in line and takes meticulous notes of everything that I forget after our board meetings. She also manages our Google Drive with all the records of historical materials and data and keeps everything in check.
I’d also like to thank our regional director Zach Evans as well the folks at SPEI (Erin O’Sullivan, Taylor Wright, and Zain Al Radeideh) for guiding and encouraging us as we navigated a difficult and unknown path to get where we are today.
Now that you made it to the bottom, I hope that all of you feel as hopeful and excited as I am to see what’s around the corner for SPE Dallas and for our industry as a whole. Thank you for supporting SPE Dallas and if you have any delicious turkey stuffing recipes, feel free to send them my way!