Energy Crue

Molly Determan: Redefining Norms and Advocating for the Energy Industry

October 25, 2023
Energy Crue
Molly Determan: Redefining Norms and Advocating for the Energy Industry
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The energy industry is often cast in a negative light, but what if the tables could be turned? We explore this intriguing possibility as we delve into a conversation with Molly Determan, the President of Energy Workforce and Technology Council, a 90-year-old organization that ardently champions the energy, services, and equipment sector. Molly's unique journey from PR and nonprofit management to a leadership position in the oil and gas sector makes for a fascinating narrative. Her emphasis on the importance of aligning personal values with those of your organization and her role in the Council's rebrand journey are sure to captivate your interest.

We traverse deeper into the world of energy services, discussing workforce development, training, and networking opportunities for companies in the sector. Molly's candid reflections on imposter syndrome and her advice on self-belief and confidence boosting are both inspiring and motivational. As we pivot towards the topic of innovation, we shine a light on the need for breaking industry stereotypes and the vital role of inclusive cultures. Here, Molly shares her experiences with companies innovating and creating flexibility for field workers, along with some insights into succession planning.

Finally, we touch on the subject of advocacy for the oil and gas industry. We hear from Molly about the importance of collaboration, leadership, and development in order to push forward amidst negative rhetoric. She shares her thoughts on the vast opportunities for growth and stability the industry offers to people of all backgrounds. Through this enlightening conversation, we hope to challenge your perception of the oil and gas industry, and perhaps even inspire you to play a role in its future development. Join us in this captivating exploration of energy industry dynamics, as we break stereotypes and work towards a brighter future.

Speaker 1:

now, and welcome to a new energy crew podcast, me, your host, jp1. I want to thank everybody out there for tuning in on this energy crew podcast. We know that there's a lot of podcasts out there. There's ones coming out every single day about all these certain subjects. But hey, you came here. This is the place where you need to be and this is the place where you're at today. I want to thank everyone out there, and this episode is brought to you by Exec Crew. If you're looking to elevate your networks and your knowledge and also elevate yourself and surround yourself with other leaders and achievers and learn from each other and inspire each other and collaborate, check out Exec Crew. We'll be launching that in January 2024. And with that Exec comment, we are bringing in this is a perfect segue. It's a perfect segue to this because we are bringing in Molly Deiderman, who is the president at Energy Workforce and Technology Council, and I think it's so great to have you. I think I first met you in Oklahoma City.

Speaker 2:

That's right.

Speaker 1:

And during I think who was up there? Awesome was up there. You spoke. That was the first time. I think you were kind of changing the guard with Leslie and then Harold Ham was there. That was a big deal that was the first event I went to.

Speaker 2:

It was and that was our Oklahoma chapter kind of restarting, so post-pandemic, and so it was really a fun event to be there. So yeah, that was a good one to step into.

Speaker 1:

That was such a cool thing to step into because I've always seen your stuff, I think, and again, you and I having a conversation, probably before we started recording I have seen y'all's presence on LinkedIn. It's one of those things like I'm not really familiar with a trade organization a trade organization, whatever that is but after talking to Leslie and after learning more about it, it's very interesting because it kind of aligns to the discussions that we've been having at Crew Club dinners, at these other networking events that I have, and it's such a fascinating organization. I'm so excited to be here. Yes, thank you for doing this on this gloomy Loomy, loomy. Rainy day, rainy fire alarm day that we just had. But hey, we were safe. So that's right, molly, let's get kicked off.

Speaker 2:

How are you today? I'm doing well. I'm excited to be here.

Speaker 1:

Good.

Speaker 2:

So thanks for having me Well thank you for having me.

Speaker 1:

I mean, this is impressive, so you know what. So, coming into your office, come to the Energy Workforce Technology Office. There's so many, all these old school, and I love seeing the history. You have these newspaper articles from 1933.

Speaker 2:

Yes, you are celebrating your 90 years, 90 years of energy workforce and you know it's funny as much as has changed within the organization, the R values and our mission is still foundationally the same, and that's representing the energy, services and equipment sector and advocating on behalf of the industry.

Speaker 1:

And so what do you mean? So I want to start this off with this what do you mean representing? I mean with what? With who? How? I mean, how are you all getting that done here?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so there's a lot of ways that we do that. So there's, you know, traditional advocacy, like at the federal, state and local level. We're talking about government.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But then there's also, you know, providing a forum in order to increase collaboration with our members, customers, which would be the EMP yeah, so you know and having discussions about increasing dialogue. How do we need to collaborate differently on behalf of our member companies? And then also, you know, being able to share best practices amongst our member companies as well. Like you've already learned this as a company, and as long as it's not, you know, proprietary, trade information that's giving you a competitive advantage, then let's help the. You know other people within the within the sector how we can be better.

Speaker 1:

I love that you said that, because I think, historically, our industry is one of those that keeps the cars close to the chest. You know, if we have a recipe that works, we're not going to share that. You know we're not going to, we're not going to expose that. But you are seeing more. I think we need it. I think we need those conversations these days, the hey, what are you doing that's working? Don't give me, your don't give me the ingredients, but help me out, help us out. We need to help each other out.

Speaker 2:

That's right, because it's not just a one way street, like you're just giving that information, you're also receiving too. So it benefits the companies that are sharing just as much. So it benefits everybody.

Speaker 1:

Right. So, okay, I want to take a pause because I want to talk about you first, sure, I think, and then I obviously want to talk about this organization that you are, that y'all are leading the charge here, and I love learning. The thing is, I know a little bit about it, but there is like the iceberg. I know about this much 10%, but there's 90%, I don't know, and I was, you know, going through the web. It's very fascinating stuff.

Speaker 2:

So anyway.

Speaker 1:

I'm just suffering. Let's talk about you, okay. Okay, so look you know. If you want to learn about you know we were talking about, we're talking about. If you want to learn about her, you obviously go to LinkedIn, you can go check out the Energy Workforce Technology Council website. But I kind of want to take a kind of a peek behind the curtain and kind of find out more about kind of your background and kind of what you attribute to, kind of where you start out, to, kind of where you're at today.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it hasn't been a straight path for sure. I grew up in Alabama, not, you know, having any exposure to the oil and gas industry. It certainly. I'm from the Gulf Coast, from Mobile, and it's certainly the industry is there, but not unlike it is in Houston, right, and so my background is in journalism, pr, also German, yeah, also German. Cause like why not?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, makes sense.

Speaker 2:

I get to use that really often Not.

Speaker 1:

Well, what brought you to journalism? Like what brought you to journalism.

Speaker 2:

So my ability to communicate and I think that is really what has also helped me get to where I am is early on, I think you know it was clear that my writing abilities were, you know, a little bit above and beyond, and then my ability to forge relationships. But the thing that interested me in journalism is it's a lot about like learning about. You know any given news story at the moment, but like I like to learn and I like to understand what's why things work the way that they do, why things happen the way that they did, and then able the ability to tell stories about that.

Speaker 1:

And communicate.

Speaker 2:

And so I went to school for journalism, studied, you know, a concentration in PR, and so then when I went out and kind of you know, went out into the professional world, used my PR background to go into nonprofit management, and so the things that have really helped me propel is that I've always been interested beyond just the PR aspect, like I want to understand for an organization, like what it is, that can take us to the next step, and I don't want to just be pigeonholed into one area. And so I'm always looking to like how do we do better, how do we do more? And that has kind of helped me to continue to grow.

Speaker 1:

So would you? I feel that's kind of like what you're saying. It's PR with a little bit of visionary and it's a little bit of looking outside the box and kind of looking at things in a new light and in a new lens.

Speaker 2:

For sure, and one of the things, too, that I think that has helped is that I'm very like focused on what my values are and how those align with an organization and how I can use that to bring team members along too. So it's not just about me. It's about the rest of the team.

Speaker 1:

So have you ever been part of an organization where, I guess the values didn't align with you, and what are that? I guess what that feel like? Obviously it didn't stick. It didn't stick. I mean, you've been over here for 10 years and obviously there's something that's driving here. So previously in your past, I mean, was there a situation where it didn't align and how did that feel?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. I mean, I was in a situation where the values used to align and then they didn't anymore. And once I made that connection and I also have always had mentors, and I have had mentors that helped me to see that too like I could feel it. But I also had external people who were like I hear what you're saying about what's happening within your organization and this isn't working for you anymore, and so the way that it felt to your question about like how did it feel? I mean, it didn't, it felt like conflict, it felt like-. That's tough, it's tough, because it's not that you don't care about the organization anymore and you don't. You still want the organization to do well. But if it isn't and it's not that it just didn't align with my values and it doesn't mean that it didn't work for the organization. It just didn't work for me.

Speaker 1:

If you're going somewhere and you're spending the majority of your day there, it's not just for the paycheck. It's going to have to align with kind of who you are as a person. What you align with 1000%. I love that 1000%.

Speaker 2:

So it's hard to make those realizations, but I think that it's important and hopefully you're usually in a place where you can realize that before the organization causes it for you.

Speaker 1:

But okay. So let me ask you a question. So if someone is okay, it's for people out there kind of listening, maybe either the beginning of their career or kind of in the mid-section journey of their career, because it's weird now after the pandemic. It's weird whether it's the job market, whether it's new companies popping up, new companies forming, so that's new cultures forming. So what is it? I don't see advice because that's like it's such like a. It puts so much seriousness on like well, the vote we make sure you want no, but I guess what? What tidbit would you give out there? How about that? For for those that are maybe find themselves in a new role, that find themselves new, new organization, that where they're, their values or don't align really or they don't see them, they're going there just for the paycheck and it's not really kind of filling their their cup up. I would you, what would I would advice you have out there?

Speaker 2:

and that doesn't mean that it isn't salvageable at that point. Okay, I think that I would say that first, like, if it doesn't feel like it aligns in that moment, like I think that you need to have an honest conversation with yourself and then also with your, you know, go in and talk to your supervisor about like and it can be hard, crucial conversation it is a crucial conversation and I highly recommend the book.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I should have that Right there, 2008. That's why I'm still dropping it right now. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I haven't read that and then go and have a crucial conversation but, like you know, looking at, like, okay, this is where I feel like my values are and this is what I understand the organization's values to be. Like how, how, where do I fit in? And you know, let's have that real conversation that I've had conversations with people like that, well, you know, within my team about, like, this is this is where our values are and and they are set and I don't see you meeting those. Do you want? Do you want to meet those values? Do you want to align with those values and if not, it's okay, that's okay. We I will help you find something else, or we will, we will work on it. And if you want to be here, then this is we will take steps to make it work.

Speaker 1:

And and sometimes people say, yes, I want to stay, and sometimes they say, you know what, thank you, no, I don't but that's such a that provides the space, that provides the, the atmosphere to have that conversation, which sometimes you do need, a crucial conversation. So let's talk about you going from the the nonprofit PR side of things. Where was that? Was that in Alabama? Okay, so what tell me about kind of going from Alabama PR to coming to Houston and being a part of this organization? I mean, how, like tell me, how did this transpire?

Speaker 2:

Well, so After I left nonprofit management, I started doing. I left to do PR consulting and I started doing some PR consulting for oil field services companies and this is the first like exposure you've had to the, to the only gas industry.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, okay, okay. What did you have? Any Stereotypes for going in and what not?

Speaker 2:

in the consulting world. Not in the consulting world. I really didn't, because it's Like you're just getting like, like you said, like the tip of the iceberg, like you're just getting like a little glimpse into this industry right on your particular projects that you're doing. But the little bit of like. As I started learning about the industry, I Wanted I wanted to like be a part of it, like I could see the opportunities that were in the industry and the like, the difference that the industry can make on people's lives, and I found that to be like really an exciting place to be and I wanted to do PR within that. Okay and so, when the opportunity came up, and with this organization, which at that point it was called Pisa, and what which is petroleum Equipment equipment at that time it was petroleum equipment suppliers association.

Speaker 1:

There it is. It's all around the office, which I love.

Speaker 2:

It's so cool seeing all this and then we became petroleum equipment and services Association, and then energy workforce and ten and that's and that was relatively a recently.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes, okay. I'm so if you want to hear about that if you want to hear about that, listen the old podcast that the previous episode we have with a Leslie Byrd, so anyway, there you go.

Speaker 2:

You should listen to that. So I Came to work for Pisa at the time and that was like the perfect combination of, you know, pr, the little bit of knowledge now that I have about the OFS sector, yeah, and it all kind of came came together and then. So then I've been with the organization ten years now and since then and you know, the role has just kind of expanded and expanded.

Speaker 1:

It seems like it seems like such an exciting thing to go in from. You know the PR, the nonprofit, you know Alabama, all that's up next thing it's it has last decade at. You know the other energy workforce and technology council and that's. You're seeing rebrands, you're seeing this grow. You're seeing, and obviously from the conversation we had with Leslie, there was a lot of changes that had to be done here. There's a lot of mountains to be so much change, so much change, so much mountains to be moved, if you were. But it seems like you know the, the exposure that I have, that I've been seeing, and the, the stuff that's coming across my radar through conversations. It's impressive, it's it's it's, it's, it's like a, and obviously I don't, don't. I don't want any People that are employed here and take the wrong way. It's like a sleeping giant.

Speaker 2:

No, I don't think anybody would take that the wrong way, and I mean Leslie, and I laugh about it like the. The early days of, you know, changing the organization like it was it was. It was a lot of work. Yeah it was. You know her and I like schlepping around to a bunch of different meetings and you know, but building something and it's been a process. But now, like the, the runway is there. There's still so much further that we can go, but it's all a process.

Speaker 1:

So okay, so you come in. You you're working here for, let's say, eight years, before the rebrand. You love the values, values, the ethics. You align with all this. You're about to do a rebrand. How does that give you the opportunity to kind of Brain either align with other more about, or evolve your values, or evolve your target? So what, what areas of opportunities Did you see, I guess, in that space? Or and what things you kind of want to hold on to like, hey, this is our core, this is pieces core, this is energy, workforce technologies core. We got to hold on to this. But listen, let's welcome some of this stuff.

Speaker 2:

It's so, it's so interesting. You know, and that's the thing about. It is like the, the core of who we are and what we align with hasn't changed.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and what? And what is that?

Speaker 2:

So we, you know, at the core we are here to represent energy services and equipment companies and to advocate on behalf of them and the trends and the different things that those come and go, but the values of what we're doing as an organization, that we are training, we're providing workforce development and best practice sharing opportunities, that we are doing advocacy and that we're providing networking opportunities with the EMP organizations. That's that is fundamental to this organization and that stays okay, okay, so all right, so let me, let me.

Speaker 1:

Let me see if I have any more thing. But because I do want to talk about the energy workforce technology council because, again, when I say it's a sleep and giant, that's a compliment. You know, if you go near website, it's like, oh my gosh, this is not just a, it's not new because it's just a rebrand, but it's such an established company with so many different great organizations being a part of it. Was you all doing so Much on the, from the field to the Capitol? It's insane, it's insane. But let me see if I have anything. So, yes, let me, I do, I do have something. I do have one last thing. So I'm always thinking about this. You know, look, you know, I'm 43 years old and I'm like, okay, man, if only JP, if I just could do this. And what would I tell myself earlier in my career? What, what advice or Guidance would I give to myself? And look, it's not like a buy Apple stock when it's, you know, 1984. It's not that it's for me. I guess the advice I would give is Be okay, being comfortable, be okay, trusting yourself and trusting others too, and just take a bet on yourself. And I wish I could have done that earlier. Look, obviously I love the previous companies and the teams I was at previously right, but yeah. I was, you know, if I was a 35 year old JP and I bumped into myself as a man, believing yourself a little bit sooner, you know, and when you do step out of your own, try to believe in yourself a bit more, because I have a tough time with that right now. Yeah, that's just. That's behind the curtain, though, but anyway. So what advice would you give young Molly?

Speaker 2:

It's funny that you say to a young Molly I feel like this is the advice that I still like Give to myself. Like is that and I was having a conversation with one of my Members just last week about this is, you know, believing that I belong?

Speaker 1:

So is that, is that and.

Speaker 2:

I wouldn't say it's imposter syndrome, I do. I don't, I don't think that that's it, but you know I was. I was telling him that like I'm like, oh my gosh, I got this invitation to this dinner and I'm like, I'm just so like I'm like, is that supposed to come to me? Yes and I, you know, and I said I expressed that to the person that invited me. I'm like I don't know if this was because this invite was supposed to come to me, but if it was, yes, thank you.

Speaker 1:

It was. I know probably not talking about the same dinner, but I'm pretend like it was. But yes, it was.

Speaker 2:

And last week we were in the Middle East at adipack and I had the great fortune of speaking on a panel about you, next-generation talent and the workforce, and that's an area that I'm really passionate about. But, um, you know, I'm telling and this is all kind of in the same conversation I'm like I'm going in and I'm doing these things and I have a lot to contribute on, and I'm very passionate about it, but at the same time, I'm also like, oh my gosh, how am I here? Yeah and so I think that, like back then and today, I still have to tell myself like you belong here and if you don't, you do.

Speaker 1:

No, I'm serious, like I know, right, but I that's I get in a situation like I know it's not Talking about. You're probably not talking about the, the, the invitation to the dinner that I'm talking about, but, like you know, putting that together is one of those things I'm looking at, like every single person at this dinner that we have coming up, this curate event that we have coming up. I'm looking at these people. I'm like no way Molly, no way, this person away, this person away, what am I doing there? Like who, like I see, that's, those feelings are serious. But yeah, it's one of those things like, hey, you got, you gotta believe, believe even if you don't believe, believe it, who cares? At the other day you got to believe because no one else will yeah, it's true, and that's the advice was.

Speaker 2:

You know, walk in like you belong, start owning it.

Speaker 1:

It's so I did do you ever do any like power pose? I do.

Speaker 2:

There's the super. There's the super, there's the like. Put your feet up on the desk.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, then there's that Ted lasso. Then we're sure, make yourself as big as you can. I do that before I do you know presentation before I walk in like a big thing. I do that. It does help. Look, I look like an idiot.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you know, when I'm doing the restroom, but I don't care, that's right. No, it does. I should do more of that, but you know. So I think, when he was telling me that I need to, you know, walk in like I, like I belong. Part of me, though, wonders. Do I have to, like, can I keep some of that? I'm not, um, but like sense of awe at being here, and Do I really want to lose that like because I am excited to be everywhere, that I am like? I am like and I don't know, like maybe people believe anymore if you walk in and you're like, yes, of course I'm here, but part of me, it like I think that that's part of like who I am is like I'm grateful and I'm so happy to be, you know, with this trade association, and I'm excited to be, whatever room I'm in, like I'm thankful to be there and I hope that doesn't take away from my executive presence. No, it's, I am. I am Honestly, genuinely like, thankful to be there.

Speaker 1:

That's so awesome. So, let's, I would love to. So you do have your finger on the Pulse when it comes to our industry. You do, yeah, whether you're represented by so many vast different service companies, and top-notch service companies too, a lot, I mean. I looked at y'all's directory, wow. So there's your fingers on the pulse and all this stuff. So what are you kind of seeing now? So you're, you just mentioned that. You know that it's the next generation, that you're interested, and obviously I am too. Obviously I brought yeah, I brought the energy for everyone. A book that I wrote you can find on Amazon. Just go energy and energy for everyonecom. Anyway, you could, but I brought these. But that also is inspiring to me too, because there is it's. It's strange, you know, I'm 43 years old on all stuff. It's weird because it feels like there's this huge gap between, like everyone, like 35 and below, like there's a, there's a void that I don't really I'm not. There's a select few people that I know, but it seems like a very like a desert, so anyway, so what give me your, I guess, give me state, give me, give me a state of union where we are at now and where you see us when we're at now. How about this as an entry state of union? We're right now as an industry. If you got that, if you got three minutes ago, sure?

Speaker 2:

so what? I think that we have a responsibility to Share all that our Industry is doing to meet a lower carbon future Okay, and I think that we are doing that, but we also have to, and the other piece that is so important is about the role that oil and gas plays in the energy mix, and that, and the role that it will continue to play, and the talent that it's going to take to get us where we want to go, and so we need one of our, you know, biggest you know things that we are working on in the energy services sector is Developing our pipeline of talent and that will, you know, continue to innovate and Change the landscape of energy and provide that affordable, reliable energy. Yes, yeah and so and we need everybody to get us there and we need bright minds and we need different people, different skill sets that we've needed in the past, and so those people Don't necessarily Understand that the oil and gas industry is an innovative culture where they can be part of meeting a lower carbon future. It's an exciting place to be. First, off.

Speaker 1:

I'm waiting for you to finish. I love that you're saying that. For me, my platform has been we got to reintroduce who we are that's what we are. We are. We were this 75 year old white-haired dude who's dumping oil behind an orphanage in the third world country. Or were an educated roughneck who's dirty Well you know dirty fingernails throwing chain on the. We are an industry, again like. This is my platform, I'm sorry. We are entrepreneurs, were tech gurus were, were business makers, were builders, were Problem solvers. Yes, engine, I thought engineering was our industry. That is a small portion and it's so. It's so exciting. It's a it's. It's like the tech industry, the space industry on steroids, in my opinion. But we have this stereotype that I would love to break free from.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. And then negative rhetoric about the industry. Oh, it matters.

Speaker 1:

Like it matters.

Speaker 2:

What our leaders say about the industry Like it makes a difference in how people view us. It directly impacts our ability to attract talent. But we'll also say, though, that once we get people into the industry, we have to have cultures that make people want to stay, and what does that look like? It looks like more flexibility.

Speaker 1:

Okay, unfortunately, you're right. You're right, it is flexibility.

Speaker 2:

It looks like being inclusive to everybody who's here and it also looks like providing opportunities for people to have a place where they can grow their career, and that looks different to different generations. So, and our companies are looking at that Like they are aware and they are adapt, and the ones that are adapting are gonna be really successful. The ones that are and these are obviously not my members, but the companies that are we see it, we see it. The companies that are saying well, you know, this is the way that it's always been done and people are gonna just have to figure it out and we just need to be clear in what this industry you know what the expectations are. That's not gonna cut it and you will see the impact to the ability to bring people in if that is your attitude. The ones that are making changes and are being creative and are thinking out of the box and are trying new things. They are seeing good things from that.

Speaker 1:

So for industry to kind of survive not only to survive, because we're gonna survive, regardless, whether politicians, you know, poopoo on us, whether old price go up, the industry is gonna be here just because of what we provide society. So my thing is this you know, far too often we're in this culture and honestly, this is again. This is a culture where it's like, yeah, we gotta be doing this. I mean, that's the whole point of kids' career. You know we're sitting around, you know we should be doing this and it's like let's just do something. Why are we talking about what we should do? Let's just do something. Are you finding it today, in today's world? Are you seeing a lot of people or companies, organizations, what do you wanna call it? Be like, yeah, we should be doing that, molly, molly really should be doing that man, and just kind of passing the buck to other organizations to kind of take charge, take lead, or is it one of those things? Where are you seeing kind of little mini advocates kind of pop up and start moving the needle in the right, seeing mini advocates, for sure, but I'm also seeing companies try things like try new things, and it's exciting.

Speaker 2:

One of the things that I know one of our public companies is trying right now is they're doing gig like rotational work for their field workers in one location and they're trying it out so that there are people that want to be able to work when they want to work, kind of like Uber drivers, and as long as they have a level of technical expertise, a certification, that they can pass, then they can come in and out when they want to work. And the company is trying it and it's super interesting, right, and they are sharing that with the other members. Hey, we are trying this, and they said that one of the things that we didn't expect to there's administrative costs that we didn't expect that are coming along with it. But they didn't say it's not working. They're not saying like, oh, but we can't actually do it. No, they're saying like this is working, there's just some additional costs.

Speaker 1:

Let's just figure it out.

Speaker 2:

Right and the other companies are like okay, can we talk more about that? We would like to try it too. And I'm saying this as a public company. That's a large company that is trying this and is willing to share it with the other companies, and so they have a session coming up where they're gonna be talking more about it and how it's going at that company, so that other companies can try it too, and so that brings more flexibility to the field. Because when we talk about flexibility, it's easy to have remote work for workers in the office, but energy services companies, they're primarily in the field.

Speaker 1:

And what is the number one complaint? You're hearing out all these round table and all that stuff. It's usually, yeah, we have people coming out here and they'll leave within a day or three.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

They won't say a whole hitch.

Speaker 2:

And so yeah.

Speaker 1:

I love that.

Speaker 2:

We have to figure it out, like what's the way around this? And so companies are being creative and looking at different and actively trying different ways. Other things that they are doing, that they're actively trying, is looking at much deeper into succession planning.

Speaker 1:

And so I feel like that's been so light in our industry the past five years, seven years.

Speaker 2:

And agreed and they are actively working on that and so, and they recognize that that is an area where they need to go beyond the C-suite, and so one of the things that they are looking at is, as younger generations are coming into the workforce, they want a path to growth. They want a clear path to growth. Companies don't always have that. They don't always have that. You can get promoted every two years, every three years, every one year, whatever it is. But what they can do if they start going deeper is they can give opportunities for lateral movements or also opportunities just to work on a special project for an area that people want to grow into. So that people can and they can show. This is how you're going to grow with the organization. You're gonna build your resume, whether it's to stay with us or to go elsewhere, and here's how we're going to develop you.

Speaker 1:

That isn't just promotion, promotion, promotion promotion or hey, keep on working hard, you'll get it when you deserve it. I mean, that's again, that's an old school mentality that we have. It does not work, it doesn't work. So, okay, I want to talk about, obviously, the service side of things that I kind of want to get on the DC side of things. That's kind of a new area that I'm learning about. It's been fascinating. So what are you kind of seeing? What is the energy workforce technology council seeing when it comes to kind of I don't want to say, look, we've gone over challenges, we've gone over to people retention, recruiting, retaining how about this? Let's turn it to kind of a more glasses half full. What kind of what opportunities are you seeing out there for, maybe on the service side or the EMP side, where it's like, hey, this is, I'm excited, you're maybe you're seeing a little bit of this or maybe you have an idea about this that. What are you kind of excited about, like, what opportunities are you seeing?

Speaker 2:

I mean there's a lot of opportunities and I think that there is so much innovation in the space of digitalization of the oil field and how that like impact all of our operations. So there's so much, too, that wants to, that companies are doing an electrification and just lowering emissions and being more efficient with the ways that we operate. You know, you said we're going to continue on and like we're all you know, because of what we provide to society, and we will, but we're going to continue to do like you know, innovate in the ways that we do it, and so I think that there's a lot in those spaces that are that's happening in the services sector and ways that benefits the operators and the operators are looking for and they're hungry for it. And methane detection. There's a lot there too.

Speaker 1:

That's a hot topic right now. It's a very hot topic, Super hot topic right now. But hey, there's I'm sure there's other methane podcasts out there for you to dive into. That's right, I'm not the methane expert, but I do know that there's Me neither me neither, but I will be around the table and nod my head and say, oh my gosh, totally, I will do that a lot, all right, so, let's, okay. So let's talk about kind of like look the again, let's, let's, let's kind of back up, okay. So I noticed that you know, if I'm sitting there, if I'm listening to this obviously I'm probably listening to this in my car or wherever first thing in the morning when I was just launching If I'm sitting there, kind of listen to this as a, you know, old field service or tech or or an EMP and all this stuff. Number one why would I? Yeah, I guess. Number one why? Why would I care what Energy Workforce Technology Council is Like? Okay, well, it's a organization, cool, I'm gonna go to work and do my thing and go home. Why is this? Why do you? Okay, why? I don't wanna say how do people get involved, because I think that's missing an important step. Why, no? Why to get involved? How about that? That was a lot of words for that simple question. That's what I do here on Energy Crew Podcast.

Speaker 2:

I'm just gonna let you keep going. So I mean, why should people care about Energy Workforce? I think that we have an important voice that is advocating on behalf of the sector, and we need all of the companies that are in this sector to be a part of it and to be part of that voice, because when we're advocating on behalf of the sector, you know we are more powerful the more voices that we have, and so the things that we're doing, you know we're in addition to advocating, we're also building and developing the workforce.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

And that is for people that are, you know, wanting to do more in their career. Like this is an external way that you can get involved that will benefit yourself and your organization.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I mean again, you know, following all stuff going to that one in Oklahoma City, like I was legitimately blown away and honestly you were kind of up there talking. I was like this is exactly what I'm like, this is the stuff that I've been talking about in my inner circle. So I love seeing this on a grander scale and kind of what y'all are doing and we need more Like we need, like all the people that are working on advocating on behalf of this industry, that are developing our workforce.

Speaker 2:

We can be doing this together, we can be collaborating and we can be. There's a place for everybody to be doing this.

Speaker 1:

How do you stay motivated?

Speaker 2:

hearing.

Speaker 1:

I mean listen, it's, I get it. There's crosshairs on the oil and gas industry. It's so tough here in the rhetoric, it's so tough. I got another thing I do with Mike Umbro out in California called energy facts chats, where we discuss energy expectations and energy realities. What does this policy actually say versus what does it actually do? So it's you know we discuss that. So how do you stay motivated hearing the rhetoric, hearing the narrative, seeing the, the miss I'm not gonna use misinformation, so political, but like how do you stay motivated hearing all the negative lens?

Speaker 2:

Can I tell you a story?

Speaker 1:

We have time for that, yes.

Speaker 2:

Okay. So last year our advisory board came to us and said you know, y'all are doing a lot in leadership development, but where we really need more leadership development is in the field. Okay. And so we said, okay, all right, we can put that together, like we know how to put, you know, to facilitate leadership development, and so we'll make it happen. And so we did and we created a leadership development course for field services and also for manufacturing and we were doing one of the courses in Denver and I went to a lot of us and I still try to go to as many of those as possible because the you know the stories and the impacts and the things that I'm learning from the people that are going through that course directly, like impacts, my ability to advocate on behalf of the member companies. So at one of those courses that I was in Denver over lunch talking with some of the people in the course and the question came up how did you get involved in the oil and gas industry? And the guys kind of. I was sitting with a group of guys and they went around the circle and talked about how they came to be in the oil and gas industry and one of the guys said I was, I needed to go and get a gallon of milk for my child. And I did not have enough money to get a gallon of milk for my baby. And I knew someone who was in the oil and gas industry, who had talked to me before about joining the industry, and so I reached out to him and said, hey, do you have a job? And he did. And he said and ever since then, not only have I been able to provide for my family, but we are growing and I'm able to grow for my family.

Speaker 1:

And Excuse me, chill. That's a great story. It's tragic.

Speaker 2:

But that is what the oil and gas industry does. It provides not only a stable job, stability for people, but it gives them an opportunity to grow. And whether you're college educated or not, there is a space for everybody in this industry, and that is what keeps me motivated. I think about him, I think about his face, I think about his story, I think about his baby, and it doesn't matter what anybody says negatively about this industry. I will advocate on behalf of it.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, I got chills, you telling that story. That's a very powerful story and then it's kind of a beautiful thing too. It's because Mike and I were talking Mike, I'm with the energy facts chats because we were talking about how do you get in the industry, how do you get in the show. It's like nobody's path is the same. When people say, jp, you know what's the best way in the industry, it's like there's no best way. You just do Like I hate being that way. Obviously there's resources out there, but I'm just saying not if someone's thinking, is this the right place for me? I don't have that pathway of this engineer or this person. Everyone's path is different in life, absolutely, and that's what I love about it.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. I mean, I came from Alabama and I was in a place where my career was I'd kind of gone as far as I could and this industry has given me an opportunity to do so much more than I ever dreamed. Like the fact that I was in the Middle East last week, I was in Midland the week before, I was in New Mexico the week before, and the people that I'm meeting with, too, like it's amazing, like it you know from you know from all over the world and the impacts that the industry has on them. But me too, me personally and so I think that there's a lot that we have to offer.

Speaker 1:

How do you I mean, look, you have a kindergarten, you have a family, okay, you have a husband how do you manage your number one, your travel Cause? Obviously you know you're probably requested to be a lot of places at the same time throughout the week, so how do you manage that? This is a personal question. How do you manage that? I guess, pull the work, pull the need for cause. There is a need for you to be here. How do you manage that with a need for you to be, you know, as a family? How do you bounce that? The work life bounce, I guess.

Speaker 2:

I say, notice some things, and I also really minimize my time while I'm traveling and people will kind of give me a hard time because I will go to somewhere for one night or I'll fly in and out the same day and that is what allows me to be able to travel every week, or you know when I'm doing that, like if I know that, generally speaking, I'm gonna be gone one night.

Speaker 1:

In and out. In and out First thing.

Speaker 2:

I can do that and I might miss. I might miss a dinner, I might miss something, but I'm getting to do so much more Bigger picture. And so if I don't focus on the one off things that I'm missing, and then also when I am home, I'm really home, like, I'm really like when I'm at the like, I try to like, and I'll miss things. I will miss emails, I will miss things, but I try to connect, like with my husband, with my daughter, but also with my team members too. Like I'm I guess I'm I might be tired, but that's okay Like I'm gonna come and I'm gonna have FaceTime with my team members because that's important to me as much as it is to them.

Speaker 1:

And also giving yourself a little bit of grace for missing those emails, for missing those Like. Before I started this company I would have no notifications. Now I have, you know, 4,000. I'm not saying these, there's a lot of spam here, but it's. You have to give yourself grace also. Not answering every email, not getting every. It stinks, but at the same time you have to allow for sanity.

Speaker 2:

You have to allow for sanity, but you also have to allow to give yourself enough energy, Like I have to have the energy to in the stamina to keep going. This is a marathon that we are running, not a sprint.

Speaker 1:

I love how you just kind of sum that up. To kind of conclude this, I have a question. I have two questions for you. Number one if you had a magic wand all right, the magic wand question and you could abracadabra something, how would things change or improve or have more influence here if you had the magic wand? In what area? What sector? What projects If it is a project, or the overall?

Speaker 2:

The magic wand for the industry would be to make this a destination workplace.

Speaker 1:

I liked it, I liked it, and then.

Speaker 2:

For the association. It would be to give us, you know, all of the resources that we. We have an amazing team here that accomplishes so much, and so you know the more team members that we could have like I just can see how much more we could even accomplish, and so for that it would be magic wand for my team.

Speaker 1:

Well, what's impressive again I'm gonna go back to this what's impressive is like you do, you provide the training on the field level, but you're also within DC and meeting with politicians and discussing energy policy. It's just like the the room for someone here, whether you're interested in, you know, technology on the field level, or training or building a team, or politics in the how, the inner workings of Congress. It's here. It's here. It's fascinating, it's. It's again. It's the sleeping giants, the sleeping bear that I didn't know realized, the, the, I guess the, the, the stretch you all have here, it's amazing.

Speaker 2:

It's. It's amazing, and we've also been training the state department for 30 years on the oil and gas industry Um and from that, like so that's a four day overview of the oil and gas industry that we provide the U S state department and that foundation is how we also built our um, oil and gas 101, our two that we do for industry. That's an overview of the industry. Like I think that the way that we're able to scale is because we take what we do well and then we apply it elsewhere, like we just okay.

Speaker 1:

Transfer, transfer.

Speaker 2:

Transfer and scale.

Speaker 1:

Transfer knowledge. Okay, and then okay, so what's so? All right, president Mollie. What is what is the? If you get to choose two paths, would it be what? What? What are your goals here? Is it growth? Is it efficiency? Is it, uh, build? Or what is your short term and long term goals here at the energy, workforce and technology council?

Speaker 2:

So, um, I have a uh counterpart, president Tim Tarpley, and Tim and I have, you know, planned ad nauseam. We've gone through executive coaching together. Um, and you know, in this transition to our roles as presidents and what we want for the association, Okay. And we want to build on the foundation that you know, the 90 years and, in particular, the last nine years under Leslie's tenure. We want to build on that foundation but grow.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, okay.

Speaker 2:

And we have a very like clear path for ourselves in um the first like kind of three areas that we're going to grow in um initially and then. But we also have a long term uh plan that we, a three year plan that we worked on with, uh, you know, the leadership of our companies, for us to continue to grow in the areas that we do well. Okay, and so, um, you know, I think that we we know what we do well on in some of our like leadership development and continuing to like, I think, in anything that we do, we don't want to just continue to do it the same way.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, that's boring, it gets repetitive, yeah yeah.

Speaker 2:

So it's so like we have just announced a launch of our per, our slate of uh development programs for 2024 that is completely revamped, revised. We created an organizational development task force to help us through that process.

Speaker 1:

Um, that was a big undertaking this summer, when I was moving, when I was moving houses and just like whatever new puppy, yeah, we're good, we're good yeah.

Speaker 2:

Let's just do it so, um, but that's really exciting. We just announced that um, we also um. A few years ago, the board amended our bylaws to have um operators in our membership in a way that doesn't um, you know, they can't be on the board, they can't lead committees, so that the service companies still maintain this as their trade association, but that we can increase collaboration with our EMP customers.

Speaker 1:

I love that because I was at a um something in Fort Worth and they talked about there needs to be more dialogue between the operator side and the service side.

Speaker 2:

And so we are creating a platform and a venue for that, and that is in the works.

Speaker 1:

Love it.

Speaker 2:

That is exciting. We also just launched a um well-controlled training program. Uh, that has been in like in process for a couple of years that we've been developing that, but we just launched it, and so the technical training side is not an area that we've ever been in, but we are now.

Speaker 1:

I think, I think, uh, if you start off with the uh, the Iraqi uh, fires, and how, wow, well, put that out, that's a good segue. I feel like every Wild Well control the uh training starts with the, the Iraqi fires. So all right. So okay, I want to wrap this up, first off, as a member, as, let's say, I'm a new member. Let's say I'm here in this podcast because it's my favorite podcast in the whole wide world to listen to and I'm like, and I hear this what do, what do I expect? If I'm, if I'm a, a company leader and I'm joining, um, uh, this, or or I'm becoming a member of the energy workforce technology council, what do I, what do I expect? So I just, is it just mail you a check and call it a day, put a logo up there, or is there something more? What do, what do people expect when joining this?

Speaker 2:

Companies get engaged, uh, right away. So the process to join people once once companies join, we sit down and do a briefing with them here. All of our committees, the committees drive all of our programs and events. Okay, and so we want companies to put a representative on all of our committees, or all the committees that make sense to their organization.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

And um, because that is what drives the agenda and the narrative of what the association is doing. It's all member driven, and so that is how companies can immediately get in, get involved and have a voice. Okay, no, I I.

Speaker 1:

I love that. Oh, so no, that's kind of that's perfect, so okay. And then, um, yeah, that's kind of uh, I think, that's kind of all I, because I think it's important to kind of again, you know, looking at this, and I just advise people to kind of just go to their website and just check it out. Go to the members of the directory, you will there's a lot you there's, it's very you there's it's it's a very robust directory and it's again, it's one of those things that's it's surprising and shocking to me, but it's so impactful. I mean, it's one of those things when you notice Energy Workforce Technology Council, you start seeing it. You start seeing it. You start seeing it. It starts popping up and then you start seeing like wait a minute, they're in DC. I thought they were in Midland last week.

Speaker 2:

We're dividing, it, we're dividing and conquering.

Speaker 1:

That's a lot. It sounds like you have a lot of plate spinning. So obviously hats off to you. There's anything that we can do, or any listeners out there, to kind of help out, be informed, be involved and help change the, the narrative, help change the, the story of our industry in those crucial times. I'll tell you one thing hats off to you. This is an extremely fun, interesting, challenging time to take the leadership position here, you and Tim taking the leadership position here because it is an interesting dialogues going around when it comes to energy. Unfortunately it's politicized, but hey, obviously any support that we can do, energy Crew y'all got it from us, but again out there. Thank you for tuning in, so we're well. How can people contact you and learn more about the Energy Workforce Technology Council?

Speaker 2:

EnergyWorkforceorg. We're on all the social platforms as well, and we're a small team. I mean there's 12 of 12 staff members. What? Yes, we're a small team and you can reach out to any one of us and we will be responsive. 12? 12 people do all of this.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

First off.

Speaker 1:

I think that's another podcast.

Speaker 2:

Maybe we would, maybe, maybe when I get Tim on the podcast. We'll talk about that I didn't mean to like drop that bomb right there at the end. When I say we're small and we and that's what I'm saying, like if I had a magic wand for our team, like the 12 of us accomplished so much, oh my gosh, yeah, so can you imagine if we doubled in size the 24. Okay, Well, what we could do.

Speaker 1:

I want to thank you for your time. I want to thank everyone out there for tuning in to the Energy Group podcast. Again, if you're enjoying these, obviously spread the word about that. But obviously check out the Energy Workforce and Technology Council, what they're doing, not just for changing the direction and changing the story from the field level to the newest pumper, to all the way up to the politicians in DC who have our best interests always. So, anyway, I want to thank you for your time. I want to thank everyone out there for tuning in and I guess until then, spread some good energy around there. All right, talk to you soon.

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Energy Services and Talent Pipeline Exploration
Innovation in the Energy Industry
Importance of Energy Workforce and Advocacy
Advocacy for Oil and Gas Industry