Sometimes in life we reach a point where we feel tired and at times hopeless. It is easy for issues and struggles in life to cause us to lose focus and result in losing sight of the resolve we seek. I wish to encourage the GCS leadership to stay the course. In order to be great leaders, we must stay focused on our resolve and understand that leadership is a gift, a function, a responsibility, and a legacy. Know that leadership is a gift, and not all are called for this higher purpose. For those who are, it is important to understand that it is a blessing to be called to serve others at a higher level. Leadership is a function, not all have the same set of skills, but all can exercise influence in some way, and everyone leads somebody sometime. Leadership is a responsibility, it is a stewardship and a calling to step up and serve. Lastly, leadership is a legacy. A leader goes before others and others follow the trail. So how can we step up the challenge of leadership? The answer is spelled out in six letters: L-E-A-D-E-R. First step: Lift up the sights of those around us, we should ask those around us to see what we see. Without vision, people will become lost. Two, Expand our influence through service, not to be served, but to serve others using servitude leadership. Three, Apply the principle of teamwork to your life. People who make a difference use teamwork. Four, Determine to press on in the face of opposition. Do it with intensity, and diligence. Keep being a leader. We should always keep raising the bar high. Five, Expect and adjust to change. Too many resist change, but the one constant in life is change. Six, Risk your life on living for the greater reward. We must believe that what we live for is worth dying for.

Focusing on our resolve requires discipline and consistency. Consistent with the past four year asset spend down strategy, the GCS has successfully placed more money into our existing programs involving merit based scholarships ($124K incremental) and the Community in Schools Houston (CISH) ‘at-risk’ scholarship programs ($91K incremental) during this time. New programs created during the past four years included an endowment to the University of Houston undergraduate PEN department ($250K), scholarships to the Houston Community college Petroleum Engineering Technology program ($30K), the Environmental Institute of Houston ($68K incremental) and the creation and funding ($129K) for a new venture known as the Collaboration in Houston for the Advancement of Science and Engineering (CHASE) program designed to better educate 8th grade math students. This additional giving has resulted in lowering the GCS section total assets from approx. $1.5MM to a current level of $800M, see graph 1. We are now at the point of realigning the GCS educational spending to levels that allow the section to maintain an asset balance of $500M, the recommended balance target of the GCS BOD. Current Treasury studies indicate that this can be achieved by reducing expenditures by $80 to $120K per year beginning in 2011-12.

It is expected that the support of the above mentioned programs will be reduced as needed, unless or until other activities or events provide additional funds. We must remember that the mission of the section is to disseminate technical information to our membership, and a side benefit of the successful execution of this mission is the creation of additional funds which can be used to support these educational programs. So the question I pose to the study group leadership and general membership is: Are there new workshops, venues, and projects that can be implemented to improve the dissemination of technical information that can increase the GCS revenue stream? Two study groups have recently stepped up to the plate with new venues: the Completions and Production and Permian Basin study groups. Each group will be implementing new half- and full-day workshops this spring. While other study groups and committees continue to provide steady income with established events, I’d like to encourage all to strive to expand or create new venues that could become as large as the Digital Energy conference, a local section venue that grew so large it required integration into the SPEI organization.