“As iron sharpens iron, so one man should sharpen another.” This proverb applies to all areas of our life, and it is useful to remember regarding technical proficiency. Every member should hold themselves accountable to one another to keep their technical proficiency to the highest attainable level. There is nothing like giving one’s time towards the pursuit of technical excellence. Within SPE, one path of accountability is through great friendship developed over time in a volunteer environment. There are two great examples of Gulf Coast Section members about how iron is sharpened that I would like to share this month: the GCS Auxiliary, and the Young Professionals.

Last month, I met with the GCS Auxiliary for the first time. The purpose of the meeting was to share SPEGCS business, but the real purpose became learning and understanding the mission of the Auxiliary. The Auxiliary is a group of SPEGCS spouses whose significant others were in the ‘oil business’ in the good old days when being a petroleum engineer always involved a lot of rig time duty. These ladies were the main support group for transferring families and various other activities that have since been replaced with other processes. What is left now is a core group of ladies, with very strong friendships, who are trying to hold onto their place through smaller support activities that contribute to ‘needs based’ scholarships. They have their hearts in the right place, rich in wisdom, and willing to reach out to younger members, but have struggled in a time that requires a potential new ’value proposition’. Watch out as they redefine themselves, and I encourage those who have spouses to join this group. It’s a great deal at only $29 per year, and they will get involved in a groundswell grassroots effort to reach out to community related educational programs that the GCS currently supports. Register your spouse online at spegcs.org or contact Paulette Williams at 281-440-4726.

Recently, I met with the Young Professionals board and discovered a group of GCS members who are very interested in technical proficiency, supporting community service, educational activities, and networking. Networking appears very important to them. Why? Could it be that they are at the foundational level in relationships that will become strong friendships over the course of time? I was surprised to find willingness from within this group to interact with seasoned retired engineering professionals. It’s interesting as a lot of these guys might still have spouses who are involved with the Auxiliary. Is it possible that this experienced group is “the sharpener of iron” for the younger group? It’s been said that wisdom occurs over time, as wisdom is knowledge plus humility.

I see a group of young professionals eager, passionate, and full of energy ready to make their mark in the world. And this can be enhanced by sharing wisdom from the mature professionals. This will be accomplished by remembering our past, and utilizing all available assets in wise ways. Time will tell, at times, I often think of how nice it would be to have an older professional as a mentor.

In closing, “By Wisdom a house is built, And through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures”. My Christmas wish is that the Great Hand of Providence continues to provide His blessings to you and to your family during this holiday and the year to come. I also wish that the next 75 years of the SPEGCS are far greater than the past. Through collaboration we will provide ‘state of the art’ technical solutions for disseminating technical information to our members.

Merry Christmas!


- Mark Peavy, KinderMorgan CO2

2010-11 SPE-GCS Chair