Community Service During the Holidays

Submissions are due for the GCS newsletter roughly six weeks before you receive it. It’s Christmas Eve and I’m feeling like many at this time of year—worn out! What a hectic time the last couple of months have been, but also what a time of giving back to the community by the Section.

Part of the SPE GCS mission statement charges us with “enhancing the image of the oil and gas industry by sponsoring community service programs.” I know many of you have opportunities to give back through your employers, however several members do not, and others enjoy additional opportunities to work in the community. Russ Neuschaefer and the Community Service committees have been researching and coordinating activities for giving back. Here are a few examples during the holiday season:

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, 11 SPE representatives met in the cold and rain to kick off working with Rebuilding Together–Houston by building a wheelchair ramp for a homeowner in need. After building the outdoor ramp, the group just kept going and added an indoor ramp, replaced guttering, installed a new mailbox, upgraded the door latch, and planted landscaping. Although it took a couple of days for me to forget the chill, it was well worth it to allow someone access to all areas of their home and the outdoors. Thanks to all who braved the cold and wet weather and I know all of us will be looking for upcoming challenges in the spring.

Thanksgiving Day saw 86 SPE volunteers setting up and serving 18,000 people at the Thanksgiving Superfeast in downtown Houston. Several who joined us were not SPE members but had discovered this opportunity to volunteer through our GCS web site. Thank you to Richard Means for coordinating.

In December, the Young Professionals Committee was busy with the Girl Scout Science and Engineering Workshop as well as building bikes with the Elves and More program. Thank you to Kim Thames for coordinating.

In addition to these community service opportunities, in November the SPE GCS hosted career fairs at several area high schools. Thank you Xuan Harris for improving these events each year.

A special thank you goes to all of the volunteers that have been involved in community service and educational projects sponsored by the GCS. Your hard work is enhancing the image of the oil and gas industry every day. If you want to join in the fun, contact Russ Neuschaefer or watch the newsletter for future opportunities.

Young Engineer of the Year Award

Congratulations to Marjorie Nogueira of BHP Billiton who has been named the SPE GCS Young Engineer of the Year. Marjorie, along with Young Engineers of the Year from other engineering organizations, will be honored at the Houston Engineer’s Week Banquet on February 16 at the Intercontinental Hotel. Come honor Marjorie if your schedule permits. Check the Engineer’s Week web site ( for registration and possible date changes.

Awards Nominations for Colleagues Outside GCS

Last month I challenged you to nominate someone for regional and international awards. Although I focused mainly on GCS, you also should also consider nominating an SPE colleague from another section, another employer, or even a country different than your own. Any SPE member can nominate another SPE member for awards at both the regional and international level, which allows you to honor a well deserving colleague around the world who may not feel comfortable sending in a nomination.

One of our initiatives this year is to help other Sections; this is a great opportunity to meet that goal. You’ll find details on nominations online at

Remember the awards nomination deadline of February 15!

Until next month….