Opportunities Abound

Bill Bowers

by Bill Bowers, Exterran
2008-2009 SPE GCS Chairman


How can you maximize the value of your membership in SPE? If you received this newsletter in the mail or by email, then you are fortunate to be a member of the largest and most active Section in all of SPE. The Gulf Coast Section not only represents approximately 21% of the non-student membership of SPE, we have a correspondingly wide range of Section-sponsored opportunities available to us. All that is required of us is that we take the effort to find the activities that meet our needs.

Many of us simply scan the newsletter or the website’s calendar of events and attend those that interest us. The breadth and diversity of GCS continuing education activities mean that our members can easily derive monthly benefits from SPE with no more effort than that. It is easy for each of us to find events of interest, often occurring in your local area. Our lunch or dinner meetings and workshops offer an economical and convenient way to learn more about a topic within your field of expertise, or to broaden your industry knowledge by learning about topics outside your comfort zone.

For those who want to take a step beyond simply attending continuing education meetings, GCS offers its members a variety of opportunities to get involved and “give back” to the industry and to our community. Volunteer involvement in GCS Study Groups and Committees is the life-blood of their activities, without which none of the section’s programs could continue. Involvement in a committee gives the member a way to influence and contribute to improved operations of the group’s programs, extend one’s professional and social network, and is the springboard for becoming involved in leadership of the section.

Participation on the Board of the Gulf Coast Section opens up another level of opportunity. The Board is responsible for leading and facilitating all of the activities of the section, including financial management, programming, tech transfer, membership, communications, scholarships and other education programs, career management, social activities, and community services. If your goal is to shape the direction of section activities, involvement on the Board is a sure way to be heard.

Many of us desire to participate in the bigger world of SPE International. Most SPEI Board and Technical Committee positions are filled by nominations from within the sections. Once again, involvement in GCS Study Groups, Committees, or the Board are great ways to get your efforts, capabilities, and desires recognized.

We should all take advantage of the many technical, community service, and social opportunities presented by SPE and the Gulf Coast Section. To make the most of your membership, take the plunge and get actively engaged in the leadership of these programs.

Bill Bowers