Happy 70th Birthday! You’re looking pretty good for your age—it’s obvious you’ve been taking care of yourself, staying fit, and eating right. To celebrate, your board of directors is throwing you a birthday party at the Wiess Energy Hall on Thursday, October 13. As you are the guest of honor, there is no cost to attend. That’s right; it’s free - but you have to register online at www.spegcs.org. 

We are all so very proud of you, and once again, I hear congratulations are in order. You’ve just won yet another SPE President’s Award for Section Excellence - that makes seven in a row! This is a truly impressive feat, but unlike Lance Armstrong, I expect you to strive for an eighth award this year. You have a great team and great programs here, and as you strive to repeat, don’t forget our mission statement: 

The mission of the Gulf Coast Section shall be the promotion of mutual cooperation in furthering the objectives of the Society of Petroleum Engineers International Inc. This shall be accomplished by the following: 

     a.  Providing forums that afford members the opportunity to upgrade 
          and maintain professional competence
     b.  Providing social interaction that increases member participation in
          Section activities as a whole, while striving to maintain the integrity
          of the Section
     c.  Supporting programs in area primary and secondary schools to
          encourage students to develop their abilities in mathematics, 
          science, and engineering
     d.  Supporting engineering programs at the university level
     e.  Enhancing the image of the oil and gas industry by sponsoring
          community service programs.

Now, as you celebrate your birthday and your award, don’t forget to be responsible. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t raise money for nonprofit organizations without strong policies and procedures in place to prevent abuses of power and misappropriations of funds. The SPE Gulf Coast Section is a large organization, working with more than $1 million per year and with more than 12,000 members representing 20% of the worldwide SPE membership. Accordingly, numerous checks and balances are in place to ensure your hard-earned fund-raising dollars are managed properly. 

One example is our Conflict of Interest Policy. I expect you to read it and understand it. Each member of the board of directors and every officer of every study group and committee are expected to read the policy and acknowledge that they are in compliance. In addition, please read the newly formed “Whistle Blower” policy designed to give you a confidential means of reporting any potential violation of the policies and procedures governing the Society of Petroleum Engineers. These and all policies and forms are available for you todownload from our Web site at www.spegcs.org. 

Once again, “Happy Birthday,” and congratulations on your seventh consecutive SPE President’s Award for Section Excellence! Don’t forget to floss yourteeth and register online for the October 13th birthday celebration at Wiess Energy Hall. I look forward to seeing you there! Visit www.spegcs.org for more details.