Welcome to the new year for SPE in the Gulf Coast Section. I’m excited to start my eighth year serving on the GCS board of directors, this year in the very visible leadership position of chair. Trust me though, I’m not the only one doing the leading in Houston these days.


Many of our SPE members exemplify leadership, some with technical achievements and others through service to SPE and our community. For example, fifteen GCS members won some of the two dozen SPEI honors and awards to be presented at the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE), hosted by the GCS here in Houston, September 26–30. Please congratulate these members on their accomplishments (page 8). Having the ATCE return to Houston this year presents another opportunity to observe leadership in action. Everyone, from the authors of technical papers to the participants who ask the authors those tough questions to the ATCE Program Planning Committee to the GCS members who serve as hosts on the Conduct Committee, contributes to make this conference an event not to be missed. You can lead by example, making sure that our guests to Houston are welcome, and that everyone on your staff gets a chance to attend the ATCE on the days where the technology is value added to their role in your organization.


Even with the ATCE coming to Houston, our September calendar is busy with numerous excellent meetings throughout the month. Distinguished lecturers lead SPE in our mission of disseminating technology, and we’ll host two in September: Leon Robinson (1993–94) will speak on the solids control task group work on September 15 and Salam Salamy (2004–05) will speak on maximum reservoir contact wells on September 23. The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is another place to observe good leadership. ELP programs aren’t limited to young engineers; anyone can attend some of their great programs. The third class of the ELP is well into their term, so we expect great activities to continue to evolve under their leadership.


If you’ve just joined SPE or recently transferred to the GCS, you can get involved in the leadership of our section by volunteering for one or more of the many committees and study groups which orchestrate our events. If you’re on the less-experienced end of our spectrum of membership, SPE is a great place to practice your leadership skills. If you have years of experience, give something back by participating as a volunteer and mentoring those who are the future of our industry. You can find contact information for the chairs of the study groups and committees in this newsletter and at www.spegcs.org. We have more than 200 volunteers who are leaders for our section, so consider yourself in the top 2% if you’re involved.


Great leaders realize that they are called to serve the people they lead. An important part of leadership is being a good listener, so talk to me! Send your suggestions and comments directly to me at susan_howes@anadarko.com.


Susan Howes, Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

2004–05 SPE Gulf Coast Section Chair