From the President, USAEE


Troy N. Thompson
Manager, Business Planning & Analytics
Chevron Corporation
(Houston, TX)

It is an honor to be the incoming President of USAEE for 2015, and I appreciate your confidence and support.   I have an exemplary Council to work with, and I’m excited about activities and plans for the upcoming year.  We’ll build on the accomplishments made under the able leadership of Mike Canes and the 2014 Council.  I want to express my gratitude to Mike for his contributions and dedication over the past year as President.

Our Association continues to be a vital part of the industry, with our members bringing an active voice to the table and participating in addressing today’s energy challenges.  Our strength lies in the ability to bring together energy professionals from a wide spectrum that includes Academia, Government and Industry.  This dynamic is what attracted me to the Association twenty years ago, and I know it is a draw for others as well.  A key objective for me is to nurture this collaboration in the form of a strong annual conference and in the exploration of ways to enhance the ability for groups to interact and find value.

The 2014 New York Conference broke all records and was a tremendous success, both in attendance and financially for the Association.  Congratulations to the Conference Program and Sponsorship Committees for their outstanding work.  Our Association begins 2015 from a position of strength in terms of membership, finances, and services offered, thanks to the diligence of our past Presidents, Council Members, Member Volunteers and especially Dave Williams Jr. and AMS. 

USAEE Membership at the end of October 2014 was 912, a level consistent with our past but lower than historical highs.  A priority for me in 2015 is to promote the concerted efforts of the Business and Government Council Members and their Committees to increase membership and enhance involvement.  In 2014, the Government Committee identified three projects to accomplish these goals: 1) sponsoring webinars of interest to our government members; 2) co-hosting events with local chapters; and 3) developing a voluntary members-only database of interest that government members and others could tap into when looking for an expert.  One area I want to highlight from the Committee’s work is the Breakfast Energy Series Talks (BEST), a successful example of a co-host event between USAEE and the National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC).

Students will continue to be a focus for the Association.  In 2014, we had considerable success with our Case and Best Student Paper Competitions and a Mentoring Event at the New York City Conference.  I’m also pleased to report the establishment of a student chapter at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

I see great value in reaching out to those transitioning from university to the workplace and those early in their careers, which is aligned with the part of our mission that seeks to promote the development and education of energy professionals.  Several Committees, most notably the Membership Committee, have been exploring options to enhance the retention of this demographic of our membership.  I am encouraging all of our Committees to seek ways to improve young professional retention.

In 2014, we conducted a second comprehensive salary survey of energy economists based in the United States, with twenty-two percent of our members taking the survey.  To date, the survey has been downloaded 260 times.  Our plans are to continue the survey in 2016.

This year was the second for our Distinguished Lecturer Series (DLS), program that provides outstanding speakers to help the creation of new USAEE Chapters, revitalize existing Chapters, and conduct USAEE-sponsored webinars. The DLS also reinforces the connection of members to the national USAEE organization and provides a "national face" to members not located near an existing Chapter.  I want to thank Dong Fu with ExxonMobil and Benjamin Schlesinger with BSA & Associates for serving as our Distinguished Lecturers in 2014.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your USAEE President.  Although we have a strong and impressive history, there are no doubt additional ways for us to be even more relevant.  I’m very interested in hearing your ideas and suggestions on how USAEE can improve its value to you in your professional life.  Please feel free to contact me anytime.

Finally, I want urge everyone to mark their calendars for the 33rd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference, which will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from October 25 to 28, 2015.  The Pittsburgh area is a U.S. leader in energy development and is the center of one of the most active natural gas plays in North America, the Marcellus Shale.  The Planning Committee is putting together a meaningful, high-quality program.  Please visit the conference site https://www.usaee.org/usaee2015/ for more information.  And please remember to submit your abstracts early. 


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