The chamber’s trade mission group in front of a Houston landmark: Jeff Holwell, John Brackney, Josh Penry, Fredric de Loizaga, Rick Whipple, A.J. Misiti, Andrew Casper, Gale Dendinger, Devin Mulhern, Jim McGrath, Peter Moore and Forrest Bassett.
By Manny Gonzales, South Metro Denver Chamber
As part of the South Metro Denver Chamber’s ongoing mission to ensure Colorado’s economic vitality, a group of business leaders traveled to Houston recently to meet with high-ranking executives from some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world.
The trade mission focused on thanking those oil and gas companies for doing business in Colorado while adhering to strict environmental and health standards as well as laying the groundwork for future investment in Colorado.
“Due to the efforts of our state and local elected officials and the input of our citizens and business community, we have created a clear and consistent framework for (oil and gas companies) to operate under,” Chamber CEO and President John Brackney said.
Business ambassadors included Rick Whipple, chair of the chamber’s Economic Development Group and CEO of WhippleWood CPAs; Gayle Dendinger, CEO of CAP Logistics; Detlev Simonis, director, Oil and Energy, CAP Logistics; Josh Penry, senior vice president of EIS Solutions; Andrew Casper, Regulatory Counsel at Colorado Oil and Gas Association; Peter Moore, a Senior Partner at Polsinelli PC; A.J. Misiti, Water Market Lead – Upstream Oil & Gas, CH2M Hill; Jim McGrath, executive vice president at Studley; Devin Mulhern, director of Business Recruitment for the Denver South EDP; Frederic de Loizaga, senior associate of Office Properties at CBRE; Anthony Albanese, senior associate of Office Properties/Energy Facilities at CBRE; Forrest Bassett, a broker associate with Grillo Commercial Real Estate and Jeff Holwell, director of the chamber’s Economic Development Group.
“The Denver group brought a very powerful presence to Houston,” Bassett said. “I am very excited to keep this effort moving ahead and bring a positive impact to Denver.”
Misiti said, “It was an outstanding experience…Many good commercial relationships were established. In addition to the commercial success, this was the most fun I have had on a business trip in many years. What a great team.”
The group met with John Christiansen, director of Public Affairs and External Relations with Anadarko Petroleum; Damian Friend, chief geologist; and Jim Tramuto, VP of Government and Regulatory Strategies with Southwestern Energy and executives with ConocoPhillips. The group was also treated with a sit-down meeting with Chuck Davidson, Chairman and CEO of Noble Energy, one of the largest oil and gas companies operating in Colorado.
“Colorado has a significant potential to grow primary jobs, and thus wealth, in our communities through the expansion of the oil and gas industry,” Holwell said. “It is therefore essential that we align our economic development and public policy priorities relative to this potential and advocate for the industry as a united business community.
“Our trade mission to Houston was eye opening event and helped us create the relationships to move this agenda forward.”
The trade mission could not have been more timely, as Arapahoe County’s Board of Commissioners were convening their own meetings with oil and gas industry leaders, citizens and the state rule-making authority, The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Administration. Faced with a highly politicized climate in the state that has seen some elected officials wantonly throwing around moratoriums, the board unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding that sets high standards for oil and gas operators beyond the rigorous, comprehensive regulations already in place at the state level.
“Businesses value consistent regulatory environments, and Arapahoe County is leading the way in Colorado to reassure the industry that there will be no surprises and we will not run them out of town,” Brackney said. “Our success both today and into the future depends on balance, something we need to see more of as Colorado determines how best to utilize natural resources like oil and gas.”
For more information, call John Brackney at 303-795-0142.
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