Houston 2022

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Energy Alumni gatherings started in Houston this year after the Anchorage winter lunch closed out 2022. Then came a record turnout at O'Malley's in August followed by a chance to network in San Antonio where SPE ATCE was hosted. The idea for the SPE happy hour was a result of learning that Terry Palisch is the fourth ARCO legacy employee to lead the organization.  “I am excited to carry on the legacy of the multiple SPE Presidents who are ARCO Alumni…a testament to the company,” said Terry. Terry and his wife, Sandy, also an ARCO alumnus, live in Dallas.

Outgoing SPE President and Chevron Emeritus Med Kamal welcomed incoming President Terry Palisch, Carbo Ceramics during an auspicious week. "This week we saw record output in the US," shared Med at the Energy Alumni happy hour. Also at the networking happy hour were Gerardo Cedillo and Vivek Peraser who learned about Energy Alumni from Rana ElGhonimy. All three of the BP Alalska alumni are now working for BP in Houston. Thank you, Rana, for spreading the word! Search the website, and if you find someone who is in the industry andd not yet a member, spread the word - we have events in Anchorage, Dallas, Houston, The Woodlands and other locations. Even if you can't make an event, joining this community will keep you connected through the newsletter and by logging on and seeing who has updated their profile.

Alaska residents at the Energy Alumni happy hour in San Antonio included Chantal and Tom Walsh, PRA; Andy Bond, Santos and his wife Lori and David Lachance who flew from Anchorage to San Antonio to see a friend receiving an award at one of the programs. David was able to catch up with BP Alaska friends who had left Anchorage for Houston and other places and were attending SPE ATCE. 

Other Alaska alums included Scott and Kim Smith who departed for the US in 1994 and made it as far as Calgary where they have since called home. They shared some good laughs with Keith Lynch who recently watched a video of Scott roasting Keith when he left Alaska in 1992. Kemp and Janet Copeland are neighbors of Susan and Keith Lynch. They live outside of San Antonio in Boerne, Texas. Also living in Boerne is Larry Parnell, who has been running a family business and shared that three of his children attended University in the UK - "it costs less and the quality of students is high" shared Larry.

Renewables were also a topic of conversation, including by the lunch speaker on Monday. Tom Walker relocated from Denver to The Woodlands with Occidental Petroleum, who are working on a Carbon Removal Credit Purchase, invested in by Amazon and the US government in a bid to be carbon neutral by 2040.

William Cobb, an ARCO Alumnus and a past SPE President, gave a moving speech at an SPE lunch where he shared the reasons he gives back. "When I was a boy I was more interested in receiving, but now I am happy to give back, and SPE played an important role in my career development."

Pictured are ARCO alums who were SPE Presidents Med Kamal, Janeen Judah, now the Foundation President for 2024, and current SPE President Terry Palisch.

GeoInteriors has kept many of us ARCO-ites connected  - Galen Treadgold

With a master of arts in Geology and Geosciences, Galen Treadgold’s path has been a rocky one - in the best sense of the word. He and his fellow ARCOites, many of them geologists, can’t get enough of rocks. For Galen, that passion led to GeoInteriors, a company he created which has provided charities with $400,000 in funding, all thanks to not just a pile, but many pallets of rocks. Pictured are Galen and ARCO colleague Jeremy Greene when they donated a big rock to the University of Texas.

Galen was at ARCO from 1985 to 2000. He is currently the Managing Director of the Houston office of AMNI International Petroleum Resources, which is a support company for AMNI International Petroleum. With acreage in Nigeria and Ghana and a number of new venture opportunities in West Africa, there are 25 people working with Galen in Houston. “It is a hot spot in a lot of ways,” laughed Galen. The company is prospecting not far from wells that were once ARCO properties in Ghana, and Galen knows people who were with ARCO 40 years ago working that acreage. “We have had nice successes in West Africa, including doubling the reserves on acreage we bought from Chevron.”

I shipped 10,000 pounds of amethyst and quartz from Rio  - Galen Treadgold

Between ARCO and AMNI, Galen was in charge of Trinidad, Venezuela and Brazil, where Petrobas was the partner. “They could never get budgets to travel to the committee meetings so I went to Rio de Janeiro for budget approval,” said Galen. “My first trip down there, I asked fellow geologist and ARCO alumnus Steve Sinclair what I could do in Rio besides go to the beach. He told me about a rock shop and the next thing I know, I made a deal with the family who owned the shop to ship back 10,000 pounds of amethyst and quartz knowing fellow geologists would be interested. I sold it out of my garage to fellow ARCO-ites and others.”

This business trip soon led to GeoInteriors being formed, and Galen was flying to Rio for rock purchases. “My wife was working for American Airlines so I could fly down in a first class seat for almost nothing. I would fly overnight, land, shop all day and fly back that night. The model I created for the process was taking the costs of the trip and the cost of the rocks and distributing the cost with a markup but anyone buying the rock would contribute 10% of their purchase to the chosen charity.” From Alzheimers, SPCA to Wounded Warriors, a different charity is chosen each year. Galen and his friends were soon renting warehouse space, gathering for breakfast and spending three weekends in a row unpacking pallets, sorting and shipping the rocks.

“We did this once a year so it was a great chance to get together with people we otherwise would not see,” said Galen.
With no advertising, no credit card transactions,and just $200 a month storage costs, there is very little overhead.

The mailing list has grown to 1,400 individuals, and the venture has taken on a life of its own. From lamps, bowls, cathedrals, sea urchins, petrified wood and fossils, the offerings are very diverse and interest remains strong.
Giant crates and pallets is a brutal process, and Galen is looking to scale back the workload. Transitioning from Brazil to rock shows in Denver and Tucson, the excitement of mineral, gems and fossil shows, makes scaling back easier said than done, but Galen has a grandchild and other activities he is enjoying to help ease the transition.

Pictured are the core team, Curtis Conrad, Galen and Steve Sinclair.

ARCO and BP alumnus John Kurz joined Alyeska Pipeline in April of this year as the President and Chief Executive Officer.

“It’s exciting to be back working in Alaska and heading up Alyeska, an iconic Alaskan company,” John said. “Leading an organization and team of this significance is a tremendous responsibility and honor. And who would have predicted that I would do a third tour here? My three tours were actually with three different companies: ARCO, where I started my career in Anchorage in the 80’s working successively on the Prudhoe Bay, Lisburne, and Kuparuk fields; BP in the mid-2000’s heading up Operations for Prudhoe Bay; and now Alyeska."

John met and married his spouse, Cheryl (also an ARCO employee), in Anchorage, all three of his children were born here, and he holds a Master of Science Degree in Engineering Management from the University of Alaska.

It’s exciting to be back working in Alaska and heading up Alyeska, an iconic Alaskan company  - John Kurz

“We certainly have strong connections here,” John said. “After living and working overseas for so long, it has been special to reconnect with family and friends since we have been back. Our three children and their partners already visited in July, where we spent time on the Kenai Peninsula slaying reds, sea kayaking, hiking, and camping. With 75 family and friends joining, we also celebrated the 50 year anniversary of Cheryl’s family owning homestead property just outside Soldotna.”

Prior to joining Alyeska Pipeline, John was on the other side of the world with Australian-based Oil Search/Santos. The company’s Chief Operating Officer, John was involved in oil and gas developments in Papua New Guinea – oil fields that have been around for decades, and a 2-train LNG project sanctioned about 10 years ago. “A 2-train expansion is working through engineering and commercial negotiations,” he said. “I was responsible for all PNG operating activities except major projects. The PNG operations have many of the same issues you’d experience in any operation, so I was able to use my experience in Alaska and elsewhere to address the challenges and opportunities. Moreover, the Papua New Guineans are just wonderful people, and I really enjoyed working with them and helping them develop into a high performance organization. That’s the most rewarding part of the job,” said John.

John shares that he has been fortunate in his career. “I have had some really great opportunities,” he said. “I worked in Indonesia for 6 years, Egypt for 2, Azerbaijan for 7, and lived in Dubai while working in Iraq. Cheryl has traveled the globe with me and we are both thrilled to be back in Anchorage. Prior to University the kids went with us, so they are true third culture kids. The travel bug has also bit us all — Madison, our oldest, has the family lead at about 55 countries. It has been a wonderful experience for all of us for sure,” said John.

It has been special to reconnect with family and friends since we came back  - John Kurz




With over 95 individuals at the happy hour, we have much to share, and these updates won't cover everyone; log onto the site and click on Who's Doing What to read more! As guests were arriving James Posey and Harold Heinze quickly began chatting, followed by Denise Ganopole, Chip Derrick, Dennis Bickford and Kathy Godsey. Kathy is coming up on her 39th year in the industry and is currently working at ConocoPhillips Alaska.  She has been in the same building since 1984. "I work in the IT department and support the Shared Services Aviation department," said Kathy.

My career kept returning me to Alaska, and I retired there in 1999  - Harold Heinze

Harold Heinze joined Atlantic Richfield in 1965, and arrived in Alaska in 1969 when TAPS was put on hold for environmental review. "I left Alaska because the pipeline was put on hold, " said Harold. "Then I was among the first to move back when we were given the green light. When Harold retired from ARCO in 1999, he remained in Anchorage.

Gina Luckey worked in external affairs 'spending the company's money' and enjoying a variety of responsibilities including giving tours of the North Slope. Gina transitioned to ConocoPhillips Alaska, and retired in 2015. "I continue to live in Anchorage with my husband Ken. We're both enjoying retirement by spending time with family and friends, traveling, golf and gardening, to name a few." Patricia Lobel shared that she and Jed Chamberlain will vacation in Greece, celebrating Jed's retirement from COP Alaska. The couple enjoy a variety of activities including disc golf with David and Veronica Reem.

David had a good chuckle teasing Abhijeet Tambe about his sandals at the happy hour.

John Hentges retired from COP Alaska and soon found himself employed with a Europen firm working in the carbon capture space. "Summers in Alaska are not to be wasted, and I let the company know I will be back in the fall," said John. With both of their children living in Anchorage, John and Kristina are among the many alums staying in Anchorage. Denise Berry, Bob Chivvis, Scott Digert, Kathy Gray, Danielle and Doug Ohms, Frank and Anca Paskvan, Tom Plawman, Paul Provencio, Nancy Joseph Moses, Randy Ruedrich, Marcia Bandy and Jack Porter, Bruce and Susan Dingeman, and Becky Schumacher were also at the happy hour.

We were sorry to miss a number of colleagues including Russ Doig and Linda Petrie who are traveling across Canada, Ken Elmore who was recovering from surgery, Janet and Troy Weiss who were river rafting and Cheryl and John Kurz who were on the Kenai. Log on today and update your profile and click on the Photo Gallery to see the pictures.

Richard Hahler is working as a Geologist for an Environmental Remedeation Company in Nebraska and Kansas. He was with ARCO from 1990 to 2000.

Jay Cheatham shares that he is bi coastal now. He has a home is Seattle where his daughter Brooks is living, and one in Osprey, Florida. Jay was in Wyoming hunting upland birds in October. He shared that he misses all the Arco people. Gary Youngren retired a decade ago and he and his wife live in Austin, Texas.

Peter Wald was with ARCO from 1993 to 1999 and then with USAA until he retired. He is living in Houston, Texas.

Philip Ulmer and his wife lived in Alaska until late 2018 and then relocated to NC to be near their children and grandchildren (and "grand-dogs").  "At the time we moved I was employed as the Director of Safety and Risk Management at GCI,." said Philip  "Company senior management permitted me to continue working virtually in NC until my scheduled retirement effective 1/1/2020.  I completed a total of 19+ years with GCI.  The safety and risk management experience I gained in my years with ARCO Oil and Gas in Dallas and ARCO Alaska in Anchorage was put to good use when I went into the telecommunication industry.  I was blessed during my professional career.  ARCO was the best oil and gas company to work for and I believed that GCI was the best telecommunication company to work for.  Both company's truly exhibited a corporate conscience and business atmosphere to allow people to excel and work dynamically and safely - and to allow employees to think "out of the box" when necessary to create solutions to sometimes perplexing challenges - and at the same time assuring all risk factors involving people, property and the environment were never compromised."

I was blessed during my professional career. Both (ARCO and GCI) exhibited a corporate conscience and business atmosphere to allow people to excel  - Philip Ulmer


Tim Sands was with ARCO from 1980 to 1984. He is involved in international energy transactions ranging from upstream to mid-stream and power generation/LNG.

Galen Treadgold is currently Managing Director of the technology arm of a small oil company pruducing out of West Africa.  Galen also runs a small mineral and fossil company that raises money for various charities and non-profits.  "My wife Teresa and I have a home in Las Cruces, New Mexico where we'll eventually retire.  Our daughter just delivered our first grand baby up in Dallas so we spend a lot of time traveling up to Dallas to see the baby." Read about GeoInteriors, a grassroots effort to sell gems, fossils, and minerals which has raised over $400,000 for charities and shipped rocks to ARCO alums, geologists, Universities and more.

Les Haldane retired a decade ago and is happily retired in Kaui, Hawaii. "It’s hard to believe that we’ve lived here 10 years already," said Les. "Apart from the distance from family and friends, we really enjoy the lifestyle and climate.  We recently bought an old house in Kailua that we are busy renovating.  Four grandkids and a new kitten keep us young."

GeoInteriors has kept many of us ARCO-ites connected  - Galen Treadgold

Tom Eggert is a proud grandfather and was visiting his grandchild and missed the San Antonio reunion. Tom lives in Houston and his daughter is living in Seattle.

For updaes from our Anchorage members, click here.