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Marlan Downey 1931-2017

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davepauljaneenPaul Jones, Dave Dubois and Janeen JudahARCO Alumni have a number of memories to share about the ARCO days, and at a recent happy hour in downtown Houston, Super School was a favorite. Dave Dubois, Global Reserves Director at Hess remembers the generalist pace at ARCO. “We were responsible for a field. This full responsibility formed my career. I also remember how valuable were the super schools in Plano and the company vehicles they loaned us. We were all meeting at my apartment one night for pizza and I was out getting the food when my wife called. One of the few women in the program answered and when I arrived with the pizzas everyone was laughing and saying I better call my wife.”

Janeen Judah, at Chevron, remembers the Super School bar treks which started in Dallas and migrated to Houston. “Walt Bozeman was a ringleader and rented a bus, had a theme such as A to Z and we would drink at every bar.”

houston 4Jim Johnstone and Mark Spangler, Contek Solutions pictured with Rich Stoisits, ExxonMobil and Rick Hooten, Deloitte Consulting.In town from Dallas were event sponsors Jim Johnstone and Mike Spangler, Contek Solutions and also Susan Starr, with Muse Stancil and Co., who was attending a conference.

John Pantano is at Texas A&M where he is a research professor doing basin modeling. John drove down to experience his first ARCO Alumni event. Richard Newsom was another new face. Working for Shell, he just moved from Denver.

Christy Smith who is at Linn Energy said how good it was seeing people he has not seen in years. “I have enjoyed the evening. It is fun talking and realizing you are working on fields next to one another and share stories,” he said.

Jeremy Green with Peregrine said he is still building a small company.alonsoSusan Alonso, in attendance at the event.

Becky Olsen, Southwestern Energy said she has a number of good memories.”The people were the best part. They were so good to work with. I enjoyed all the family picnic parties. We all kind of grew up together,” she recalls.

Rick Hooten, who is working as a Project Manager in information technology consulting for Deloitte Consulting travels frequently. Rick said that besides the people he remembers the unique experience of work in Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk fields for ARCO Alaska. I was in finance and we were there a couple times a quarter. Later, I worked with Joe Amador in the finance planning analysis group in Houston,” said Rick.

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Thanks to the more than 60 individuals who RSVP'd for the Anchorage event at Kinley’s. We had a great evening and now it is time to share career updates, ARCO memories and pictures. We asked ARCO Alumni to share what made ARCO special and how it shaped their lives and careers.

Joann Henry, now with the Municipality of Anchorage, recalls how progressive ARCO was. I was a consultant at KPMG after ARCO and I was surprised that "best practices" we had been doing at ARCO for years were not part of the business process elsewhere. Every idea I advised a client to implement was something I learned at ARCO. "ARCO was a very caring culture focused on training and employee empowerment," shares Joann.

rodgersfisher234Dan Rodgers, and David and Alicia Fisher

Couples who met working at ARCO include Pat and Ken Thompson and Tina and Gerry Suellentrop. Pat shares that she met Ken Thompson when she was involed with AEDP. "I particularly enjoyed being involved with the college recruiting and AEDP training. We moved all over and loved ARCO and the people. Anchorage is still our home after 20 years,” said Pat Thompson.

Dave Fisher shares that technical excellence and teamwork are skills he acquired that he has valued throughout his career. Another ARCO alum said the constant change at ARCO was something he learned to value and respond to.

Other memories? " the day we moved into the Tower," says Debra Perala. And skills from the ARCO days? " the safety training, financial evaluations, computer skills".

Thomas and Chantal Walsh started PRA and Tom's first contract in 1996 was for ARCO in Anchorage. Chantal shared that she was born in Cordova, Alaska and also worked at ARCO.

Louise Osborn is currently with COP in Anchorage: “Retirement is very boring - so I am very definitely semi-retired and working in Alaska and the Middle East. A special memory of mine is while on the spill response team at Kuparuk, we were doing a summer exercise on the river. Five miles upstream, the boat engine died. On the boat with five operators and mechanics, we were stranded on a sand bar with the Otter overflying watching the Grizzlies. We sent for a part of some kind - which didn't work. Someone had a stick of gum with them. He took the foil gum wrapper and used it as a conductor to keep the engine running until we were back to the drop off point. Ingenuity at work,” recalls Louise.

scottScott DigertScott Digert, BP, who along with wife Barbara were at their first ARCO alumni happy hour shared his best memory: "I'd go with our four years working for ARCO British in London. I got to see two new platforms, travel and work with great people." And what Scott learned and used throughout his career? The skill and drive to figure things out and get a project done" says Scott. John Melvin, COP, shares how fortunate he was to work in such a highly skilled organization. "I didn't realize it at the time, but ARCO truly was a special company."

ken pat photoKen shares that he splits his time serving on a few boards and being happily “semi-retired.” “Our family company in Alaska, Pacific Star Energy LLC, teamed with independent AVCG/Brooks Range Petroleum and had a North Slope oil discovery, the Mustang Field, adjacent to ARCO’s Kuparuk River Unit. We recently closed the sale of 90% of our interest in this field to others for cash, a development capital infusion and an overriding royalty. Pacific Star Energy will continue investments on the North Slope,” shares Ken.

Ken Thompson serves on the corporate board of directors of Alaska Air Group (Alaska Airlines & Horizon Air), Coeur Mining (silver & gold mining), Tetra Tech (environmental engineering) and Pioneer Natural Resources (oil & gas independent). Ken is also the chair of a non-profit organization called Provision Ministry Group with various ministries providing direction, leadership and support services to Christian churches and organizations in seven countries.

“With this board work not being full-time, I get to spend more days with my exceptional wife Pat (13 years with ARCO, mainly Dallas HR), our three sons, daughter and four grandchildren in Texas and California. Pat and I spend most of the year in Anchorage, but we “snowbird” in Santa Barbara during the winter,” said Ken.

Ken’s fondest memories from ARCO? “The exceptional people…employees extremely good at what they did but also people with good hearts. ARCO people often accomplished the amazing…at work and in the community. Pat and I both still miss ARCO after all these years but are thankful that the exceptional people from ARCO have made so many other companies better, improving their performance but also the core values of how others are treated and lead.”

acquisition sqIn 1999, the deal to acquire BP was announced and by April 2000, the FTC had approved the deal after BP AMOCO agreed to heavy divestitures. ARCOalumni.com launched in October 1999 and we celebrate the strong community and friendships that continue to this day.


storyIt was an exciting happy hour in Houston, with so many people attending that we spilled out of the reserved room into part of the restaurant. See the Houston event pictures when you log on.

The crowd included a number of individuals attending from out of town. Wes Enders drove in from Austin where he now practices patent law with his firm O'Keefe, Egan, Peterman & Enders. Michael and Genna Phillips live in Los Angeles where Michael works for Shell. Herb Vickers drove in from Lafayette, and John Kaldi, was in town from Adelaide, Australia. John was pleased to meet up with friends including Mark and Jeannie Gresko. Mark joined ION Geophysical seven months ago where he is Director, Geology and Geophysics.

Jim Johnstone, CEO of Contek Solutions, one of our long time event sponsors, was in from Plano, Texas. Other sponsors included Advancial, AWS, Noble Energy and SM Energy. In addition to CEO Tony Best, SM Energy was represented by Christopher Simon. Barry was there from Noble Energy with his wife Kathy.

Two ARCO alums were at both the Houston and Denver happy hours: Mark Sooby, Bank of America and Tony Best, SM Energy.

Tim Seidel was wearing an ARCO tshirt, and other individuals we see annually included Rob Spaeth, Jr. with Marathon Oil Company; Christy Reddick, Petrofac Services; Doug Peck, BHP; Michael, Halcon Resources and Ann McKee; and Keith Lynch, COP.