Energy Influencers #76 – #80

Energy Influencers #76 – #80

Here’s the next group that you’ll get to meet:

  #71 Tom Corbett (Governor of Pennsylvania) 
  #72 Aneesh Chopra (Chief Technology Officer of the United States)
  #73 G. Allen Brooks (Managing Director at Parks Paton Hoepfl & Brown)
  #74 Gary Bloom (CEO of eMeter)
  #75 Shai Agassi (Founder & CEO of Better Place)


 #76 Bill Weihl

Green Energy Czar at Google

San Francisco, California

Bill Weihl is a high-tech technologist and executive focused on renewable energy technologies, carbon markets, energy contracts and climate change.

Weihl led Google investments in renewable energy projects including geothermal, solar, and wind energy.  Weihl also believed renewable energy could be cheaper than coal (RE < C).

But the company believed “other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level” so the guy who helped inspire Google’s $800 million clean energy investments left in November because it was “time to move on and find something new.

Though their Green Energy Czar is gone, Google vows to continue efforts to generate “cleaner, more efficient energy,” including procuring renewable energy for its data centers.

But no fear, look for Weihl to reappear on #Energy100 in 2012 with his new employer.  Weihl is now Manager of Energy Efficiency and Sustainability at Facebook so we could see some fascinating energy announcements coming from Facebook in the coming year.

It’s good to be Weihl, his future is so bright he has to wear shades.


 #77 Jennifer Valencia

Director of Client Relations at Unleaded Communications

Houston, Texas

She may not play football but she has “touched down everywhere, (everywhere?) everywhere”.

Jennifer Valencia is everywhere.  Just try to keep up with her on Twitter or at an industry conference.  You can’t.  She has the drive and energy to be everywhere at once.

Valencia is the business development force behind Unleaded Communications, a Houston-based, full-service advertising agency with many clients in the oil and gas industry.  Unleaded was also winner of numerous BMA Lantern Awards in 2011 and named Agency of the Year.

But Valencia doesn’t land clients, she builds relationships.  Her passion and enthusiasm is contagious.  She loves what she does and it shows.  People want to be around her and interact with her.  Talk to her, she will listen.

So it’s not what Valencia did in 2011 that made her an Energy Influencer, but it’s who she is and the positive effect that she has on other people that makes her so influential.

That and she just wants to “make out with my network. You guys are the best. #grateful”.  We are #grateful too.


#78 Jim Surjaatmadja

Chief Technical Advisor-Technology at Halliburton

Houston, Texas

Another inventor nominated by a member of the LinkedIn Eagle Ford Shale group is Dr. Jim Surjaatmadja, Chief Technical Advisor-Technology at Halliburton.

Surjaatmadja was nominated for the development of Hydra-Jet Assisted Fracturing (HJAF) because “it enables the placement of many stages in one day, while using half the horsepower….[and] has a footprint on location which is half of todays methodologies.”

Along with HJAF, Surjaatmadjas’ other contributions through engineering has made a major impact on the oil and gas industry with innovations (and over 80 patents) in the fields of cementing, fracturing and specialized down-hole tools.

Surjaatmadja has developed products and processes that expedite oil and gas recovery and has helped shape the modern petroleum industry.  He highly deserved to receive the highest honor.


#79 James Sharp

Vice President Natural Gas Investments at MAP

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Some influencers were nominated by those in the field, others like James Sharp were nominated by those in the office.  Sharp was nominated on LinkedIn (National Association of Division Order Analysts group) because “he will do the best he can for everyone involved.”

In 2011 Sharp went from being Director of Land Administration at Southwestern Energy to becoming VP at MAP Royalty, a firm focused primarily on the acquisition and management of onshore U.S. natural gas royalty interests.

But Sharps’ influence extended far beyond just these two companies in 2011, being felt by employees and customers alike, industry-wide.  Take a look at Sharps recommendations on LinkedIn and you will see that they are honest, heartfelt, praiseworthy and direct…just like him.

#80 T. Boone Pickens

Founder, Chairman & CEO of BP Capital

Dallas, Texas

A well-known takeover operator and corporate raider during the 1980s, T. Boone Pickens has shifted his influence over the years from oil to natural gas to wind to natural gas to…to all things energy.

Through his hedge fund, BP Capital, Pickens utilizes his wealth of oil and gas experience in the evaluation of potential equity investments and energy sector themes.

But it’s with his “Pickens Plan” that this legendary energy entrepreneur has the most passion and the biggest influence.  His energy policy proposal (and its Pickens Plan Army) hopes to break America’s addiction to foreign oil…because “drilling isn’t the answer.”

Pickens own website sums it up best: “The breadth of T. Boone Picken’s career is staggering.”  So too is his influence.

1 Comment

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