2019 speakers

2019 conference speakers

Shawn Bennett – U.S. Department of Energy

Shawn Bennett currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas. He administers oil and gas programs, including research and development, analysis, and natural gas regulation.

Mr. Bennett has more than a decade of experience in public affairs and government relations in the coal and the oil and gas industries. Most recently, he served as the Executive Vice President for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA), a non-profit trade association that is dedicated to representing Ohio oil and gas producers. The organization represents over 2,000 members in all aspects of the exploration, production, and development of crude oil and natural gas resources in Ohio. His role at OOGA included overseeing all federal and state legislative and regulatory activities in Columbus, OH and Washington D.C.

Prior to joining OOGA, Mr. Bennett was the Director of Strategic Communications for FTI Consulting from 2011 to 2014. He worked with business leaders, elected officials, and residents in eastern Ohio and Pennsylvania regarding the safety and economic benefits of oil and gas exploration. From 2005 to 2011, he was the Government Affairs Manager for the Ohio Coal Association.

Mr. Bennett holds a B.S. from Ohio University.

Austin Caperton – West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection

January 2017, Austin Caperton was appointed by Governor Jim Justice as Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Combining extensive executive experience with engineering and law degrees, Mr. Caperton has provided strategic direction, acquisition, disposition, financing, workout, and project-oriented services to clients primarily in the coal, energy and related fields. Since 1989, Mr. Caperton has generated and managed transactions for clients and consulted on a wide range of management functions, including operations, sales and finance.

Matt Cybulski – JobsOhio

Matt joined JobsOhio in 2011 as project manager/site selection manager and managed major attraction and expansion projects across Ohio. In January 2014, Matt was named Senior Project Manager and then Director of Project Management in October 2014, a position responsible for leading the organization’s entire project team. He was named the Director of the Energy and Petrochemicals industry sectors in February 2016.

Prior to joining JobsOhio, Matt served in various project management and leadership positions at the Ohio Business Development Coalition, the Ohio Department of Development, the Will County Center for Economic Development based in Joliet, Illinois, and the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Matt is a native of Steubenville, OH. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and his Masters in Public Administration from West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. Matt and his wife Carolyn reside in Dublin, OH and have a son Walter and a daughter Eleanor.

Marc Halbritter – Blue Racer Midstream

After nearly a 30-year career with Dominion Resources, Marc joined Blue Racer in March 2013 and recently retired as Sr. Vice President for Business Development. Prior to that, he served as the chief legal officer for Blue Racer, as well as overseeing the marketing of natural gas liquids for the company and its customers.

An attorney by training, Marc has over 35 years’ experience in the gas industry. He worked for several Dominion companies in a number of different capacities including VP of Operations, General Counsel and Managing Director for Dominion’s mid-stream business.

A cum laude graduate of West Virginia University with a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Marc also passed the exam for certified public accountants. In 2016, he received a Doctorate in Humane Letters from West Virginia Wesleyan College. Prior to joining Dominion, he served for three years as an administrative law judge for the West Virginia Public Service Commission and one year as General Counsel and Vice President, Finance for Strategic Ventures, Inc.

Active in a variety of industry trade associations, and civic and charitable causes, he has served terms as president of the Granville South Homeowners Association and the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA); Senior Warden for the Christ Church Episcopal vestry; and, from 2013 – 2016, served as Chair of the Board of Trustees for West Virginia Wesleyan College. He also serves as a director for Energize West Virginia, WVONGA and Medbrook Children’s Charity.

Jerry James – Shale Crescent U.S.A.

Jerry is from Zanesville, Ohio, and currently resides in Marietta, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Marietta College in 1980 where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. Jerry has served as President of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) and previously served as chairman of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP). He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Jerry is also a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers as well as the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers.

Jerry has served as President of Artex Oil Company since 1995. Prior to assuming his current role, he held positions with various major oil companies in Texas, Louisiana, and Wyoming. Jerry is also a founder and an active volunteer of Shale Crescent USA.

Mike John – Northeast Natural Energy

Mike John founded NNE in 2009 and has served as President since the company’s inception. Mr. John previously served as Vice President of Operations of the Eastern Division for Chesapeake Energy from 2005-2009. Prior to joining Chesapeake Energy, Mr. John held various senior executive roles at Triana Energy/Columbia Natural Resources, where he also served on the company’s Board of Directors until Columbia Natural Resources was sold to Chesapeake in 2005. During his time with Chesapeake, Mr. John was instrumental in the drilling, completion, and operation of Chesapeake’s initial 100 horizontal Marcellus wells in Appalachia. Mr. John is a West Virginia native and a 1981 graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in petroleum engineering. He serves on the Board of Directors for the WVU Alumni Association and resides in Charleston, WV with his family.

Bill McCartney – Flat Rock Development

Bill McCartney is energy industry executive that has used his diverse background to remain successful throughout the commodity cycles of the last two decades. His vast technical experience has enabled him to create, manage, and divest some of the most successful natural gas and heavy oil businesses in the last decade. Also, with his financial and option knowledge, Bill has identified and implemented trading strategies that have profited during both bull and bear markets.

Bill is currently CEO of Flat Rock Development, an upstream company with 18,000 acres in the heart of the Utica Shale. He leads his team in the effort to build a sustainable company in central Appalachia that can provide a positive economic impact on the region while creating long term growth for investors.

With strong natural gas market and pricing expertise, Bill has managed more than $250 million of natural gas storage and transportation assets for Vitol Group, an industry leader in the global energy market with revenues of more than $200 billion. He also managed the heavy oil portfolio for North and South America as part of a global team that controlled storage, shipping, and processing assets across every major oil market.

Originally from West Virginia, Bill began his career as a system planning engineer with CNG Transmission (now Dominion Transmission), and later began trading natural gas at CNG Energy Services. While at El Paso Merchant Energy, he managed the one of the largest storage and transportation trading books, worth more than $1 billion.

Bill earned his bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from West Virginia University in May 1995.

Brittany Ramos – Orion Strategies

Brittany Ramos is a Senior Account Executive for Orion Strategies where she is responsible for creating and managing outreach strategies for clients including government affairs, media relations, community outreach and social media. Prior to joining Orion, she worked for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation for seven years as the Coordinator of External Affairs. Having recently won the Pioneer Award from the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of Women’s Energy Network, Ramos is deeply engaged in energy issues throughout Pennsylvania and nationally as a leader of many business development organizations. In 2016, Brittany was honored with the Pittsburgh Business Times Women in Energy Leadership Award and in 2013 she received Shale Media Group’s WING (Women in Natural Gas) Award for Service and Leadership. Brittany has a Master’s Degree in Sociology from Sam Houston State University and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Public Relations and Psychology from Pennsylvania State University.

Scott Rotruck – Orion Strategies

CScott Rotruck is a Senior Account Executive at Orion Strategies with forty years of experience in government affairs and community relations.

He previously served as the Director of Energy and Transportation Services for Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC after serving Chesapeake Energy as Vice President of Corporate Development and Government Relations. He has also worked as Vice President of External Relations for Anker Energy Corporation and President and CEO of the Morgantown Chamber of Commerce.

Rotruck has been a registered federal lobbyist for 30 years and also has worked as a lobbyist and managed a nationwide government and public relations team.

Raj Suri – EmberClear

Raj’s experience includes public offerings, project finance, deal structuring and strategic planning. Mr. Suri’s energy career started in 1995 with Mobil Corporation. Over the next ten years, Raj led several challenging projects working for premier North American energy companies. At EnCana Corp, Raj led due diligence teams to acquire natural gas assets in the Gulf Coast. At Harvest Natural Resources, he helped negotiate with the Venezuelan Government to acquire oil concessions. At DKRW Energy, Raj supported development of wind energy, gasification and an LNG terminal. Mr. Suri founded Future Fuels in 2006 to build a technology & licensing business with China’s largest power Company – Huaneng Group. Raj acquired and developed coal assets in the Appalachian Region and Eastern Europe. In 2010, following Future Fuels’ merger, Raj became President of EmberClear – a Toronto Venture Exchange Company. In 2016, in response to a severe global commodity meltdown, Raj successfully helped EmberClear reorganize as a private company and moved the Company’s offices to Houston, Texas. EmberClear is managing energy development assets of over $3.5 Billion under its new ownership. Mr. Suri is a Certified Public Accountant and he earned his Masters Degree in Taxation from American University in 1998. Mr. Suri also earned an MBA at Duke University as a Fuqua Scholar in 2004.

T. Colin Trebilcock – Gemma Power Systems, LLC

Colin serves as president along with Chip Collins at Gemma Power Systems. Together, they are responsible for managing the overall operations and resources of the company.

Colin and Chip have direct profit-and-loss responsibility for Engineering-Procurement-Construction projects, with single-point customer accountability for safety, quality, budget and schedule.

Colin joined Gemma in 2006 as assistant project manager for the A.L. Pierce Generating Station Repowering Project and has served in a series of increasingly responsible project management positions. Most recently he led construction of the Freedom Generating Project as senior project manager. Colin has extensive experience and achievement in construction, sales and project management for a number of well-known power industry companies. He has an outstanding track record for creating and implementing strategic plans, fostering client loyalty through integrity and honesty, building cohesive teams committed to company vision, and delivering results.

Colin is a veteran of the U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Program and is a certified Project Management Professional. He studied history at the Washington & Jefferson College (PA).

Adam Walters – Governor Wolfe’s Office of Energy

Adam is Senior Energy Advisor serving in Governor Wolf’s Office of Energy where he is committed to developing an integrated approach to energy matters across commonwealth agencies. He works with public, nongovernmental, and the private sectors to assist in planning, implementing, and promoting energy-related projects and initiatives. Previously, Adam was a William Penn Fellow with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development where he supported the agency’s goals of developing business investment and recruitment strategies for the commonwealth in the energy sector. Adam earned his Master of Public Administration from Penn State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations.

Curtis Wilkerson – Orion Strategies

Curtis Wilkerson, Principal at Orion Strategies has directed scores of high-profile public relations campaigns – and even more discreet ones – for a wide variety of clients across multiple industries. Wilkerson has advised clients on a long list of issues, including major construction projects, energy, defense, telecommunications, natural resources, labor, education and health care. He specializes in grassroots and grasstops public relations. His ongoing goal is to form coalitions and educate decision-makers in favor of clients’ needs. Wilkerson is often quoted and utilized as a background source for the Washington Post, CNN and various regional media. Wilkerson is a recipient of the State Journal’s Generation Next and West Virginia Executive Magazine’s Young Guns.