2019 speakers

2019 conference speakers

Mike Atchie – Williams

Mike Atchie is the Director of Community and Project Outreach for The Williams Companies. Inc., where he works to facilitate communication and engagement between the company and the communities in which Williams builds and operates natural gas infrastructure. Mike is involved in efforts to inform public officials, landowners, business leaders and other stakeholders, across Williams’ domestic footprint, regarding the transmission of natural gas to meet domestic energy needs.

Prior to joining Williams, Mike worked as a Public Affairs Specialist for Chesapeake Energy. Mike also served as the Director of Planning, Housing and Community Development for the City of Binghamton, New York. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Binghamton University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from LeMoyne College. Mike lives in Binghamton, New York with his wife and two children. He serves on multiple local boards and committees and actively coaches youth sports.

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.

Bruce Davis – Gemma Power Systems, LLC

Bruce serves as senior vice president of business development. He is an integral part of the project development team and is responsible for marketing and business development activities including market analysis, identifying new work opportunities, developing proposal strategies and proposal preparation.

He has more than 40 years of power plant, engineering and construction experience including general management, project management, sales and marketing, business development and project controls.

Prior to joining Gemma in 2012, Bruce was senior vice president for The Shaw Group (now CB&I), leading the fossil business line in the power sector and was responsible for business planning, project development, project execution, customer/supplier relationship management and overall profit/loss. Previously, Bruce was vice president and project director for Bechtel Power Corporation.

Bruce earned a Bachelor of Science in building construction from Virginia Tech and a Master of Science in technical management from Johns Hopkins University.

Joe Eddy – Shale Crescent U.S.A.

Joe Eddy recently retired as President/CEO, Eagle Manufacturing Company, Wellsburg, WV and Executive VP, Justrite Safety Group, Chicago, IL. He currently manages his energy development company, Enhanced Technologies LLC, and real estate development trust, Heritage Holdings LLC. He is past Chairman of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association and the WVMA Education Foundation boards, and also serves on these boards; President of West Virginia Northern Community College Foundation, WVNCC Petroleum Technology Advisory, McDonough Leadership Advisory at Marietta College, Regional Economic Development Partnership, Wheeling Jesuit University Engineering Advisory, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond-Industry Advisory Board, National Association of Manufacturers, National Institute of Standards & Technology-MEP Advisory, West Virginia Economic Development Authority, WVU Global Supply Chain Advisory, Shale Crescent USA, The Oglebay Foundation, The Joseph and Debra Eddy Foundation, and has endowed the Joseph Eddy Technology Scholarship at WVNCC.

Joe was Executive Producer of the TV show “Shale Valley”, served on the speaker’s bureau for Energy Speaks Education and Explore the New Manufacturing, is a regular guest on the TV show “On Money” and radio show “Inside Shale”, a guest writer and speaker for the 2014, 2015 and 2017 WV Economic Outlook Conferences, and won the 2013 State Journal-Who’s Who in WV Business and 2017 WV Executive Sharp Shooter awards. In 2012 Eagle ranked #5 nationally in Chief Executive’s Best Private Companies for Leaders, and in 2015 Eagle won the National Association of Manufacturers Sandy Trowbridge Award for Excellence in Community Service, and in 2016 the President’s E-Award for Excellence in Export Growth and the “Top Manufacturing Brand” in West Virginia (one of Top 50 Brands in the U.S.), and in 2018 The Governor’s Award for Smart Advanced Manufacturing.

Joe has a BS degree in Petroleum Engineering from Marietta College and has completed advanced studies at the University of Wyoming and University of Chicago. Prior to joining Eagle in 1996, he held engineering and management positions at Amoco Production Company in Andrews, TX, Gulf Oil Corp in Bakersfield, CA, Spectrum Resources in Marietta, OH, Tazwell Corporation in Jackson Hole, WY and manages his own shale energy ventures, Enhanced Technologies LLC and Pinnacle Holdings LLC. Joe and his wife Debbie have been married for 32 years and reside in Wheeling, WV.

Marc Halbritter – Hydrocarbon Consulting

Marc Halbritter retired from Caiman Energy/Blue Racer Midstream in March 2019 after serving for 6 years in a variety of roles including Senior Vice President of Business Development, Chief Marketing Officer and General Counsel. Prior to joining Blue Racer, he worked for several Dominion Energy subsidiaries in a number of different capacities. Upon his retirement, he formed Hydrocarbon Consulting and provides consulting services to a variety of clients and serves of part of the RBN Energy Network. Marc holds Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor degrees from West Virginia University and has been conferred with a Doctorate of Humane Letters by West Virginia Wesleyan College. Mr. Halbritter is also a certified public accountant. He has served as a director several boards including those of the Mason Dixon Football Official’s Association, Medbrook Children’s Charity, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Christ Church Episcopal, Energize WV, the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association and West Virginia Wesleyan College. On most of those boards he chaired the board for one or more terms.

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

Scott 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.

Mike Turzai – PA Speaker of the House

Member of the House: 28th Legislative District, representing part of Allegheny County, 2001- Present. Affiliation: Republican.

Mike Turzai earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Notre Dame in 1981 and received his law degree from Duke University in 1987. From 1988-1992 Turzai worked as an Assistant District Attorney for Allegheny County. In 1992 he began working at Houston Harbaugh, P.C.

On June 26, 2001, Turzai won a special election to represent the 28th Legislative District in Allegheny County. He was elected chairman of the Republican Policy Committee in the 2007-2008 legislative session. From 2009-2010 he was the Republican Whip and served 2 consecutive terms as Republican Majority Leader, from 2011-2014. On January 6, 2015, January 3, 2017 and January 1, 2019 Turzai was unanimously elected Speaker by his House colleagues.

He lives with his wife Lidia and their 3 sons, Andrew, Stephen, and Matthew in Marshall Township, Allegheny County.

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.