by Gus Morgan
Tameka Ramsey, Erin Reuber and Lindsay Alaniz know what it takes to excel in the energy industry — and in life. The three ConocoPhillips employees were recently honored as “difference makers” in the energy industry during Pink Petro’s 2018 inaugural GRIT Awards. During an awards ceremony on March 8 in Houston, Ramsey, Global Compliance & Ethics manager, won a GRIT Award. Lower 48 Exploration Appraisal Manager Erin Reuber and Exploration Strategy and Portfolio Coordinator Lindsay Alaniz were named as finalists.
Having three ConocoPhillips employees as finalists was a significant feat, given that nearly 200 nominations were submitted from North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, Asia, Russia and the Middle East.
Recognizing leaders in energy
Pink Petro, an online networking and mentoring community, launched the GRIT Awards to find the difference makers in energy. GRIT stands for growth, resilience, innovation and transition. According to Pink Petro, a GRIT Award is for “the unsung leader who is down in the trenches getting the job done regardless of what recognition may or may not come their way.”
Nominees were evaluated on their professional accomplishments, personal philanthropic efforts and other qualities.
Ramsey, known for her commitment to integrity and inclusion in her professional and personal life, credits her accomplishments to her small-town values. Ramsey grew up in a small community in south Louisiana.
“Growing up in my one stop-light town really contributed to a foundation of operating not just ethically but with integrity in everything that I do,” she said. “A small community provides immediate accountability.”
She also credited her Louisiana background for her commitment to inclusion.
“The culture of Louisiana is welcoming to everyone,” she said. “Your comfort in communicating with others is the same, no matter who it is.”
Over her professional career, Ramsey successfully transitioned from various businesses and roles. Her professional transitions were always guided by an underlying factor.
“I’ve always followed my personal compass,” she said, “and I was guided by that gut check of where I should be.” Ramsey also credits her success to always being willing to stretch and develop in different ways. Her approach: “Make it work and make it better.”
Her advice for young professionals: “Be guided by your internal light and you’ll know where you need to be. Find things that will stretch and develop you. Sometimes that might be a little painful, but there are many opportunities in this dynamic industry, which is known to reward those who do their best.”
Ramsey is also known for her resilience, generosity and compassion. Those traits were on display when she used her home to organize multiple trucks to carry water, first aid, cleaning and other supplies to Louisiana when Baton Rouge was ravaged by floods in 2016. “Our trucks were packed and ready when the highways opened,” she said.
And in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, she co-led a grassroots effort to collect and deliver clothing for plus-sized women, a group typically overlooked when donations are collected. Ramsey became aware of the need for plus-sized donations while volunteering at Dress for Success through the ConocoPhillips Women’s Network.
“I was extremely surprised and humbled to be nominated and then to make the finalists,” Reuber said. “As I looked around the room while the awards were being announced, I thought, ‘Wow this is pretty special to be a part of this amazing group of women and men who are dedicated to inclusion and working toward better work environments in our industry.’ “
Reuber, who has 20 years of energy industry experience, said it’s important to give back and mentor others who are ascending the ranks.
“I was very fortunate to have great mentors, leaders and colleagues around me when I was coming up in the industry,” she said. “So, you give back. It’s not a static thing. You always have to pay it forward.”
As a leader, Reuber said it’s important to ask lots of questions and be a good listener. Most important, she said, is to lead by example.
“Be the leader and set the example for your team,” Reuber said, emphasizing that technical proficiency, determination and resilience can propel you to the next level.
For Reuber, helping others is second nature. Reuber and her daughters volunteer with the National Charity League-Star Chapter, to inspire and empower women to succeed.
Alaniz’s peers describe her as generous, encouraging and inclusive, noting that she leads by example and is routinely tapped to start and run high-value projects.
“I’m honored to have been nominated and considered a finalist for this distinguished award,” she said.
According to Alaniz, growth requires discomfort. “Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and seek new opportunities that support your personal growth instead of only seeking roles where your experiences already meet all of the qualifications. Doing so may be uncomfortable, but the payoff is worth it.”
On the topic of leadership, Alaniz said some of the most influential leaders she’s worked with have been independent contributors who have led from behind, supporting the success of the team and its individual members.
“The most successful leaders I have worked with value and leverage the differences that each person brings to the team, respecting that everyone works differently and supporting individual needs.”
Alaniz is the founding director of the nonprofit Houston Diaper Assistance Program, an organization that has donated more than 50,000 diapers since Hurricane Harvey.