Dr. Robert E. Brooks is the Founder of RBAC Inc., where he developed the GPCM® Market Simulator for North American Gas and LNG™, the first pipeline-specific monthly, long-term model of the entire North American natural gas transportation and storage system.
More recently Dr. Brooks has extended the success of this system to global natural gas and LNG in RBAC’s G2M2® Market Simulator for Global Gas and LNG™. G2M2 has been employed to study the evolution of gas and LNG markets in Asia as well as the connection between prolific gas supplies in Eurasia and security of supply in Europe.
As an applied mathematician, energy economist, and software systems designer with over thirty-five years of experience in developing decision support systems for business and government, Dr. Brooks has continued his research and development in decisions support tools, working on GPCM Daily, Power Market Model Interface and tools to support companies in the energy transition, from carbon to hydrogen to renewable natural gas, and others.
Dr. Brooks has earned degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Texas at Austin, and MIT. His doctoral research involved development of the first large-scale linear programming model of the North American natural gas pipeline grid.
Jim Diemer is Director of Market Analysis and Forecasting for Sempra Infrastructure. In this capacity Mr. Diemer’s team leads all the fundamentals market research and analysis used in Sempra Infrastructure’s project development, due diligence, marketing, and business strategy activities across its three business lines of LNG & Net-Zero Solutions, Networks and Clean Power. Sempra Infrastructure’s mission is to be North America’s premier provider of safe and reliably energy delivery infrastructure delivering energy for a better world. Prior to the October 2021 formation of Sempra Infrastructure, Mr. Diemer was Regional Vice President of Midstream Commercial Development for Sempra LNG.
Mr. Diemer joined Sempra LNG in 2015 bringing his broad energy infrastructure development and energy management background from his prior 30 years of experience largely with Siemens and Pace Global Energy Services, the U.S. Department of Energy and Science Applications International Corporation (now Leidos). He has an M.S in Environmental Engineering in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a B.S in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Certificate from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business Integral Executive Leadership Program. Mr. Diemer and his wife Maureen reside in Houston, TX and have two adult children and one grandchild.
William Eiland is a corporate partner n the Dallas office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. William’s practice focuses on private equity and energy transactions, with a particular emphasis on acquisitions and divestures in the upstream sector. His transactional experience also includes advising clients in connection with the formation of joint ventures, farmout and participation agreements to develop oil and gas properties, and other transactions concerning the acquisition, exploration and development of oil and gas properties. William began his career in the oil and gas industry working with private investors to acquire mineral interests located in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Alabama.
Deborah Gholson currently serves as a Gas Development Services Advisor at Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE GT&S). She is responsible for new project development focusing on marine and land-based applications for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). Deborah has been in the energy business for the past 17 years, all of which she spent with Dominion Energy until the gas business transition to BHE in the Fall, 2020. Deborah’s career spanned both the electric and the gas sides of the house at Dominion in regulatory, governance and risk assessment roles and with the transition to BHE GT&S, her focus is on strategic LNG business development.
John Harpole is founder and president of Mercator Energy LLC, a natural gas services, brokerage and energy market analysis company. Mercator assists both producers and end users throughout the United States in selling and sourcing natural gas supplies. Mercator manages more than 2 Bcf per day of natural gas in seven states. Mercator also conducts specific research projects for client groups exploring the impact of industry trends on various regional markets. Mercator’s analysis on “Poverty and Fracking” was featured in a Wall Street Journal editorial and on Fox News.
During his career, Harpole has provided strategic advice and counseling to independent oil and gas producers, power producers, major gas and electric utilities, hedge funds and energy traders, retail and wholesale energy marketers, equipment vendors and large energy users typically at the CEO level. Harpole has travelled to China on two occasions to instruct employees of PetroChina and members of the Central Parties Pricing Committee on the regulatory and marketing history of natural gas in the United States. It marked the first time a foreigner was allowed to teach a course to PetroChina marketing employees.
Harpole is a Board Member of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, the Leadership Program of the Rockies, University of Colorado’s Global Energy Management Program (GEM), the Global Institute of Church Management Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Italy and the Unreported Story Society. John currently serves on the Board of Directors of Benedictine College.
Harpole has also been named to the Denver Business Journal's Who's Who in Energy for years 2014-2019.
Kenneth A. Hersh, 59, is President, Chief Executive Officer, and board member of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a Dallas-based non-partisan institution which houses the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute. Mr. Hersh focuses on executing the strategy to sustain the Bush Center’s mission for the long term.
He is the Co-Founder and former CEO of NGP Energy Capital Management, a premier private equity investment franchise in the natural resources industry managing over $20 billion of cumulative committed capital since inception in 1988. Until 2016, Mr. Hersh served as NGP’s Chief Executive Officer. From 1988 through the end of 2015, under his leadership, NGP invested over $12 billion and achieved significant investment returns making it one of the nation’s leading private equity firms.
Mr. Hersh currently manages his family investment office and serves as Senior Advisor to The Carlyle Group’s natural resources division. He also sits on the boards of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club and the Dallas Citizens Council. In addition, Mr. Hersh serves on the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Council of the American Enterprise Institute, and the Dean’s Council of the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2014, he was recognized as Master Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southwest Region by Ernst & Young during its Entrepreneur of the Year program, and in 2017 received the Oil & Gas Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2020, Mr. Hersh received the L. Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award conferred by the SMU Cox School of Business for demonstrating outstanding leadership and innovation in the field of energy.
Mr. Hersh is also very involved in the nonprofit arena both nationally and locally on a personal basis and through the efforts of the Hersh Foundation. He serves on the boards of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation, the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation, and sits on the Advisory Council of The Asian American Foundation. In 2015, Mr. Hersh received the St. Mark’s School of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2019, he received the Henry Cohn Humanitarian Award, presented by the Texoma region of the Anti-Defamation League for his work in advancing the cause of human rights, dignity, and equal opportunity.
Prior to co-founding NGP, Mr. Hersh was employed by Morgan Stanley & Co. where he was a member of the firm’s energy group specializing in oil and gas financing and merger and acquisition transactions.
Mr. Hersh was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. After graduating from St. Mark’s, he attended Princeton University where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Politics in 1985. In 1989, Mr. Hersh earned his M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar.
Mr. Hersh resides in Dallas, Texas.
Thomas Holcombe is the Director of Business Development for Kinder Morgan’s Energy Transition Ventures team, which was created in 2021 to pursue strategic step out opportunities within the space. In his role, Thomas oversees the financial analysis and structuring of energy transition M&A opportunities for the company. Prior to joining the ETV team, Thomas was with Kinder Morgan Terminals where he held various positions including overseeing the capital and budgeting process and leading the creation and implementation of the segment Long Range Outlook. Thomas received his Bachelor’s degree in Statistics and MBA from the University of Denver.
Mr. Huddleston is Co-President and Partner of Aethon Energy. He previously served as Chief Investment Officer, and prior to joining Aethon in 2007, was an investment banker at CRT Capital Group. He serves as a Board Director of Veritex Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ: VBTX) and is on the Audit, Asset-Liability and Information Security committees. Previously, he served on the Dallas Council of the Maguire Energy Institute at the SMU Cox School of Business. Mr. Huddleston earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Science from Vanderbilt University.
Franc James is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Penn America Energy Holdings.
Franc’s original proposition was that clean, responsible Marcellus natural gas can provide competitive, low-carbon energy to fuel economic development globally and within Pennsylvania. Today, this proposition is even more valid, as going forward, countries must accelerate a transition-away from coal. Natural gas is the ideal energy dense and transportable solution.
From this idea, Franc formulated and led each aspect of Penn America’s strategy to develop a large-scale, LNG export facility at a suitable location in the Northeastern United States. Franc has driven the Company’s transition from the initial LNG proposition, to the formulation and development of the “proof of concept,” and now, to the funding and execution stage of the project.
Franc’s leadership on all strategic commercial, political and social interactions during the project’s life-cycle has manifested in political support within Pennsylvania and in Washington, attracted a world-class EPC contractor in Bechtel Energy, generated interest from potential LNG customers throughout the world, and created an LNG leadership and management team with recent and successful LNG liquefaction project execution experience - internationally and domestically.
Prior to Penn America, Franc held executive leadership and principal roles in iron ore mining and copper mining businesses in India and Mexico. In these leadership roles, Franc developed NACuMex S.A. de C.V. (copper) and United Group Holdings (Far East) Pvt Ltd. (iron ore) into integrated mining and processing businesses with customers in North America and Asia.
Craig Jarchow is President & CEO of Castleton Resources, LLC. He has worked in the Upstream field for over 25 years, having held operational and management roles at Amoco and Apache, and partner-level roles in private equity at both First Reserve and Pine Brook Road Partners. Mr. Jarchow holds a B.A. in Geology from the University of Santa Barbara, California, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Geophysics from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. from MIT. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.
Bernadette Johnson serves as the Senior Vice President of Power and Renewables at Enverus (formerly Drillinginfo) and is responsible for helping to grow and expand the Enverus analytics offerings. She joined Enverus through the acquisition of products and services from Ponderosa Advisors. With over 11 years’ experience in the energy industry, Bernadette has earned the reputation of industry expert with extensive experience providing crude, natural gas, and NGL fundamentals analysis and advisory services to various players in the North American and Global energy markets. A regular commentator for and speaker to the energy industry, her specific market expertise spans: financial trading, production forecasts, demand forecasts by sector, infrastructure analysis, midstream analysis, storage value analysis, and price forecasts. Prior to joining Ponderosa, and now DI, Bernadette was Senior Research Analyst for Sasco Energy Partners in Westport, CT where she provided analytics and research support for a team of financial traders active in natural gas, power and oil futures markets. Bernadette began her career with BENTEK Energy, LLC as a Senior Energy Analyst, Natural Gas Market Fundamentals and consulting project team lead. In addition to her current role at Drilling Info, Bernadette remains a partner and shareholder in Ponderosa Advisors' remaining businesses. Bernadette holds a MS Degree in International Political Economy of Resources and a BS Degree in Economics, from the Colorado School of Mines.
Kristy Kramer serves as the VP of Markets, Gas & LNG Research at Wood Mackenzie, bringing more than a decade of energy industry experience with particular expertise in flowing gas, LNG, and the upstream oil and gas business in the Americas, Africa and the Middle East.
Kristy leads Wood Mackenzie’s gas market research team, which delivers fundamental supply, demand, and pricing analysis across global and regional gas markets.
Having joined Wood Mackenzie as a principal in consulting in 2016, Kristy has been involved in helping customers determine and evaluate investment opportunities, design portfolio strategy, and understand associated market responses. She later joined our research team as Head of Americas Gas Research.
Before joining Wood Mackenzie, Kristy spent eight years at ExxonMobil, where she led deal evaluation and developed portfolio strategies for both proprietary flowing gas and joint venture LNG assets.
Kristy holds a BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering and a MBA from Washington University, St. Louis.Kristy Krame
Mr. Koontz joined BP in December 2016 and currently serves as the COO of Development for BPX Energy, where he has helped initiate the oil strategy conversion in the onshore business, started a new central reserves team, led business units in the Midcontinent and Permian, and worked with the team to formulate a multi-year, low carbon, development strategy in support bp’s purpose of reimagining energy for people and our planet.
Prior to joining bp, he served as one of the co-founders of Templar Energy where he helped the management team grow the start-up company into the nation’s 27th largest natural gas producer. Prior to that, Mr. Koontz served various roles at SandRidge Energy, and Wallace Engineering and has served on the Young Professionals Executive Board of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, as a Future Leader member of Oklahoma Independents Petroleum Association and as a board member for the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association.
Mr. Koontz earned a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from Oklahoma State University and a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. In 2015 Mr. Koontz received national recognition in Hart Energy's Oil and Gas Investor "Top Thirty under 40" publication.
Mr. Koontz lives in Denver, CO with his wife and three kids, and loves snowboarding, wake surfing, mountain biking, and tennis.
Bio coming soon!
Daniel C. ("Dan") Lopata, 35, has served as Vice President - Marcellus since February 2022. In this role, he leads a team of energy professionals in the planning and development of the Marcellus Shale in North East Pennsylvania. Prior to being named VP, Mr. Lopata held various engineering and leadership roles of increasing importance since joining Chesapeake in 2009. Dan aims to increase access to sustainably secure energy in the North East and partner with industry peers to meet the demand for energy while improving all aspects of our ESG footprint.
Robert Mills serves as a Director on the private equity investment team of Pickering Energy Partners (PEP). Prior to PEP, he was a Vice President at AEC Partners and previously an Associate on the energy investment team at Avista Capital Partners. Prior to Avista Capital Partners, he served as an Investment Banking Analyst at Goldman Sachs where he advised energy industry clients on mergers & acquisitions and capital markets transactions.
He holds both an MS and a BBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University.
Mr. Olmstead focuses on the drivers and inhibitors to unconventional production in the most important existing and incubating plays in North America. He has been involved in various capacities of asset and operator analysis in North American research for more than eight years. Recently, he has focused on the financial constraints to production and the implications for future supply as the industry wrestles to identify its role in global production. Prior to joining IHS Markit, he served in the strategy and finance department of a US independent producer. Mr. Olmstead holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Baylor University, United States, and an MBA from Rice University, United States.
Tim Oudman is Vice President of Business Development for Republic Services, a leader in the environmental services industry. He is responsible for mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and the company’s emerging business growth platform. Tim oversees the development of the company’s renewable energy projects, including a recently announced joint venture to develop the nation’s largest RNG portfolio build-out to date. He joined Republic Services in 1997 and has previously served in corporate strategy and field operating roles including Area President, Market Vice President and General Manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Indiana University and an MBA from Purdue University.
Zack is a senior analyst on East Daley’s Capital Markets team. Zack’s expertise lies in understanding, quantifying, and driving transparency related to natural gas interstate pipelines, gathering and processing asset systems, and refined product distribution networks. Zack’s coverage includes companies such as TC Energy (TRP), Kinder Morgan (KMI), Western Gas (WES), and Crestwood Equity Partners (CEQP). Covering these companies includes producing financial models, insights, and research reports for cross-functional team use and external client needs on a monthly, quarterly, and ad hoc basis. Zack also leads East Daley’s natural gas supply and demand team which analyzes supply and demand dynamics across numerous basins across the entire U.S. Zack has prior experience in corporate finance and investment management, and he holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance.
Amol Wayangankar has 15 years of market and commercial advisory experience with clients in natural gas, LNG and NGL markets. He has advised numerous energy infrastructure transactions; both domestic and international including asset valuations, commercial due diligence, structuring, contract negotiations, asset/market feasibility to support project developers, lenders, energy companies, and investors, in their project development, financing, A&D and planning efforts. Mr. Wayangankar has expertise in asset due diligence, and market studies in the natural gas upstream and midstream space with experience in upstream target valuations, midstream valuations of gas storage, pipeline, terminals, processing plants, gathering systems and fractionation facilities. In the NGL space, Mr. Wayangankar has led commercial structuring and negotiations on terminal and pipeline agreements with multiple LPG/Ethane export terminals in the US. He has experience in originating, structuring and negotiating long-term ethane/LPG Sale and Purchase Agreement with domestic and international buyers. Prior to founding Enkon Energy Advisors, Mr. Wayangankar held senior positions with other energy consulting firms where he advised the C-suite on market entry/growth strategy, evaluated investment opportunities and developed business plans for emerging opportunities. Mr. Wayangankar holds a dual Master degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Penn State.