Announcing the finalists for the 2018 GRIT Awards…

HOUSTON, TEXAS — August 23, 2018 — Today, Experience Energy, the global careers site that connects energy companies with diverse talent, announced the finalists for the GRIT Awards, a first-of-its-kind awards program that debuted earlier this year at HERWorld Energy Forum. The winners will be announced as part of a half-day conference at the Norris Center in Houston on Oct. 3 that will be broadcast live  to viewers around the world.

The GRIT Awards, sponsored by NES Global Talent, were created to recognize women leaders in energy, and the men who advocate for their progress. For this class of honorees, more than 150 applications poured in from North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, Asia, Russia and the Middle East. On Oct. 3, Experience Energy, a Pink Petro company, will announce the winners, selected during by a panel of industry judges.

The first GRIT Awards ceremony was held earlier this year, during Pink Petro’s annual HERWorld Energy Forum. More than 30 women and men were part of that inaugural class of winners, and the ceremony drew more than 74,000 viewers from around the world.

“Given the success of our first year, we knew there was a need to honor energy’s unsung heroes.  Those people deserve to be honored for all they do, and the impact they’re having on our unsung industry,” said Katie Mehnert, founder of Experience Energy and Pink Petro. “That’s what the GRIT Awards are all about.”

The finalists were nominated for recognition in four different categories: entrepreneurs, individuals, teams and male champions.  Below is a full list of GRIT Award finalists. The winners will be announced live on Oct. 3:  

  • Afton Sterling, Regulatory Manager, SWN
  • Alaina Sajatovic, Product Manager, Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Allison Selman, Integrity Management & Decommissioning Manager, Atteris
  • Andrea Reynolds, General Manager, Shell
  • Andrea Wu, Principal Consultant,  RS Energy Group
  • Angela Knight, Global Diversity & Inclusion Leader, Baker Hughes, a GE Company
  • Brenda Donnelly, Vice President – Production Excellence at Shell Deepwater
  • C. Susan Howes, Vice President of Engineering, Subsurface Consultants & Associates, LLC
  • Carlos Pineda, Vice President Completions Solutions for the U.S, Stage Completions Inc.
  • Cassandra Corley, Director, Information Technology MidCon, ConocoPhillips
  • Cherie Fuller, Vice President, Retail Power Market Management, EDF Energy Services
  • Chesley Russo, Manager of LNG Plant Support Services, Bechtel
  • Cindy Pollard, Director of Public Affairs, Aera Energy LLC
  • Deanna Jones, VP Human Resources & Administrative Services, Marathon Oil
  • Dionne Auguste, Operations Manager, NES Global Talent
  • Donatella Banchi, Sr Director Program Manager, Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Elizabeth Rogo, CEO/Founder, Tsavo Oilfield Services Ltd
  • Dr. Greg Powers, Vice President of Technology, Halliburton
  • Heather Eason, Founder and CEO, Select Power Systems LLC
  • Hugh Connett, Vice President, Gas Commercialization, Chevron
  • Jaime Butler, Vice President of Permian, Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Jan Kulmann, Sr. EHSR Manager, Noble Energy
  • Janette Marx, CEO, Airswift
  • Jessica Hernandez, Lead Manufacturing Specialist, Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Joann Christensen, Engineering Technology Manager, Aera Energy LLC
  • Johanna Hoyt, Geologist III, Aera Energy LLC
  • Jorge Haiek, IT Supervisor, Aera Energy LLC
  • Julie Munn-Sims, Principal, KPMG
  • Kara Byrne, Sr Proposal Manager, Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Karen McKee, Senior Vice President, Exxon Mobil
  • Katherine Culbert, CEO and Co-Founder, K and K Process
  • Kathy Lehne, CEO, Sun Coast Resources
  • Krista Caldwell, Mobility Manager, Worley Parsons
  • Kristie McLin, Petroleum Geochemistry and Basin Modeling Manager, ConocoPhillips
  • Lily Thomas, Lead Commodity Management specialist, Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Lindsay Sander, Principal, Sander Resources
  • Maitri Erwin, Manager – NV, South America, CNOOC Nexen Inc
  • Maria O’Connell, Vice President of Quality, Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Mary Van Domelen, President, Van Domelen International, LLC
  • Michele Harradence, Sr. Vice President, Gas Transmission & Midstream Operations, Enbridge
  • Michele McNichol, CEO, Arion Blue LLC
  • Monica Suman Krishnan, Technology and Deployment Manager, Chevron
  • Muhammad Imran Khan, Mari Petroleum Company Limited, Pakistan
  • Mystie Barrett, Process Specialist, Aera Energy LLC
  • Noor Alenezi, Lead Engineer, Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • PaigePR Team: Paige Donnell, Kristen Quinn, Natasha Wilson, Megan Anderson
  • Pam Darwin, Vice President Africa, ExxonMobil
  • Patricia Conrad, Senior Customer Service Manager, Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Rachelle Kernen, Geologist, PhD Candidate and BP Intern
  • Rebecca Hofmann, Leader – Management Systems & Blockchain Strategy & Innovation, Equinor
  • Sarah Jane Walker, Senior Integration Manager, Baker Hughes, a GE company
  • Shanta Eaden, Director, Global IT PMO, CPI, Weatherford
  • Sophia Washington, Vice President, IT Solution Delivery, EDF Energy Services
  • Valerie Wilson, Senior Technical Advisor, AIG

In addition to highlighting the winners, the GRIT Awards experience will feature keynote addresses from Geeta Thakorlal, president of INTECSEA, and Crystal Washington, a technology expert, author and futurist. The GRIT Awards will also invite a panel of experts to discuss the insights gained from the first-ever Energy Diversity & Inclusion Index, a survey Experience Energy released earlier this summer to get a gauge on the state of inclusion in energy.

NES Global Talent, a sponsor for the GRIT Awards, was drawn to the opportunity to honor these leaders, but also to generate thought-provoking conversations and ideas.

“The industry is working to build the workforce of tomorrow, built on diversity, inclusion and innovation. Part of that transformation means pulling together the brightest minds and recognizing those who are changing the industry from within. The GRIT Awards accomplishes all those things,” said  Vicki Codd, marketing director for NES Global Talent. “And we are thrilled to be involved.”

To sponsor or purchase tickets, click here.

For media inquiries, contact Mary Johnson at

About Pink Petro and Experience Energy:  Pink Petro is the leading global community and social enterprise aimed at creating the new future and ending the gender gap in energy. Using social technology, its mission is to elevate and connect individuals, companies, and industry to create an inclusive workforce and supply chain. The community has a presence in 120 countries in nearly 500 companies across energy in oil and natural gas, LNG, renewables, and nuclear. Experience Energy is the destination careers site for diverse talent in energy.  For more information, visit and   

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