Join Now

Stories like these keep our community vibrant. Share a story today.

Join the crowd at O'Malleys on Thursday, July 11 for a chance to catch up with friends, network, enjoy a drink and appetizers. All energy alumni are welcome to RSVP. Log on and click Events to RSVP.

Thank you to our sponsors: ACS  , Advancial , AOGAConocoPhillips Alaska and  PRA  for making this annual networking event possible.

advanciallogoprofessional       ACS logo         aogalogo       CoP w Alaska       sponsors pra2



It was great to connect at Grand Lux Cafe with ARCO alums. Carolyn Hunter Hale was celebrating her birthday that night, and it was an opportunity for her to connect with friends including Debra Tedder and Jack Brooks. ARCO colleagues who are employed include Jack Brooks who is at the new State Farm City Line Facility in Richardson, TX as Test Designer in Billing and Payments Service Test team. Randy Brush shared that Cobb & Associates merged with Haas Engineering to form Haas & Cobb Petroleum Consultants. "I'm now a Senior Advisor with a bit more time to relax," said Randy. Isaac Gian, Weitzman Group; Carolyn Hunter Hale, Reef Exploration; Norma Iacovo, Tenaska Power Services Co. Vice President and General Counsel; Chris Moore, Moore Energy Consulting; Doug Trumbauer who is SVP for Kosmos Energy, Albert Zapanta, City Councilman, City of Irving and President and CEO, US Mexico Chamer of Commerce; Randall Mills, Ant Farm Development Services; Gary McKiddy, Click ‘n Close, Inc., Jaime Robertson, Salt Creek; Howard Shearer, IBM; Jocelyn Spellman, Allstate; and Cynthia Thomas, Berry Petroleum; Paul Tossetti, SP, where Paul co-directs their short term oil market analysis function providing advice to oil companies and financial organizations, and Ken Thompson was in town for the Pioneer Energy Board meeting.

Christine Luttrell, Advancial, presented Tony and Lori Slovak with the door prize. Tony was in IT for 40 years, 20 of them with ARCO, before he retired.

In addition to the ARCO alumni still adding value to a variety of companies, we also had Bob Anderson drive up from Houston; Joyce Jones, Glen Gee and Dan Sneed, former Landmen. Glen is now growing wine grapes. Wine grapes were a topic of the evening, with Ken Thompson talking about exploring wineries around his home in Montecito; Doug and Heather Trumbauer sharing their interest in wine with Ken and with Advancial Business Services Manager Christine Luttrell.

Joyce shares that many of her ARCO coworkers became lifetime friends. Dan Sneed was in fine form keeping everyone laughing with his dry wit. Joyce was helpful in growing attendance spreading the word to other landmen.

New Members

Welcome to our newest members, Albert Zapanta, Glen Gee, Chris Moore and Ed Sierra.

Member Updates

Jose Bird shares that he is a Consultant, Data Science with Dell Technologies since April 2021. Jose retired from Valero Energy as Director Advanced Analytics in November 2020 after 26 years of service. He also completed a PhD in Applied Statistics in May 2012 and taught linear regression analysis and time series analysis courses at UTSA on a part time basis for 5 years.

Mark Berlinger left BP with the sale of the Texas City Refinery in 2012 and spent a few years with Petrobras and Chevron. "I was in HSE, so spent a fair amount of time in the office in Houston. I previously had been at Cooper River Chemicals(SC) for seven years after leaving Alaska. I was in Alaska from 1995 - 2002 (or so) in ACT and Drilling. I worked for Mark Bly, David Blackwood, and Fritz Gunkel (RIP)."

Mark has hiked Everest and sailed the Caribbean for a couple of months earlier in 2023.




Whitney King joined BP Alaska in 2008. In May of 2020, She and her family relocated from Anchorage to Houston where she was working as a Senior Completions Engineer on the Global Well Planning team. By the end of 2020, Whitney was re-invented back into Well Integrity and took leave to have her second daughter.

Whitney is now with BP in Baku, and she and her family are extremely excited. “Moving to Texas was a bit of a shock after living in Alaska for so long,” said Whitney. “We welcomed our third child, a boy, in August of 2022 and decided to research what other locations were available. About 6 months after finding a wind role on the East Coast that did not pan out, we stumbled across the option to move overseas. AGT was a smaller region like Alaska and I had heard great things from families who have lived there. We were excited to travel and visit areas on that side of the world and the kids (age 6/2/almost 1) were at ages that were easy to relocate. We went for it and have loved every moment of it. Nothing will ever compare to Alaska but the culture of BP AGT reminds me of Alaska in many ways.”

“We love it here! The kids love the new school, help with the kids is affordable and amazing, and everyone at the office is very nice. I am very happy we moved here and can't wait to explore more of Baku/Europe/the surrounding area countries.

Our middle child turned three a few months after we arrived and our youngest turned one quite literally a week before we moved. We found a wonderful nanny who the kids love and the adults appreciate all the help she provides around the house. There are extra vacation days and we have just begun to travel/explore this side of the world.”

Everyone I talked to was positive about Baku. - Whitney King

The family travelled from Baku to the U.S. via Amsterdam to visit family in the United States for the holidays. With many long flights, and family in different states from Alaska to Texas and Tennessee, Whitney expects she may need a vacation from her vacation once she returns.

In Baku, they live in Royal Park (the expat community) where the community hosts a big Halloween celebration. Whitney said the main roads close at 5 pm so that kids can walk the streets and trick or treat. “The American tradition is very popular and there are several blocks that are almost all BP families that hand out candy. The locals have happily accepted Halloween and also come out in full force. We now know we need to buy WAY more candy for next year. It was a great night and nice to have so many houses to visit so close to our house.”

I was looking for more of the Alaska feel. I recommend the experience. It is a 10 out of 10. - Whitney King

Take pride in their city and it is very clean. There are many tall buildings, and most people live in tall apartment buildings. There is a mall across the street, and you pass playgrounds everywhere. It is very safe, everyone loves kids and people are very friendly, and family oriented. I would recommend the experience. It is a 10 out of 10.

Baku is on the Caspian Sea and it is very hilly. Downtown has a number of very pretty buildings, and there is an older part of town with the cobblestone streets and older buildings. We are taking language courses so that we can order from a menu and have basic conversations. There is a mix of cultures in Baku, and it is a great place.”

I was looking for more of the Alaska feel  - Whitney King

We will most likely do Christmas in Baku for 2024. I saw one or two houses in Royal Park decorated with external Christmas lights so I am excited to see Christmas decor. For this year, I mailed an extra Christmas tree to my mom’s house to make sure we have Christmas decor in both countries. 


I was looking for more of the Alaska feel; Texas was a culture shock. I like the society and the people, and how kind everyone is. Everyone I talked to was positive about Baku. Moving to Baku, we like the international school system, and it gives us new places to explore including Athens, Istanbul and this is a great way to expose our children to different cultures, foods and experiences.

In terms of careers, I like the small town feel in Baku that is similar to Alaska. Data makes me happy, and in Alaska we were ahead in data and processes, and I have found Baku is also data driven and has great processes . This is enabling me to progress in my career and offers an exciting living experience. The office includes a handful of expats, but it is predominantly locals. On my team, I am the only expat. On the facilities side, there is one expat.


I like the small town feel in Baku  - Whitney King



David Hooks (ARCO O&G 1985-1992, ARCO International 1992-1996) has recently completed renovation of a 1937 Sinclair gas station in Henrietta, Texas. After leaving ARCO in 1996, Hooks spent 25 years with DeGolyer & MacNaughton in Dallas, Texas. After purchasing some property in 2009 near Henrietta, the Hooks started acquiring and renovating buildings in Henrietta. The third and fourth buildings happened to be a 1937 Sinclair station and an associated oil distribution building.

A number of years were required to purchase the Sinclair buildings, but eventually the family decided the time was right to sell and then the work began. The buildings had been previously used as an inspection station and a beauty parlor, and had fallen into advanced states of disrepair over the years. Virtually every window and door had been covered or bricked over and were all restored and refitted. Each building was demoed, then new plumbing, electrical, insulation and HVAC installed.

The exterior of the buildings had been painted completely over, requiring both to be pressure washed to remove the brown paint. The original Sinclair green tiles that were broken or missing were replaced, the original tile roof was replaced, and the original bright white exterior repainted. Porcelain signs duplicating the 1937 signs were commissioned and installed in the original locations. This website shares the progress made as the buildings were cleaned up and repurposed.

Eventually, the two buildings will be transformed into some sort of coffee shop and/or retail establishment, but currently they are used as meeting venues. The area between the two buildings is being closed in, with both ends of the enclosure designed to be opened to let air circulate on nice days.
Restoring the Sinclair was a challenging and rewarding project- the buildings are such recognizable architectural examples of the 1930’s Sinclair stations they deserve to be returned to their original state. While the Sinclair is almost complete, Hooks has already begun work on another station- a 1930’s Texaco across the street.

We happened to end up renovating a 1937 Sinclair station  - David Hooks

The broken or missing green Sinclair tiles were replaced   - David Hooks



Energy Alumni gatherings started in Houston this year after the Anchorage winter lunch closed out 2022. Then came a record turnout at O'Malley's in August followed by a chance to network in San Antonio where SPE ATCE was hosted. The idea for the SPE happy hour was a result of learning that Terry Palisch is the fourth ARCO legacy employee to lead the organization.  “I am excited to carry on the legacy of the multiple SPE Presidents who are ARCO Alumni…a testament to the company,” said Terry. Terry and his wife, Sandy, also an ARCO alumnus, live in Dallas.

Outgoing SPE President and Chevron Emeritus Med Kamal welcomed incoming President Terry Palisch, Carbo Ceramics during an auspicious week. "This week we saw record output in the US," shared Med at the Energy Alumni happy hour. Also at the networking happy hour were Gerardo Cedillo and Vivek Peraser who learned about Energy Alumni from Rana ElGhonimy. All three of the BP Alalska alumni are now working for BP in Houston. Thank you, Rana, for spreading the word! Search the website, and if you find someone who is in the industry andd not yet a member, spread the word - we have events in Anchorage, Dallas, Houston, The Woodlands and other locations. Even if you can't make an event, joining this community will keep you connected through the newsletter and by logging on and seeing who has updated their profile.

Alaska residents at the Energy Alumni happy hour in San Antonio included Chantal and Tom Walsh, PRA; Andy Bond, Santos and his wife Lori and David Lachance who flew from Anchorage to San Antonio to see a friend receiving an award at one of the programs. David was able to catch up with BP Alaska friends who had left Anchorage for Houston and other places and were attending SPE ATCE. 

Other Alaska alums included Scott and Kim Smith who departed for the US in 1994 and made it as far as Calgary where they have since called home. They shared some good laughs with Keith Lynch who recently watched a video of Scott roasting Keith when he left Alaska in 1992. Kemp and Janet Copeland are neighbors of Susan and Keith Lynch. They live outside of San Antonio in Boerne, Texas. Also living in Boerne is Larry Parnell, who has been running a family business and shared that three of his children attended University in the UK - "it costs less and the quality of students is high" shared Larry.

Renewables were also a topic of conversation, including by the lunch speaker on Monday. Tom Walker relocated from Denver to The Woodlands with Occidental Petroleum,

who are working on a Carbon Removal Credit Purchase, invested in by Amazon and the US government in a bid to be carbon neutral by 2040.

William Cobb, an ARCO Alumnus and a past SPE President, gave a moving speech at an SPE lunch where he shared the reasons he gives back. "When I was a boy I was more interested in receiving, but now I am happy to give back, and SPE played an important role in my career development."

Pictured are ARCO alums who were SPE Presidents Med Kamal, Janeen Judah, now the Foundation President for 2024, and current SPE President Terry Palisch.

Page 1 of 4