Who is WISTA USA?

WISTA USA, founded in 1997, is among the largest National WISTA Associations (NWAs) worldwide, with over 700 members spread across eleven regional Chapters: Connecticut; Delaware River & Bay Area; Florida; Great Lakes/Midwest; New England; New Orleans; New York / New Jersey; the Pacific Northwest (Alaska, Washington, and Oregon); Texas; Washington, DC Metro; and West Coast (California and Hawai’i).

Who is WISTA USA?

Schedule

Our schedule is continually evolving! Please check back for details.

  • Day 1 17 June 2021
  • Day 2 18 June 2021
  • Day 3 19 June 2021
  • Off-Site
06:00 PM - 08:00 PMWelcome Reception

Welcome Reception Thursday March 19, 2020  6pm – 8pm, at Irma’s Southwest 1475 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX 77002

(Conference Attendees, WISTA Members, and their guests)  

  • Hotel Zaza
  • Houston Museum of Natural Sciences Weiss Energy Hall
07:00 AM - 08:00 AMRegistration Breakfast By WISTA USAWISTA USA

Please register and join us for a networking breakfast in the Phantom Room on the 1st Floor of the Hotel ZaZa.

08:00 AM - 12:00 PMWISTA USA Annual General Meeting By WISTA USAWISTA USA

WISTA members only

Dress Code: Business Casual

Venue: Hotel ZaZa – Phantom Room (1st Floor)

12:00 PM - 01:10 PMKeynote Luncheon By Capt. Joy HallConocoPhillips Polar Tankers

All conference attendees and WISTA members.

Venue: Grapevine Ballroom – Hotel Zaza, 11th Floor

01:10 PM - 01:15 PMWelcome to Diverse Energy Conference By Jackie MinnichAgility GIL

Welcome to Houston message from WISTA USA’s Texas Chapter President, Jackie Minnich.

Venue: Phantom Ballroom – Hotel ZaZa, 1st Floor

01:15 PM - 01:40 PMChemicals By Lisa WilliamsDow

Speaker: Lisa Williams – Strategic Sourcing Director, The Dow Chemical Company.

Venue: Phantom Ballroom, Hotel Zaza – 1st Floor.

01:40 PM - 02:05 PMOil & Gas By Allen BrooksG. Allen Brooks LLC

Speaker: Allen Brooks – G. Allen Brooks, LLC

Venue: Phantom Ballroom, Hotel ZaZa, 1st Floor

02:05 PM - 02:30 PMLNG By Julie NelsonCheniere Energy, Inc.

Speaker: Julie Nelson – VP, State Government Affairs at Cheniere Energy, Inc.

Venue: Phantom Ballroom, Hotel ZaZa – 1st Floor

02:30 PM - 03:00 PMQ & A of SpeakersWISTA USA

Venue: Phantom Ballroom, Hotel ZaZa – 1st Floor

03:00 PM - 03:15 PMCoffee / Networking Break By WISTA USASponsor tbd

Venue: Phantom Ballroom and anteroom, Hotel ZaZa – 1st Floor

03:15 PM - 03:30 PMDiversity & Inclusion By Ally CedenoWomen Offshore

Speaker: Ally Cedeno, Founder of Women Offshore.

Venue: Phantom Ballroom, Hotel ZaZa – 1st Floor.

03:30 PM - 04:10 PMDiversity & Inclusion Panel By Nicole Rodriguez, James Spear, Lucas Vos, Lisa WilliamsUSCG, Cheniere Energy, Stolt Tanker Trading, Dow

Panelists: Nicole Rodriguez, U.S. Coast Guard; James Spear, Cheniere Energy, Inc.; Lucas Vos, Stolt Tankers; and Lisa Williams, The Dow Chemical Company.

Venue: Phantom Ballroom, Hotel ZaZa – 1st Floor.

04:10 PMCoffee / Networking Break By Sponsor TBDSponsor TBD

Venue: Phantom Ballroom & anteroom, Hotel ZaZa – 1st Floor

04:25 PM - 04:40 PMPersonal Energy / Secure Bases By Peggy Hoeegh GraysStolt Tankers USA, Inc.

Speaker: Peggy Hoegh Grays, Ship Operator, Stolt Tankers USA, and CEO GraysOwn LLC

Venue: Phantom Ballroom, Hotel ZaZa – 1st Floor.

04:40 PM - 04:55 PMBuilding a Bridge By James SpearLambda NextGen

Speaker: James Spear, President Lambda NextGen

Venue: Phantom Ballroom, Hotel ZaZa – 1st Floor.

04:55 PM - 05:00 PMClosing Remarks By Jackie MinnichAgility GIL

Speaker: Jackie Minnich, Marine Strategic Account Manager, Agility; and President, WISTA USA’s Texas Chapter.

Venue: Phantom Ballroom, Hotel ZaZa – 1st Floor.

07:00 PM - 11:00 PMGala Dinner By WISTA USAWISTA USA

All conference attendees welcome.

Houston Museum of Natural Science   Wiess Energy Hall

5555 Hermann Park Dr., Houston, Texas  77030

(This is a five-minute walk from the Hotel ZaZa.)

Dress Code: Cocktail Attire

  • Off-Site
09:00 AM - 12:00 AMMorning Excursion Option 1 – Sam Houston Boat Tour

Sam Houston Boat Tour will only allow us to reserve space for 45 people.

Our tour is set for 10:00 AM. We will gather in the lobby for transportation to the port together. We should be ready to depart for the port at 9:00 AM. The tour is free but you will be responsible for fee for transport to the Port and back. More details to follow on your information email sent out early March.

The M/V Sam Houston has been operating as Port Houston’s public tour vessel since its inaugural voyage on July 30, 1958. This free service offers a leisurely, 90-minute round-trip, educational tour along the Houston Ship Channel. Individuals and groups are invited aboard to learn more about the port and maritime industry.

Embarking from Port Houston’s Sam Houston Landing, visiting sightseers aboard the M/V Sam Houston can enjoy passing views of international cargo vessels and operations at the port’s Turning Basin Terminal. The 95-ft. vessel features air-conditioned, lounge seating, as well as standing room outside on the boat’s deck.

Tour address: 7300 Clinton Drive, Houston, Texas 77020

Note: Regularly scheduled tours may be canceled without advanced notice. Before traveling to the Port of Houston, please check this web site for information on the status of your tour. https://porthouston.com/sam-houston-boat-tour/

08:30 AMMorning Excursion Option 2 – Walk with a Doc

Walk with a Doc – Walk with a Doc is a walking program for everyone interested in taking steps for a healthier lifestyle. What better way to start your weekend than on your feet making strides to help your heart and improving your general health to live longer! While you walk at your own pace, you’ll have the opportunity to have questions answered by local physicians.

We will gather in the lobby of Hotel Zaza at 830AM and walk over to Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park (0.5 mile walk). There we will meet up with other “Walk with a Doc” participates and explore the Houston museum district and Hermann Park area. This event is completely free of charge.

Speakers

Capt. Joy HallDirector Marine Training

Joy Hall is the Marine Training Director for ConocoPhillips’ Polar Tankers organization and is responsible for the development, implementation and compliance of marine training programs for 350 shore-side and sea-going employees. She has 30 years of experiential knowledge in Maritime Operations, Project Management and Organization Change Management.

Before coming ashore to manage major capital projects in the Oil & Gas business, she sailed around the globe on ships as a maritime officer for 10 years, attaining an Unlimited Master’s credential. She attended Texas A&M University and received a B.S. in Marine Transportation and the University of Houston where she acquired a B.S. in Psychology.

She serves on the Board of the Oilfield Energy Center (OEC) as Chairman of the OEC SOCIETY; is on the Board of SeaSisters.org; was President of the Women's International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) - Houston Chapter from 2012-2016; is an Ambassador of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center; and is a certified Personal and Professional Performance Coach.

Capt. Joy HallDirector Marine Training

Joy Hall is the Marine Training Director for ConocoPhillips’ Polar Tankers organization and is responsible for the development, implementation and compliance of marine training programs for 350 shore-side and sea-going employees. She has 30 years of experiential knowledge in Maritime Operations, Project Management and Organization Change Management.

Before coming ashore to manage major capital projects in the Oil & Gas business, she sailed around the globe on ships as a maritime officer for 10 years, attaining an Unlimited Master’s credential. She attended Texas A&M University and received a B.S. in Marine Transportation and the University of Houston where she acquired a B.S. in Psychology.

She serves on the Board of the Oilfield Energy Center (OEC) as Chairman of the OEC SOCIETY; is on the Board of SeaSisters.org; was President of the Women's International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) - Houston Chapter from 2012-2016; is an Ambassador of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center; and is a certified Personal and Professional Performance Coach.

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Lisa WilliamsBulk Marine and Terminal Sourcing Director Logistics Strategic Sourcing Center Dow Global Purchasing

Lisa Williams received a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas and a Master’s in Manufacturing Management from The Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania. She joined Dow in 1998 as a Mechanical/PCE Design Engineer and led several million-dollar design projects. In 2001 she transitioned her career into Supply Chain serving in various business planning and supply chain improvement roles until ultimately becoming a Subject Matter Expert in the Supply Chain Technology and Expertise Center. In 2010 she followed her passion for education and change management by taking a role in the Diamond Systems Solution organization traveling to Brazil, India, and the Middle East training employees on new supply chain technology. In 2015, Lisa again transitioned her career into the Global Purchasing organization where she creates strategy and leads that buys over $100 million in equipment and services for Dow each year. In 2018, Lisa moved to Midland and now manages a portfolio of marine transportation and terminal services at almost $1 billion. Lisa is a Six Sigma Engineering Black Belt, and APICS Supply Chain CPIM and CSCP certified. Lisa has participated in several elite Dow senior leadership programs such as the HH Dow Academy, Lead To Exceed, and the Dow Leadership Institute.

In addition to her core role, Lisa has been on the Global African Affinity Network (GAAN) Leadership Council since its inception in 2000 and is now one of the Co-Chairs responsible for developing the organization strategy and implementation leader teams. She is a veteran Dow recruiter for both alma maters and maintains an active relationship with university talent. She has led Dow’s Texas MS 150 cycling team for 8 years in the fight against multiple sclerosis, coordinating with over 125 rider to raise over $750,000 during her tenure. Lisa is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Public Service Sorority, Incorporated and believes in giving back to the communities that have so richly colored her life. Just recently, Lisa joined the Midland Area Community Foundation grant committee and looking forward to begin serving the Midland community.

Lisa is a native Houstonian, and currently resides in Midland, MI. Lisa is a strong fitness and nutrition advocate and supports various public service organizations.

Lisa WilliamsBulk Marine and Terminal Sourcing Director Logistics Strategic Sourcing Center Dow Global Purchasing

Lisa Williams received a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas and a Master’s in Manufacturing Management from The Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania. She joined Dow in 1998 as a Mechanical/PCE Design Engineer and led several million-dollar design projects. In 2001 she transitioned her career into Supply Chain serving in various business planning and supply chain improvement roles until ultimately becoming a Subject Matter Expert in the Supply Chain Technology and Expertise Center. In 2010 she followed her passion for education and change management by taking a role in the Diamond Systems Solution organization traveling to Brazil, India, and the Middle East training employees on new supply chain technology. In 2015, Lisa again transitioned her career into the Global Purchasing organization where she creates strategy and leads that buys over $100 million in equipment and services for Dow each year. In 2018, Lisa moved to Midland and now manages a portfolio of marine transportation and terminal services at almost $1 billion. Lisa is a Six Sigma Engineering Black Belt, and APICS Supply Chain CPIM and CSCP certified. Lisa has participated in several elite Dow senior leadership programs such as the HH Dow Academy, Lead To Exceed, and the Dow Leadership Institute.

In addition to her core role, Lisa has been on the Global African Affinity Network (GAAN) Leadership Council since its inception in 2000 and is now one of the Co-Chairs responsible for developing the organization strategy and implementation leader teams. She is a veteran Dow recruiter for both alma maters and maintains an active relationship with university talent. She has led Dow’s Texas MS 150 cycling team for 8 years in the fight against multiple sclerosis, coordinating with over 125 rider to raise over $750,000 during her tenure. Lisa is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Public Service Sorority, Incorporated and believes in giving back to the communities that have so richly colored her life. Just recently, Lisa joined the Midland Area Community Foundation grant committee and looking forward to begin serving the Midland community.

Lisa is a native Houstonian, and currently resides in Midland, MI. Lisa is a strong fitness and nutrition advocate and supports various public service organizations.

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Allen BrooksFinancial & Business Consultant

Mr. Brooks has had a distinguished 50-year career in the energy and investment industries as an energy securities analyst, an oilfield service company manager, a consultant to energy company managements and a member of the board of directors of several oilfield service companies. Since early 2005, Mr. Brooks has been an advisor to PPHB, a Houston-based boutique oilfield service investment banking firm. There he publishes his highly regarded energy newsletter, Musings From the Oil Patch and contributes to the firm’s Tech Musings. He also provides proprietary research for the firm’s partners.

During his career, Mr. Brooks was recognized as a Wall Street Journal All-Star analyst. He headed the oilfield service equity research team at CIBC World Markets for eight years and prior to that was with New Orleans-based energy research firm, Howard Weil for four years. In the early 1990s, Mr. Brooks was a member of the senior management team of ENSCO International, the offshore contract drilling company, which is now Valaris plc.

In the late 1980s, Mr. Brooks served as the court-appointed expert in the bankruptcy of Global Marine Drilling Company and assisted the U.S. Maritime Administration in all their offshore drilling contractor and oilfield supply vessel company bankruptcies at that time.

Mr. Brooks writes the Eye on Energy column for Maritime Executive magazine, as well as an oil and gas column for Ocean News & Technology.

Currently, Mr. Brooks is the lead director and chair of the Governance Committee of Trican Well Service Ltd., a Canadian oilfield service company. He started his investment career in 1969; is an Economics graduate of the University of Connecticut and has an M.S. degree in Economics from Cornell University. He received his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1975.

Allen BrooksFinancial & Business Consultant

Mr. Brooks has had a distinguished 50-year career in the energy and investment industries as an energy securities analyst, an oilfield service company manager, a consultant to energy company managements and a member of the board of directors of several oilfield service companies. Since early 2005, Mr. Brooks has been an advisor to PPHB, a Houston-based boutique oilfield service investment banking firm. There he publishes his highly regarded energy newsletter, Musings From the Oil Patch and contributes to the firm’s Tech Musings. He also provides proprietary research for the firm’s partners.

During his career, Mr. Brooks was recognized as a Wall Street Journal All-Star analyst. He headed the oilfield service equity research team at CIBC World Markets for eight years and prior to that was with New Orleans-based energy research firm, Howard Weil for four years. In the early 1990s, Mr. Brooks was a member of the senior management team of ENSCO International, the offshore contract drilling company, which is now Valaris plc.

In the late 1980s, Mr. Brooks served as the court-appointed expert in the bankruptcy of Global Marine Drilling Company and assisted the U.S. Maritime Administration in all their offshore drilling contractor and oilfield supply vessel company bankruptcies at that time.

Mr. Brooks writes the Eye on Energy column for Maritime Executive magazine, as well as an oil and gas column for Ocean News & Technology.

Currently, Mr. Brooks is the lead director and chair of the Governance Committee of Trican Well Service Ltd., a Canadian oilfield service company. He started his investment career in 1969; is an Economics graduate of the University of Connecticut and has an M.S. degree in Economics from Cornell University. He received his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1975.

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Julie NelsonVice President, State & Local Government Affairs

Ms. Nelson joined Cheniere in August 2018 as Vice President, State and Local Government Affairs. Ms. Nelson is responsible for safeguarding Cheniere’s license to operate at the state and local level for all Cheniere locations within the U.S. She also manages corporate giving, ensuring that the company is investing within the communities where Cheniere employees work and live.

Ms. Nelson has extensive experience in the energy, maritime and transportation industries. Prior to joining Cheniere, Ms. Nelson was a Principal Consultant for Boardwalk Pipeline and a Senior Counselor at Strategic Public Affairs, a Houston based public affairs consulting firm. Her LNG experience includes Vice President of Government Relations & Public Affairs at Cameron LNG and Head of Government Affairs for the U.S. and Mexico at BG Group (acquired by Shell). She has also served as a senior political appointee under President George W. Bush at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration.

Julie holds a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Indiana University along with a master’s degree in maritime and admiralty law from Tulane University. She has authored and presented papers at many international conferences focusing on social imperatives for LNG projects and LNG shipping opportunities. In the U.S., she has been a featured speaker at natural gas, maritime and transportation conferences.

Julie NelsonVice President, State & Local Government Affairs

Ms. Nelson joined Cheniere in August 2018 as Vice President, State and Local Government Affairs. Ms. Nelson is responsible for safeguarding Cheniere’s license to operate at the state and local level for all Cheniere locations within the U.S. She also manages corporate giving, ensuring that the company is investing within the communities where Cheniere employees work and live.

Ms. Nelson has extensive experience in the energy, maritime and transportation industries. Prior to joining Cheniere, Ms. Nelson was a Principal Consultant for Boardwalk Pipeline and a Senior Counselor at Strategic Public Affairs, a Houston based public affairs consulting firm. Her LNG experience includes Vice President of Government Relations & Public Affairs at Cameron LNG and Head of Government Affairs for the U.S. and Mexico at BG Group (acquired by Shell). She has also served as a senior political appointee under President George W. Bush at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration.

Julie holds a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Indiana University along with a master’s degree in maritime and admiralty law from Tulane University. She has authored and presented papers at many international conferences focusing on social imperatives for LNG projects and LNG shipping opportunities. In the U.S., she has been a featured speaker at natural gas, maritime and transportation conferences.

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Ally CedenoFounder of Women Offshore

Ally Cedeno is the Founder of Women Offshore and a 2008 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. She is licensed as a chief mate of unlimited tonnage vessels and dynamic positioning operator. Ally's experience on the water spans both the maritime and offshore energy industries over the last 11 years. Her latest vessel was a 7th-generation, ultra-deepwater drillship built in South Korea in 2017. Ally spent much of her career at sea as one of the only women in operations on the vessels she worked on, yet she is determined to change that with Women Offshore, an online organization and resource center for a diverse workforce on the water. Women Offshore shines a light on women in operations, provides resources to foster long-term careers, and shares the latest efforts on gender diversity and inclusion in the offshore and maritime industries.

Ally CedenoFounder of Women Offshore

Ally Cedeno is the Founder of Women Offshore and a 2008 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. She is licensed as a chief mate of unlimited tonnage vessels and dynamic positioning operator. Ally's experience on the water spans both the maritime and offshore energy industries over the last 11 years. Her latest vessel was a 7th-generation, ultra-deepwater drillship built in South Korea in 2017. Ally spent much of her career at sea as one of the only women in operations on the vessels she worked on, yet she is determined to change that with Women Offshore, an online organization and resource center for a diverse workforce on the water. Women Offshore shines a light on women in operations, provides resources to foster long-term careers, and shares the latest efforts on gender diversity and inclusion in the offshore and maritime industries.

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James SpearPresident of Lambda NextGen

James is currently a marine assurance coordinator with a U.S. LNG company, as well as the President of Lambda NextGen, an LGBTQ+ young professionals’ network in Houston.
A third-generation seafarer, James graduated from the State University of New York Maritime College with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation. He has sailed as a deck officer onboard LNG tankers and crude oil tankers with Shell International Trading and Shipping Company and ExxonMobil, respectively. In addition to his time at sea, James worked in ExxonMobil’s marine affiliate, completing assignments in global chartering support, voyage operations, and marine optimization of crude and feedstock movements.
James is passionate about building inclusive and sustainable communities in the maritime and energy industries, particularly through company initiatives and corporate/community partnerships. In addition to his work with Lambda NextGen, James serves on the Advisory Committee of Cheniere’s Women Inspiring and Leading Success (WILS), as a Council Member with the Nautical Institute, and as a delegate to the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). He currently holds a USCG Merchant Marine Second Officer License of Unlimited Tonnage.

James SpearPresident of Lambda NextGen

James is currently a marine assurance coordinator with a U.S. LNG company, as well as the President of Lambda NextGen, an LGBTQ+ young professionals’ network in Houston.
A third-generation seafarer, James graduated from the State University of New York Maritime College with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation. He has sailed as a deck officer onboard LNG tankers and crude oil tankers with Shell International Trading and Shipping Company and ExxonMobil, respectively. In addition to his time at sea, James worked in ExxonMobil’s marine affiliate, completing assignments in global chartering support, voyage operations, and marine optimization of crude and feedstock movements.
James is passionate about building inclusive and sustainable communities in the maritime and energy industries, particularly through company initiatives and corporate/community partnerships. In addition to his work with Lambda NextGen, James serves on the Advisory Committee of Cheniere’s Women Inspiring and Leading Success (WILS), as a Council Member with the Nautical Institute, and as a delegate to the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). He currently holds a USCG Merchant Marine Second Officer License of Unlimited Tonnage.

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Lucas VosPresident

Lucas was appointed President of Stolt Tankers in October 2019. He previously spent 12 years at Nedlloyd Lines and subsequently P&O Nedlloyd in various management roles until it became a part of Maersk. From 2008 to 2013 he remained at Maersk Line, Denmark where he was the Executive Board member overseeing IT, HR, strategy, and its global service centers. His most recent role at Maersk was as Chief Commercial Officer for Maersk Line. In 2014, he joined the cooperative Royal FloraHolland and spent four years as CEO. In this role, he was responsible for the creation and launch of a new digital ecosystem strategy.
Lucas lives with his husband Bart in Amsterdam. They have been together for 30 years and have lived in many different countries together. It makes him very appreciative of the importance of diversity and also relate to the hurdles others see to get there.

Lucas VosPresident

Lucas was appointed President of Stolt Tankers in October 2019. He previously spent 12 years at Nedlloyd Lines and subsequently P&O Nedlloyd in various management roles until it became a part of Maersk. From 2008 to 2013 he remained at Maersk Line, Denmark where he was the Executive Board member overseeing IT, HR, strategy, and its global service centers. His most recent role at Maersk was as Chief Commercial Officer for Maersk Line. In 2014, he joined the cooperative Royal FloraHolland and spent four years as CEO. In this role, he was responsible for the creation and launch of a new digital ecosystem strategy.
Lucas lives with his husband Bart in Amsterdam. They have been together for 30 years and have lived in many different countries together. It makes him very appreciative of the importance of diversity and also relate to the hurdles others see to get there.

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Commander Nicole RodriguezChief, Prevention Dept, Sector Houston-Galveston

Commander Nicole Rodriguez serves as Chief of Prevention for Sector Houston-Galveston. She oversees foreign and domestic vessel compliance, port facility safety and security, ports and waterways management, aids to navigation, as well as marine causality investigations for the largest petro-chemical port in the United States.

Previously she was Commanding Officer of Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge representing Sector New Orleans in execution of Captain of the Port, Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection, Federal On-Scene Coordinator & Federal Maritime Security authorities. Other operational tours include Chief of the Investigations Division for Sector Baltimore, where she was responsible for the investigation of all marine incidents on the upper Chesapeake Bay; and Chief of Port Facilities for Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach where she was responsible for implementing the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Commander Rodriguez served as Chief of Inspections and Investigations for the Eighth Coast Guard District headquartered in New Orleans, and was responsible for the District’s marine safety, security, and stewardship initiatives for 26 states including the inland waterways system and Gulf of Mexico. In addition, she served as Program Reviewer for the Coast Guard’s Human Resources directorate, the Offices of Shore and Boat Forces, and Search and Rescue Directorate while assigned to the Office of Budget and Programs at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Commander Rodriguez holds a Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University and a Masters in Public Administration from The George Washington University.

Commander Nicole RodriguezChief, Prevention Dept, Sector Houston-Galveston

Commander Nicole Rodriguez serves as Chief of Prevention for Sector Houston-Galveston. She oversees foreign and domestic vessel compliance, port facility safety and security, ports and waterways management, aids to navigation, as well as marine causality investigations for the largest petro-chemical port in the United States.

Previously she was Commanding Officer of Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge representing Sector New Orleans in execution of Captain of the Port, Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection, Federal On-Scene Coordinator & Federal Maritime Security authorities. Other operational tours include Chief of the Investigations Division for Sector Baltimore, where she was responsible for the investigation of all marine incidents on the upper Chesapeake Bay; and Chief of Port Facilities for Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach where she was responsible for implementing the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Commander Rodriguez served as Chief of Inspections and Investigations for the Eighth Coast Guard District headquartered in New Orleans, and was responsible for the District’s marine safety, security, and stewardship initiatives for 26 states including the inland waterways system and Gulf of Mexico. In addition, she served as Program Reviewer for the Coast Guard’s Human Resources directorate, the Offices of Shore and Boat Forces, and Search and Rescue Directorate while assigned to the Office of Budget and Programs at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Commander Rodriguez holds a Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University and a Masters in Public Administration from The George Washington University.

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Peggy Høegh GraysShip Operator with Stolt Tankers USA Inc., and the founder and CEO of GraysOwn LLC

Peggy Høegh Grays is a ship operator with Stolt Tankers USA Inc., and the founder and CEO of GraysOwn LLC, a maritime training and consulting firm based in Houston Texas. GraysOwn specializes in training programs for shore side employees in the maritime industry from a practical perspective. Training is a passion for which Peggy won the price for best thesis, while graduating her MBA in Shipping and Logistics from Copenhagen Business School (CBS) in 2019. She is dedicated to growing especially entry level employees in the maritime industry, in order for them to gain thorough knowledge of the basic terms early in their career, as well as, providing tips and tricks on optimizing vessel operations.

Peggy Høegh GraysShip Operator with Stolt Tankers USA Inc., and the founder and CEO of GraysOwn LLC

Peggy Høegh Grays is a ship operator with Stolt Tankers USA Inc., and the founder and CEO of GraysOwn LLC, a maritime training and consulting firm based in Houston Texas. GraysOwn specializes in training programs for shore side employees in the maritime industry from a practical perspective. Training is a passion for which Peggy won the price for best thesis, while graduating her MBA in Shipping and Logistics from Copenhagen Business School (CBS) in 2019. She is dedicated to growing especially entry level employees in the maritime industry, in order for them to gain thorough knowledge of the basic terms early in their career, as well as, providing tips and tricks on optimizing vessel operations.

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Jackie Minnich

President, WISTA Texas Chapter

Jackie Minnich

President, WISTA Texas Chapter

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2021 WISTA USA Annual General Meeting

As one of the busiest ports in the USA, Houston is a perfect place for us to come together to discuss the topic of Diverse Energy - from the chemical industry, to oil and gas, and renewable products. Of course diverse energy also includes gender diversity and inclusion and its role in driving the industry forward.