KenJiva and the AABE 2008 Entrepreneur’s Forum

We are Live from Houston Texas!

The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE®) celebrates 3+ decades as an advocate for minority involvement in energy issues, policies and technologies at its National Conference in Houston,Texas.  “Advancing the Understanding of Energy … from local to global”  was the theme of the 4-day event. The 31st annual AABE National Conference focused on energy policy, strategy & technology and featured guest speakers from<across all sectors of the industry. The conference drew a record crowd of 525 attendees.

The conference opened with a keynote address by Chevron’s Vice-Chairman of the Board Peter Robertson. Peter discussed the “Six Myths that Prevent Energy Literacy.”
According to Peter, these myths are:

♦   Energy security can only be achieved by expanding supplies.

♦   Renewable fuels are the only long-term answer for energy security.

♦   Small entrepreneurs acting independently can lead us to energy security.

♦   Energy security is impossible because we are running out of oil.

♦   Private oil and gas companies are not investing in energy security.

♦   Energy security is impossible because of initiatives for reducing emissions and renewable technologies.

KenJiva founder Mark Handy attended the inaugural Energy Entrepreneur’s Forum.  Thanks to the work of the AABE National Energy Entrepreneur Committee Chair’s Dot Harris (GE Energy-Atlanta) and Tonja Wicks (DC), the event drew a crowd of over 75 minority-owned businesses.  Although there was quite a bit of talk around renewables and energy efficiency, the lion share of the entrepreneurs in attendance were either subcontractors to existing oil field services or samll firms looking to become part of the existing oil and gas supply chain. We were the only company representing what I see as the “new energy economy”.

Topics focused on the first experiences that minority entrepreneur’s face in the industry and how to finally build your own business. The do’sand don’ts when dealing in the energy arena were also explored. The forum also provided a networking demonstration where companies could form alliances with government agencies and major corporations. Featured panelists at the Forum included Steve Hightower,President of Hightower Petroleum Company;Vicky Bailey,President of Anderson Stratton International;Milton Scott,President of the Tagos Group;Greg White of Northwestern University and Jewel Smith, Supplier Diversity Manager at Centerpoint Energy.

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