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GEM’s Gems March 2013 – Kim Rodell

March 15, 2013
Kim Pix 1

Kim Rodell

GEM’s Gem, Kim Rodell, began working in the energy industry as a college student and has since testified in front of Congress, graduated from the GEM program, and launched her own business: Upstream Petroleum Management.

A native of Colorado, Rodell grew up nearby the oil and gas fields in the Denver Julesburg Basin. Her first job in the energy industry started in the late 1980s with the exploration division of Martin Oil, a Martin Exploration Company based out of Blue Island, Illinois. Rodell started as the receptionist while working her way through college. She later took a bookkeeper position in the company and worked alongside the accounting department. Following this, she was introduced to the exploration side of the organization. While putting herself through college and earning her pilot’s license, Rodell found a role piloting airplanes for company executives who regularly scanned the pipelines. Also, she continuously learned about petroleum exploration and production by taking on the position of office liaison to the field. She was introduced to various regulatory, production, and field operations including balancing oil tickets and gauging of wells.

Her experiences varied while domestic production was down and the oil and gas industry was depressed (an exciting time when oil reached $10.00/bbl). Rodell has always found the industry fascinating and in the early 2000’s re-entered the industry. She worked for more than nine years in the regulatory environment and earned her Master’s Degree from the Global Energy Management program in 2011.

Rodell, 43, since had the opportunity to be a proud member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance and is currently serving on the Western Energy Alliance Board of Advisors. She testified in front of Congress in March 2012 for the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulation on the topic of “Powering Down: Are Government Regulations Impeding Small Energy Producers and Harming Energy Security?”

She recently was afforded the opportunity to move forward with her clients from her previous employer and create her own business entity in the regulatory/permitting and project coordination arena. The doors of her new business, Upstream Petroleum Management, Inc., opened on March 3, 2013, and the company is off to a phenomenal start.

Briefly describe your current role and responsibilities.

My new company, Upstream Petroleum Management, Inc., offers regulatory and permitting expertise in the Rocky Mountain Region along with project coordination for oil and gas drilling projects.  We are experts in working in the regulatory arena to secure permits and act as government liaisons for oil and gas projects. We also work with numerous federal, state and local government agencies to ensure their client base is prepared for their upcoming drilling programs.

How has the GEM program benefited you and your company? Have you been promoted since you began the program?

GEM provided me additional business knowledge to move forward with becoming a business owner.  Along with my education came the comfort knowing that I was surrounded by some of the industries greatest growing professionals that I can utilize at any time for advice and knowledge. The GEM staff, professors, alumni and students are some of the most respected and knowledgeable in the industry. I have not been officially promoted but if you consider being your own boss, I’d definitely say I was I am in a different role.

What were some of your favorite things to do during cohort weekends?

Our cohort ALWAYS planned a group night out. These occasions are rarely missed by anyone and definitely enjoyed by all. The camaraderie of our cohort is hands-down number one. We always look forward to our group night which could be anything from a comedy club to bowling at Lucky Strike.

What are some of the things that you never forgot to bring to cohort weekends?

An open mind.  From the first to the last onsite weekend, the variety of experiences that each individual brought to the table always amazed me. A closed mind only limited your ability to learn from the varied experiences of your classmates whose combined wealth of information far exceeded anything you could get from a textbook.

Please share a story about GEM that will entertain other students.

Every GEM event has a story that comes with it.  But there has never been a time when I have attended a GEM event that I have felt like an outsider. The GEM community is truly a tight family where everyone is welcome. It is one of the most unique communities I have been a part of.

Why did you choose the GEM program at CU Denver?

I had looked for quite a while for a graduate program that fit my specific needs. When I was introduced to the GEM program my first reaction was, “Damn, now I have to go back to school.” GEM fit my individual needs for a business degree within the energy industry. The GEM staff and professors are always extremely professional and have exceeded any expectations I brought to the program.

Has GEM changed your perspective? If so, how so?

GEM may not have changed my perspective but has taught me to be open to a variety of different perspectives that present themselves. This alone has opened my eyes to a variety of various things I may have never paid attention to.

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