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GEM Program salutes its veterans (Adam DeRito – July 2014)

July 1, 2014

During the month of July, the GEM Program would like to thank all military veterans who are a part of the GEM Community. Throughout the month, our GEM’s Gem blog will be celebrating the accomplishments of several of these patriots.

GEM Program veterans include: Greg Adam, Daniel Alexander, Charlie Barker, Eddie Billmeyer, Tom Briggs, Mark Broses, Greg Carpenter, GEM lecturer Terri Carver, Adam DeRito, Dustin Eiland, Bill Erhardt, Kyle Frazer, Jim Goodrich, Melinda Harrington, Michael MacFarlane, Doug Pearlman, Park Pratt, Marty Rodin, Jermaine Starks, James Steen, Matthew Willey, Mary Ann Zehr.

GEM’s Gems July 2014 – Adam DeRito

Adam DeRito is a native New Yorker who grew up in New Jersey and witnessed the 9/11 attacks from his home town in West Milford, New Jersey.

“My cousin, Michael McHugh, was killed on the 92nd floAdam DeRitoor of World Trade Center Tower #1 while working for Cantor Fitzgerald,” DeRito said. “This inspired me at a young age to join the U.S. military.”

DeRito, 26, came from a family lineage with a long military history including service in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the first Gulf War.

“I believed that it was my turn to serve my country as well,” he said. “I had always wanted become a pilot and be the first person in my family to go to college. I decided that the U.S. military would provide me with the education, leadership skills, and training that I would need in my future career when I entered the civilian world.”

At a young age, DeRito was a member of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary and attained the rank of Cadet 2nd Lieutenant at the age of 16. While in high school, he became a certified Emergency Medical Technician, fire fighter, and Search and Rescue Technician.

“This allowed me to remain focused in my studies, and I was able to obtain a GPA of 3.89, receiving a Congressional nomination to the United States Air Force Academy, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as a member of the Class of 2010.”

As a cadet, DeRito was a member of the United States Air Force. In 2008, he applied to the U.S. Marine Corps Bulldog Program and was accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy Cross Commissioning Program. He graduated from the U.S. Marine Officer Candidate School in July 2009 and returned to the U.S. Air Force Academy to complete his last two semesters as a U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Senior (Firstie).

“With the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps, I have been all over the country, having the opportunities to serve in various roles and participating in numerous training programs,” DeRito said.

DeRito is a member of the GEM Program’s Cohort XI and an Operator for Noble Energy, based out of Houston, Texas. As a Lease Operator, he is directly responsible for optimizing oil and natural gas production from over 116 oil and gas wells in Weld County, Colorado.

“The Global Energy Management Program has exponentially helped me in my energy career,” DeRito said. “Since I am in the oil and gas industry, I became introduced to many of the other energy sectors. However, it was not until the GEM program that I really began to understand the nuclear, solar, wind, electric, coal, and geothermal industries.”

Briefly describe your current role and responsibilities.
As a Lease Operator for Noble Energy, I am directly responsible for optimizing oil and natural gas production from over 116 oil and gas wells in Weld County, Colorado. In the production department of Noble Energy based in Greeley, CO, I have been given the task to maintain and efficiently operate numerous production sites, dispatch cruel oil for market distribution, ensure natural gas is being sold into the natural gas supply lines, and ensure that every production facility is under strict environmental compliance for safety, emissions, and environmental containment.

What do you enjoy most about working in the energy industry?
Working in the oil and gas industry has really immersed me into a sustainable career field where the engineering is always improving, new processes are always being invented, and the technology involved in all of these processes is highly exciting. Being on the tip of the spear in the American energy independence movement is a humbling and honorable experience. With the main objectives of Noble Energy being bettering people’s lives and energizing the world, we are actively protecting the environment, integrating efficient “Green” technologies in our processes, and maximizing production while minimizing environmental impact. Being part of this team has been an incredible experience that I am proud to be a part of.

Why did you choose the GEM program at CU Denver?
When I first left the military, I had the mindset of many who had also just ended their service time: achieve a degree in political science and keep trying to work for the government or the private sector. However, what I realized was that a master’s degree in political science was not really that special in the current demanding job market and would not make me stand out among my peers. With the unconventional oil and gas boom in the United States, I decided to take advantage of an amazing opportunity in a very stable job market. Achieving a specialized Master of Science degree in Global Energy Management really separates your marketability in the energy industry, makes you more attractive to employers, and gives you the specific skill necessary to be successful in not just the oil and gas industry, but any of the energy industries. Having more knowledgeable people who are willing to educate the public and innovate for the future are essential to the American energy independence movement and the global energy market.

What are some of your favorite things to do during cohort weekends?
On the cohort weekends, some of my favorite things to do are exploring the Denver nightlife and discovering new restaurants, craft brews, and foods in the culturally diverse Denver cityscape. I also enjoy country dancing at the Grizzly Rose and flying recreational aircraft out of Centennial airport with the Aspen flying club.

What are some of the things that you never forget to bring to cohort weekends?
The most essential thing for me on cohort weekends would definitely be a good cup of coffee to start the mornings off. They are long days and require a lot of attention and absorption of knowledge; getting a good night sleep always helps with this. Do not forget the mainstays of the class room: your laptop, a few good pens, a note book to take notes on the fly, your computer charger, cell phone, and of course phone charger. Come prepared to class by doing the readings and being able to participate actively in the lectures.

Please share a story about GEM that will entertain other students.
One of my favorite experiences in the GEM Program was Professor Rubenstein’s domestic energy class in Washington D.C. Even though I am from the East Coast, many things have changed since I left in 2006. Two other GEM Program students and I had quite an entertaining cab ride from Regan International Airport to the hotel. Our cab driver’s driving skills were a little scary, and we did many circles around the city in the pouring rain until we finally arrived at our destination; nothing that could not be solved with some excellent sushi and a few beers.

Is there anything else new in your life that you would like to add?
Due to the excellent professors in the GEM Program, I was able to attain a high enough GPA in the GEM Program and was accepted into the Golden Key International Honour Society last semester. The CU Denver Business School is really building leaders in a competitive market, and I am proud to be a graduate student here in Denver, Colorado.

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