North American Oil & Gas Pipelines

NOV-DEC 2018

North American Oil & Gas Pipelines covers the news shaping the business of oil and gas pipeline construction and maintenance in North America, including pipeline installation methods, integrity management innovations and managerial strategies.

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18 North American Oil & Gas Pipelines | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2 018 C O V E R S T O R Y By Bradley Kramer T racy Townsend didn't take the most direct route to the pipe- line and utility industry. She has spent the last 17 years at Washington Gas, the 170-year-old lo- cal distribution company that serves Washington, D.C., Maryland and Vir- ginia. Once upon a time, though, she thought about becoming an attorney. Instead, Townsend found herself in the underground construction realm, pioneering a strategic alliance program between a local distribution company and a contractor. Her efforts showed it was both possible and practical to low- er costs while installing capital assets. Through collaboration and commu- nication Townsend negotiated a part- nering between Washington Gas and NPL Construction Co. that has had a lasting, positive impact on the two companies, serving as an example for the industry at large, says Mark Bridg- ers, principal at Continuum Capital. "Tracy Townsend led one of the most impactful industry transformations on behalf of Washington Gas in 2001- 2003 with the development and imple- mentation of a 'Strategic Alliance' that yielded unprecedented improvement in productivity, safety performance and quality compliance," Bridgers says. "Still in place today, this relationship has met the test of time." Townsend's ability to collaborate, communicate and lead in the devel- opment and implementation of the strategic alliance program at Washing- ton Gas is why she is the 2018 Pipeline Leadership Award recipient. "The collaboration and integration efforts undertaken by Washington Gas and NPL were and remain unprec- edented," Bridgers says. "The work to move from a traditional arm's-length relationship between a contractor and LDC to then embrace both collabora- tion and integration were transforma- tive and served as an example to mul- tiple other LDCs who later adopted this type of business relationship. I know for Pipe A Passion for Pipe

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