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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Page 18 of 71 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2 018 | North American Oil & Gas Pipelines 19 of no other LDC and contractor busi- ness alliance that yielded higher per- formance improvement in cost, safe- ty, quality and customer satisfaction while standing the test of time over its current 17-year timeline." Townsend accepted the award at the Pipeline Leadership Conference, Nov. 7-8, at the Hyatt Place Houston in The Woodlands, Texas. "I am deeply honored to accept this award," she said at the award recep- tion on Nov. 7. "This has truly been a team effort. I am lucky to be in this industry full of sponsors and mentors. All you have to do is ask, and they will give you their knowledge freely. I Tracy Townsend Receives 2018 Pipeline Leadership Award am happy to accept this on behalf of Washington Gas." An Indirect Route Townsend grew up as "a military brat" and never envisioned herself in this industry. When she finished un- dergrad at Virginia Tech in the late 1980s, earning a bachelor's in busi- ness, she contemplated law school. An adult friend convinced her otherwise and hired Townsend at a small finan- cial and business management firm, where she was involved with such di- verse projects as building a golf course and a chain of high-end hair salons. Townsend also found herself working with an underground contractor that had been working with Washington Gas for 20 years. "I knew nothing about construc- tion," she admits. "The type of person I am, I like to get out and understand the business. I would go out on jobs and work on crews. When they saw me coming, they'd call me the 'Inquisitor' because of all the questions I asked." A few years later, after gaining more experience at a professional services firm and then starting her own con- sulting firm, Townsend answered a job ad to be a "strategic alliance manager" for Washington Gas in 2001. The job posting was external-only, which was a bit unusual for the utility company. "I didn't know what strategic alli- ances were, so I went to Borders and lines lines

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