Managing a Business Filled With Risk
Today’s oil and gas industry is one of the most high-tech businesses on the planet, an industry that consists of thousands of highly-competitive companies that adopt a growing array of new digital solutions every day of the week. Big business deals aren’t done based simply on a handshake — but rather take months, sometimes years, to negotiate, analyze and close.
Before such deals can be completed, “due diligence” activities are undertaken by dozens, if not hundreds, of professionals within both companies, and often scores of outside firms whose job it is to provide expert advice on every aspect of the business. From production to human resources, to reservoir engineering, to geology, to legal, to accounting, the job of these advisors is two-fold: to provide expert analysis and insight, and to control risk.
Risk is a big word in the oil business, which has always been and remains one of the most high-risk business sectors, and not just around major transactions. The day-to-day operations of any drilling, producing, pipeline, processing or refining company are filled with risk, all of which must be carefully managed, mitigated and accounted for. While companies possess their own internal expertise, that expertise must often be supplemented by external advisors who bring fresh eyes, different perspectives and added manpower to any given problem or project.
These consulting firms come in all shapes and sizes, with varying service offerings, but none can bring more people or a broader array of knowledge and services than Deloitte. Founded in London by William Welch Deloitte in 1845, Deloitte is as old as the oil and gas industry itself. William Deloitte was the first person to be appointed as an independent auditor for a public company, England’s Great Western Railway, and the provision of auditing and other accounting-related services has long been the foundation of the organization’s service offerings.
But as the needs of the business community at-large have shifted in the modern, digital era, Deloitte’s fields of service and expertise have evolved and expanded. Today, Deloitte stands as the world’s largest professional services organization, with a workforce of more than 245,000 individuals delivering services in 150 nations around the globe.
It’s not just a big workforce — it’s a highly diverse one as well, one made up of four generations of employees, each of which comes with its own unique preferences regarding what an optimal workplace should look and feel like. It’s a challenge also being faced by the oil and gas industry, as the Baby Boom generation that has made up the preponderance of its workforce for the last 30 years moves into retirement, and is now being replaced by younger generations.
One of Deloitte’s larger and most-active offices is its Houston location, where Managing Partner Amy Chronis oversees more than 2,500 employees. The seventh of eight children who grew up on a family-owned farm in Delaware, Ohio, Chronis developed an interest in the accounting field early in her college career at Ohio State University, where she was a distance runner on the varsity track and cross-country teams. She spent time interning in Houston during the early ‘80s, when the oil and gas industry was in full boom and decided that this was an exciting place where she could be successful. As her career progressed, she managed Deloitte offices in San Antonio and Austin before coming to Houston in 2012 in a leadership role and becoming the Managing Partner of the Houston office on Feb. 1, 2018.
While Deloitte’s client base is diverse — including clients from all segments of the business community — energy-related businesses including oil and gas companies are a major focus area for the office in Houston, commonly referred to as the “energy capital” of the world.
We caught up with Chronis in early April to talk about life, family, where she sees the business going in the future, and what it’s like to be responsible for a key division in a large, global organization like Deloitte.
Good Advice and Opportunities
You come from a large farming family — can you talk about how these and other childhood experiences have helped you in your professional career?
I would say it’s foundational. It’s that focus on work ethic — needing to get work done before you go to school, doing chores. That’s healthy and it gave me a really outstanding foundation, one where I always rely on faith, family and friends to help get through adversity and accomplish great things.
I feel very fortunate for the upbringing I had with the focus on these foundational values. Early in my teenage years, we moved from the farm to a family distribution business. Working in that family business environment also taught me a great deal and led me to think favorably about going into business in general. It also made me feel real responsibility and ownership around any task I ever took My parents always focused on doing your best — if something was worth doing, it was worth doing with excellence and to the best of your ability. That’s stuck with me and influences my leadership style.
Tell us about the factors that went into your decision to choose accounting as a profession.
I started out with a desire to explore the world and travel, so I started college as an international studies major. Two factors influenced my ending up in accounting:
At the end of my first year, a wise counselor asked, “What are you going to do with that international studies degree?” I said, “Well, I’m sure someone would like to hire me to travel around the world,” which was very naïve on my part (laughing). And she said, “Um, that’s nice, but in order to really have a career, you should go into international business. And in order to get into international business, you need to take introductory accounting.”
So, I found myself extending from the honors liberal arts program into the honors accounting class. It was the hardest class I’d ever had up to that point in my life.
Around the same time, my grandfather — who gave me great advice — told me that accounting was the language of business and that if I had the accounting skills and was a CPA, I would have a certain amount of security and skills for the rest of my life.
So, I have both of their good advice to thank for that.
I use very little of my actual accounting and bookkeeping skills today, versus all the communications skills and critical thinking, reading and writing that was part of that curriculum. It has been a wonderful profession in terms of being foundational.
After growing up in rural Ohio, you obtained your degree at the Ohio State University. Tell us how you ended up at OSU and your experience there.
Ohio State was the largest university nearby. I ran in the Ohio Track Club — I was a competitive distance runner — and I had options to be a “big fish in a little pond” so to speak, with scholarship offers at smaller schools. But I wanted to run with the very best. The other schools I was interested in — Notre Dame and Georgetown — didn’t work out as one didn’t have a women’s varsity program, and I was wait-listed at the other. Ultimately, I ended up with the most scholarship money and the opportunity to walk-on to the cross-country and indoor and outdoor track teams at Ohio State.
So that’s where I ended up, and it’s also where I met my husband. I’m now a very proud alumnus and sit on the Audit and Compliance Committee for the Board of Trustees.
You’re an accomplished cross-country runner, a very demanding sport that requires a tremendous degree of mental toughness. Do you think that has influenced the direction your career has taken?
Oh, absolutely. I think it’s been highly influential in my life. I actually wish I had been better — I was a walk-on and no star. As a result of that, I had to give my best at every practice in order to make the traveling varsity squad each week — I had to actually race my best every Monday afternoon (laughs). I dreaded Mondays at 3:30 as a result —and to this day, every Monday at 3:30 I am grateful that life has been so much easier ever since (laughs again).
But that experience made me much tougher, not just physically, but also in terms of mental strength. Running and exercise remain my method of meditation and gaining perspective. Running is when I have my best contemplation. It helps me think through barriers and obstacles and come up with better ways to approach them. My physical well-being positively contributes to my mental well-being.
What other forms of exercise do you practice?
I still run several days a week, but I now intersperse that with cross-training and other things. Travel permitting, I go to cycling and weight classes at a club. When I can, I also fit in a yoga or pilates class, as well.
I’ve been given a lot of advice that you need to get more than one kind of exercise, so the cross-training is very good for me.
What about recreation? Are you a golfer? A traveler? A foodie? Tennis? Buckeyes-related sports enthusiast?
I wish I was a much better golfer than I am (laughs). I’m a novice golfer, but my wonderful husband of 32 years loves to golf. He knows I love being outdoors, so I have promised him that in my “next chapter” I will actually train at golf and work harder at it. At least in my case, golf is one sport that is impossible to be good at unless you really work at it for many hours.
But, in the meantime, I love to hike and get outdoors in general. Anything I can do with my kids and family outdoors is great for me.
Had you held a long-time interest in the energy industry prior to coming to Houston? Was that a motivating factor when you ultimately came to the city?
I think that the fascination with the frontier opportunities in Texas is what drew me. I knew very little about the energy business before coming here.
While in college, I thought my next stop might be Chicago — which was the closest major city. But back when my husband and I were coming out of Ohio State in the early 1980s and were offered opportunities it was booming here in Texas.
So, I was really attracted to the offers to come to Texas and had the option to pick either Houston or Dallas. Knowing nothing about the state, I asked people about the two cities. What struck me when people spoke about Houston, in particular, was the notion that anybody could make it there.
People would tell me, “Amy, if you come here and you work hard you can be as successful as you want to be.” And boy, is it exciting right now with so many opportunities exploding. That really appealed to me then and still appeals to me today.
I love that spirit — that attitude here in Texas that you are in control of your own destiny. That is also why I love working with our clients in the shale business in particular because it’s so exciting. Of course, there are the inevitable downturns — I’ve been through at least six of them in my career now. I like to say, “It was booming when I interned, and then it started to bust when I came on full-time in the mid-1980s,” (laughs). That downturn was very sobering with major service operations being idled almost overnight and people declaring bankruptcy. But now looking back, it was another lesson in perseverance and that character during adversity is where it’s really at.
How about some background on your kids and husband?
Sure. I’m very proud of our kids. Both my husband and I come from very family-oriented households. He has been an amazingly supportive husband and father. I owe him a great deal in terms of helping to raise our children and being a very involved father.
My three children are 29, 26 and 22. Two girls and a boy. They are recent grads of various institutions.
My husband and I both came from backgrounds where family, faith and a strong focus on education to raise your opportunities and to be the best you can be were important to our families. That family focus is still very much with us.
I come from a family with eight children, so I have a huge family. He is a part of a large, extended Greek family. So, between my half-Italian heritage and his Greek heritage, our Sunday night dinners are big, fat Greek/Italian extravaganzas (laughs). Lots of noise, lots of strong opinions, and never dull.
Being Involved in a Truly Great City
Your list of civic involvement activities reads like a full-time job for most people. Talk about the reasons why you’ve taken on some of those roles, and how in the world you find time to do it all?
It’s an ongoing balancing act. I make time for these board roles because they’re so important to me. For instance, the two leadership positions that I’m really focused on right now are with the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) and the United Way.
But that list changes. Early in my career, my passion was literacy and tutoring those for whom English is a second language. And of course, whenever someone finds out I’m a CPA I’m asked to serve on the organization’s finance committee (laughs), which leads to other leadership roles. So that led to a whole career, I guess you could call it, over the last 30 years of being involved in civic activities that meant something to me.
I am fortunate that Deloitte is supportive of employee efforts to give back to the community. I do so much of that on “company time,” so to speak, and I’m proud to be part of an organization where we are not only encouraged to give back, but also highly supported in those roles.
One of my new board roles is on the Greater Houston Partnership — I was asked to chair the Sustainability Committee. Over the last year, I have learned a lot about Houston. In terms of how the city’s perceived, we are seen in such a positive light outside of the United States, especially because of being the energy capital of the world and being on this exciting frontier of the shale business and the Permian. Speaking to people outside of the U.S., they look at that like it’s a new gold rush.
It wasn’t that long ago when the new gold rush was thought to be in Shanghai and other cities in Asia. The fact that there are entrepreneurs from all over the world coming to Houston is exciting. I just recently met with a CEO from Switzerland who is bringing his business from Israel to Houston because of the business climate, and because of our positions with the Port of Houston and the airports here being such great distribution hubs. And it’s not only with shale but with other business sectors, like biotech, coming here as well.
The Work of a “Servant Leader”
You were quoted in one media piece as saying, “I’m a servant leader.” Expand on what that means to you in your professional life and how you project that ethic to others in the workplace.
To me, being a servant leader means that one of your primary focus areas is the growth and well-being of those around you, and that includes your clients, colleagues and the larger community. So, for me, servant-leadership is different from traditional, hierarchical leadership because power is shared.
I wish I was one of those charismatic, ultra-dynamic inspirational speakers like Winston Churchill, but I’m not (laughs). I’m a person who rolls up her sleeves and who leads by example, and my actions have always spoken louder than my words. Trying to role-model behaviors has been my main way of helping to develop others.
I try to value diverse opinions and points of view, I place importance on helping develop other leaders at all levels of our organization, and I work very hard at cultivating a culture of trust and an environment in which our leaders can thrive.
These are all integral values to Deloitte anyway, so I feel really blessed to be a part of this organization.
Let’s talk about Deloitte’s core values since they serve as guideposts for everything you and your employees do on a daily basis.
I’ve already touched upon Deloitte’s encouragement of active stewardship in our communities where we live and work. So that’s certainly one of the key ones.
- Creating outstanding value to markets and our clients.
- Commitment to each other.
- Strength from cultural diversity.
Back to the community: We are particularly focused on education and empowering young people in under-served parts of our communities. The challenges facing many young people today are significant, especially in low-income communities. They are far less likely to graduate from high school and college, and that can hold them back for the rest of their lives.
So, across the United States and here in Houston, it’s a passion of mine to work positively toward better workforce development and helping folks in these communities progress out of high school and into programs that can help them get meaningful careers.
Another thing we do is our annual Impact Day, which gathers thousands of Deloitte employees from offices across the country to engage in a wide variety of volunteer projects. That is a special day where we tell our clients that we’re going out to serve our communities.
It is heart-warming for our people to be out in the community to work and demonstrate our shared values.
“All We Are Is People.”
Let’s talk about the things your company offers to attract and retain top people, starting with retaining young employees with new and growing families. We understand that Deloitte has an industry-leading program that has been very successful in this regard.
Unlike energy companies, all we are is people. We don’t have the “black gold” assets, so to speak. We are only as good as our people, so we have to stay ahead of the curve by offering really industry-leading benefits.
Our family leave program is a great example: We offer a 16-week gender neutral paid family leave program for eligible employees, and this time can be used for a range of events impacting our people and their families, from the arrival of a child to caring for a sick loved one. We were the first in the industry to do that, and it’s been very well-received.
We think that’s wonderful for our people to be able to care for their families in a time of need without any perception that it would be damaging to their work life.
We also realized that we were losing many top female employees who wanted to come back after taking a few years off, but their skills were no longer relevant. So, we offer a program in which we allow these employees to stay in touch in various ways, such as participation in online learning classes and other programs, to keep their skills relevant. Whether they ultimately come back to us or go somewhere else, they avoid having a workforce gap.
Another thing we do is to give our people choices about where they work, when possible. Obviously, we serve clients so sometimes there isn’t a choice. But subject to client demands, we give our people a lot of flexibility, whether it’s working from home or flying at times that don’t take away from their personal time with family and children; we try hard. We still have people who work lots of overtime and travel inconveniently, but we make every effort in this area to be as work/family balanced as possible.
We also offer reduced work schedules and sabbaticals. We have really challenging work programs, which allow people to opt out of what they’re currently doing to go try a different program — work in a different service line, a different industry sector, a different country. We actively try to help grow all of our global networks by moving professionals between offices. All of that is an expensive investment, but our people love it.
These and our other outstanding benefits are our way of meeting our employees’ needs and ensuring we can hire and retain top people. And this is all very positive for our bottom line.
Much has been written about the struggles many businesses are going through in adapting to shifting employee priorities as their workforce transitions from the retiring baby boom generation to the incoming millennial generation. What has your experience been in this regard, and how is Deloitte managing this generational transition?
This is a big area of focus for us because our workforce is more diverse from a generational perspective than ever before. We now have four generations working side-by-side, which creates both opportunities and challenges.
Each year we conduct what we call the Global Millennial Survey. We interview about 12,000 millennials across more than 35 countries, to gauge their perceptions of the business environment so that our clients — and we as well — can better understand the key motivators for this generation.
Of the four generations of currently-active employees, millennials make up the majority of our workforce at Deloitte today. In our most recent survey in 2018, we found that millennial and Generation Z employees feel unprepared for “Industry 4.0” [Industry 4.0 is a name given to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies] changes. I think we will see businesses continuing to help younger employees develop the skills they will need to succeed, especially skills requiring creativity and judgment. They are expecting us to help prepare them for the future.
Skills are changing quickly, and the skills we are using today won’t necessarily be what’s in greatest demand five years from now. That’s part of the reason why Deloitte is so heavily-invested in developing our professionals and encouraging leadership at all levels of the organization.
We’ve also heard our people’s feedback that an open, flexible workspace is important because it makes teaming easier, so we recently began renovating our Houston office, and I’m involved with that. We are housed in Heritage Plaza in downtown Houston. Once renovated, the office will provide a variety of positive workspace options such as team rooms, touchdown stations, cafes, etc. to accommodate the various working styles of our people.
A Diverse Organization With a Broad Array of Expertise
Please describe for our readers the array of services Deloitte’s Houston practice provides for its clients generally, and to the oil and gas business specifically.
We are the largest professional services organization in Houston. We have over 2,500 employees now, who work in one of four business lines: tax, audit, consulting, and risk and financial advisory. We serve across a wide range of industries and solutions. Those industries include everything from healthcare and life sciences, to information technology, to retail.
But of course, we have many practitioners who focus on all segments of oil, gas and chemicals. Oilfield services, upstream, midstream, downstream, mining and metals, are all part of what we call our “Oil, Gas and Chemicals” practice.
One of your firm’s key service areas is in the mergers and acquisitions space. That is a kind of “up and down” part of the oil business. Talk about the challenges of managing that aspect of Deloitte’s practice during the recent rush by companies to gain or expand footholds in the Permian Basin.
As I’ve previously said, there are always ups and downs in this business, and there will be continued volatility. The recent downturn in oil prices has created a need for financial prudence and discipline in capital spending.
As a result of these pressures, oil and gas companies want to do three things:
- Return value back to the shareholders vs. more M&A activities.
- Focus on internal measures to strengthen their financial situation.
- Focus on their strategic growth value proposition.
We take pride in being able to offer those solutions. If you look at the full year of global M&A activity in 2018, we would say the deal value was flat and there was a low count in that area of activity as compared to 2015, but the bright spot in those numbers was that the U.S. accounted for two thirds of those deals, which was a record high.
Consolidation and optimization were the key drivers in M&A activity, particularly in shale regions. If you look at the Permian Basin, it had record deals in 2018 worth $25.7 billion and dominated the M&A space. The Permian deals we saw were two to five times higher than in other basins.
The southeast Oklahoma/Anadarko Basin continues to develop rapidly. Most of the investment there is from small, privately-owned producers backed by seed capital and private equity players. M&A activity in the Marcellus/Utica Basin in 2018 was slower than in 2017. Companies in that basin are focused on drilling more wells to meet the demand in the growing natural gas market.
What about the midstream and downstream business? Has that been an active area in the M&A space? How do you foresee that developing in the future with all this midstream buildout happening in Texas and other parts of the country?
As a result of the activity we are seeing across the oil, gas and chemicals portfolio, we decided two years ago to merge our oil, gas and chemicals practice. Instead of being in two separate groups, we decided to merge them together because of some of the things you mention here.
We keep a pulse on market conditions and the business environment and we realized we could help our clients enjoy more-immediate synergies because we saw the super-majors re-establishing their chemicals business; we saw existing petrochemical companies seeing an increase in demand due to their feedstock positions; and we saw traditional chemical companies growing at a much faster pace as they focused their business models on meeting unmet needs.
Innovation and pressures around capital investment and cost controls are driving more M&A activity.
We haven’t seen the same kind of recovery with the service companies that the super-majors have enjoyed yet.
In the oil and gas industry, Deloitte obviously provides services for the majors and large independents — what about smaller independent producers? Do they also make up a significant portion of your client base?
Oh, absolutely. A huge portion of our business is what we call “middle-market,” which is the majority of our portfolio. This includes a lot of players, and we have seen a lot of consolidation in that space. When the Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) first took off, we were dominant in that space and we will continue to be innovative and bring planning ideas, especially around tax structuring and planning and preparation for deals on the table.
As part of all that, especially with the middle-market, we have what we call our “total M&A solution” that helps clients at key stages of the transaction life cycle, no matter their size.
So, to your point, some of the smaller players need outside resources to help them leverage advanced digital capabilities that are quickly advancing, help with alliances, help with deep executive advice to deliver increased value throughout not just the M&A life cycle but throughout their entire value cycle.
So, we have functions all across Deloitte engaged in those solutions and helping companies of all sizes.
The management of risk is another of your firm’s key offerings. The area of “cyber-risk” gets a lot of media attention these days. As the oil industry adopts an expanding array of new technologies, does that, in turn, lead to increased cyber-risk? And tell us how Deloitte helps companies manage that risk.
There is no doubt that it definitely does lead to increased cyber-risk. As the oil and gas industry continues to introduce more digital innovations, it must continuously adopt new cybersecurity measures commensurate with the growing threats they’re facing.
These advanced threats aren’t going away; they’re just going to keep coming and it becomes almost a matter of not if, but when. Companies must focus on what we call “persistent resilience.” It’s not a one-time thing; it has turned into a perpetual need.
We don’t see that changing. What we do see is that we and others are getting far more sophisticated in taking an enterprise-wide approach to help organizations across all industries manage cyber-risk. Most of the technologies and solutions that we bring help across all industries. We try to bring a real understanding of business complexities that create roadmaps to help our clients navigate the uncharted cyber landscape ahead.
Our goal is to help to ensure that our clients’ connected environments are safe, secure and resilient in the face of these threats. One application in particular in shale is the growing ‘internet of things’ in terms of the sensors that are becoming prevalent on so much of the equipment.
Everything from cameras on trucks out in the basin, to the drilling equipment, to the monitors. All of those things, every time you add one of those embedded sensors, creates a cyber-risk.
Another huge part of Deloitte’s business is helping companies manage financial risk — talk about the kinds of things you offer in this key area.
Clearly, risk comes in all forms, and financial risk is foundational to the reason why we exist. That is our mission and our calling as a noble profession to help underpin the world’s financial markets.
If we are not targeting and continuing to audit risk, then we are not doing our jobs. We have to invest quite a bit in innovative and new technologies, and we are doing that. I almost wish I could start over in my career now because it’s a lot more fun now than when I started (laughs).
Back then I’d be on an audit and a client would have 1,000 contracts. So, we would pick 100 as an audit sample and examine those. But today, clients have thousands of contracts, and we can look at all of them using advanced analytic tools that we have, extrapolate all of the data and find things that really weren’t easily visible to the human eye before.
That transformation is going to help us to perform far better-quality work and bring more value to our clients. And this goes through all of our client service areas in terms of risk.
In tax, we work to ensure our clients are in compliance with the rules and regulations, and thoughtfully plan for the future. Our consulting practice, and risk and financial advisory practices also help address risk.
Since you mention it, let’s move to taxes, another of your firm’s key offerings: What significant impacts have the Trump Tax Cuts had on the oil and gas industry? How does Deloitte help companies manage and take advantage of those impacts, both positive and negative?
Of course, I have to preface this with a reminder that I am not a practicing tax professional (laughs).
But tax reform was a game-changer for many of our clients. Almost all of our clients were impacted in some fashion; how they were impacted varies and has a lot to do with each client’s business operations. The IRS is still developing the administrative guidance and rules around the new tax law. But we believe it provides a lot of opportunities — while at the same time creating a great deal of uncertainty.
We have teams focused around each of these areas to make sure we are helping our clients understand the new rules and can navigate them in as proactive a way as possible.
Clients with global oil and gas operations, in particular, are most impacted by the new rules. The new rules resulted in new tax concepts that didn’t exist before — some are impacted in a positive manner, others in a less beneficial manner.
Our domestic clients are impacted by the new rules limiting the deductibility of certain interest expense. Similarly, our private company clients that operate their businesses in a non-corporate context are keenly-focused on the new rules that call for a lower tax rate on their qualifying operations.
In summary, I’d say that there are big impacts. It impacts everyone a little bit differently, that it’s a personal journey for each company.
It’s been almost two years now, but pretty much everyone in Houston was impacted by Hurricane Harvey and has stories to tell about their experiences in the wake of that terrible storm. Are there any stories you would like to relate here about the experiences of Deloitte and its employees during and after that historic storm?
It’s interesting— we did a town hall with our people about a year ago and I asked everyone if they wanted to offer up what the most meaningful moments had been for them at Deloitte over the previous year. Almost to a person, they mentioned how life-affirming it was to see how not just Deloitte, but the entire Houston community responded to that storm.
I think it’s amazingly heartwarming how we came together as a community, in the business sector and Deloitte specifically, to help each other through that terrible time. We mobilized in a helpful and collaborative way to do everything we could to help our employees and their families.
Over 80 families here at Deloitte were displaced by Harvey. One thing we did was to take part of our office space to create what we called the “Deloitte Store,” where we brought in items that were hard for people to find — things like generators, clothing, basic home improvement tools for the immediate cleanup tasks, and people just dove in to help as needed.
In the immediate aftermath of the storm, we had people, especially out in the Memorial area, in their canoes, kayaks and whatever they had, helping their neighbors get out of their homes to safety. People took in animals, took in other families. Deloitte’s security office was amazing at helping us find all of our people and make sure they were safe — we had several people who actually needed to be rescued. So I couldn’t have been more proud to be a Deloitte partner during that time.
It’s hard to point to just one story, but it was just heartwarming how many instances we saw of people doing the right thing for one another.
Working With Others
That theme of “people doing the right thing for one another” keeps coming up throughout Amy Chronis’s personal and professional life story. Whether it was working with her siblings to get their chores done on the family farm, working hard to help ensure the success of the Ohio State track and field team, working with her husband to raise a family of their own, working to ensure her employees have a rewarding work experience at Deloitte, taking on a variety of public service roles to help improve her community, or working to help the company’s clients control their business risk and reach their financial goals, her entire life story is one of working with others to do the right thing.
Interestingly, that theme is also reflective Deloitte’s core values as an organization which helps to explain how and why Chronis has ended up in a leadership position there, and also why it has become the world’s largest professional services organization.
About the author: David Blackmon is the Editor of SHALE Oil & Gas Business Magazine. He previously spent 37 years in the oil and natural gas industry in a variety of roles — the last 22 years engaging in public policy issues at the state and national levels. Contact David Blackmon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of Deloitte and by Michael Giordano
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www.shalemag.com may contain links to other websites (“Linked Sites”). The Linked Sites are not under the control of SHALE Magazine and SHALE Magazine is not responsible for the contents of any Linked Site, including without limitation any link contained in a Linked Site, or any changes or updates to a Linked Site. SHALE Magazine is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by SHALE Magazine of the site or any association with its operators.
Certain services made available via www.shalemag.com are delivered by third party sites and organizations. By using any product, service or functionality originating from the www.shalemag.com domain, you hereby acknowledge and consent that SHALE Magazine may share such information and data with any third party with whom SHALE Magazine has a contractual relationship to provide the requested product, service or functionality on behalf of www.shalemag.com users and customers.
No Unlawful or Prohibited Use/Intellectual Property
All content included as part of the Service, such as text, graphics, logos, images, as well as the compilation thereof, and any software used on the Site, is the property of SHALE Magazine or its suppliers and protected by copyright and other laws that protect intellectual property and proprietary rights. You agree to observe and abide by all copyright and other proprietary notices, legends or other restrictions contained in any such content and will not make any changes thereto.
You will not modify, publish, transmit, reverse engineer, participate in the transfer or sale, create derivative works, or in any way exploit any of the content, in whole or in part, found on the Site. SHALE Magazine content is not for resale. Your use of the Site does not entitle you to make any unauthorized use of any protected content, and in particular you will not delete or alter any proprietary rights or attribution notices in any content. You will use protected content solely for your personal use, and will make no other use of the content without the express written permission of SHALE Magazine and the copyright owner. You agree that you do not acquire any ownership rights in any protected content. We do not grant you any licenses, express or implied, to the intellectual property of SHALE Magazine or our licensors except as expressly authorized by these Terms.
Use of Communication Services
The Site may contain bulletin board services, chat areas, news groups, forums, communities, personal web pages, calendars, and/or other message or communication facilities designed to enable you to communicate with the public at large or with a group (collectively, “Communication Services”). You agree to use the Communication Services only to post, send and receive messages and material that are proper and related to the particular Communication Service.
By way of example, and not as a limitation, you agree that when using a Communication Service, you will not: defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others; publish, post, upload, distribute or disseminate any inappropriate, profane, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent or unlawful topic, name, material or information; upload files that contain software or other material protected by intellectual property laws (or by rights of privacy of publicity) unless you own or control the rights thereto or have received all necessary consents; upload files that contain viruses, corrupted files, or any other similar software or programs that may damage the operation of another’s computer; advertise or offer to sell or buy any goods or services for any business purpose, unless such Communication Service specifically allows such messages; conduct or forward surveys, contests, pyramid schemes or chain letters; download any file posted by another user of a Communication Service that you know, or reasonably should know, cannot be legally distributed in such manner; falsify or delete any author attributions, legal or other proper notices or proprietary designations or labels of the origin or source of software or other material contained in a file that is uploaded; restrict or inhibit any other user from using and enjoying the Communication Services; violate any code of conduct or other guidelines which may be applicable for any particular Communication Service; harvest or otherwise collect information about others, including e-mail addresses, without their consent; violate any applicable laws or regulations.
SHALE Magazine has no obligation to monitor the Communication Services. However, SHALE Magazine reserves the right to review materials posted to a Communication Service and to remove any materials in its sole discretion. SHALE Magazine reserves the right to terminate your access to any or all of the Communication Services at any time without notice for any reason whatsoever.
SHALE Magazine reserves the right at all times to disclose any information as necessary to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, or to edit, refuse to post or to remove any information or materials, in whole or in part, in SHALE Magazine’s sole discretion.
Always use caution when giving out any personally identifying information about yourself or your children in any Communication Service. SHALE Magazine does not control or endorse the content, messages or information found in any Communication Service and, therefore, SHALE Magazine specifically disclaims any liability with regard to the Communication Services and any actions resulting from your participation in any Communication Service. Managers and hosts are not authorized SHALE Magazine spokespersons, and their views do not necessarily reflect those of SHALE Magazine.
Materials uploaded to a Communication Service may be subject to posted limitations on usage, reproduction and/or dissemination. You are responsible for adhering to such limitations if you upload the materials.
Materials Provided to www.shalemag.com or Posted on Any SHALE Magazine Web Page
SHALE Magazine does not claim ownership of the materials you provide to www.shalemag.com (including feedback and suggestions) or post, upload, input or submit to any SHALE Magazine Site or our associated services (collectively “Submissions”). However, by posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting your Submission you are granting SHALE Magazine, our affiliated companies and necessary sublicensees permission to use your Submission in connection with the operation of their Internet businesses including, without limitation, the rights to: copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate and reformat your Submission; and to publish your name in connection with your Submission.
No compensation will be paid with respect to the use of your Submission, as provided herein. SHALE Magazine is under no obligation to post or use any Submission you may provide and may remove any Submission at any time in SHALE Magazine’s sole discretion.
By posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting your Submission you warrant and represent that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to your Submission as described in this section including, without limitation, all the rights necessary for you to provide, post, upload, input or submit the Submissions.
Third Party Accounts
You will be able to connect your SHALE Magazine account to third party accounts. By connecting your SHALE Magazine account to your third party account, you acknowledge and agree that you are consenting to the continuous release of information about you to others (in accordance with your privacy settings on those third party sites). If you do not want information about you to be shared in this manner, do not use this feature.
The Service is controlled, operated and administered by SHALE Magazine from our offices within the USA. If you access the Service from a location outside the USA, you are responsible for compliance with all local laws. You agree that you will not use the SHALE Magazine Content accessed through www.shalemag.com in any country or in any manner prohibited by any applicable laws, restrictions or regulations.
You agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless SHALE Magazine, its officers, directors, employees, agents and third parties, for any losses, costs, liabilities and expenses (including reasonable attorney’s fees) relating to or arising out of your use of or inability to use the Site or services, any user postings made by you, your violation of any terms of this Agreement or your violation of any rights of a third party, or your violation of any applicable laws, rules or regulations. SHALE Magazine reserves the right, at its own cost, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter otherwise subject to indemnification by you, in which event you will fully cooperate with SHALE Magazine in asserting any available defenses.
In the event the parties are not able to resolve any dispute between them arising out of or concerning these Terms and Conditions, or any provisions hereof, whether in contract, tort, or otherwise at law or in equity for damages or any other relief, then such dispute shall be resolved only by final and binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, conducted by a single neutral arbitrator and administered by the American Arbitration Association, or a similar arbitration service selected by the parties, in a location mutually agreed upon by the parties. The arbitrator’s award shall be final, and judgment may be entered upon it in any court having jurisdiction. In the event that any legal or equitable action, proceeding or arbitration arises out of or concerns these Terms and Conditions, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover its costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. The parties agree to arbitrate all disputes and claims in regards to these Terms and Conditions or any disputes arising as a result of these Terms and Conditions, whether directly or indirectly, including Tort claims that are a result of these Terms and Conditions. The parties agree that the Federal Arbitration Act governs the interpretation and enforcement of this provision. The entire dispute, including the scope and enforceability of this arbitration provision shall be determined by the Arbitrator. This arbitration provision shall survive the termination of these Terms and Conditions.
Class Action Waiver
Any arbitration under these Terms and Conditions will take place on an individual basis; class arbitrations and class/representative/collective actions are not permitted. THE PARTIES AGREE THAT A PARTY MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN EACH’S INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PUTATIVE CLASS, COLLECTIVE AND/ OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING, SUCH AS IN THE FORM OF A PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ACTION AGAINST THE OTHER. Further, unless both you and SHALE Magazine agree otherwise, the arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative or class proceeding.
THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, AND SERVICES INCLUDED IN OR AVAILABLE THROUGH THE SITE MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. SHALE OIL & GAS BUSINESS MAGAZINE AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES IN THE SITE AT ANY TIME.
SHALE OIL & GAS BUSINESS MAGAZINE AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, TIMELINESS, AND ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED ON THE SITE FOR ANY PURPOSE. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, ALL SUCH INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF ANY KIND. SHALE OIL & GAS BUSINESS MAGAZINE AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS WITH REGARD TO THIS INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT.
SHALE Magazine reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate your access to the Site and the related services or any portion thereof at any time, without notice. To the maximum extent permitted by law, this agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Texas and you hereby consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of courts in Texas in all disputes arising out of or relating to the use of the Site. Use of the Site is unauthorized in any jurisdiction that does not give effect to all provisions of these Terms, including, without limitation, this section.
You agree that no joint venture, partnership, employment, or agency relationship exists between you and SHALE Magazine as a result of this agreement or use of the Site. SHALE Magazine’s performance of this agreement is subject to existing laws and legal process, and nothing contained in this agreement is in derogation of SHALE Magazine’s right to comply with governmental, court and law enforcement requests or requirements relating to your use of the Site or information provided to or gathered by SHALE Magazine with respect to such use. If any part of this agreement is determined to be invalid or unenforceable pursuant to applicable law including, but not limited to, the warranty disclaimers and liability limitations set forth above, then the invalid or unenforceable provision will be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that most closely matches the intent of the original provision and the remainder of the agreement shall continue in effect.
Unless otherwise specified herein, this agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the user and SHALE Magazine with respect to the Site and it supersedes all prior or contemporaneous communications and proposals, whether electronic, oral or written, between the user and SHALE Magazine with respect to the Site. A printed version of this agreement and of any notice given in electronic form shall be admissible in judicial or administrative proceedings based upon or relating to this agreement to the same extent and subject to the same conditions as other business documents and records originally generated and maintained in printed form. It is the express wish to the parties that this agreement and all related documents be written in English.
Changes to Terms
SHALE Magazine reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to change the Terms under which www.shalemag.com is offered. The most current version of the Terms will supersede all previous versions. SHALE Magazine encourages you to periodically review the Terms to stay informed of our updates.
SHALE Magazine welcomes your questions or comments regarding the Terms:
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Effective as of November 27, 2017