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PESA High-Performer Spotlight: Nathan Newman, Director Business Development, AFGlobal

Nathan Newman, Director Business Development, AFGLobal

Nathan Newman, Director Business Development, AFGlobal

What influenced your decision to enter the oil and gas industry?
When my baseball career ended abruptly and dreams of making a living throwing a ball were dashed, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to return to Texas and raise a family but wasn’t quite sure what industry was the right fit for me. After visiting with friends and hearing how passionate they were about what they did in the oil and gas industry, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

What was your impression of the industry beforehand and how has it evolved?
My impression of the industry growing up was that it mirrored the wild west and that you had to risk it all to be successful. After immersing myself in the space and having had a number of different roles, I have since come to appreciate how calculated and complex the industry is as a whole.

What have you found to be the most surprising about the industry?
I continue to be surprised and inspired by the passion that owners/entrepreneurs pour into their ideas, businesses and employees. Whether it is a startup company with five employees with an innovative idea or a CEO of a Fortune 1000 company, the passion is front and center.

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about the industry or your work?
It is extremely rewarding working in conjunction with passionate colleagues to see a project through to completion despite industry headwinds. You could also say that this is the most challenging aspect of the industry, but the bonds that are forged with colleagues through these tests are what makes this industry special.

Where do you hope to see the industry develop over the next five years?
I hope to see the industry continue to develop safer and more reliable products. The industry is currently placing more emphasis on material and manufacturing process traceability, which I believe is critical in ensuring the long-term success of the oil and gas industry.

What role do you believe you will play in the industry’s future?
I believe my role will continue to be finding ways to add value, either by expanding existing product lines, establishing new products or building out teams that have a niche focus in the industry.

How has your involvement in PESA supported your career goals?
PESA has provided a great foundation to build a deeper network with other driven professionals in the industry. This network has allowed me to meet new people and to learn more about other sub-sectors of the industry.

Tell us about some of the people you’ve met while working in the industry and how they’ve impacted your thinking.
I have been extremely fortunate to have had great mentors throughout my career that have been willing to invest their valuable time in me. While they have impacted me on a professional level, they have also left their mark on me personally. One of the most significant impacts on my thinking was in my approach learning from every opportunity. I was taught that there is something to be learned from every conversation. This has been invaluable throughout my career and helped me to continue to grow as a professional.

What are you most excited about for your career, your company and your industry?
For my career I am most excited about seeing how the critical fastener products we are manufacturing at AFGlobal will affect the offshore oil and gas industry. Whether our fasteners are going to be a part of a blowout preventer or a drilling riser assembly, it is exciting to know that our products are helping to ensure the safety of the workforce and the environment.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about entering the oil and gas industry?
I would tell them not to pick a position based on compensation but pick a role that will allow them to grow. That they should choose a role in which they have an opportunity to learn from someone who has proven themselves as a leader in that sub-sector of the industry.

What do you wish other people knew about oil and gas?
I wish that people outside of the oil and gas industry understood the level of commitment that our industry has towards the safety of the workforce and protection of the environment. Our team at AFGlobal makes fastener products that ultimately become part of drilling and production equipment used in high pressure/high temperature applications. Our products are a small part of the equipment but play a vital role in the functionality of the final product and implications stemming from a problem could be catastrophic.

For this reason, these products require a higher level of quality and traceability which I don’t believe is appreciated by people outside of the oil and gas industry. It is not unusual for a bolt or screw to have twenty-five manufacturing steps including an array of lab testing and nondestructive testing prior to becoming a finished product ready for deployment.

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