Cole Wardell, Oil & Gas Sales Manager, Warren CAT, is a member of the Emerging Executives Committee. He recently shared his insights on the energy services and technology sector.
ENERGY WORKFORCE: What is your role with the company? What does a typical day look like?
Cole Wardell: As the Oil & Gas Sales Manager at Warren CAT, my role is to coach and manage a relationship-focused sales team, cultivate leaders within the organization and represent Caterpillar Engines, Technology and Software in the oil and gas industry.
EW: Why did you join the oil and gas industry? Was there an individual who influenced your decision? Was there an event or piece of technology that got you excited?
CW: I joined the oil and gas industry for the opportunity to lead a small team in a very dynamic space. When you think about the products and services we get to represent in the industry, engines and motors are the heartbeat throughout the entirety of the process. Without the engine or motor, the process stops.
My timing into the industry was unique. When I accepted this role at Warren CAT, it was almost parallel timing with the adoption of the Tier 4 Dynamic Gas Blending Engine. I was able to sit beside people in the industry with decades of experience, but we were learning together as this new piece of engine technology was accepted into the well service space. I look forward to the days ahead as we continue to learn together while innovative technology in natural gas engines, electric motors and battery storage develops.
EW: What individual has been most instrumental in helping with your career? What did their mentorship look like, and how did it guide your path?
CW: My view of mentorship boils down to learning how I can better coach and empower myself and the people I can serve. In that light, three men have helped me immensely throughout my career: my dad John Wardell, my good friend Chad Hampsch and Collin Sewell with the Sewell Family of Companies.
EW: What was your impression of the industry beforehand and how has it evolved?
CW: Until I was in my current role at Warren CAT, I never understood just how many areas of focus there were within the industry. It takes an amazing array of people and technology to accomplish goals within the oil and gas space.
EW: Where do you hope to see the industry develop over the next five years?
CW: My hope is for our industry to lead in the tough conversations of a clean energy transition and energy diversity. In my mind, with diversity comes welcome competition. However, without helpful conversations, clear definitions, measurements and expectations, the entirety of the energy sector and our world could be guided into assumptions and beliefs that do not help humanity.
EW: What role do you believe you will play in the industry’s future?
CW: I hope my role in the industry continues to evolve. I have access to the industry through my representation of Warren CAT and Caterpillar, and I am excited about the opportunity I have been given. My hope is to create platforms for discussion where solutions can be discovered.
EW: What advice would you give someone just getting started in the oil and gas industry?
CW: It is important to gain knowledge about the industry, focus on the specifics of the role you play, but push yourself to learn about the entirety of the space.
EW: What do you do for fun?
CW: I have two awesome kids! My son, Shepherd, is almost six and my daughter, Owen, is almost three. So, between my career and family, I really enjoy reading and sharing meals with people I care about.
EW: What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?
CW: Put me in the mountains or beside a lake or river and I am happy!
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