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PESA High-Performer Spotlight: Rian Kopycinski, Implementations Manager – Supply Chain Energy Group, DistributionNOW

Rian Kopycinski, Implementations Manager - Supply Chain Energy Group, DistributionNOW

Rian Kopycinski, Implementations Manager – Supply Chain Energy Group, DistributionNOW

What influenced your decision to enter the oil and gas industry?
My entry into the oil and gas industry was driven by two contributing factors: I wanted a role in supply chain management, and I wanted to live in the Houston area. For many, Houston is synonymous with oil and gas, and I knew supply chain management roles and opportunities within this industry would be vast, given the complex and dynamic nature of the business.

What was your impression of the industry beforehand and how has it evolved?
I knew oil came out of the ground and somehow ended up in my gas tank, but I never put much thought into the technology and complex processes required in order to deliver crude oil and natural gas to the marketplace. I’d never heard the terms upstream, midstream or downstream, nor did I realize the vital role each company within the three sectors plays in order to sustain a steady flow and deliver energy to the world.

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about the industry or your work?
One of the biggest challenges we face is volatility in the market and the downturns we see as a result. In the short nine years I’ve been in this industry, I’ve seen $30 oil and $110 oil. Now more than ever, there is a great demand for maximum efficiency and cost competitiveness.

I’ve been fortunate to be involved in initiatives focused around continuous improvement and process optimization, so we can set our company and our clients up for success regardless of market conditions. Exploring creative and innovative solutions that we can offer to our clients to not only help them survive, but thrive in a downturn is challenging, but being part of the solution is extremely rewarding.

Where do you hope to see the industry develop over the next five years?
I hope to see an increased focus placed on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, as I believe it fosters creativity and innovation, provides companies with a competitive advantage and opens an additional pool of talent to draw from. Our industry is more diverse today than ever before, but we still have a long way to go.

What role do you believe you will play in the industry’s future?
I hope to play an important role in supporting and fostering collaborative efforts across the various sectors within the industry. There are many efficiencies to be gained through strategic partnerships and working together will allow for leaner operations, increased profitability, and a highly effective supply chain.

How has your involvement in PESA supported your career goals?
The first PESA event I attended was Oil & Gas 101 when I was very new to the industry. It was extremely eye-opening, and it was when I first began to understand just how massive and dynamic our industry really is. (I’m still learning new things every day, nine years later). PESA has allowed me to learn more about the industry in which I work, and it has provided me with unique opportunities to network with peers and industry leaders, as well as focus on professional and personal growth through leadership forums and seminars. I’m honored to represent DistributionNOW on PESA’s Emerging Executives Committee.

Tell us about some of the people you’ve met while working in the industry and how they’ve impacted your thinking.
I was fortunate to start my career in a management training role where I was given the opportunity to rotate through all critical functions within our company. This allowed me the opportunity to travel to several different locations and work in various roles on both ends of the organizational hierarchy. This opportunity allowed me to gain insight into some unique perspectives, and it provided me with a better understanding of our business, our culture and the importance of being empathetic to others. I have also been extremely fortunate to work for and with some exceptional leaders, and for that I am extremely grateful.

What are you most excited about for your career, your company and your industry?
I’m excited to be part of an industry that is constantly evolving, adapting and embracing new technologies. The younger generations entering the workforce are digital natives – they have grown up with technology in their hands. If we can couple their fresh perspectives and tech-savvy minds with the valuable wisdom and lessons learned from our industry veterans, I think our potential will be limitless. I’m fortunate to be part of a company that recognizes the importance of investing in and developing employees, and I’m looking forward to
being part of the transformation.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about entering the oil and gas industry?
Be adaptable and enjoy the ride! Due to its cyclical nature (and contrary to some stereotypes), our industry is constantly changing, evolving and adopting new technologies. There are so many global opportunities available! If you’re willing to rise to unique challenges and seize opportunities, you’ll find this industry can be extremely rewarding. Change is the only thing that is constant – be open to it and embrace it.

What do you wish other people knew about oil and gas?
This industry is often portrayed negatively in media and entertainment. Many are not aware of our industry’s strong commitment to a safety culture or the efforts and new technologies being developed every day to enable companies to reduce their carbon footprint and utilize clean energy.



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