PESA High Performer Spotlight: Aaron Gilbert

Our high-performer spotlight for June is Aaron Gilbert, Ellwood Oil and Gas.

PESA High Performer Spotlight: Aaron Gilbert, Strategic Account Manager, Ellwood Oil & Gas

Aaron Gilbert, Strategic Account Manager for Ellwood Oil & Gas

Aaron Gilbert
Strategic Account Manager, Ellwood Oil & Gas

What influenced your decision to enter the oil and gas industry?
My first exposure to the oil and gas industry was at Ellwood National Forge, an Ellwood Group, Inc. company. At Ellwood National Forge, we heat treated and finish machined many long and hollow steel components for various industries, including the Oil & Gas industry. My first account assignments were EOG, Oil States Industries, FMC Technologies, and Dril-Quip. While I didn’t choose my accounts, I loved supporting my customers’ diverse offshore project needs.

What was your impression of the industry beforehand and how has it evolved?
Prior to starting my career with Ellwood in 2010, I served in the U.S. military. At that time, my only impressions of the Oil & Gas industry was media coverage of the Exxon Valdez and Macondo/Deepwater Horizon disasters. The media coverage framed my perception of the industry as a high risk to environmental and human safety. Though risks are ever present, now I see an industry that is committed to improving safety at every level even during the prolonged downturn. From PPE and hazards communication to materials engineering and FEAs, the Oil & Gas industry is constantly looking for ways to adopt the next best technologies to mitigate risks to people, equipment, and our environment.

What have you found to be the most surprising about the industry?
The diversity of folks I work with has definitely been the most surprising. We are the heart of the global economy and it is good to see all of us working hard to safely bring low-cost, high-quality energy to the world.

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about the industry or your work?
Though I have been in the industry for a short time, I would say the cyclic nature of the industry and gaining commitment for growth and collaboration to provide the services my customers need is most challenging. Through the view of a sales lens, the long cycles can be brutal, but when the transaction is finally complete it feels amazing to reap the benefits of success. My advice to others is to never give up!

Where do you hope to see the industry develop over the next 5 years?
I would like to see more targeted collaboration efforts between the oilfield OEMs and members of the forging industry to improve supply chain dynamics. Everyone in the industry needs to support each others’ businesses by sharing risk to ensure a stable and sustainable supply chain. Avoiding the most significant disruptions will improve the long-term customer experience and lower the total cost of ownership if the parties are willing to truly collaborate.

How has your involvement in PESA supported your career goals?
PESA has been great because it has allowed me to connect with others on the same journey in the Oil & Gas industry. PESA allows all of us to come up for air and exchange best practices, build our networks, and learn about new concepts. Being involved with PESA’s Emerging Leader Committee and completing the Executive Leadership training has definitely helped me formulate a career growth plan that is achievable.

Tell us about some of the people you’ve met while working in the industry and how they’ve impacted your thinking.
During my first assignment with Ellwood National Forge, I needed to spend a great deal of time in the shop learning by asking questions about the process to the machinists and shift foremen. As I got to know them better, this solidified the connection of how my sales role impacts the lives of others. I now understand that if I could deliver a successful project to the customer, I could not only bring value to my company’s stakeholders, but I could also help to improve the lives of the men and women on the floor making it happen. The machinists and shift foreman taught me why connecting the amazing capabilities of my company to the market place was so important.

What are you most excited about for your career, your company and your industry?
My company continues to grow and provide additional value channels to our oilfield customers. The future will definitely be exciting because of the opportunity for enhanced mobility within EGI. One day, I hope to lead segments of EGI’s business to provide solutions to meet the most demanding commercial and technical challenges that our customers face.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about entering the oil and gas industry?
Do it! Not only is our industry challenging and fun on every level, it is absolutely essential to maintaining life as we live today. Serving in the Oil & Gas industry helps people all over the world lead improved and safer lives.