How Gil Henry’s past is influencing his future in the oil and gas industry

Image of a bald man in a dark suit and white shirt, smiling at the camera with a background featuring abstract wavy lines and an Acme Corp logo. Text on the right reads, "Employee Spotlight, Gil Henry, Vice President, Oil & Gas, Hydro Consultants.

Gil Henry, Vice President of Oil & Gas at Atwell, has been in the industry for more than 25 years. What started as an offshore electrical engineering career has blossomed into leadership positions spanning decades and various companies. Gil shares more about his career path and passion for the industry in this month’s spotlight interview.

1. What would people be surprised to know about your career path?

I think people would be surprised to know I took a break during my undergraduate degree and spent time as a restaurant manager. I worked at a few different restaurants in different cities – from Baton Rouge to New Orleans to Lafayette to Pensacola. It was an interesting time working with the public and learning about people. I quickly realized that I wanted to go back and finish my degree, but the experience still serves me today when working with clients.

2. What skillset is essential in business development?

The number one thing we can always do to develop more business is to do our work well. Great work creates trust, which leads to more work. Second to that, we need to listen to what a client needs and determine how we can best meet those needs. New clients are looking for the people who they can trust to successfully get the work done. The services that we provide are some of the most important aspects of a project and selecting the right service provider is a big factor in the success of a project.

3. How has your degree in Electrical Engineering served you in the oil and gas industry?

Electrical engineering got my foot in the door in the oil and gas industry. I learned a lot when I was working on a wide variety of projects providing electrical support. From offshore platforms to oil gathering fields to cross-country pipelines to refineries, I was exposed to many aspects of the industry. I maintain my PE license, but I haven’t done true electrical engineering in about 15 years. For a lot of engineers, you come to a fork in the career path, where you decide if you want to continue on the technical design side or go the PM route. It really depends on what your goals are, but I chose to pursue project management opportunities and I’ve enjoyed the journey ever since.

4. You’ve been with Atwell for almost two years. What is your vision for the next two?

My vision for the next two years at Atwell is focusing on finding and hiring great people, and continued growth in the energy space. We had a great year last year, and I want to take advantage of the momentum and new opportunities we are seeing in all aspects of the energy markets. We are at a great time in an evolving market and Atwell is in a prime position to take advantage and be the solution clients are seeking. Atwell’s great reputation and name recognition in the energy market is spreading. We have the potential to continue the growth we’ve seen, and I’m excited to maintain that energy.

5. When you’re hiring new team members, what’s one thing you’re looking for specifically?

Experience goes a long way but the biggest thing I’m looking for is attitude. An applicant’s overall attitude and history of success when working on a team is a good indicator of whether they’ll fit in at Atwell. Teamwork requires strong communication skills, high energy, and the ability to self-actualize. Being successful in our business requires people who will go the extra step and get the job done right.

6. When people ask you what makes Atwell so successful, what’s your go-to answer?

The people and the culture of the company – that is what makes us successful.

7. Speed round:

  • Football or basketball? Football
  • Android or iPhone? iPhone
  • Summer or Winter? Summer
  • Texas or Louisiana? For food, culture, and sports, it’s Louisiana. For career, it’s Texas. For family and friends, it’s both!