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2010 Meritorious Service Awards Luncheon

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2010 Award Recipients: Bob Vaughn & Josh Etkind

The Meritorious Service Awards Luncheon was held Tuesday March 22, 2011

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich addressed a crowd of 400 for the API/Delta Chapter's Meritorious Service Award Program. The event was held in March at the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans.

The Meritorious Service Award is given in recognition of the local men and women that actively work towards sustaining and expanding the oil and gas industry along the Gulf Coast as well as for volunteerism in their community and organizations such as API. This year's recipients were Mr. Robert "Bob" Vaughn of Bourbon Offshore and Mr. Josh Etkin of Shell Exploration and Production.

Vaughn, Area Manager for Bourbon Offshore in the Americas was selected as Meritorious Service Award recipient because of his enormous passion and volunteerism. Bob volunteers on numerous Boards and Committees. He is a Charter Member of the American Association of Drilling Engineers where he served as Director Emeritus; National Secretary; National AtLarge Board Member; Chapter Secretary and Steering Committee Member. He is a Past Chairman of API/Delta Chapter and continues to serve on the Board of Directors.

"Bob's passion and commitment to the oil and gas industry is best described by his efforts just last year", said API/Delta Chapter Chairman Steve Freeman. "Bob worked with the students at UNO to organize and lead a drilling rig site visit and he convinced the Dean of the College of Engineering to support an introductory class to the petroleum industry" he added.

Bob's volunteer work includes the Metropolitan Area Committee that focuses on community improvement in the areas of government, arts, education, public safety, housing and tourism. And he mentors to at-risk students through the Youth Challenge Program.

Etkind is a Sr. Reservoir Engineer working world-class development and exploration opportunities for Shell E&P Company in the Gulf of Mexico, Greater Mars Basin.

Josh places a high value on volunteerism within professional societies and in philanthropy. He currently serves as Director-at-Large on the Society of Petroleum Engineers International Board of Directors, President of the Executive Task Force on the Future of Online Collaboration in SPE, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the international NGO called IHSAN. In addition, he is currently serving in several other capacities at the local, national and international level in the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Current positions include: Co-creator, Past President and mentor of the SPE Intl; Young Professionals Coordinating Committee; SPE and is a representative on the U.S. Department of Energy National Public Energy Education Steering Committee.

Additionally, Josh started and served as VP of the Friends of Bethlehem Foundation to support local foster children that were severely abused (mentally, physically or sexually) and couldn't be placed with foster parents. The foundation was created with seed capital and donations from the SPE-Delta Section and support of its members.

"Josh takes pride in being able to balance his work with these activities and has been recognized for this ability on several occasions" said Freeman.

Key Note Speaker Bromwich was appointed Director of BOEMRE by President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in June of 2010 to oversee the fundamental restructuring of the former Minerals Management Service. BOEMRE is responsible for ensuring oil and gas development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.

Bromwich announced during the luncheon that BOEMRE had issued new rules and regulations that, in his opinion, substantially enhance drilling and workplace safety and strengthen environmental protection. The Agency also implemented a requirement that operators must have a plan and the demonstrated ability to shut in a deepwater blowout and capture oil flowing from a wild well. And he added that his administration placed a number of structural and procedural reforms to reduce the conflicts of interest inherent in the mission of the Minerals Management Service (MMS).

API's next event will be the Technical Lunch on Tuesday, August 9, 2011. Topic: The Helix Well Containment System" with Key Note Speaker Roger Scheuermann of Deepwater well containment group - HWCG.