The Makings of a Leader: Respect, Loyalty and Honesty

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When I first started covering the oil and gas pipeline industry in 2009, Pat Tielborg was one of the first people I contacted for editorial.

North American Oil & Gas Pipelines started as a supplement to Benjamin Media’s flagship Trenchless Technology in December 2008 and was launched as a standalone in 2009. My first cover story was for that year’s July/August issue and focused on the Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA) and then-new president Don Thorn of Welded Construction.

As managing director and general counsel of the PLCA, Tielborg provided input for the article and put me in touch with Thorn and other contacts. Over the years, he has provided similar guidance and helped me improve my knowledge of the industry overall.

From my very first issue, we have focused on leadership. It seems fitting that Tielborg would become the subject of this issue’s cover story by earning the 2017 Pipeline Leadership Award. The award is presented each year at the Pipeline Leadership Conference, which is organized by North American Oil & Gas Pipelines and Benjamin Media Inc., in partnership with Continuum Capital.

From that very first conversation in 2009, Tielborg was always direct, honest and very concise. And so, it was a pleasure when I got to hear him be more expansive in telling his own story of working in the pipeline industry for more than 40 years.

RELATED: Pat Tielborg Earns 2017 Pipeline Leadership Award

We also heard from a number of Tielborg’s colleagues and friends about his qualities as a leader. He listed “respect, loyalty and honesty” as the three most important aspects of leadership. It’s clear from his reputation in the industry that Tielborg has embodied those traits on his way to earning this year’s Pipeline Leadership Award.

Bernie Krzys, North American Oil & Gas Pipelines publisher, noted that he has known Tielborg for more than 20 years.

“Pat and his wife Julia are great people,” Krzys said. “Seeing them at the annual PLCA Convention and other events has always been a pleasure. After his retirement, I sure hope Pat stays involved in the industry. His guidance will be missed.”

The award is voted upon by the Pipeline Leadership Conference Program Committee, comprised of industry veterans. Additional finalists included Terry Boss, senior vice president of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of American (INGAA); Herb Fluharty of Mears (retired); and the Pipeline Safety Leadership Training Program initiated by Caterpillar, PipeLine Machinery and a group of leading pipeline stakeholders.

Past Pipeline Leadership Award winners are Chuck Shafer of NiSource Inc. in 2015 and Pat Michels of Michels Corporation in 2016. For more information about the Pipeline Leadership Award and the Pipeline Leadership Conference, visit plconference.com.

Brad Kramer
Managing Editor
Twitter: @NAOGP1

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