An end to an era

You’ve heard and probably seen some changes over the past several months. On December 31, 2020, six years from the day we formed the company, we will retire Pink Petro and Experience Energy and become ALLY Energy.

It’s bittersweet, but time.

It’s time to grow with the flow.

When we launched Pink Petro, I knew we would need to shift. I chose Pink Petro to give the world something to talk about. I’ve written for a while about the need for our industry to be more open, less exclusive and more connected to society. It started with a Twitter feed which grew to a full fledged community, app, events, our coveted Ally, Entrepreneur and ESG councils, and jobs. We’ve swept the public by a storm providing them high quality information, sources like you, and stories that are inspiring the movement to see change in our industry.

“You’re nuts, Mehnert.”

People thought I was nuts and told me I’d fail. We also put digital at the center of our community streaming events from the start in 2015 and are now reaching over 75,000 online with our signature Energy 2.0 conference. “There’s no market for digital events. You are betting on the wrong thing,” said one industry events executive at a trade show where he refused to shake my hand because I was the “competitor”. During COVID we scaled to daily events with hundreds tuning in on lockdown.

I guess we’re all nuts, now.

Pink Petro humanized energy.  

It created a cultural movement that encouraged voices, faces and new and exciting channels to emerge to share stories we needed to hear and see. It exposed hard truths and dispelled myths. It recognized the many women and men in an industry so misunderstood and unfairly vilified. It made energy colorful, and reminded us all of the experiences made possible by fossil fuels.

Pink Petro sparked a social conversation on gender.

Pink Petro gave our industry a shot of “feminine” to spark a global social conversation on the role of women in the workforce. The idea germinated from a conversation and some cocktail napkins on a longhaul flight in first class with an oilman twice my age. Bubba, as I call him, swirled a glass of fine bourbon and asked a question that would change the trajectory of my career and my life.

What’s a pretty young lady like you doing in a dark and dangerous business like oil and gas?

Bubba Oilman

In an instant the light bulb that went off above my head was so bright, it could have blinded the pilot and crashed us into the Atlantic Ocean. In a split second, I said to myself, I am going to fix this.

Jealousy and criticism

We’ve have had our fair share of jealousy and criticism. Over the course of 6 years I have been excluded, mocked, and trolled. I’ve needed massive doses of courage and grit to just push through the noise. “Why would you make this a business when you could make more as a charity,” a non profit leader explained to me. My father told me at some point along this journey when I really wanted to give up, “If you’ve got people who love it and hate it, you’ve made it, kid.”

Challenges and silver linings

Hurricane Harvey and the havoc it wreaked on my home and business destroyed my self esteem. I never wanted to give up more than I did when the US government ordered the release of dams to flood the Energy Corridor, where I live and work. Uninsured and feeling completely hopeless, I found solace in the comfort of this community. But Harvey’s silver lining was his lesson: I learned how pissed off Mother Nature is and we doubled down on the intersection of the energy transition, intersectional equity, and the emerging economy.

ALLY is born during lockdown

I knew we needed a new name in 2015 when we launched. I just needed to find the right fit and the right time. It would just take COVID19 to force me to pause our growth and take the opportunity to shift our name.

One day my daughter Ally came up to my office during lockdown. She desperately wanted us to go outside to play. I told her “Mom is trying to make an important decision.” Without hesitation my then 9-year old looked at me and said, “Mommy you overthink things. Sometimes the answer is right in front of you.”

The answer is in front of me. It’s in front of us.

My daughter and our kids are our future. ALLY is about the future we are building together. We need ALL forms of energy ALL people working together for a more diverse, reliable, clean energy ecosystem. I argued for this before Congress in 2019 on the clean workforce of the future.

We need all intersections of society to make this happen. It’s not a partisan thing. It’s not an industry thing. It’s a you, me, WE thing. ALLY is about jobs, learning, connections, and education. It’s where we will advocate, listen and learn. and it’s definitely about time, pragmatism, centrism, and working to build a balanced energy ecosystem. It means leveraging the talent we have but recruiting more.

A Toast to Allies

So I want to make a toast to that oilman who saved me from a corporate path and made me a crazy scrappy entrepreneur with a fire in my belly. I thank my amazing team who is making it happen. I thank my daughter Ally who sparkles plenty, and her dad, my husband for saying “I do” every day. And my thanks to all of you — the hard working women and men in our industry who built the world. As allies in energy, working for a balanced ecosystem, we’re going to transform it, together.

See y’ALL in 2021.

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in Storytelling & Personal Branding

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  1. Katie,
    This was a wonderful farewell article to read. It has been a pleasure for me to be a part of Pink Petro and now ALLY. I really admire all of your hard work and dedication to the Oil and Gas Industry and the females that work in the Industry. I’m excited to see where ALLY goes in the next year. I’m in the Oil and Gas Industry and it’s been such a wonderful journey for me. Thank you for all you do and cheers to continued success!!!

  2. Thanks for your bold and human leadership Katie – so excited to see what adventures you are planning for 2021 and to have your guidance for those that LIEN Women in Clean Energy will be driving forward – trying to follow your great example and to grow with the flow.. Stay smart and healthy!!!

  3. Love your authenticity Katie in sharing the courage it has taken to get to this point! You are an inspiration to us all and show us what is possible when we leverage the community around us.