International Business

Alumna and former energy CEO visits international business class


by William Wood

 
Graph depicting reliability by fuel type in regard to Texas crisis - 2021

Meg Gentle (’96), former president and CEO of Houston, Texas based natural gas company Tellurian recently paid a virtual visit to international busines professor Marion White’s International Business Theory and Policy class. The discussion ranged from her days at JMU to today’s energy market.

Gentle. an experienced energy CEO who plans multi-billion dollar projects, told the students not to ‘overplan’ their lives, saying that when she left JMU, she had a passion to do work with other nations and cultures but did not have a planned career path. In fact, she called her interest in business “serendipity,” sparked when she took an introductory economics from Professor J. Barkley Rosser. “I took econ and loved it, and I picked up that double major in business.”

The corporation Gentle led, Tellurian Inc., is a global leader in natural gas. “Natural gas is a complement to renewable energy,” she said, pointing out that gas-fired power plants can quickly increase and decrease output to accommodate the needs of electric grid systems.

On today’s energy scene, Gentle noted two important energy industry trends are changes in the energy balance of power and climate change.

“The Middle East cannot control the price of oil” any more, Gentle said, reflecting on earlier times when the western world lived in fear of foreign oil producers, and showed students a chart illustrating how the balance of power in energy had shifted to the United States.

Gentle also sees promise in carbon offset markets to move toward carbon-neutral solutions. “When every single energy company goes out with a carbon offsetting program, that is not very efficient,” she said. “So it’s good that markets in energy credits are growing.”

Gentle also pointed out the importance of treating everyone well. “Be relentlessly focused on relationships,” she advised the students, and endorsed the concept of servant leadership, saying it had served her well in her career. “I work for everyone, even when I have a big job,” she said, noting that as CEO she served everyone in the firm.

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Published: Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 10, 2021

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