Reginal W. Spiller
2013 Bromery Award for Minorities
Presented to Reginal W. Spiller
Citation by Lisa White
Reginal (Reg) Spiller is extremely deserving of the 2013 Bromery Award. Enthusiastic, energetic, and committed, Reg is a true ambassador for the geosciences who constantly promotes the accomplishments of diverse geoscientists when he travels nationally and internationally. Reg has worked for decades to identify oil and gas resources and highlight resource challenges around the globe. His success and leadership in industry began at then-Exxon USA and continued as a project manager for Elf Aquitaine Petroleum and Maxus Energy. Achievements in industry led to an appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Gas and Petroleum Technologies at the US Department of Energy during the Clinton Administration. Reg’s co-founding of Frontera Resources and his leadership as President and CEO of Azimuth Investments, a global energy advisory company, further demonstrates his business accomplishments. A distinguished alumnus of Penn State (MS in Geology in 1979), Reg’s achievements as an exploration geologist and senior manager occurred on major fields in over 50 countries.
Equally as important as Reg’s success in industry is his dedication to promoting geosciences to others. A geologist, a businessman, and a charitable humanitarian, Reg gives generously of his time and resources and is responsible for recruiting many African Americans and other minorities to the geoscience profession. One of Reg’s greatest achievements was the founding of the National Association of Black Geologists and Geophysicists (now NABG, National Association of Black Geoscientists) more than 30 years ago. A dynamic and ever-growing network, NABG provides leadership, mentorship, and scholarship support to diverse students in the geosciences.
Thank you Lisa,
Ladies and gentlemen, I feel very honored to be this year’s recipient of the Bromery Award. I would like to extend a very special thanks to the Bromery family for establishing this award. Thanks also to the National Association of Black Geoscientist (NABG) for the nomination and I express my sincere thanks to the Geological Society of America (GSA) for selecting me as this year’s recipient. I of course share this award with my wife, Freda who has constantly supported me throughout my career and many endeavors. I would like to thank Dr. Lisa White who has been a colleague of mine for many years and is a former recipient of this prestigious award. Lisa has played an incredible role in promoting the Earth Sciences both here in the US and abroad.
My path to this moment in time comes through and with the assistance of another distinguished geoscientist and close associate of Dr. Bromery’s, Dr. Mack Gipson. It was Mack, one of the 1st African American PHD Geoscientist , who convinced me to begin my career with Exxon USA in 1979 where I was one of many geologist that both he and Dr. Bromery mentored over the years.
With significant professional positions under their stewardship, the Bromery/ Gibson Team worked closely with key individuals in Government , Industry , and Academia to make sure that there were clear path ways for the success of Minority Geoscientist in the work place. In a geologic sense, it marked a significant “Sequence Boundary” in how new minority STEMs talent , “Prograded” and “Onlaped” on top of the existing workforce. Subtle at the onset but rapidly filling and shifting the focus of where the US would access its workforce talent. Important because; according to the recent National Academy of Science Work Force Study , over 1/3 of the existing professional geoscientist working today, are eligible to retire in the next 5 years. Think of the University of Texas Geoforce and Fort Valley’s CDEP pipelines that identify minority students in the 7th grade; Penn State’s Africa Array and DOE’s Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship program and other institutional efforts that are capturing and redirecting new talent into Earth and Engineering Sciences as the demographics of the population shift. It all had to start somewhere and Dr. Bromery was there when it began.
If you had an opportunity to know Dr. Bromery, you understood that he was a intellectual that radiated integrity and trust. Everyone wanted to be like him. Always true to his profession, he maintained his technical excellence well into his later years. More importantly however, Dr. Bromery instilled the message that in order to truly advance and prosper, a person must be both technically excellent and one of high integrity who respects and cares about others. So today…. much of my time is spent doing what I observed Dr. Bromery and Dr. Gibson do before me. Passing on the special gift that each of us has received from a mentor, the encouragement, the passion and the excitement of being a Geoscientist.