New DPA Leadership Ready for a Big Year

What a great privilege it is for me to serve as your president of the Division of Professional Affairs this coming year. As understudy (president-elect) over the past 12 months I’ve had the opportunity to observe now-past president Charles Sternbach as he developed new initiatives and marvelously successful programs with his characteristic enthusiasm and verve.

Many thanks to Charles, who will be staying on the board as past president, and to the outgoing board members for their service to the DPA during the 2012-13 term: Marty Hewitt, past president, and Paul Pausé, vice president.

Mark Gallagher has excelled as DPA secretary for the past two years and he will be returning to the Executive Committee as vice president. Debbie Osborn will continue in the second year of her term as treasurer, trying to keep us aware that we have a budget.

Terry O’Hare will join the board for the next two years as secretary, and our well-renowned friend from the Mid-Continent Section, Rick Fritz, will be serving as president-elect.

We also welcome the newly elected councilors to the team and look forward to serving with them and their alternates. We will be continuing a full schedule of events, so their support will be critical to our success. Welcome to:

  • Justin Bellamy and Don Burdick as representatives of the Mid-Continent Section.
  • Margo Liss, who joins Mark Rainer to represent the Southwest Section.
  • Larry Jones and Connie Mongold, who join Ralph Baird, James Grubb and Greg Hebertson in the Gulf Coast Section.

Get to know your councilors – all 19 of them as well as the alternates are listed on our website – and then join us in thanking those retiring councilors for their service as well.


Committee work is the foundation of any volunteer organization, and we will be looking for help in a number of categories.

I hope you’ll contact me with your expressions of interest – or be receptive when I call, so we can continue to deliver content to further our goals of professionalism, ethics, training, certification and policy communication.


Young Professionals often are not yet qualified for membership in the DPA when they’ve not been in the industry for eight years – however, we greatly value their input and energies.

With that in mind, we passed a change to the Bylaws at the recent AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Pittsburgh to allow for appointment to our board of a non-voting AAPG member, which will provide for a YP seat at our table.

We intend to proactively recruit this important demographic into the DPA community.


I’m filled with gratitude for this opportunity to serve you, the members of the DPA, but I’m particularly fortunate that my employer, Cinco Resources Inc., in Dallas, has been supportive of my efforts.

Throughout the coming year we want to make the DPA more relevant to you and your business, and we intend to continue to increase our visibility at societal, regional, Section and annual meetings.

Watch for us soon at a meeting near you.


What’s on your night table/Kindle/iPad?

I’m working my way through “Switch,” by Chris Heath and Dan Heath, subtitled “How to Change Things When Change is Hard.”

It’s a slow read –­ not because of the writing, which is clear and concise, but because there are so many thoughtful gems of insight.

The authors have synthesized and cite research in psychology, sociology, socioeconomics and behavioral science to illustrate that reason alone is insufficient to achieve change. Clarity of purpose is essential, since resistance is often a response to the lack of crystal clear direction.

Through utilization of the “school of appreciative inquiry” one can recognize bright spots in systems that can be emulated for continued success.

Sounds esoteric, but I know I’ll be able to integrate these precepts to my next prospect.

Let me know what you’re reading.

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Division Column-DPA: Valary Schulz

Valary L. Schulz is DPA President for 2013-14 and is with Cinco Resources in Dallas.

Division Column-DPA

The Division of Professional Affairs (DPA), a division of AAPG, seeks to promote professionalism and ethical standards, provide a means for professional certification of petroleum geologists, coal geologists, and petroleum geophysicists, assist in career planning, and improve the professional well-being of AAPG members. For more information about the DPA and its activities, visit the DPA website.

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