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Partner Profile – Encana Oil & Gas Inc.

Encana Partners with GEM, Creates Hub for Energy-Focused Education

“As an industry, we are at a crossroads for a number of reasons,” says Doug Hock, spokesman for Encana Oil & Gas Inc (U.S.). “And because energy is a key to our future economic growth, it’s important that our leaders understand the big picture.”

That’s why Encana became a close ally and partner of the Business School. Encana cemented that relationship with a $1 million contribution toward the $20 million renovation of the downtown building.

The building at 1475 Lawrence Street will serve as anchor for the Business School and will house Global Energy Management (GEM), an innovative graduate MS program designed in tandem with Encana and other industry partners to train the oil and gas industry’s next generation of leaders.

“We feel strongly about Denver,” Hock comments. “It’s our U.S. headquarters, a great place to live and work, but we also feel Denver has a lot of potential to become a hub in the Rocky Mountain West for higher education focused on energy.”

Encana has been an active contributor to the Business School’s curriculum since 2006, when it helped create an oil and gas specific accounting class. Encana went on to help develop GEM, which enrolled its first students in January 2009.

Although Encana’s leaders are relatively young, the industry’s overall workforce is nearing retirement age, Hock remarks, “so we’ve engaged aggressively in funding programs that will help prepare the next generation. We want the CU Denver Business School to be a center of excellence.”

The GEM program is designed for people already working in the field who want to become leaders in the industry. To that end, it uses in-class and online coursework to teach creative solutions to the issues faced by conventional, nonconventional, alternative and renewable energy sources. Six Encana employees are currently enrolled, with the corporation’s support.

Encana’s gift also provides for development of an Annual Energy Forum, which will address pressing issues in the industry.

“Having this program in our community has broad implications for Denver as a center for energy education, policy and research,” states Don McClure, vice president of government, stakeholder relations and legal for Encana.

GEM’s office suite in the new building will be named for Encana, the largest producer of natural gas in North America.

“Encana’s partnership with the school and the GEM program is an example of the collaborations that support business growth in Colorado and the West,” says Dean Sueann Ambron.

Reprinted from the spring 2010 issue of the 14th St Journal


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