Presented by Grant Thornton and Preng & Associates. Photography by Evin Thayer Studios.

Gaylon Gray, 35

Principal, Co-CEO, Stakeholder Midstream, San Antonio

“I want our employees to be able to look back on Stakeholder as the organization where they experienced the most professional growth and knew they were part of an integrated team working together to achieve the same goal.”

Forming Stakeholder Midstream was a chance Gray took in 2015 alongside his TexStar Midstream Services colleague, Rob Liddell. “Rob and I both loved the culture and opportunity to make a significant impact at TexStar and were planning to work there for many years to come.”

Their career path began to change when TexStar went through a merger in 2014 and they realized it might be time for a change. Fortunately, “the stars aligned” for Gray and Liddell to form their own company with growth capital and value-added support from EnCap Flatrock Midstream.

Stakeholder serves producers on the Northwest Shelf of the Permian Basin in both Texas and New Mexico. Stakeholder designs, builds and operates new midstream facilities in the San Andres play. “Our current San Andres project has required a thoughtful, unique and comprehensive solution. The gas is very rich with high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide, CO 2 and nitrogen. Couple that with the learning curve of the producers drilling the horizontal San Andres play, and it would be enough to deter most midstream providers from the area.”

Innovative: Both Gray and the rest of the Stakeholder team love a challenge. “We pride ourselves on working collaboratively with our customers to problem-solve and create effective solutions. The San Andres has many unique challenges that each producer was trying to address independently. We quickly realized that this could be a unique situation where producers could work together to share learnings and solve problems, allowing producers to more quickly develop and realize the full potential of the play,” Gray says.

“As a result, Stakeholder created a forum to develop and nurture collaboration between producers by hosting the first San Andres Producer Conference in 2016.We have hosted a total of four producer conferences to date. They have been a springboard for much of the communication between the San Andres producers. The conferences have become a platform to really understand the extent of the play, watch its development and to help us continue to tailor our midstream solutions to better serve and add value to our customers.”

Advice for young professionals: “There is a fine line between being confident and arrogant, and you need to know exact boundaries of that line and walk it carefully. Be humble, and at the end of the day, do what you do well and you won’t go unnoticed.”

Photography by
Evin Thayer Studios