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

Lindsey Hufnagel McCarty, 32

Vice President, Reservoir Engineering and Business Development, PayRock Energy II, Oklahoma City

Whether she’s moving cross-country for a new job or spontaneously learning about intricate and time-sensitive engineering techniques, Lindsey McCarty is a woman who’s not afraid to take chances.

And the risk-taking tendencies of the energetic executive have paid off.

“I was moved into a management position at a fairly early point in my career due in part to my performance, but also because I made a habit of saying ‘yes’ to new opportunities that were presented to me,” McCarty says. “If I had turned down every opportunity I wasn’t sure I was ready for, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Overcoming obstacles: The biggest professional challenge McCarty faced involved stepping into a leadership role in a high-profile asset with no previous experience in unconventional resource plays.

“I had to learn the intricate processes required to successfully develop a shale play on the fly, while simultaneously learning how to lead a team with 13 rigs running during the worst commodity pricing downturn in decades,” McCarty recalls. “It was incredibly humbling and not something I want to go through again, but I gained dog-years of experience and learned a lot about myself in the process.”

A servant leader: McCarty is a manager who leads by example. “I don’t think it’s right to ask people to work harder than I’m willing to work, nor do I think it’s right to treat people with any less respect than I expect in return,” she says.

Advice for young professionals: “Work harder than expected. Hold yourself to a higher standard than you hold others.”

Quotable: “The only constant in this industry is change: commodity prices will swing, plays will come and go and technology will keep progressing. Stay engaged, educated and open-minded.”

Photography by
Evin Thayer Studios