Ash Shepherd, 34
Commercial Manager-Mexico, Talos Energy LLC, Houston
Signed first two production-sharing contracts following Mexico's 2013 historic Constitutional Energy Reforms making Talos the first foreign operator in Mexico since 1938. Transferred experience from the U.S. Department of Energy into acting as a legal committee representative of the Mexican trade group AMEXHI.
Career path: Joined Talos as senior land and legal advisor in 2014. Confidence from management led to critical role as commercial manager when the company decided to expand internationally. Began career as Presidential appointee serving in the U.S. Department of Energy as intergovernmental liaison and offshore career at Tana Exploration.
Keeping cool under pressure: Wife told him she was pregnant with their first child night before his federal income tax law school final. “Receiving joyous, life-altering news and simultaneously having to execute professionally proved that I could perform under pressure to provide for my growing family.”
Pros of rejection: Keeps a binder of every job application rejection letter to appreciate where he is now; “the binder is thick!” In life, “you should view every ‘no’ as the universe preventing you from heading in the wrong direction. I greatly appreciate where I am today when I look through
Goals realized: Dreamed of being on the board of a company—now serves on the board of two of Talos’ Mexican operating subsidiaries. “Trust from the executive management team has allowed me to achieve this goal earlier than anticipated.”
Networking: “Getting to know your counterparts is very important. I believe you can vigorously represent your company and yourself in a way where you can have dinner or play a round of golf with your counterpart after negotiations conclude.”
Lessons Learned: Downturn taught him importance of “hedging, managing the fear of employees and taking calculated risks,” like how Talos leveraged the low price commodity environment to make its historic entry into Mexico. “We are very excited to drill our first international well next year.”