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Presented by Grant Thornton

Justin Stone, 34

Completions Manager, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., The Woodlands, Texas

Has been on a fast track. Was with Kerr-McGee, and after Anadarko’s merger, worked as a senior drilling engineer in the East Texas Austin Chalk. Then accepted a position as Anadarko’s drilling engineering supervisor in Beijing, China, leading a joint team of U.S. and Chinese engineers to design and execute China's first directional dual wellbore. On return to U.S., took over as Eagle Ford drilling operations manager before moving to current position. While with Kerr- McGee, was senior drilling engineer for the U.S. Rockies.

On working in Beijing:
“It was a great experience that has led to a lot of things. A friend from A&M is a missionary and backpacks through China. My wife or I travel there every six months. We’re on the board of a foster home for special- needs children in a remote area.”

Sister’s inspiration: Work with the foster home is inspired by his sister, who was born with a handicap. “She died this past January; she was 23 years old. She had an amazing journey that affected all of us in a meaningful way.

Green acres: “Another result [of the experience in China] is that we live on a few acres now in Magnolia, Texas, after having lived with kids in a high-rise in one of the largest cities in the world. We’re raising chickens and quail. I will probably own chickens to the day I die; it is such a huge stress relief.”

On alone time in Colorado: Was working for Kerr-McGee when Anadarko announced it was purchasing it. “My supervisors left me in a field office in Evans, Colorado, with eight rigs to manage. For a brief time, it was just me and, next up, our regional vice president in Denver—60 miles away. I had to figure it out, which led to a strong sense of ownership over the operation.”

An early job: In high school, worked in the soils lab of Knight Engineering Services Corp., which was owned by a member of his church. “To make $15 an hour while a junior in high school? I was doing back flips.”

A motto: “It’s from one of the best bosses I’ve had—Steve Bosworth, vice president of worldwide drilling at Anadarko. You could be downtrodden, fighting with an operational issue for a solid week, and you feel like a failure. He’d just smile and say, ‘If it were easy, anyone could do it.’”

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With appreciation to Grant Thornton for their support