The launch of Marcellus Drilling News as a full-time venture for founder/editor Jim Willis would not have been possible without Jim working a part-time gig (in marketing) for Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI). The fantastic folks at NGI, specifically Dexter and Alex Steis (publisher and editor-in-chief, respectively) provided Jim with meaningful, long-term support for six years (from 2012-2017). Jim is eternally grateful they allowed him to continue publishing MDN while working (remotely) for NGI. The head of NGI since its founding has been Dexter and Alex’s mom, Ellen Beswick Steis, a true trailblazer who founded the company in 1983. Ellen passed on Christmas Eve at the age of 79 following an illness.
Although Jim’s boss at NGI was Dexter, Jim got to meet and speak with Ellen a number of times over the years. She was an impressive woman. Ellen was first and foremost a reporter, and a reporter in the classic, best sense of that word. She began her career as a reporter for United Press International. She cared, deeply, about getting the facts right and making sure a story is accurate. Her legacy lives on in the reporters at NGI and their fantastic publications, including Daily Gas Price Index and Shale Daily (which we read daily).
Ellen built NGI from the ground up, launching the company when she was a single mom with two young boys. When the natural gas markets deregulated in the early 1980s, Ellen was the first to publish actual market prices (spot prices) for natural gas. NGI to this day is venerated as one of the top price reporting authorities for natural gas. We often see NGI’s price data quoted by the Wall Street Journal and U.S. Energy Information Administration.
We can’t say enough good things about Ellen. She will be greatly missed. Fortunately, her values and legacy will live on in the terrific folks at NGI.
The writers at NGI penned a beautiful tribute/eulogy to Ellen, which you can read here. We encourage you to take the time to read about one of our industry’s giants.