R. Son - Cropped Headshot.jpg
Ritthy Son
SPE-PB Chairman 2021-2022
Production Engineer
SM Energy

E pluribus unum.

Out of many, one.

Once a month for the past 10 months, our board of directors meet in the heart of the Tall City. Folks of different race, color, national origin, religion, and sex gather. For a moment, they enjoy a warm meal with fellowship and plan for the challenges ahead. All are united by a shared commission to the community, keep the knowledge flowing. We are part of a special organization. The SPE Permian Basin Section carries a rich legacy stretching back to WWII. We continue to support our +1100 strong membership and endeavor to unlock Permian energy to empower the nation.

If you have any doubts about this mission, let me share what our energy in action looks like with you. Here’s one story out of eleven hundred that I hope will open your heart as it did mine. About a year ago, I asked a young student why she decided to study petroleum engineering at UTPB. She left her family, friends, all she’s ever known, to seek education out west.

“I don’t want to be poor anymore,” she answered quietly. I don’t remember what I said in response. Only her words are seared into my memory.

My father taught me when someone truly needs help, you answer the call. Who were we honestly serving if one of our own called out for help, but we were deaf to these cries? When our UTPB liaison, Brett Keitges, brought up the idea of an engineering career fair, that was the eureka moment. From napkin to calendar invite, we spearheaded an inaugural engineering career fair with UTPB. Last September, 100 students sought to add value in industry and match up with 15 industry partners offering that valuable opportunity. It was a start, but I’ll hang my hat on that win.

Find a problem in the community and then do something positive about it. This idea isn’t breaking new ground. That’s what is means to serve on a board effectively, and what you should expect of us. For what it means to be chairman, you’re called to be a servant, advocate, educator, and if you’ve earned it, leader. No doubt there are highs and lows! But imagine working with a team where you can pick a mountain and know you can move it together. Now you might only get to pick one… but it’s enough to know that you achieved something meaningful with your time. As my time draws to a close, I’m excited for the following chairmanship under Shivani Vyas for the 2022-2023 term. I look forward to the success she and her team will achieve with your support.

Remember, there’s only one Permian Basin. While we work in a world class field, it’s easy to take the community for granted. You don’t have to be a world class volunteer to make an impact in someone’s life. You’ve read in one story, how just caring, can change their world. SPE is the same as all groups in this way. You’re only two events away from belonging to an organization you’d love. A world of opportunity awaits, just ask us when.

Thank you, for the opportunity serve as the 2021-2022 SPE Permian Basin Section Chairman. You can always count of me to lift you up. See you space cowboy