EIC celebrates 25 years in US as City of Houston declares 28 August ‘Energy Industries Council Day’

Source: press release, 31 August 2020

From left, former CEOs Dai Sommerville-Joners and Mike Major join current chief executive Stuart Broadley at the EIC’s 75th anniversary in London in 2018 (photo: EIC)
From left, former CEOs Dai Sommerville-Joners and Mike Major join current chief executive Stuart Broadley at the EIC’s 75th anniversary in London in 2018 (photo: EIC)

On 28 August 1995 the EIC, headquartered in London, England, opened its first overseas office, in Houston. Originally located at 10777 Westheimer, Houston, Texas, they have since moved to 11490 Westheimer.

In celebration and recognition of this milestone, the City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner officially proclaimed 28 August 2020 as Energy Industries Council Day.

The EIC was originated in 1943 to help British businesses diversify across energy sectors and export globally.

Amanda Duhon, EIC Regional Director – North & Central America, comments, “It is an honour to be a part of the EIC Houston legacy. Our staff, member companies and other stakeholders have been at the centre of this success, driving energy business across the region. Interestingly, looking back at the EIC Houston office inauguration records, we find that Houston office membership fees are unchanged in 25 years at close to USD 3,400, so that’s amazing value for money!”

The EIC celebrated with a Houston Coffee Break webinar and pop quiz on Friday 28 August, with special guests including Richard Hyde, Her Majesty’s Consul General in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma, as well as Derek Blackwood, OBE, Global Scot, James McLennan, President of BABC Texas and Leah Mayo, Executive Director at BABC Texas.

During the event, Richard Hyde said, “I’m really happy and delighted to be here to celebrate the anniversary of the EIC Houston office. The EIC’s role as a supporter and advocate for the energy industries is as important now as it was back in 1943, when companies came together during a brutal war to figure out and galvanise the industry.”

“In the UK, but increasingly in the US, the conversation is about energy transition. The energy industry is at an inflection point, and if it wants to survive it needs to adapt and contribute to energy transition. The UK government needs the support of a credible industry voice that underpins that message, and EIC has an enormously important role to play in energy transition,” Hyde added.

20 companies joined Houston membership at its inception, including Advanced Energy Monitoring Systems, Caltrix Services, Cyfas Restbury, GEC Alsthom Engineering Systems, Heatrix, Laker-Vent Engineering Ltd, Noskab Group Plx, Onstream Ltd, Peter Brotherhood Ltd, Quadcad Instruments, Severn Instruments, Taylor Woodrow Construction Holding, Triangle Controls Ltd, Woodfield Systems, Wormald Engineering, British Steel, KWB Controls, Langley Alloys and Weimuller Klippon.

The Chief Executive of EIC in 1995, Dai Somerville-Jones, says when looking back to those days “It was clear to me that EIC’s future lay in taking the marketing needs of our members to the scene of action rather than sitting in London with no outreach. I had learned that the world centre of operation in the oil and gas sector was Houston and that we really should have a means of accessing the heart of business there for our members.”

To further strengthen their position in the US for both British and US supply chain companies, the EIC recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the British American Business Council (BABC) in Texas.

Building on a strong relationship of over 20 years, the partnership will result in closer cooperation in support for members, events, information, and communication.

James McLennan, President of the BABC Texas and Senior Vice President of Sales at Wood Mackenzie says, “The British American Business Council Texas is honoured and excited to be joining with the EIC to further our commitment and support to our members and the energy industry as a whole.”

Today, there are 377 EIC members with a presence in the US, close to 60% of their total membership. In 1995, the EIC had 250 members, with 20 joining signing up to the Houston office.

Spencer Linsell, Regional Sales Director at EIC member company Petrolvalves, says, “I first came to Houston in 2014 on a 2-week business trip from the UK. As a member with the EIC from the UK, I was instantly able to the use the EIC office to hot-desk and found the opportunity to network with other companies in the supply chain.”