In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, LAGCOE is highlighting women who have been instrumental supporters of our organization.
Brenda graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Business Degree. She went on to receive a MBA from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. She is the President of Oil Center Research International, L.L.C., a successful, fully export driven small business.
She is a member of many associations that set industry standards such as the Petroleum Packaging Council and the National Lubricating Grease Institute. She is currently Chair of the International Committee for LAGCOE (Louisiana’s Gulf Coast Oil Exposition), Vice Chair for Louisiana’s District Export Council and a member of the Louisiana Board of International Commerce. This year she joined the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Small Minority Business to advise the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative on policy affecting the committee’s sector.
Under her direction, her company has received 5 export achievement awards, including the President’s E Award and E Star Award.
Meet Brenda Stelly!
How long have you been working for the energy industry?
I have worked in the industry since 1991 (about 29 years).
In what ways has the energy industry had a positive impact on your life and career?
I grew up in the energy industry. I remember going to oil shows as a child, especially LAGCOE. It has definitely had a positive impact for me because it has opened up many opportunities for traveling and participating on industry Boards and exporting Boards. I am on the LAGCOE Board of Directors, The Louisiana Board of International Commerce (appointed by the Govenor), Vice Chair of the Louisiana District Export Council (appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce) and the Industry Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC 9) (appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce) in Washington , D.C.
Are you happy that you chose this industry?
Yes. I love that I get to travel to countries that have their own Energy Industries. I have learned so much from being on Boards and Committees.
What would you say to young girls today who are considering pursuing a STEM-centric career?
I think studying a STEM subject is vital to the advancement of both women and our country as a whole.
Did you ever feel like you were at a disadvantage as a woman in a male-dominated industry? How did you overcome that?
No, in fact I believe that being a woman has opened up more opportunities for me. Because women are considered a minority in the business, they want women on Boards and they value our opinions. I do not feel this was an issue that I needed to overcome.
How are you helping pave the way for other fellow women in the energy industry?
I hire women (and men) as Account Representatives and they have the ability to travel anywhere that a male employee would travel. In fact, one of my employees has been to more countries than probably all the men that have worked for me combined. If you have the drive and desire then you will succeed.