Monday, August 16, 2010

Cabot's guy responsible for the PR Picnic in Montrose, is on the board of the PA Parks and Forests Foundation!

So, I was researching the head guy behind Cabot's PR Picnic in Montrose.

His name is George E. Stark. I found mostly typical Public Relations (PR / "spin doctor") stuff, like "governmental and public relations", corporate communications, brand-image, 16 years working for the gas industry.... Then I found something interesting.

Basically, what these PR people do is two fold:
  1. Develop propaganda to convince legislators to pass laws/regs which favor industry, and

  2. Develop propaganda to convince the public that the corporation cares about you and the environment.
Learn more about Public Relations:

Interesting side note: I was inside the big tent in Montrose. A man asked the question, "I haven't signed a lease. How do I know that drill bit isn't going under my land?"

As I was recording the Cabot engineer's response, Mr. George Stark pulled me aside and personally forbade me from recording audio or video of this event. I was suddenly surrounded by about 10 of his private security officers -- some were wearing sidearms!!! -- and they ordered me not to take any more video of the event under threat of arrest.

This was a public event on public property (Montrose HS). PA is a 2-party consent state for recording purposes, but only if the speakers have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Their harrassment of me was clearly illegal, and a violation of my First Amendment rights. I didn't want to press my luck and complied, and George assigned TWO of his security guards to follow me around to make sure I didn't shoot video.
Cabot was giving away bottled water labeled "Wastewater Treatment Plant".
Delicious and Refreshing!!!

And I found something interesting while researching Mr. George E. Stark.... sits on the board of Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation!

Check out their mission statement:

To enhance Pennsylvania's parks and forests,
protect Pennsylvania's natural resources, and
support conservation and environmental programs.

Click on the image below to see how the national parks in PA have been devastated by gas drilling (Allegheny National Forest)
George smiles, while PA forests are destroyed by the effects of gas drilling

Here is his public Linkdn profile:

George Stark

George Stark

Director, External Affairs at Cabot Oil & Gas

Greater Pittsburgh Area

  • Director of Government Affairs at Buchart Horn, Inc.
  • Director of External Affairs at Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania/Maryland
  • Director of Public Policy at Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania/Maryland
  • Director of Governmental Affairs at Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania/Maryland
  • Manager of Governmental Affairs at Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania/Maryland

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2 more...

  • Dickinson College
George has 5 recommendations 5 people have recommended George
406 connections
Public Relations and Communications

George Stark's Summary

Versatile public policy professional with 20 years experience, 15 years with a Fortune 300 natural gas company. Extensive experience in government, political and public affairs, communications, community relations and advocacy. Consistently recognized for political judgment skills and ability to explain public policy initiatives to various audiences. Successful at developing and integrating public relations campaigns and legislative strategies to meet business challenges and exceed organizational objectives. Skilled at motivating and managing people to create partnerships and foster an environment of teamwork and cooperation.

George Stark's Specialties:

*Public Policy Analysis-Strategic Planning-Coalition Building.
*Media Relations-Spokesperson-Brand Advertising.
*Direct Lobbying-Issues Management.
*PAC Solicitation/Outreach.
*Community Involvement-Focused Contributions.

George Stark's Experience

  • Director, External Affairs

    Cabot Oil & Gas

    (Public Company; COG; Oil & Energy industry)

    April 2010Present (5 months)

    Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a leading independent North American natural gas producer. The company's reserves are focused in both conventional and unconventional basins in Appalachia, the Rocky Mountains, the Mid-Continent and the Gulf Coast.

  • Director of Government Affairs

    Buchart Horn, Inc.

    (Privately Held; Civil Engineering industry)

    November 2009April 2010 (6 months)

    Buchart Horn/BASCO, a full service international professional consulting engineering and architectural firm serving three primary areas: Transportation--road, highway and bridge design; Environmental--water and wastewater systems; and Facilities--K-12, college and university projects, municipal buildings, jails and prisons, commercial and retail projects. Founded in 1945 in York, PA, the firm now has some 300 professional and support personnel serving public and private clients from 15 offices in seven states and Germany.

  • Director of External Affairs

    Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania/Maryland

    (Utilities industry)

    January 2001October 2009 (8 years 10 months)

    Directed a fully integrated communications and governmental affairs department responsible for all external communication functions during $1 billion pipeline replacement program and rate case filing.
    • Established and supervised widely successful outreach effort designed to raise awareness of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Columbia Gas of Maryland's brand through paid and earned media.
    • Oversaw creation of advertising materials and media outreach strategy for a $750,000 a year brand image campaign.
    • Created and managed a communication strategy with state elected officials and regulatory leaders to outline the needs and benefits of upgrading 120 miles of pipeline a year.
    • Directed local grassroots outreach/media campaign to launch community by community replacement efforts totaling $60 million per year for 20 years.
    • Served as media spokesperson during the first rate case in 12 years resulting in an increase of $42 million for the company.
    • Devised the successful passage of state legislation that updated the credit and collections law regarding public utilities billing and collecting practices, resulting in a $5 million saving to the company.
    • Won approval of $60 million in new funding into Pennsylvania's state budget for low-income energy assistance, first of its kind.

  • Director of Public Policy

    Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania/Maryland

    (Government Relations industry)

    May 1999December 2000 (1 year 8 months)

    Integrated economic development and government affairs departments into a unified team with a one million dollar budget and fostered collaboration between economic development professionals and elected officials.
    • Strengthened Columbia's outreach into the community by linking developers' location decisions with legislative support and influence; outcome was company's designation of exclusive natural gas provider to a major redevelopment project.
    • Improved company bottom-line by amending legislation to eliminate phone sales tax on company's customer contact center resulting in the company saving $650,000 annually.

  • Director of Governmental Affairs

    Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania/Maryland

    (Government Relations industry)

    December 1996April 1999 (2 years 5 months)

    Developed legislative strategies and directed a grassroots outreach program that furthered Columbia's business goals with local, state and federal officials.Directed and coordinated the communications of Columbia's public policy position by presenting testimony, developing written correspondence and direct lobbying of elected officials.

  • Manager of Governmental Affairs

    Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania/Maryland

    (Government Relations industry)

    October 1994November 1996 (2 years 2 months)

    Managed and coordinated the communications of Columbia's position on pending legislation.

George Stark's Education

  • Dickinson College

    Bachelor of Arts , Political Science , 19851989

Additional Information

George Stark's Websites:

George Stark's Interests:

Running, Half Marathons, Bike Riding

George Stark's Groups:

Cultural Alliance of York County-Board Member,
Washington County Chamber of Commerce- Board Member,
Pennsylvania Parks and Forestry Foundation-Board Member,
Maryland/District of Columbia Utilities Association-Past President,
Energy Association of Pennsylvania-Gas Steering Committee

  • Dickinson College Alumni Dickinson College Alumni
  • Energy & Utilities Network Energy & Utilities Network
  • Linkin Greater Pittsburgh Linkin Greater Pittsburgh
  • Leadership Pittsburgh Alumni Leadership Pittsburgh Alumni
  • Marcellus Shale Energy (Oil and Gas) Business Operators Network Marcellus Shale Energy (Oil and Gas) Business Operators Network
  • Public Affairs Council Public Affairs Council
  • Imagine Pittsburgh Imagine Pittsburgh
  • Energy & Utilities Network - Government Law, Policy & Regulation Energy & Utilities Network - Government Law, Policy & Regulation
  • PBC Government Affairs PBC Government Affairs
  • Power of 32 Power of 32
  • Friends of City Theatre Friends of City Theatre

George Stark's Honors:

Graduate-Leadership Pittsburgh, XXV,
Volunteer for Greater Pittsburgh Foodbank-Off The Record Committee.

George Stark's Contact Settings

Interested In:

  • career opportunities
  • consulting offers
  • job inquiries
  • expertise requests
  • reference requests
  • getting back in touch

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1 comment:

Tom Frost Jr. said...

Even the bozo of a guard in your photo, who escorted me out with my different kind of water an hour later, didn't say anything about the videoing that I was doing when he walked up to me.