Southern Star’s Samantha Howard awarded for DEI/ERG efforts 

Left to right: Patti Jenkins, Organizational Development Specialist in Owensboro; Jennifer Kelly, Project Analyst in Tonganoxie; Ashley Knight, Vice President, Human Resources in Owensboro; Samantha Howard, Twanna Hardy, Director of DEI in Houston; Gwen Cain, Manager of IT Applications in Owensboro, and Kennedy Hayden, Rates Analyst in Owensboro, celebrate Howard’s recognition at the Ally Energy GRIT Awards in Houston, TX.

Southern Star team member, Samantha Howard, was recently recognized by The Ally Energy GRIT Awards for her efforts in advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) culture and developing a successful Employee Resource Group (ERG). Howard, Organizational Development Specialist in Owensboro, won the Professional Award in October based on her DEI achievements and starting Women in Natural Gas (WING), Southern Star’s original ERG.  

The Ally Energy GRIT Awards honors the energy industry’s brightest and “grittiest” talent who contribute to their companies, the energy industry, and their communities. The program recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated growth, resilience, innovation, and talent (GRIT).  

Howard created WING in July 2021 to provide a peer-based resource for women to develop in their careers. WING has hosted several events to foster career skills and industry knowledge. Nearly 70 women and men around Southern Star actively participate in WING.  

She said her inspiration for forming WING came from when she began her career in the energy industry as a 23-year-old woman working at a coal-fired power plant. She describes wishing she had information and support to help her growth in a historically male-dominated field.  

“It was my vision that WING could be that outlet for others,” said Howard. “Often times we have obstacles in our path, like sticks on a trail. We can try to push them off the path for the person coming behind us, or we can work with those individuals to turn those sticks into a ladder.”  

She said it was an honor to be recognized for her achievements alongside many others in the energy industry. In addition to DEI and ERG work she was recognized for, she described various company sustainability projects she initiated with Southern Star. 

Bob Price, Manager of Organizational Development in Owensboro, said this was a well-earned recognition for Howard for her tireless efforts in promoting DEI in the natural gas industry. 

“Not only has she made significant strides in creating a more inclusive work environment, but she was the ‘air beneath’ WING at Southern Star, empowering and supporting women in the industry,” Price said. “Samantha’s dedication and passion for DEI serve as an inspiration to us all. Keep soaring, Samantha, and continue making a positive impact!”  

Media contact:

Karen Goedde
Director, Communications and Public Relations
(270) 852-4495

About Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.

Southern Star is a leading transporter of natural gas to America’s heartland, with approximately 5,800 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline in the Midwest and Mid-Continent regions of the United States. Our pipeline system, facilities and employees are located in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas, with our headquarters in Owensboro, KY.

For more details, visit: