Houston Strong
By Kat Pittman, 2nd Vice President

After the devastation that Hurricane Harvey left in its wake, our city and its people came together like never before. It was heartbreaking to watch as the pouring rain and the release of the reservoirs flooded our city, and then heartwarming to watch Houstonians respond and band together as neighbors. People gave of themselves in many fashions - clothing, diapers, funding, time, labor…the list goes on. In a day and age when everyone is consistently “too busy,” the city paused and people pitched in without hesitation for the greater good. Although the hurricane itself is behind us, I know that many of our members are still dealing with its aftermath. 

“Houston Strong” became our city’s war hymn. I love this because it was not merely a slogan; it was a true representation of the city’s response in the wake of disaster. Our city has bounced back in a way that seems improbable on paper. Cleanup crews and contractors hit the ground running on homes across the city. We were able to host the SEG annual meeting downtown only a few short weeks after the hurricane. The Houston Astros even went from having the worst record in baseball a few years ago to winning the World Series for their city! Go Astros!

Strength manifests in many forms. There is strength within us, and there is strength that we give others when they are in need. Strength can come in short bursts, and it can also endure. In this vein, I can’t help but think of all the ways that Houston has remained strong over the last few years, both before and after Harvey. As the oil and gas capital of the world, we have felt the industry downturn in every facet of our lives. Our great city and its people have withstood immense lows, with thousands of layoffs and too many people left asking “what’s next?” The geophysical industry itself has felt shaken.

Amid all this turmoil, I am pleased at how our society has responded. The board has focused on being a good steward of society funds by keeping a close eye on the budget. We have kept events on the calendar and even added events dedicated to helping members navigate this season, such as the unemployment forums and additional networking events.  We have increased our communication with the SEG and our joint networking/icebreaker event during the annual meeting had record-breaking attendance. Members have stepped up to volunteer their time and their ideas, two valuable resources. Companies who may not have the funds to sponsor events have come up with creative ways to be a part of the society through volunteering and in-kind sponsorships. I truly feel like the Board of Directors, the office staff, and our members have operated like a team. Between the strong technical events and social networking events, we have created a culture in which every member can find their place if they are looking for one.  

We are grateful for the members who have shown strength by volunteering their time, attending events, and remaining involved. The GSH is strong. We have endured. Thanks for being a part of something great within our industry.