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Oil and Gas Investor

[Editor's note: Influential Women In Energy 2023 is a supplement to the February 2023 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine. Subscribe here.]

Jill McMillan-Melott, managing director and head of communications and public affairs at Tailwater Capital in Dallas, is responsible for the company’s internal and external communications, including public affairs, media and employee relations, corporate strategic planning and branding. 

Before joining Tailwater Capital, McMillan-Melott was at Crosstex Energy, the predecessor of EnLink Midstream, where she started the company’s public and industry affairs department at the age of 27 and for nearly 17 years managed internal and external communications, crisis communications, government affairs, media relations, branding, strategic planning, ESG and community relations. Working with management teams, she served as a senior strategic advisor on initiatives, including the company’s strategic plan.

In December 2005, when Crosstex Energy and Devon Energy Corp. merged their midstream assets to form EnLink Midstream, McMillan-Melott played a key role in the company’s communication strategy, leading the branding and launch of the new entity. From 2008 to 2016, she also led EnLink’s investor relations strategy.

McMillan-Melott was selected as one of the 2017 Top Women in the oil and gas industry in North Texas and named one of the “40 under 40” in 2019 by Oil and Gas Investor magazine. 
She holds a degree in broadcast journalism from Texas Tech University.

Dependable support

“My father, Jim Griffeth, motivated me to get into the oil and gas industry, and I owe a lot of my success to him. I remember telling him about a company named Crosstex Energy and asked if I should pursue an interview.  He quickly responded, ‘yes.’ He knew about their reputation and always taught me to never turn down an opportunity. I’m grateful I took his advice. My father spent his entire career in the oil and gas industry, and it was helpful to have a parent and confidant that continues to guide me in my career today.”

Balance and grit

"Ironically, an industry I thought would change me into a different person only made me more determined to be true to who I am.”

“I was raised in a female-centric household with three strong females presiding over the home. I’m pretty sure my father sought out a career in outside sales just to catch his breath. Needless to say, the adjustment of entering an industry composed mainly of men was not a seamless one. However, I can honestly look back and say the past 25 years in oil and gas has instilled a certain balance and grit to my life while garnering respect from peers for being consistent in character. Ironically, an industry I thought would change me into a different person only made me more determined to be true to who I am.”

Constantly evolving industry

“This is such a fascinating industry. Just when you think you understand one aspect of the energy spectrum, it changes. If I’ve learned anything about this business, it’s that the oil and gas industry is always evolving. Working in a dynamic industry never leads to a place of complacency, and that motivates me.”

Collective success

“I believe we are in the midst of one of the most impactful transformations of the energy industry, which is the march toward sustainability. The most successful companies are also those that have already woven sustainability into their corporate DNA. It won’t be long before it becomes a part of our day-to-day business as opposed to a separate initiative. Sustainability has improved the way we operate, grow and even recruit. It has brought awareness to critical issues that are occurring and encourages businesses to adopt practices and policies that are not only better for the environment and workplace but also make the most business sense for our collective success.”

Three more things

1. I love to work out and seek wellness through physical activity. Whether it’s squeezing in a 4:00 a.m. workout or going on a brisk walk through the neighborhood with the kids, fitness is an essential part of my life. My mom was a world-renowned water aerobics instructor and my sister is a fitness model with her own yoga studio, so it’s in my blood.
2. I helped start a pediatric cancer foundation for a little boy I never met but fell in love with over social media. One of the greatest joys in my life was serving on the Kids Shouldn’t Have Cancer Foundation in memory of Jonny Wade, who passed away from an aggressive form of brain cancer.
3. I come from a family of twins. My aunt and uncle have both boy and girl sets of twins. I, too, have twin 12-year-old boys named Holt and Lawson. They are the joys of my life.

25 Influential Women in Energy

View the full list of this year’s honorees at Hart Energy LIVE.