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

Teresa Thomas was born and raised in southeast Michigan before making her way to Houston, but as her husband, Michael, puts it, “we’re not from here but got here as fast as we could.”

Thomas began her career in the energy industry with the Deloitte & Touche LLP energy audit practice. She had joined Deloitte’s audit and assurance business in Detroit after completing university, and her first introduction to the energy industry was when she was assigned to the energy practice—a happenstance she says she still feels grateful for.

Thomas is a certified public accountant (CPA) licensed in Texas and Michigan and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of CPAs. She received a business degree from Northwood University in Midland, Mich., majoring in accounting with minors in mathematics and language arts. She later completed the executive MBA program at Michigan State University.

Thomas lives in Houston with her husband and has four children, Emily, Andrew, Austin and Anna. She is proud to be the vice chair and board member of The Rose, a leading nonprofit women’s breast health organization in southeast Texas. In her spare time, she likes to hike, kayak and garden—just generally spend time outdoors. She also loves to read and admits to preferring paper to e-books despite the extra weight in her luggage when traveling.

Fueling the future

“[I feel] lucky to have found the industry early in my career, and it was on purpose that I stayed, believing the energy industry really powers progress. Working in the industry is a fantastic way to be anchored in purpose and make a difference, and to be able to lead and serve in an industry that is at the epicenter of climate, energy security and an energy transition that the entire world is navigating. Our industry fuels this future and will continue to play a pivotal role as the energy journey continues.” 

“Women do not need to feel pressured to act in a way that is not authentic to their true selves to be taken seriously, and [I encourage] women leaders to support other women." —Teresa Thomas

Be authentic

“Women do not need to feel pressured to act in a way that is not authentic to their true selves to be taken seriously, and [I encourage] women leaders to support other women. As a younger leader, the women leaders that I saw were not often mothers or wives like [myself], and [I remember] feeling like I had to be like them. Later I realized that success doesn’t fit any one paradigm but that it looks differently for everyone. Just because you haven’t seen someone in your situation doesn’t mean it can’t be done.”

Goals and milestones

“I sure didn’t expect to be where I am today, but I’m sure glad I am! The goals I set for myself have evolved over time as I gained experience, perspectives and grew a better appreciation for the season I was in and where I could find the highest and best use of my skill sets and experiences. Making partner at Deloitte is a career milestone. I am so grateful to the mentors and sponsors who advocated for and supported my career.”

Rich in purpose

“Progress and purpose [keeps me motivated and passionate about the industry]. There is no other industry that so directly fuels the future and enables progress in every other. This is an incredible time in history, and we need all brains at the table with innovative ideas and energy to navigate the energy transition. This is an industry rich in purpose.”

Hard conversations

“I’ve been lucky to have so many awesome mentors and sponsors that have invested in me. At Deloitte, at church and in the volunteer organizations I have supported, I’ve benefited from observing different styles of leadership and coaching.”

“[Some of the best advice I have received is to] have the hard conversation early and often if necessary.”

Three more things

1. I’m the oldest of four. My husband is one of four siblings and now we have four children!
2. I love to read and read multiple books in parallel.
3. I don’t have a “bucket list.” I do have a “five for ’23” list though. For a couple decades now, at the New Year, I have made a new list of “five fun fabulous things I’d like to do this year.” 

25 Influential Women in Energy

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