Jillian Boldin (VanZelfden)

Director of Marketing and Optimization, DT Midstream, Canonsburg, Pa.
Boldin, Jillian

During her first year of work at El Paso Corp., Jillian Boldin was interviewed for an in-house video. Asked about her future plans, she responded, “Perhaps be the next CEO! Watch out, Doug (Foshee)!” To her surprise, the boss reached out and encouraged her to pursue her career aspirations. “I was inspired by Doug’s leadership and ability to connect with employees,” she says. “The interaction influenced my aspirations of leadership.” 

 Why did you enter the oil and gas industry?
“I had the opportunity to create a pipeline system model during my senior year of engineering school, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Weeks prior to graduation, an alumnus shared an opportunity to model pipelines for TGP (El Paso Corp./Kinder Morgan). It was a job I knew I could do and do well—that summer I started my career in Houston.”  

Of which of your professional achievements are you the most proud?
“Taking the leap to move to Detroit for a role with DT Midstream to manage the NEXUS pipeline JV with Enbridge. Having spent nearly 10 years in Houston, moving back to my hometown to ‘start over’ at a new company was quite daunting. However, the professional growth which stemmed from the transition was well worth it. I had the opportunity to work alongside many talented engineers and managers from both DTM and Enbridge to oversee the project from concept to in-service.”   

What qualities do you think are necessary to be a good leader in the oil and gas industry?
“A leader is only as good as the team they have to support them. That said, effective management requires a leader to understand the motivations and limitations of their team to achieve excellence. Stylistically, there are many brands of leadership out there; I believe trust via delegation, connectivity, communication and vision all feed the strongest leaders in our industry.”

What or whom do you credit for helping you develop leadership abilities during your career?
“Although we are in 2023, women in oil and gas are still a minority. I recognize that my actions may set the tone and inspire future female leaders—this sense of responsibility has influenced me in many ways. Additionally, I participated in a multi-year leadership program via Solutions 21, which helped me grow by identifying my strengths and weaknesses as a leader.”  

What professional and/or personal advice would you give other young professionals in the industry and/or in your sector?
“Be open to change. Our industry is constantly evolving, and as such we must, too.”

What keeps you motivated and passionate about working in the oil and gas industry?
“My customers and colleagues! I thrive in collaborative settings and believe in the power of positive, transparent, open communication.” 

What do you think young industry members (those under 40) as a group have to offer that is unique to them?
“2023 marked the end of the pandemic, a period which brought to light the ability for unconventional productive work practice. Work/life balance is now a necessity to the workforce. As we move forward, I believe this group will continue to build the tools and structure to afford employees such a balance.”   

Which transformations—approach, culture, technology or other—do you think the industry must undertake for it to thrive in the future?
“We must continue to think both locally and globally as we tackle clean energy initiatives. I am in strong agreement with the vision of my current employer, DT Midstream. We have a responsibility to address climate change and must make consistent, effective environmental policies a priority.”

Three More Things
  1. I’ve been an active volunteer with Sofar (songs from a room) promoting local musicians in both Houston and Pittsburgh.
  2. I’ve climbed to Everest base camp, was stuck on the mountain due to fog for days, and had quite an adventurous hike on the way down the mountain!
  3. My first job was working at a bakery in Franklin, Tenn. Some of my favorite customers were the early risers.