Chesapeake Energy Corp. turned 20 years old in May. Happy birthday! The company grew from an minnow with $50,000 of capital, with no proved reserves or gas production and fewer than 10 employees to become largest U.S. independent gas producer. Aubrey K. McClendon, co-founder and CEO of Chesapeake, commented on the occasion. “Tom Ward and I could not have dreamed that we would build the nation’s largest independent producer of American natural gas, but we were determined from the start to be the hardest workers in the industry. Thanks to thousands of talented and dedicated employees, a state and city that foster energy entrepreneurs, extremely hard work, investor support and a little luck, we have achieved an outcome no one could have predicted 20 years ago. “Although I am proud of what we have accomplished in the past 20 years, I believe the best years for Chesapeake still lie ahead,” he said. “With a top two ownership position in the massive unconventional reserves in the Big 4 shale plays, with substantial conventional reserves in Oklahoma and elsewhere, and a nation that is increasingly embracing natural gas as the economic and environmental fuel of choice, I believe Chesapeake’s future is exceptionally bright,” he said. To commemorate the occasion, Chesapeake employees will donate 20,000 hours of community service by the end of this summer across Oklahoma and 16 other states where the company has operations. The company also pledged $5 million to build the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower adjacent to the Chesapeake Boathouse at Oklahoma City’s rowing venue on the Oklahoma River. Employees celebrated at Chesapeake’s 42 corporate, regional and field offices through June 27, the 20th anniversary of the date the company started drilling its first well – the Newby 1-1 in Grady County, Oklahoma.