The oil and gas luncheon hosted annually by the Alaska Oil and Gas Association and the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce was several magic wands short this year.
Traditionally, AOGA Executive Director Judy Brady has been, among other things, a wand bearer at the event, bestowing magical rods to speakers and various VIPs.
The luncheon, which normally takes place in Anchorage in May or June, was held on Monday, June 25, this year. Brady, who would officially retire at the end of that week from AOGA, was told by her staff and board members that they were tired of her magic wands, so for the first time in 14 years she went to the luncheon without a supply of magical rods to brandish before she handed them out.
Little did she know, her board and staff had purchased her a lovely gold wand (with streamers) and included pieces of her professional history in their presentations, which otherwise focused on the future of the industry in Alaska and on two specific anniversaries — 30 years of oil production from Alaska’s North Slope and 50 years since the startup of the Swanson River oil field in Alaska’s Cook Inlet basin. Brady spent several minutes flourishing the magical instrument at the end of the luncheon. Standing next to her was her long-time colleague and successor at AOGA, Marilyn Crockett, who is a 37-year AOGA veteran.
Industry folks are likely hoping Brady’s latest wishes will stand a better chance of coming true than her 2001 luncheon wish when she waved a wand at U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, wishing him success in his efforts to open the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to exploration and development.
—Kay Cashman & Kristen Nelson