On a recent evening, as the price of crude oil ratcheted toward the milestone $50 mark, a loosely bound group of energy executives celebrated a $3 million windfall they had amassed on behalf of the Fund for Teachers.
In less than eight months from the Energy for Teachers campaign’s inauguration, the $3 million goal was met. Three cheers for Energy for Teachers chairs Leticia and Steve Trauber, global head of the Energy Investment Banking Group at UBS Investment Bank, and Steve Farris, Apache Corp. president and CEO.
“This was a great collaboration with the entire business community,” Trauber said.
“I think the city is back…And I think, obviously, within the energy sector, high commodity prices are making everybody feel good.”
It was this celebratory thank-you that found more than 300 energy execs and spouses and educators, who had benefited from the Fund for Teachers, sitting down to dinner recently in the InterContinental Houston ballroom.
“This energy business,” special guest Mayor Bill White said, “has a lot of people with big hearts and open wallets.”
The $3 million Houston campaign is part of a larger $50 million campaign taking place nationwide in cities with Fund for Teachers programs – New York, Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver and Tulsa.
In remarks to the gathering, Fund for Teachers founder Raymond Plank, Apache chairman, explained the value of the program that provides direct grants to teachers to support learning opportunities of their own design. The funds are used for teacher travel and study during the summer months – providing learning experiences that they bring back to the classroom.
“It’s like baseball and apple pie,” Trauber explained.
“How could you not support it?”
Among those supporting the project were Nabors Industries’ Eugene Isenberg and Tony Petrello, ConocoPhillips’ J.J. Mulva, Anadarko’s Jim Hackett, Halliburton’s John Gibson, Marathon Oil’s Clarence Cazalot and Cooper Cameron’s Sheldon Erikson.
The evening’s program included a talk by Robert Fulghum, author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and dance music by Mid-Life Crisis and the Hot Flashes.