Cokebusters USA Inc. Chief Operating Officer Gary Winter began his oil and gas career with Cokebusters in England and has come full-circle as he now manages Cokebusters USA in Houston. Although its U.S. operation is still young, Winter takes pride in the growth of the business and is hopeful of the future. BIC Magazine recently sat down with Winter to learn how his mantra keeps him moving through his duties and how he has learned to separate home and work to keep his life in balance.
Q: What led to your position at Cokebusters USA?
A: I started in the oil and gas industry as the Cokebusters UK technical manager, where I was tasked with learning the machinery and decoking process from top to bottom. After six years’ service, I left Cokebusters to work for ENI, an Italian petrochemical company that had a facility in the south of England. After 18 months as a trainee process engineer, John Phipps, chairman of Cokebusters UK and president of Cokebusters USA, offered me the opportunity to move with my family to Texas and open Cokebusters USA as the general manager. I later became chief operating officer in September 2014.
Q: What is the biggest news at Cokebusters USA right now?
A: Growth! Since Cokebusters USA opened its doors in 2012, it has grown more than 40 percent year on year. We continue to grow, whilst ensuring we don’t grow too fast and lose the quality of service for which we have become renowned.
Cokebusters is still in its formative years in the U.S., so our aim is always to raise awareness throughout the U.S., spreading the word of our mechanical decoking and smart pigging combined service, always delivered safely at a fair price.
Q: What is the most important part of your position?
A: Keeping my door open. Cokebusters has always had an open-door policy; we want to ensure that all employees, regardless of their position, feel involved in the company’s success. Without our employees, we cannot achieve our targets, and if we keep them in the dark, then they cannot help us get to our destination.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote? Why is it your favorite?
A: “Never leave till tomorrow what can be done today.”
It’s very easy to simply push the somewhat trivial, slightly boring duties off for another day, but in doing so, you could easily jeopardize other important issues. I try to work to that mantra every day, and so far, it has served me well throughout my career.
Q: How do you maintain a good work/home life balance?
A: It’s difficult. For a long while, my wife would say that “unless it has a Cokebusters sticker on it, it doesn’t get done.” What we try to do as a family is ensure the time together at home is quality time where we make family memories. I’m very thankful that internationally, Cokebusters has always closed for the Christmas holidays, so we always do our best as a family to make those moments count.
I’ve also learned that you have to let go. Especially when I was starting out, it was very difficult to let go of responsibilities, wanting to micromanage every little task or detail. It soon became apparent there aren’t enough hours in the day.
For more information, visit www.cokebusters.com or call (281) 537-7475.