By: Lorenzo Almanza
Hugo Gutierrez, Senior Manager of Government Relations for Marathon Oil, is a giant who spends his time lobbying for Marathon Oil. Gutierrez not only advocates for oil and gas policies, but also maximizes on the need for more Latinos in Energy.
The Journey to the State
His career journey began in 1994 when he obtained a college degree in mass communications from Texas State University further known as Southwest Texas State University.
“I couldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t left for college,” Gutierrez said. “It separated me from the culture of the border.”
Originally from the Rio Grande Valley, Gutierrez’s move from that area proved to be a drastic change as it was what exposed him to various opportunities that helped him thrive in the industry.
The energy industrial leader moved to Austin after college and was able to land a job in the Texas Senate. He quickly moved up the ranks to become Chief of Staff to a Democrat State Representative from McAllen, at the young age of 24. “I was a young chief of staff in the Texas legislature,” Gutierrez said. “I stayed in that role through 1999.”
After working for two State Reps, the former Chief of Staff was hired on as Senior Manager for Government Relations at Marathon Oil Corporation. “I have been at Marathon Oil as an employee of the company. I’ve managed the government relations for almost 20 years now,” Gutierrez said.
It’s Who You Know and What you Want to Learn
Gutierrez believes in the value of relationships. Establishing meaningful connections are a key part of the senior manager’s specialties. “The key to the game is building relationships. I’m in the relationship business. If I build relationships and have good relationships, and have key relationships in key places, then I can be in the best position possible to advocate policies that benefit my company and ultimately our shareholders.” He also points out that this industry is only learned until you get involved. The 20 years of experience has served him to learn of this industry better than most.
“Even though I’m not an engineer, I want to be credible in a room full of engineers.”
While the Marathon Oil lobbyist found success in the oil & gas field, he does hope that the number of Latinos in the spectrum continues to increase in talent and production. “We hire engineers. And the problem is that the number of Latinos graduating from engineering schools is very few.”
“We need to reduce the Latino high school dropout rate,” Gutierrez said. “In 20 years I would hope there is a material increase in Latinos in this industry and into the cooperate jobs.”
“We would be better off if there were more Latinos in the energy industry,” Gutierrez said.