S: MITCHELL SCARBROUGH CONOCOPHILLIPS EMPLOYMENT 8/04/80 - 6/30/11
FC: MITCHELL SCARBROUGH | CONOCOPHILLIPS EMPLOYMENT 8/04/80 - 6/30/11
1: Mitchell Scarbrough From the time you were a small boy, there was a noticeable gleam in your eye. You loved the outdoors and that remained with you throughout your adult years. Your employees and coworkers throughout your ConocoPhillips tenure knew all about your love of hunting, fishing and the wild, but they respected you for your love of people.
2: "Mitch and I were Elk/Bear hunting in Colorado, when he was the plant manager at Dragon Trail. On this particular evening hunt, Mitch shot a Black Bear with his bow. The shot was questionable, and the effect on the bear was a nasty cut, and some bleeding. We decided to track the wounded bear in the dark, but soon came to our senses, and decided that it might not be a good idea to track a wounded bear in the dark, with a stick and string, and smallish flash light. We decided to meet the next day and continue tracking the bear. The only problem was that Mitch had a conference call he needed to participate in. Long story short, we tracked the bear, and then stopped to make the conference call on the side of the mountain! We did not find the bear, which is good, because he was probably in a pretty bad mood. I am sure Mitch will remember the story." Gary Smith
3: Black Bear picture taken by Mitch in Alaska. | Gary Smith and David Friess
4: Favorite Hobbies
5: "I recall one time when there was an animal in the refrigerator at the Plant...a bobcat! Do you remember...I about flipped my lid? Yuk! I couldn't imagine anything like that to be in the same place as our lunches. I don't think I ever really used that refrigerator again after that. I think Linda and I are on the same page with that." Rita Tolle
6: Mitchell and Linda Scarbrough
7: It is hard to think of one of them without the other. They have grown up together, graduated from college together and attended many company events together. No one doubts that they will grow old together too.
9: "I worked for Mitch from 2003 when I arrived in Calgary until he left for the Panhandle. I have to say it was my privilege to work for Mitch in that time. His straight forward, kind style and support made it a real pleasure to be a part of his team. He is a real team builder and always looks out for his teams group and individual development. Mitch was a valued Conoco employee and I have the highest respect for him in that regard. It was also a pleasure to meet his family. More importantly, or most importantly I should say, Mitch's family always comes first. An admirable quality for sure. I wish Mitch and his family the best in whatever retirement looks like for them. I'm sure it includes lots of hunting and fishing with his grandson and more time in the woodworking shop and in front of the grill! Take care." Graham Froom
10: Big Impressions
11: "Some of you will have to help me remember if I have the next name right, but remember when 'Tom Knudson' became the General Manager for NG&GP? Well we were all standing in the shop, myself, Mike Neely, Robert Gray, Darrell Day, Tim Newell, Gary Smith (Smitty), "Sammy Da-Bull" Barnett, and "Outback Billy". Mitch was in one of his moments...nervous and moving at the speed of light...a boss was coming and he wanted to make a good impression! He had been through the shop, up to the mezzanine, down to the inlet compressor building, into the control room and back to the shop in 33.2675 seconds. We were all very impressed, a new plant record! Robert Gray said he had never seen anything that white, move that fast! He had told us for the fourth time in three trips to clean the shop and be ready for the VIP visit...and by the way, he added, wear your best Nomex, he didn't want us to look like...well us, like we had just rolled in the dirt! Well in order to comply with these requests, "Outback" went to the get the shop broom and an hour later had it in his hand. (Another plant record) We cleaned and polished the shop to Mitchell's satisfaction and in order to help him impress the new GM we decided to clean up a little ourselves. The next day when we came to work, each of us were in the shop waiting for the arrival of the VIP. Mitchell was trying to break his plant record from the previous day, "Outback" was still sweeping, and Neely was trying to figure out who ordered all the damn drill bits, when Mitch, passing through the shop, stopped dead in his tracks! What the...he exclaimed! I...you...uhh...geez...get those off! He was referring to the neck ties we all were sporting as an accessory to our clean Nomex. I thought we looked pretty sharp, but Mitch didn't think so and made us take them off! However, we, the crew of the Goldsby Gas Plant set two new plant records that day! 1. We made Mitch Scarbrough stop and stand in one place for more than 5 seconds. 2. He couldn't find the words to express himself...Mitch was speechless. Another plant record! (I always presume he was choked up with gratitude)" David Friess
13: Mitchell the Cowboy! Too bad we don't have pictures of him wearing the camouflage cowboy hat and duct tape chaps given to him as a going away present from the folks in Canada!
14: In Canada...
15: Mitch had a lot of friends.
16: Goldsby Gas Plant
17: "I wasn't actually allowed in the plant much during my time at Goldsby so I didn't get to witness much of the funny stuff. We were strictly business in the field (haha). Mitch ran a tight ship when it came to operations. You were going to hear about it if something went wrong. But in the end it was obvious that taking care of his employee was #1. I went to Mitch concerned about asking off for a week during a really busy time; needed to study for my upcoming CPA exam. Mitch offered that if I would use the time wisely that he would give me an extra week even though I was out of vacation. So I had 2 weeks for one and "did" ultimately pass the exam. I think Mitch actually thought that guy will never pass with only 1 week prep time, but it's the thought that counts. Thanks Mitch, and enjoy retirement." Joe Yielding
18: "I walked into the side of the shop one late afternoon just around quitting time and noticed Mitch holding his glasses and a small cut on the bridge of his nose. All he kept saying was "He hit me, he hit me!" It seems that no one ever told Mitch that you never sneak up on someone from Dibble, Oklahoma, they don't take to it to kindly. Mitch had walked into the shop, saw a young contractor from BJ's construction standing and looking out the door, waiting for the crew truck to pick him up. Mitch walked up behind him unnoticed and laid his hand on his shoulder to ask him a question...I believe the rest was a blur for Mitchell and from then on he got everyones attention from a distance. Well, at least greater than arms length! Enjoy your retirement Mitchell." David Friess
19: "Ha! Ha! I still laugh when I think about the neck-tie thing and the one about Mitch getting clobbered; well I laugh at that one too! I thought I'd retire before Mitch, but I spend too much money for that. Have a good retirement ole friend." Derrel Day
20: "Mitch, all the best in your retirement! May your next endeavours be as rewarding and distinguished as your career with ConocoPhillips. I do have some advice for you. Wherever you and Linda are going to take up residence, you need to warn them ahead of time to stock up on certain food stuffs. Alberta is finally over the iced tea, brisket meat and salsa surplus incurred when you left!" Best Regards, Walter Muilwyk
21: Mitch's Food Specialties Brisket slow cooked in his big roasting pan. Gumbo with who knows what! Chili made with roast.
22: "I think Mitch really enjoyed the company Christmas parties and functions. Not long after he came to the Panhandle from Calgary, he shared with me that he had once dressed up as an elf for Christmas. He commented that he had a picture of the event, but that I would never see it.
23: Well, not only was he wrong, but I actually got shots of him in some other Christmas get-ups! What was that you said Mitch....Never? I really am going to miss you. You have been a great mentor to me in more ways than you know and I am so glad I got to know you and Linda. Best wishes always!" Judy Calhoun
24: Is that an approved cutting tool?
25: What's with this long hair and shorts? Where is your PPE?
26: ConocoPhillips Canada
27: Mitch has always loved his modes of transportation!
28: Friends Through The Years
31: On March 26, 2011 the PAB Operations, under the direction and guidance of Operations Manager, Mitchell Scarbrough, achieved a milestone by going one year without a recordable injury to any COP employee or contractor. Mitch created a logo contest to commemorate this milestone and the winning logo (above) was created and submitted by Chad Dean.
33: "While Mitch was serving as Goldsby Plant Manager, he joined in on a discussion with a small group of employees on what we were going to do over the weekend. When Mitch heard that I was headed to Southern Oklahoma to go rattlesnake hunting, he commented that he would like to have one to skin and tan the hide. I told Mitch if I could catch one, I would bring him one back. Well, I had some good luck that weekend and caught two big rattlers. So, not only was I going to bring one back and make a big impression with the new plant manager, I was going to bring two back and make a double big impression. When I arrived at work Monday morning, I told Mitch that I had brought him two big rattlesnakes. he looked at me and said, "Great", and then said, "Where are they?" I told him that they were in the trunk of my car. He said, "Great" again. "What do you have them in?" Mitch asked. "I have them in a tow sack, tied with bailing wire, inside a plastic bucket", I replied. Suddenly a strange look came over Mitch's face and his jaw started dropping just missing the floor. "They're not alive are they?" Mitch asked. I replied, "Sure they are! You didn't expect me to bring back a dead one, did you?" Now Mitch's voice started getting near the 82 decibel level when he screamed, "Alive! You brought live rattlesnakes into this plant!? I can't believe you brought live rattlesnakes into the plant area! That is a safety violation!" About that time it started to become obvious to me that my time with Conoco was going to be short lived. Then Mitch turned to Mike Neeley and said, "Go out there and kill those snakes, but don't hurt the hides." After much thought, Mike said, "Go get some methanol. That'll do it!" So Mike, along with a small group of employees, filled the plastic bucket with methanol and killed both snakes while they were still in the sack. My job was saved an that would have been the end of the story if Linda had not found out that Mitch put one of those snakes in their home refrigerator freezer. That's another story!" Ricky Smith
34: Town Hall Meetings Bill Patterson GM MCBU
35: Above - Town Hall held at the Phillips Building in Borger, TX. Left - Town Hall held in Barnett office in Decatur, TX.
36: Jason Charton > PAB HSE Supervisor | Roy Burgess < PAB PE Supervisor | Ricky Smith < PAB Defect Elimination Supervisor | Tim Kline < PAB Business Support Supervisor | Doug Buckley > Anadarko-Barnett Ops Supervisor | Eric Fransen > Panhandle Ops Supervisor | Roger Powell < PAB FE Supervisor | Photo Not Available | Gary Ledbetter > PAB Training Coordinator
37: 2011 Panhandle Anadarko Barnett Direct Reports | Best of Luck Mitch!
38: "Mitch, I haven't known/worked for you for very long, but I really appreciate you offering me the job of PAB Facilities Engineering Supervisor. It was a real struggle for me to find a new position coming off of the QatarGas 3&4 project, but I feel I have found a great one working with you. You have shown great understanding, fairness, and kindness to me in the short time I have known you and it has been a pleasure to be a part of your management team. I only wish that I could have worked for you longer and gotten to know you better. Good luck and best wishes. We will miss you and your leadership here in the PAB asset!" Roger Powell | "Mitch, You took a chance on me and I appreciate it. Some things are worth the risk. Some people are worth the risk. The sad fact of the matter is that no one can know at the outset if the risk being taken will turn out as hoped - regardless of how thorough the risk assessment has been. Hiring people into a group is an imperfect art; knowing what to look for is touchy, skills vs. personality, aptitude vs. willingness, trusting insight vs. analysis. How do you quantify what is largely unknown and superimpose it upon the needs relative to what is known? How do you gauge what is untested, unproven and determine that the results delivered through that selection will meet or exceed expectations - especially when related to people? I called my wife after I left the interview with you, Roy and Melissa and told her that if I did not get the job it would not be because of the interview. It would be because I lacked the skill set you were looking for. I told her that if I were hired, it would be a leap of faith on the part of the hiring manager. Thanks for taking that leap of faith on my behalf. Working for you has been one of the best experiences of my career. Thank you." Tim Kline
39: "Mitch, When Conoco purchased Oryx Midstream back in 1992, I remember going through my first job interview. You were conducting the interview and after I told you that I was a Field Compressor Lease Operator, you told me that Conoco did not have Field Operators. My feathers fell that day and when I opened my letter a couple days later and found out that I was offered a Mechanic "A" job, I was really happy and relieved. First came the steel toed boots, gloves, hard hat, safety glasses, goggles, ear plugs and the "much hated" blue Nomex coveralls, or "Nerf Suits" as they were nicknamed, with the shocking statement of "Wearing the PPE and Working Safely is a Condition of Employment!" WOW! I wondered if I was going to make it the first few days of wearing all the PPE, but I did! Then came all of the meetings. "Meet and eat" as we used to call them. Safety was driven daily at Goldsby. Then came the word that I was going to have to present a "Maintenance Review". This was an "OH NO" moment. I knew that I couldn't stand up in front of a group of people and even remember my name. I remembered taking a "0" in grade school because I would not stand in front of class and recite a poem that I studied so hard to learn, and "I knew it"! At times, I thought this would be the end of my career with Conoco. "But it wasn't and I did!" Now, 19 years later, I look back and realize that this was the beginning of a "safety culture" that I developed and the technical and facilitation skills that have been instrumental to my growth and success in both on and off the job. I have went home to my family every day with all of my fingers, toes, eyes, ears, legs and arms intact, "plus", all of those people working with me did the same. Mitch, you are a "People Person" as well as a "Great Manager" and you have your priorities right. I have enjoyed working with you and want to sincerely "Thank You" for the person that you are and all that you have done for me." Ricky Smith
40: "Mitch, One of my memories is meeting with you and Mike Zink at the Borger office and remembering why we were all working during the early morning hours. 'The More Experienced Group' Thanks for all the support and I wish you and your family all the best. Hope to see you in the funny papers." Gary Ledbetter
41: "Mitch, Perhaps the greatest responsibility a leader has during their career is to positively impact other people. In the short time we've worked together, you have positively impacted the lives of many PAB personnel and that will not be forgotten. Best wishes." Jason Charton
44: Cindy Boyer Asset Control | John Kizer P&S
45: The VCIP PARTY February 2011 Borger Office | Bob Stitzel, FE | Drew Joines FE | Randy Campbell Dumas Ops Foreman | Leesa Walker P&S
46: "I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Mitch since August of 1980 where we both kicked off our careers at the Conoco Hennessey Oklahoma Gas Plant. Many stories about Mitch come to mind, but most should probably remain contained in our memory bank and not put into writing. However, I will share a couple with you that I do remember bringing some laughs to his peers, and probably to himself as well. Several years ago we were attending a Plant Managers meeting at the Purple Sage Ranch. One of the topics being discussed was "Sustainability in the Workforce". It seems at the time that our HR dept. was getting concerned about the average age of the workforce being 40 something at the time.. Part of the meeting was dedicated to discussion on this topic and potential ways to bring in less experienced workers. For some reason it seemed that Mitch didn't believe the HR statistics and kept asking the HR folks detailed questions on how they arrived at their numbers. Finally in somewhat frustration, Mitch seriously blurted out, "We didn't have this problem 10 years ago". Needless to say, the rest of us fell out of our chairs laughing. I also took Mitch hunting one time at my Father-in-law's thousand acre deer lease in Campwood, TX. When it was time to take Mitch to his deer blind, he emerged from his bedroom in full camouflage with face paint, and had even sprayed himself with some sort of deer friendly smelling scent. He was quite a site and was quite boastful on how he was going to get a big Buck due to the way he smelled..... I took him to his deer blind and dropped him off. I then decided that due to the weather being very hot, I would cruise around the lease in my truck and drink some cold beverages. As I was on my journey around the lease an 8-point buck jumped over a fence approximately 50 yards directly in front of me. I quickly grabbed my rifle and bagged the buck. I then finished cruising around and later picked up Mitch after dark. He had not seen a thing, was wringing with sweat, and was not in a very good humor when finding out how I had shot my buck. On a more serious side, Mitch has been a great friend and co-worker for a long time. He has always been there when someone needed help. he has always demonstrated strong leadership, ethics and genuine care for those that worked with him and for him. I wish him and Linda the very best in what ever they choose to do and hopefully we will stay in touch. Thanks." Jim Suter
47: "I have really struggled with the request to write something about Mitch. The truth is that most funny stories are centered around somebody making a mistake that screws things up, which develops into a funny situation. Now, I have spent time around Mitchell in a great variety of activities. I have been around him while cooking for large crowds. I've been around him while he was repairing small engines. I've been around him when he was hunting. I've been with him picking wild berries. I've been around him when he was canning vegetables. I spent several years around him at his daily work. And in all that time he did not once screw up and create a funny story that I remember. So I don not have a single funny Mitchell story. The truth is that Mitchell is one of those rare individuals who seems to do everything well. I have never worked for a better boss. I never spent time with a better companion. I never received better advice about troubling situations at work. And I never ate pickled okra that was better than his. I remember asking him once just how he was able to handle a particular subordinate, a person who happened to give me endless heartburn, and who I suspected of causing equal amounts of heartburn for Mitchell. He smiled back at me and simply said that he prayed for that individual every day on the way to work. The realization flashed through my mind instantly that the prayer was not expected to change the individual in question, so much as it was intended to change Mitchell for the better. And I knew that prayer could work for me in the same way. Because of my time around Mitchell I am a better father, a better cook, a better supervisor, a better small engine mechanic, and a better gardener. But best of all, I know that being around Mitchell made me a better man. I regret not being there for the retirement party. But I really appreciate the chance to send my best wishes. And if you would give him a slap on the back for me I would be most thankful." Steve Greer
48: Barnett Field Visit | with Bill Patterson, Gene True, and Steve Whiteside
49: Spring 2011
52: "Mitchell Scarbrough. The trials and tribulations of Rangley. We somehow survived living in the middle of nowhere, had to drive 50 miles to get groceries, nothing to do but go hunting, which we really did not mind. Maybe our wives did, but we somehow went anyway. We were the only men in a step aerobics class, and I conned you into it so I would not be the only one. We did get in shape though. You were the best Plant Manager I ever reported to. You left me alone to do my job, and if I needed anything all I had to do was call. We played detective when we probably should have left it up to the professionals. We fed the whole town during September fest, even though we would rather be hunting because it was bow season. We lived through 40 below zero temperatures and survived the hot summers. You found a kitten at your house and called my wife to ask if she wanted it. (Thanks) By the way, the cat just died a year ago. We watched our kids grow up, and now they are on their own. I could go on and on, but I won't. I did very much enjoy our time working together, and would work for you again in a heartbeat. Take care of yourself, and if you want to go hunting in Southwest Colorado, I have an extra bed when you get here. Keep in touch." John R. Cabot
54: The PAB logo
55: Elk City ER Drill 2011
56: "Mitch is a great guy!" Stacey Moir Administrative Assistant Western Canada Gas
57: "Mitch was both respected and extremely well liked by his team here as I am sure he is there. I don't know of anyone that worked for him that wasn't really sad to see him return south." Michelle D. Fournier Business Analyst - Calgary
65: May the future hold only good things for you. Best of luck. Your friends from the PAB.