INGAA Foundation elects Blacksmith Group’s Mark Hereth chairman

The INGAA Foundation’s board of directors elected Mark Hereth, managing director of The Blacksmith Group/Process Performance Improvement Consultants (P-PIC), as its new chairman for a one-year term beginning November 4.

“Hereth is well-versed in the risk management and improvement programs necessary to ensure the continued integrity of the North American natural gas pipeline system,” said INGAA Foundation President Don Santa. “His experience and commitment to the industry make him a great choice to lead the INGAA Foundation as its chairman in the coming year.”

The INGAA Foundation brings together over 200 pipeline operators and contractors—including construction companies, pipe mills, engineering companies, consultants, environmental and safety groups and others—to facilitate the efficient construction, safe operation and reliable maintenance of the North American natural gas pipeline system.

“I am honored to chair the INGAA Foundation at a critical juncture for the natural gas pipeline industry,” Hereth said. “We must work closely with the operating pipelines represented by INGAA to capitalize on the opportunities and respond to the challenges facing natural gas and the pipelines that link America’s consumers with this clean, abundant and affordable energy resource.”

As chairman, Hereth said he would encourage all Foundation members to lend their full support to pipeline operators in fulfilling INGAA’s Commitments to Responsible Pipeline Construction. “In the coming year, the INGAA Foundation will build on its work to engage elected officials and regulators, landowners and other stakeholders to identify ways to improve public engagement throughout the life cycle of a pipeline,” he said. “We also will utilize Foundation workshops and reports to explore how to enhance the safety cultures and safety management systems that are essential to achieving our shared goal of zero incidents.”

Hereth has almost forty years of experience in the energy and process industries in operations, construction, risk management, and safety and quality management systems.

He began his professional career at The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB), where he worked for engineering subsidiary Radian Corporation for fourteen years. Hereth then ran HSB’s worldwide chemical, oil and gas insurance operations for five years.

Hereth cofounded P-PIC in 2002 to help pipeline operators to manage risk, improve construction, operations, maintenance and integrity programs and to develop management systems to improve risk management and safety. P-PIC formed Blacksmith Group as its holding company in 2006.

Hereth served as the technical lead for the API 1173 work group and as a member of the Department of Transportation’s Voluntary Information Sharing Committee. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and NACE International.

Hereth graduated from Ohio University with a master’s degree in chemical engineering.

Also November 4, the Foundation board elected Victor Gaglio, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Piedmont Natural Gas, as vice chairman.