Buckeye GP CEO Talks Company Culture

Published on March 7, 2014

February Distinguished Leaders Series Event Features Clark Smith

Buckeye GP CEO Clark Smith spoke to students and the Houston Business Community during the February Distinguished Leaders Series event.

Buckeye GP CEO Clark Smith spoke to students and the Houston Business Community during the February Distinguished Leaders Series event.

Engaging employees is essential to improving corporate culture, Buckeye GP CEO Clark Smith told C. T. Bauer College of Business students during a talk on campus in February.

Smith, who was named president and CEO of the midstream energy logistics service company in 2012, was the featured speaker at the college’s Feb. 18 Distinguished Leaders Series event.

As domestic and international markets evolve, so do the environments of its companies. Changing the company culture is the greatest thing the company has done, Smith said.

“Very few companies can do this,” Smith said. “You’ve got to have complete buy-in at the very top of the organization. It’s about behavior and about culture. It’s about changing your organization and the people that believe in the company and the ability to work together. That’s what makes a difference at Buckeye.”

The company implemented a new employee-led company culture in 2009, introducing two new bonus programs, one as a standard annual bonus and another based on the ideas submitted by employees. The new system revolved around employee accountability and teamwork, which Buckeye calls its “best practices initiative.”

“We had to take an organization that was ‘Mother may I?’ with the upper-management, clean out all the upper management and we started over and said this is something we’re going to set boundaries for,” Clark said, “but [employees] have to come in here and take accountability for what you’ve got.”

Smith also addressed the early history of Buckeye GP, an MLP that provides midstream energy logistics services, and their more recent history of large acquisitions.

Presented by AGL Resources and their Houston-based companies, the DLS serves as an opportunity for exploring topical issues in business, with an emphasis on the energy industry. The next Distinguished Leaders Series event will be held on April 2, 2014 with a discussion on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Transportation.

By Ann Lynd


Distinguished Leaders Series: “Midstream and the Keystone Pipeline”

Alumni, students and members of the Houston business community gathered for the first Distinguished Leaders Series of the spring semester at the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston on Feb. 18, where Buckeye GP President and CEO Clark C. Smith spoke about the Keystone Pipeline and creating a positive company culture.