Steve Claywell '74
A West Virginia native, Steve Claywell was born, raised and educated in southern West Virginia. Born in Kincaid, Fayette County, Steve graduated from Gauley Bridge High School in 1968. Following in his father's footsteps (Class of 1942) Steve graduated from West Virginia Institute of Technology (Tech) in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, making him a second-generation alumnus.
During his tenure at Tech, Steve was an active student on campus. He was a member of the Rho Epsilon Beta fraternity, holding multiple leadership positions including Vice President of Membership. He was also a member of the Interfraternity Council and served as a delegate to the Southeastern Interfraternity Council Conference in 1971 in Atlanta. Steve was elected to Student Government Association for three terms.
Steve began his professional career as a Kelly contract employee for Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation (Columbia) in Charleston, West Virginia in 1974. He became a proven leader in his organization, utilizing the skills he learned at Tech. Steve spent his entire career at Columbia, becoming an expert in gas supply, operations planning and market forecasting.
During his tenure at Columbia, Steve held many positions. He started his career developing a geospatial information system (GIS) in the 1970s, an innovative concept at the time. He helped modernize Columbia's mapping data and digitize hard copies of aerial photography. He ordered the first aerial photography ever in his company’s history, covering 14,000 miles of high-pressure large diameter pipelines. This new ariel photography allowed the company to analyze large datasets efficiently. This project allowed Columbia to transfer data to different locations without costly reproduction costs. Steve worked in the Civil Engineering and Staff Gas Control departments before being promoted to the Planning Engineering Department. Steve became the Director of Supply Planning, Market Forecasting and Computer Applications in the Planning Engineering Department.
After the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) eliminated Columbia's merchant function in 1993, he became the managing director of the Daily Operations Team. His duties included gas control, planning engineering, storage operations and customer service. Later, he served as the Marketing Manager and Marketing Development Business Manager.
Steve retired in 2009 with 34 years of service. After retiring, he started his own energy consulting company utilizing his many years of experience to advise customers in the energy sector.
Steve has served as a member of the natural gas trade organization Ohio Gas Association (OGA). The OGA represents over 30 local distribution companies and cooperatives, including the intrastate and interstate gas pipeline firms in Ohio. Collectively, the member companies serve 3.6 million customers in Ohio. In 2001, Steve was elected to the Executive Board of the OGA where he served until his retirement in 2009.