Current and Future Life Journeys Hanging on a Suit Rack

The following commentary by Nick Deiuliis highlights the unique partnership between for CNX Resources and Dress for Success, which includes preparing The Mentorship Academy students for job interviews with professional attire, headshots, mock interviews, and resume writing workshops.

I’ve had the opportunity to participate in many exciting and inspiring efforts over my career. Being part of the CNX Foundation’s Mentorship Academy has been one of the best of the best, both personally and professionally. The Academy successfully captures all the great players in western Pennsylvania and joins them together to bring about impactful, positive change to the next generation.

A side benefit to the Mentorship Academy effort is getting to know the standouts across this region’s businesses, nonprofit organizations, industries, and educational institutions. ​ One such shining light is the nonprofit Dress for Success Pittsburgh.

Toward the end of the inaugural class of the Mentorship Academy, we partnered with Dress for Success to outfit the students with professional attire. The transformation was unbelievable, both in visual appearance as well as in personal demeanor. You change a person’s look, and you change their confidence level.

With that type of high impact, Dress for Success instantly became a crucial partner to the Mentorship Academy. CNX and Dress for Success grew closer, and CNX recruited Dress for Success to take up office residence in our headquarters building (part of our HQ at CNX initiative). Now we work alongside each other daily and are a proud sponsor of their mobile boutique providing services to women across Fayette, Greene and Washington Counties.

Which brings me to how CNX, the Mentorship Academy, and Dress for Success serendipitously had me contemplating life in, of all places, my bedroom closet. Allow me to explain.

First, understand I am somewhat of a hoarder, albeit an organized one. It hurts me to throw away things that I may end up using again or that, more importantly, hold the slightest sentimental value. I have the ticket stubs to every sporting event I attended in life (at least for ones where they used to print tickets). Every book I read finds a home on a shelf somewhere in the house. I suppose these are not simply inanimate things to me; they are living memories.

For some reason, I followed suit with this behavior when it came to suits, as in my professional business attire. Over three decades ago, I started out as a young, 21-year-old engineer who didn’t own a suit (or know how to knot a tie). So, I had to purchase a few and started with the classic basics of navy blue, grey pinstripe, and black pinstripe varieties. ​

Through the years I would buy a suit or two, but because my measurements didn’t change much, I never ended up letting go of the older suits. This steady expansion of the wardrobe went on for decades. It spanned nearly ten apartments and houses in the Pittsburgh area, with each move having a step of swiping up the suits on the old closet rack and then hanging them up on the new closet rack. With each progressive move, the closet got a little bigger, but the line of suits got a little longer.1

I see nothing wrong with those suits, including the originals; they are in great shape and a classic gray suit does not go out of style. But in today’s more business casual world, I only need a couple. ​

That leaves a lot of suits just hanging in the closet. I thought of the male Mentorship Academy students from this year’s class. And then I thought of Dress for Success and the thousands of people they assist across the region. It was time to give up the suits.

That’s how I ended up contemplating life in my bedroom closet. I was staring at that line of suits, ready to take them down to the car to bring them in to Dress for Success. But then it hit me as a scanned the line from left to right.

My adult life was looking back at me on that rack. A suit when I was single and in my 20s. One I was wearing in heavy rotation around the time my kids were born. There’s one I wore at a family wedding and one next to it that I wore at a family funeral. A row of suits covering me at board meetings for the lineage of great companies I worked for. ​

The older the suit, the more cumulative the history. An adult life’s alpha and omega found, in of all places, on a closet clothes rack. How could I part with them?

Well, it came down to impact. The suit can remain in the closet, never be worn, and have one person appreciate it. Or it can be repurposed and find new life. And maybe, just maybe, help take someone in this region to the next level of realizing their potential.

The car got loaded up. Tanya from Dress for Success was helping me unload them at the office and asked, “Where did all these come from?” I told her it was a long story but that I would try to explain it to her as best I could.

Dress for Success Pittsburgh is always looking for men’s and women’s professional attire (including dress shoes!) in good condition. CNX sponsors the Dress for Success mobile boutique, which provides services to women across Fayette, Greene, and Washington Counties in western Pennsylvania. Contact CEO Tanya Vokes at to find out how you might help.

For daily insights and commentary from Nick Deiuliis, follow Nick on Twitter at @NickDeiuliis and on LinkedIn.

Legacies and Adages for Domestic Energy’s Future: Texas A&M Visit

Ask a business leader what their most important asset is, and the answer will typically be: our employees. That answer rings especially true for the domestic energy industry, where the ability to manufacture affordable and reliable natural gas and oil hinges on continually developing the next generation of workers and leaders.

So, getting out there and engaging with students in engineering and science who are about to enter the workforce is time well spent.

When it comes to producing high-potential future leaders of the natural gas and oil industry, you’d be hard-pressed to find a program as effective as Texas A&M (TAMU). So when the TAMU Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) student chapter asked me to spend an evening with them, my response was immediate and affirmative.

Off to College Station, where the SPE student chapter turned out, led by officers Kassem and Teresa. Ready to cover industry, technology, and career. After a few minutes, one couldn’t help but be bullish on the prospects of this next generation of industry leaders. Domestic energy nirvana!


We discussed how natural gas is a catalyst fuel for the future, not a bridge fuel with a near end. Addressed the importance of tabulating the true life-cycle carbon footprints of different energy sources when setting policy and making decisions, and how natural gas stacks up favorably compared to wind and solar on Scopes 1-3 CO2e. Examined what’s going on in the exciting Appalachian basin and how the Appalachia First vision is a blueprint not just for one basin, but also for others and the nation.

We thought through how the timing of two opportunities for domestic natural gas demand growth, LNG export and vertical market capture of transportation fuels, should be logically sequenced. Domestic natural gas displacing foreign-sourced gasoline/diesel/jet aviation fuel should come first since it is the superior opportunity on a carbon footprint reduction, supply chain shrinkage, energy cost savings, and human rights improvement set of metrics. LNG export will have its time, but only after domestic natural gas seizes the transportation market opportunities.


We traded thoughts on career and culture. Strong culture must ensure the ‘walk’ of decision-making is consistent with the polished ‘talk’ of stated company values. We discussed how the most crucial types of diversity are those of thought and background; when you strive for that duo and couple them with a true meritocracy, physical diversity should be an expected result.

I could sense students sought assurance of solid future career prospects for professionals in the domestic natural gas and oil industry. It’s not hard to deduce why. The steady, ideological drumbeat of messaging by some outside the industry is that the future economy will not require these life-sustaining fuels. I hope that after the evening’s discussion, those concerns were put to bed and students left excited about how the demand for their skills and our products will skyrocket into the future.


“Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.”


Toward the end of the evening, I left a couple of closing thoughts.

The first spoke to the duty of students to live up to the legacy of TAMU, epitomized by two great individuals. General James Rudder graduated from TAMU in 1932, later led the unprecedented Army Ranger assault on the cliffs of Point du Hoc in Normandy during World War II, and ultimately became President of TAMU and grew it into the iconic institution of today. And George Mitchell, who graduated from TAMU in 1940 and became the father of the shale revolution, made enormous positive impacts on the human condition. Giants who started on the same ground where these students stand today.

The second closing thought pertained to the Aggie Adage: “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.” By the time I left campus and that special place, I got it. But one of my objectives for the evening was to convince the students and faculty that leaders in the energy industry carry a responsibility that is the inverse to the Aggie Adage: leaders inside the domestic energy industry have a duty to explain so those outside the industry understand. I hope they got it.

Gig ‘em, Aggies!

For daily insights and commentary from Nick Deiuliis, follow Nick on Twitter at @NickDeiuliis and on LinkedIn.

VFW Post 4793. Waynesburg, PA. Appalachia. America

The Vietnam War claimed over 50,000 American lives.  American wounded numbered in the hundreds of thousands.  Today’s Vietnam vets are nearing the end of their journey, some in their 80s. Time is running out to right a wrong.

From 1964 to 1973, young men across Appalachia and western Pennsylvania dutifully answered a notice from the draft board to enter the armed forces and serve in combat. Most didn’t want to go.  Many were afraid to go. Yet off they went, leaving jobs at the mills and mines or delaying the start of college.

The lucky ones made it back home.  The luckier ones made it back home without physical injury.  The luckiest few made it back home without physical or mental scars.  None returned home to enjoy a hero’s welcome.

Upon returning home, these newly minted veterans were subjected to their second war of attrition.  This time it wasn’t NVA or Viet Cong sniping from distant, concealed positions, hidden in dense jungle foliage. Instead, it was the Left and their minions on campuses and in Hollywood, building and feeding a culture of disdain for Vietnam veterans.

The Left converted the noble into the evil (the Left excels at that). Jane Fonda saw Vietnam as a photo op and in 1972 posed in Hanoi wearing NVA gear atop an anti-aircraft gun. The prior year, John Kerry used his Vietnam service as an opportunity to boost his political career, testifying to Congress that American soldiers were monsters.

Enough. America’s national security rests in the hands of a military made largely of volunteer citizens.  They don’t start wars; they are called on to finish them, no matter what the quality of leadership is from policymakers, Washington DC, or generals.

Last week, on March 29, our nation marked another Vietnam Veterans Day. I work for a company that is stacked with men and women who served across the military. And we put our hearts and souls into making tangible, impactful, and meaningful positive differences in our local communities and wider region of Appalachia.

You can probably guess where this was going.

On Wednesday evening we headed down to Waynesburg, to the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Post 4793. We stopped in to say hi to some of our neighbors, fellow domestic energy workers, friends, and coworkers. To find another way to have the CNX Foundation and Appalachia First come alive. And to do it on Vietnam Veterans Day.

Wednesday was the always popular wing night at Post 4793, which was filled with regular members, from families with small kids to old timers. So, we bought the wings for the night (food never fails to please). We raffled off four Penguins tickets. We ate wings and had a tap beverage or two. Talked some, listened more. Forgot to sign ‘the book.’ And promised we would be back.

March 29 at Waynesburg VFW Post 4793 marked the start of something new at CNX and for the CNX Foundation. We are all in with supporting this region’s veterans through the VFWs and American Legions spread across the communities where we operate and live: western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, West Virginia, and western Virginia.

See you soon, veterans. On taco Tuesdays or wing night. At events to honor a recently departed member. To say hi and…thank you.

Waynesburg and its vets are the epitome of western Pennsylvania. And western Pennsylvania is the heart of Appalachia. And Appalachia is the soul of America.

Talking Energy, Region, and Careers at the Rock: Another Best Day Ever

The summary below follows Nick Deiuliis’ March 2, 2023, presentation to Slippery Rock University students and faculty.

Life in the digital age leaves much to be desired, but occasionally offers serendipitous moments. An unexpected opportunity pops up and turns out to be engaging.

I received a message on LinkedIn from an undergraduate student in petroleum engineering at Slippery Rock University who recently took on the role of chapter president for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

He introduced himself and asked if I would be willing to come speak to the SPE chapter.

That’s impressive initiative that deserved an affirmative answer.

Shared Appalachian Connections

And with so much shared history, how could I resist such a request?

Slippery Rock University traces its western Pennsylvania roots back to 1889, which is a few decades after the founding of the company I work for, CNX Resources, in Appalachia. Both share a history and are long time regional leaders of western Pennsylvania and Appalachia.

The request was a chance to spend time with engineering, physics, chemistry, and safety management students. Disciplines I’ve had the pleasure of toiling in, working with, and proudly associating with for decades. My kind of crowd.

There are zero degrees of separation between company and university. The employee ranks of CNX are filled with Slippery Rock alums. From a vice president (who pressed me to remind the audience of his gridiron glory) to an intern who recently became a full-time engineer (who clearly had a more popular following by students and faculty than our vice president).

I never want to turn down a chance to hear from and fire up the next generation of Appalachia, the domestic energy sector, and the manufacturing industry. Making sure every student knew the massive career opportunity set waiting for them. Letting them know they indeed have what it takes to succeed in their craft. And listening to gage where their heads are in an increasingly chaotic world.

I always welcome opportunities to unabashedly promote Appalachia, western Pennsylvania, domestic energy, CNX Resources, and Slippery Rock University. An economic and social ecosystem where it’s all for one and one for all.

The visit also served an opportunity to recruit. Not just for CNX Resources, but on behalf of all the fabulous partners we work with in the energy industry and within Appalachia. I hoped to return from Slippery Rock with a roster of connections and a stack of resumes. Mission accomplished.

CNX embraces its Appalachia First vision for the region, and it doesn’t get more Appalachia First than this.

Let’s Talk…

Slippery Rock offers a strong array of STEM-centric majors: physical sciences, engineering, and safety management to name a few. Students and faculty convened in the Vincent Science Center auditorium and we got right into it.

The Vincent Science Center is home to the Physics and Engineering Department at Slippery Rock University.

We covered the potential of the Appalachian basin, recognizing it is the second-largest natural gas field on the planet when you combine the Marcellus and Utica shale horizons. Natural gas is not a bridge fuel, but instead a catalyst fuel for the future.

We discussed the need for resilient businesses to secure competitive moats within their industry and market.

To illustrate, I explained how CNX Resources enjoys three moats of resilient, competitive advantage: stacked pay acreage of Marcellus and Utica shales, vertically integrated assets of upstream production wells and midstream pipelines, and an avenue of new growth offered by the development and commercialization of new technologies to provide future energy solutions.

We dove deep into culture and values of organizations.

By example, CNX embodies the three core values of responsibility, ownership, and excellence. We might invest time defining them with words for a website or brochure, but in the end the values will be understood and evident by seeing them come alive in the decision making throughout the organization. From the newest employee to the CEO; from the smallest to the largest decisions.

Values and culture are crucial filters when making decisions in the real world. If you see the culture/value ‘talk’ not aligning with the ‘walk,’ there is a problem. When encountering such a conflict, always look to the ‘walk’ for the true culture/values.

We also addressed timely topics one hears about everywhere these days, but topics that are typically not subjected to sufficiently rigorous thought. I referenced such topics as a select grouping of popular ‘urban legends’ in energy and business.

At the front of the group was ESG investing; how it is labeled as a cure-all remedy and the inevitable future of investing. But reality has exposed a stratified layer of good, bad, and ugly applications of ESG.

Of course, climate change was included in the agenda. The certainty of rising atmospheric CO2 levels from human activity. But the far from certain and hopelessly inaccurate climate models when it comes to predicting the impact of CO2 on past, present, and future climate.

Is there a bigger urban legend these days than the myth of zero carbon/emission-free wind and solar?

We walked through the complex, murky, and often ugly supply chain of producing an intermittent kWh of electricity in Pennsylvania from wind or solar. And what happens to stakeholders along that supply chain: from child workers in Africa, to slave laborers in Xinjiang, to ruined ecosystems in the developing world, to stressed and unreliable grids in America and Europe, to the regressively taxed middle-class ratepayers.

Climate policies that protect, subsidize, and mandate wind and solar are stacking up a resume of failure across global grids. Power grids in the EU, UK, California, Texas, and here in Pennsylvania (PJM nearly broke during this past Christmas Eve cold snap) have all stressed or broke at the worst possible times due to the consequences of a mandated energy transition that was not well thought out.

Wind and solar, along with EVs, comprise quite the sustainability horror story. Worse yet, their life cycle carbon footprints are far from zero, and likely grossly exceed the life cycle carbon footprints of domestic energy sources such as power generation fueled by regional natural gas. It’s simply a matter of performing a basic carbon mass balance across supply chains.

The geopolitical implications of energy policy were not left out of the conversation.

Climate policies that mandate wind and solar are de facto projections of geopolitical power for China, the primary American adversary today, who enjoys dominant control of the supply chains for wind, solar, and EVs. Conversely, allowing domestic energy to ‘do its thing’ in the competitive free market serves as a projection of American power as effective as military might.

The expert class shouts endlessly about a Code Red for humanity as it relates to climate change. But the real Code Red for humanity pertains not to climate change, but instead to climate change policies.

Wanting to believe wind, solar, and EVs are zero carbon and sustainable is blind ideology bordering on religion. Daring to know the harsh reality is true to the scientific method and is faithful to rational thought.

Thymos: Propellant of Futures and Careers

Toward the end, things turned a bit philosophical. The Greeks introduced the concept of thymos, an individual’s drive to be recognized and to achieve.

Different people exude different levels of thymos. Same with teams, companies, and groups. Students need to assess where they sit on the thymos meter, and then seek out a culture and team that matches their personal level.

There is no right or wrong level of thymos. But a mismatch between the individual’s and organization’s thymos level will result in a bad fit. Recognize the importance of inner thymos, assess how it lines up with that of the team, and career choices become clearer.

A great proxy for high levels of thymos is a preference for in-person work over remote work. That’s true for individuals as well as companies. With the availability of remote work in a post-pandemic world, young professionals have a useful gage for matching thymos levels. If one is high-thymos, they may struggle on a team that embraces a remote work environment.

The conversation wrapped on the topics of advocacy and duty. It used to be that a professional could keep one’s head down and ignore the discourse of debate. Not so today. STEM professionals share a duty, morally and ethically, to advocate with fact and science. And to do so civilly.

That’s why I answered the call for Slippery Rock. And why I plan on coming back.

Nick Joins the Energy News Beat Podcast

In this episode of the Energy News Beat Podcast, Nick joins host Stu Turley to discuss CNX Resources’ history of innovation, its present-day strategy, and the company’s “Appalachia First” vision for the future. Nick also shares his career path, which he explains has evolved as CNX and the Appalachian region has evolved.

Nick and Stu explore ESG investing, energy policy, and advocating for what you believe in (one of the drivers that led to Nick’s writing Precipice). Other topics include infrastructure, renewable energy sources and grid reliability, Nick’s recent essay on “The West and China,” downstream opportunities thanks to abundant natural gas, energy flows, energy security, inflation, and more.

For daily insights and commentary from Nick Deiuliis, follow Nick on Twitter at @NickDeiuliis and on LinkedIn.