News • APRIL 25, 2023
Five Questions with Jonah Howe, Community Affairs – Marcellus
Leading community relations in Pennsylvania, Jonah plays a vital role in creating synergies between Chesapeake and the communities where we operate.
How do you describe your role at Chesapeake?
My role includes meeting with neighbors, interacting with regulators and identifying local areas of need for possible Chesapeake donations and engagement. Through my communications, I am working to develop relationships built on transparency and to further establish trust in the company.
I end up traveling quite a bit in my role, researching and reviewing grant applications and ensuring a strong connection exists between Chesapeake and the organizations we work with. Face time with the community is an invaluable part of being an advocate for not just Chesapeake but the industry as a whole.
How did you get into this field? Where does your sense of community come from?
My path to Chesapeake has been non-traditional. I graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Technology with a degree in horticulture and started my career as a landscape designer. From this role, I started assisting my employer’s civil engineers to execute heavy highway projects which then expanded into the evaluation, design and construction of natural gas infrastructure.
I joined the construction team at Chief Oil & Gas in 2010, where I gained experience in various fields including planning, construction, environmental and drilling and completions activities. Along the way, I established relationships with stakeholders and put my years of customer service to use. This background, combined with my internal and external relationships, allows me to keep a pulse on public interests and establish mutually beneficial operations.
Wanting to serve my community has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. Having grown up in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, just west of Chesapeake’s operating area, I feel that I know the community well and truly care about its success.
As a former Chief employee, how was your transition to Chesapeake?
Initially, there was a learning curve while adjusting from a privately held company to a public corporation. And, as someone who is representing the company, I wanted to make sure I fully understood the company’s culture, values and vision.
After the acquisition, we identified that Chesapeake and Chief had overlapping community partnerships. Chesapeake has continued these relationships, bringing more robust resources to expand them; it’s been exciting to see it all grow.
Following the Chief acquisition, Chesapeake is operating on state game lands for the first time. How do you help ensure these operations are successful?
In my role, I am the liaison between our operations and the Pennsylvania Game Commission. An important part of this relationship is ensuring the Commission feels heard, and also educating Commission members on how we do business, as well as our processes and procedures to protect the environment and our community. I also communicate with our employees on how our work and operations bring value to the Commission.
Our relationship with the Commission is underpinned by transparency, strong communications and mutually beneficial operations. Creating a strong model of a company/government partnership helps to strengthen Chesapeake’s reputation when it comes to leasing with other partners.
How do you see Chesapeake’s operations positively impacting communities in the Marcellus?
The natural gas industry is the backbone of Pennsylvania’s economy. While the investments that Chesapeake has made are invaluable, we need to continue to educate stakeholders to raise awareness of these efforts. Between regulated fees such as the Act 13 Impact Fee, which supports rural broadband, emergency response and critical infrastructure initiatives, and philanthropic contributions, the company has invested millions of dollars into the region.
Left: Partnering with Lock Haven University, Jonah and Professor Dr. Peter Petokas provide hands-on math and science activities for elementary and middle school students at Pennsylvania College Science Festival in Williamsport. Right: Jonah and his daughter Mabel present a donation to the Eagles Mere-Laporte Lions Club to support the Shop with a Cop program.