Danny Nichols, an industry veteran and visionary, passed away on June 24. He began his career with the pipeline industry in the mid-80’s, working in both gas transmission and distribution.
His involvement has included Design, Construction, Operations, Maintenance and Emergency Response of Natural Gas & Hazardous Liquid Transmission, Gathering and Storage Facilities. Danny worked for Energy Transfer Company for 17 years, and was the Sr. Director of Regulatory Compliance/Government Affairs. He was also very active with the Texas Gas Association and Louisiana Gas Association, and proud of the relationship he fostered between the two. He was currently on the Board of Directors and Chair of the Transmission Committee with Texas Gas.
Those who worked with Danny over the years described him as thoughtful, knowledgeable, thorough, loyal, understanding, caring, encouraging, dedicated, positive, smart and compassionate.
“Danny understood the importance of working closely with other agencies and was always ahead of the game with solid plans,” said Angela Morgan, Lead Regulator Specialist for Energy Transfer.
“Danny was always devoted to keeping people safe throughout his career,” added Ronda Louderman, Vice President of EHSR – Black Bear Transmission. “He supported any collaborative industry event and always offered to help anyone however he could.”
“Danny was more than just a boss or co-worker to those who knew him. He was comfort, familiar, a great friend, a role model, a leader…he was family.”
Danny knew so many people in the industry and his desire to help others and dedication to doing things the right way have made an impression on so many who knew him.
“He was always introducing me to others in our industry,” explained Morgan. “He increased my network tenfold in a very short time.”
“Danny was dedicated to his company, had a strong work ethic, and approached every situation with a ‘do what is right’ mentality,” said Greg Johnson, Director of Pipeline Compliance – Targa Resources. “He was extremely knowledgeable about damage prevention and the safe operation of pipelines. With the recent loss of Danny, I’ve thought a lot about how I want to be remembered. It’s simple: as a solid/good guy who made a positive impact on people’s lives.”
“Danny will be missed in our industry, company, and regulatory circle,” Morgan added. “He knew his co-workers as people and friends. Danny was a one-of- a-kind man and his contributions to the Regulatory world will live on for many years.”
Danny was also very giving of his time and energy off the job. He served on the Scholarship Committee at Energy Transfer and was always willing to participate in many fundraising events. Back in 2007, he got involved in the Cherokee Creek Music Festival, an annual non-profit event created to raise money for children’s charities. To date, the event has raised more than $2 million benefiting organizations like Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Heroes for Children, Hill Country’s Children’s Advocacy Center, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and more.
When asked if she had any last words, memories or message to Danny, Kimberly Fitzhenry of Energy Transfer said, “This will choke me up, as there are so many ways Danny has helped me over the years and has left a lasting impact on me. He was encouraging and pushed me out of my comfort zone to learn and do more for myself and my career. He was an awesome boss and he cared about everyone on his team. He cared about work/life balance and understood my struggles as a single mom. Before he passed, he got my son a new fishing rod! My son told Danny about a big fish he caught, but it snapped his rod. The next week, he bought my son a new rod. I will miss his leadership, friendship, humor and caring heart. Danny was more than just a boss or a co-worker to those who knew him. He was comfort, familiar, a great friend, a role model, a leader… he was family.”
Danny Nichols also deserves to be called a “Damage Prevention Hero.”