GPA announces staff additions and D.C. office

TULSA, Okla. (Jan. 21, 2015) - The Gas Processors Association (GPA) announces expansion plans to bolster its government affairs focus at all levels, including the addition of new personnel and a Washington, D.C., office.

Matthew Hite has been hired as vice president of government affairs to lead GPA’s federal advocacy activities. Hite will be instrumental in opening the GPA Office of Federal Affairs in Washington, D.C., and hiring a director of federal government affairs later this year.

Hite previously served as policy counsel and committee executive to the Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs Division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In that role, he handled a number of environmental issues and also managed the Chamber's Environment and Agriculture Committee, the policymaking body for environment and agriculture issues and initiatives.

Before joining the Chamber, Hite spent close to a decade working on Capitol Hill. He was senior counsel to Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works where his responsibilities included environmental, agency oversight and regulatory issues. Prior to that, he worked on energy and environmental issues for congressional members from Alaska, Idaho and Ohio. Hite holds a Juris Doctor from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Rochester.

Debbie Beaver recently accepted GPA’s open director of state government affairs position. Prior to joining GPA in February 2013 as director of technical services, Beaver worked in government affairs for The Williams Companies (Tulsa, Okla.), facilitating the involvement of the company in legislative and regulatory venues, serving as a liaison between regulatory agencies and state legislatures, and providing management with guidance and updates on legislation affecting company policies.

She had a 27-year career with The Williams Companies in various government affairs roles with considerable experience lobbying in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas. Beaver will report to Hite but will remain at GPA’s corporate headquarters office in Tulsa. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business and paralegal studies from Oklahoma City University.

Engaging and educating agencies and legislators about the midstream natural gas industry has been top of mind for the association’s leaders for several years, and the GPA board of directors approved a dues increase in October 2014 in support of the increased federal advocacy effort.

“Up to this point, GPA has achieved noteworthy accomplishments through using third parties with key Capitol Hill and agency access to handle many of our federal activities, but now it’s time to take this next step on our own to ensure that our members are served and our voice is heard,” said Mark Sutton, GPA president and CEO. “Matt and Debbie are experts in their respective areas, as are the committee members that carry out many of our federal and state initiatives. We are excited about what’s to come as a result of these changes.”