One Gritty Entrepreneur: Kathleen Eisbrenner

I’ll never forget what she said.

Kathleen Eisbrenner stood up nice and tall in the board room and looked me in the eye and said,

“Giving up isn’t an option.  When things get tough, you just work harder.  You can do this because you already are.”

It wasn’t the first time I had met Kathleen.  But when we met this time, it was the first private conversation we had after I had lost my home and business after Hurricane Harvey.   I actually bumped into Kathleen and her husband Ray earlier in 2017 at Gastech.  They were on the same flight I took to Tokyo.  I remember thinking to myself,

“How does she look so put together after 20 hours on an airplane?”

And so that’s what I asked her.  “Hey Kathleen, Katie Mehnert with …”  Before I had the chance to ask her for her secrets, she said, “I know you Katie.  You worked at Shell and now you run Pink Petro.  I’ve kept up with you.  It’s great to see you.  This is Ray, my husband,” she said.

I remember when I met Kathleen years back when I was at Shell.  She was a legend hired to run the LNG business.  She spoke at a women’s network event I had the chance to attend while working abroad.  And back then, she had as much bite in her than she did that day I saw her in the immigration line in Japan, and later that year, in her office in 2017.

You couldn’t miss Kathleen.  Purple was her color.  Pink “became” mine.  She was a warrior and passionate about energy and the possibilities of LNG.

Kathleen, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend to all whose lives she touched, passed away in her home town of The Woodlands, Texas, on Thursday, May 9th, 2019. She was 58 years old.  She suffered a devastating head injury from a fall in her home earlier in the week and passed away while surrounded by her family.

Kathleen’s role model was her father who she say was the first to really ‘rise above challenges’.  “I like taking hardships and turning them into opportunities,” says Kathleen in this JA Hall of Achievement Laureate video in 2016.

We’re going to miss her passion.  The world of energy won’t be the same.