Time for a coffee break? Take a few minutes to get to know Brian Hall, Manager of Supplier Diversity & Brand Advocacy at Shell USA Inc., including his best career advice, advice for women entrepreneurs, and what drove him to a career in diversity and inclusion.
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
I’m truly excited about our business focus on New Energies, where we are exploring emerging opportunities and investing in those where we believe sufficient commercial value is available. We focus on new fuels for transport, such as advanced biofuels, hydrogen and charging for battery-electric vehicles. We also focus on power from low-carbon sources such as wind and solar as well as natural gas.
What education/training programs should women entrepreneurs make sure to learn more about?
I believe women entrepreneurs should step into programs like the WBENC Energy Executive Program, and other programs aimed at driving capacity building for the industries they are interested in growing within. This intentional investment in knowledge and connections is a great way to invest in the future of their company.
What piece of advice would you give to women entrepreneurs that want to do business with your corporation?
Be exceptional at identifying real problems and driving solutions to those problems. Focusing on how their service or product solves or prevents problems is a great conversation starter. Then you must bring a proven track record of success and the ability and capacity to tackle future challenges. Be a forward thinker.
What drove you to a career in diversity and inclusion?
I’ve enjoyed a long career in commercial roles within several Shell business units. Understanding how those businesses have changed and evolved over the years really excites me about our future. When the opportunity came to work in a space that helps our current and future supply chain it seemed like a great opportunity to help. Now that I’ve been in if for a decade, I’m equally eager to help transform this space into a “problem-solving” environment. One where diversity gets you connected. But one where collaborative solutions get you the work.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
You can enter any room that you choose. The challenge is doing what it takes to stay in the room.
What women inspire you?
My grandmother. She said always speak the truth. Never intentionally hurt someone. Dance every day. Value your friends. And give the shirt off your back to someone who needs it more than you. I live these every day.
How has being a WBENC Corporate Member helped your corporation and/or procurement department?
WBENC has provided Shell with a tremendous platform to drive unique ways to share information and insights about our company and industry. For procurement, it has allowed for us to connect to a tremendous network of entrepreneurs and corporate peers that help us want to up our game in the inclusion space.
What’s the best way to start your day?
Drink a full glass of water. Say a prayer of thanks. Think about one person that you haven’t spoken to in months, and reach out to say hello.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a truck driver. My uncle used to drop by the house after a long trip in his Louisiana Pacific logging truck. He would give us a ride down the road pulling on his horn every time we asked him to. I wanted to drive a big ole truck back and forth across the U.S.
How do you unwind after a long workday?
I make a to-do list for the following day to get that stuff out of my mind. Then I go for a bike ride and watch an hour or so of HULU.
Fill in the Blank
When I face a challenge, I… look for the craziest solution that no one else thought of.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… don’t hold on to silly crap or toxic relationships.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… music.
Diversity and Inclusion inspires me because, … of what it will soon become.
SHELL USA, INC.
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