Employee Spotlight: Shawn Portier

Monday, July 06, 2020

Shawn Portier, a native of Bourg, Louisiana, made the most of his time in high school. Not content to just get his diploma and get out, Shawn saw an opportunity and seized it. He enrolled in a dual-education program, spending half a day in regular high school and half a day in a technical/trade school for electrical training. The Terrebonne Vocational Technical School prepares students for industrial electrical work in places like refineries or plants. During their senior year, students even work half-days "on-the-job" for local businesses as part of a mentorship program. Shawn worked for Eagle Electric, a commercial company that worked on schools, banks and other new buildings.

Thanks to this early training, which provided Shawn with both hands-on learning and the conceptual understanding to go with it, he went straight to work after graduation. Brought on by Panel Specialists at 18 years old —initially as a helper — he rose through the ranks quickly. By the time he turned 21, he was a superintendent with an eight-man crew working primarily offshore. He and his team handled everything from pneumatic and electrical hookups of offshore production platforms to safety system testing and programmable logic controller (PLC) installations.

In 2005, he and his wife Tori were married, and they had their first child two years later. Then, in 2008, he decided to take on a new challenge: helping to build an instrumentation and electrical (I&E) service line from scratch for Shamrock Energy Solutions. It was a small company back then, and they needed someone who could develop customer relationships to help them grow.

Once again, Shawn moved fast. Within three years he was managing more than 50 employees, as well as designing and planning projects for I&E customers. Though he never set out to be in management, he was grateful to be working in a secure job and helping contribute to the company’s success in the upstream and midstream markets.

While the economic crisis of 2008-2009 didn’t immediately hit the oil and gas business like some other industries, Shawn saw the situation as a reminder of the importance of having strong customer relationships. He swore he would always strive to be the “go-to-guy” for his clients, willing to help with any task and easy to reach when needed.

“I’ve learned over the years that in any business, but especially oil and gas, the key to success over the long haul is making yourself indispensable to your customers,” Shawn says. “You have to be proactive and look for ways to help them and their business.”

When the industry shifted toward the onshore market after 2014, Shawn and his team shifted as well. The hours were sometimes long, but working a Monday to Friday schedule was a better fit for him and his growing family. When Danos acquired Shamrock in 2019, he had a decision to make. He considered his options, but he ultimately decided to take a position with Danos as a project manager. But true to his fast-track form, after only four months, Shawn was promoted to operations manager for the company’s I&E service line.

He leads a team that includes project managers, estimators, personnel coordinators and drafter/designers to manage the installation and set-up of electrical and instrumentation systems for Danos’ clients. He does his best to get out to job sites as often as possible, so he can continue to strengthen relationships with his team and customers.

Danos’ culture has turned out to be a great fit for him as well: “The leadership of Danos is very process-driven; they act deliberately and thoughtfully,” he says. With the many changes and challenges that will always affect the industry, he says, “it’s reassuring to see how Danos continues to chart its own steady course toward the future.”