Samantha-Anne Nadolny – Select Water Solutions
As the nation’s leading water logistics and chemistry provider for the energy industry, Select Water Solutions chose its new name to be more on brand with the business.
It sounds simple to change a name, but it’s far more complex than just altering the corporate letterhead, Samantha-Anne Nadolny tells Vanguard from the company’s Houston headquarters in March. Serving as Select’s associate general counsel since October 2020, she’ll be the one to help sort out the many details.
“Every part of the business is affected,” she says. “From billing under the new name, contracts being restructured under the new name, to email addresses domain change, and even polo shirts and notebooks with a new name and logo. It’s a large undertaking.”
And it’s just the latest on her to-do list.
The company’s energy exploration clientele is again drilling, and Select Water Solutions has experienced recent significant growth through acquisitions and diversifying its services.
A true generalist
Nadolny says she never fell in love with any specific area of the law. However, working in-house would allow Nadolny to work inside an industry and all aspects of the law, while focusing on how the legal department can be a strategic business asset. Select has been the ideal destination to foster that passion and interest because of its different businesses.
Select has purchased nine other companies on her watch, further solidifying its status as an energy industry go-to for sourcing water, moving it by truck, temporary infrastructure, or transfer by pipeline to drilling sites, recycling for reuse, or disposal wells.
A few months after joining the company, Nadolny helped seal the deal for Complete Energy Services, a subsidiary of Oklahoma-based Superior Energy Services. The acquisition added to Select’s trucking fleet and disposal well footprint throughout Oklahoma and Texas.
Last year she helped usher a couple more entities into the fold, including Basic Energy Services, HB Rentals, Nuverra Environmental Services, Cypress Environmental, and most recently, Breakwater Energy Partners. All acquired companies provide valuable increases to the asset base and have contributed to Select being a leader in water lifecycle management and water chemistry in every basin, she says.
Acquisitions, however, must be followed by integration. There have been corporate names to change, permits to standardize, and property titles to transfer, and more. It’s all in her wheelhouse.
“I’m not an operations leader,” Nadolny says. “I’m a support leader who ensures a business operations are supported, and one who assists with strategic decisions by outlining issues and defining and mitigating risk. But ultimately, we are an operations-based company-they’re the ones who keep us moving forward. I will always lead the charge to ensure everyone has exactly what they need from the office to be successful.”
Boots on the ground
In addition to her formal titles, she oversees an extensive real estate division that includes around 100 owned properties, 300 leased properties, and 100 disposal sites. Each week may see an addition or subtraction, and she lauds Fort Worth-based Formation Real Estate—and brokers Robert Sawyer and John Jinks—which assists Select in buying, selling, leasing and managing industrial properties.
“The strategic partnership between Select and Formation has provided an avenue for me to work alongside while making the real estate department a productive cost center and profit base,” she says.
Nadolny feels she is most effective when seeing the operations up close. She’s in the field as often as conditions permit, visiting operations sites and meeting the field personnel who are the heart of the company. This year she has seen the chemicals lab in Houston, a field headquarters in Gainesville, Texas, a water transfer site in Pennsylvania, trucking yards in Wyoming and Colorado, and the testing of new equipment in North Houston. She has plans to visit many other properties in Select’s extensive portfolio in 2024.
When not getting to know the business in the field, she works on the legal side, drafts contracts, sits in on depositions, attends regulatory hearings, meets with business partners and collaborates with outside counsel.
It’s all part of being the in-house lawyer that Nadolny worked to be from the outset. It’s even more exciting that it’s in the energy industry, which she says is crucial to the economy.
A life in law
She came to this role well-prepared from preceding in-house positions at Sterling Construction Co. and Citelum North America-Groupe EDF, both in Greater Houston. While she’s had offers at companies elsewhere in the country, life on the Texas Gulf Coast has served her and her new husband, Robert Nadolny, well.
Here, she’s carved an impressive professional reputation, most recently being mentioned in 2023’s roster of the National Diversity Counsel’s Top 50 General Counsel. She’s also active in extracurricular activities, including serving on committees for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and as a Trustee for the Houston Young Lawyers Foundation. She’s involved herself in DEI initiatives at Select and the community at large, speaking to audiences nationally, citing the need for more women on the highest rungs of the corporate ladder across all industries.
As to how she got there, the Florida-born Nadolny has always been competitive. At Fairleigh Dickinson University, she captained the NCAA varsity volleyball team, swam competitively, served on the student government and achieved Phi Beta Kappa while majoring in history, political science and Spanish. She’s coached youth junior national volleyball for a decade and still plays volleyball herself every chance she gets.
According to Nadolny, much about sports and the legal profession are complements, and both factor in her success.
“Sports and law have taught me to be assertive and bolder than most,” she says. “Being a female often means you have to work harder and louder, and I learned those lessons on the (volleyball) court and pool.”
View this feature in the Vanguard Fall I 2023 Edition here.
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