THE WOODLANDS, TX - Kathleen Eisbrenner, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend to all whose lives she touched, passed away in her home town of The Woodlands, TX, on Thursday, May 9, 2019. She was 58 years old.
Kathleen suffered a devastating head injury from a fall in her home earlier in the week and passed away while surrounded by her family. She was the beloved wife of 30 years to Ray, mother of Lynn (Ed) Ames, Michael (Allie) Rush, Ray, and Michelle (John Paul) Wells, and adoring grandmother of Ava Ray.
Predeceased by her proud father Martin Collins. Survived by her loving mother Joan Collins, siblings Peggy (Gary)Masse, Eileen (Doug) Sheets, Mary (Glenn) Milos, and Marty (Trisha), by her mother and father-in-law Noreen and Ray Eisbrenner, and siblings-in-law Lauren (John), Jodie (Bob), Lisa (Terry) Litinas, Bob (Kristin), and Tom (Holly).
Born in Hammond, IN, in June of 1960, and raised in Munster, IN, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1982. She also participated in the Harvard Business School Strategic Marketing Management program.
Kathleen was a true visionary, who possessed the innate capability to implement her ideas. In 2010 she formed NextDecade LLC, a liquefied natural gas ("LNG") development company focused on LNG export projects. She assembled a small talented team, partnered with various counterparts, raised funding for technical and regulatory development and took the company public in July 2017 as NextDecade Corporation. She remained Founder, CEO and Chairman until February 2018, and was still Chairman at the time of her passing. She was formerly Executive Vice President at Royal Dutch Shell, where she was responsible for the management of the company's global LNG portfolio and LNG trading business. Prior to Shell, Kathleen was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Excelerate Energy, focused on developing the Floating Storage Regasification Unit ("FSRU") vessel and industry. The concept of FSRU ships was not initially accepted by the industry, but Kathleen continued to push her vision and ultimately the industry adapted to value these ships. FSRU vessels provided great savings to the infrastructure of LNG import facilities because storage and regasification facilities were no longer required on-shore. FSRUscaused a paradigm shift in the LNG industry, opened new markets that couldn't justify the cost of land-based facilities, and are now widely accepted and utilized throughout the LNG industry. She also held various senior management positions at El Paso Energy.
Kathleen was an Independent Director of EXMAR, and a member of the American Bureau of Shipping, JERA's Fuel Business Expert Advisory Board, and Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas. She was a former member of the Board of Chesapeake Energy Corporation and the National Petroleum Council.
Kathleen enjoyed mentoring, especially young women; she was devoted to bringing more women into the energy industry and often spoke of lessons learned to large groups of young people. She liked to highlight that failure is an option, that you learn more from tough times than from good times, and to respect people and give them no limits on what they can accomplish.
She treasured her children and shared her dreams with them. She and her husband were both in the energy business, working together three times in their careers. Their children couldn't help but become mini-experts in energy and many of them caught Kathleen's entrepreneurial spirit. She did everything large, she loved family trips and exposed her kids to countless international trips and excursions. Although one of her family's favorite experiences was an RV trip down the coast of California, as many great stories were born on that 10-day outing.
Kathleen had many fans in the energy industry, she treated everyone fairly and was always looking for win-win situations. She cared just as much about the welfare of her business partners as she did about her own welfare. She may not have been fearless, but when presented with a problem, she liked to confidently say "I'll figure it out," almost as a challenge to herself.
With her children scattered across four states, she prioritized family events to bring everyone together many times throughout the year. Wherever they met up, on a yacht off the coast of Greece, skiing on the slopes, on a beach, or at home in The Woodlands, the time together was full of dancing, games, cooking, laughter and fun. Kathleen made sure that every holiday, vacation or family weekend was special and unforgettable.
Kathleen had an infectious, wonderful and joyful laugh, you always knew when she was around.
A celebration of Kathleen's life will include: THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2019 - 4:00pm-7:00pm Visitation at Forest ParkThe Woodlands Funeral Home, 18000 Interstate 45 S, The Woodlands, TX 77384.
FRIDAY, MAY 17 2019 - 11:00am Funeral Services - St. Simon & Jude Catholic Church, 26777 Glen Loch Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77384.
FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2019 Directly Following Funeral Services Celebration Banquet, The Woodlands Resort, 2301 North Milled Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77380. Please RSVP if planning to attend the Celebration Banquet (firstname.lastname@example.org).
THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2019 - An evening banquet to celebrate and remember Kathleen's legacy in the oil and gas industry. This event is open to those who worked with her, were mentored by her, or were simply impacted by her kindness and entrepreneurial spirit. Houston, TX (specific location TBD). Please RSVP if planning to attend the Industry Memorial Banquet (email@example.com).