WATSON BARKER
Principal

Mr. Barker has been dedicated to the design, marketing, implementation and service of energy risk management and insurance programs since 2005.  

Oil & gas experience includes conventional and unconventional E&P and oilfield service operations in the Marcellus, Utica, Bakken, Eagle Ford, Permian and Barnett domestically and various onshore and offshore UK and AU fields abroad.  Mr. Barker spent the better part of his early career developing and managing domestic and international insurance programs for Marathon Oil with his last project being the acquisition of Hilcorp Resources’ Eagle Ford assets valued at $3.5B.  Over the last several years Mr. Barker has worked extensively with management teams representing more than $2.5B in investments to equip, guide and protect strategic plan execution.

Power and distribution experience includes construction and operational program development for pipelines, gas storage facilities and power generation. 

Mining experience includes large underground and surface mining bonding, casualty, property, pollution and workers compensation programs for operators and contractors in PA, OH, WV, VA, and KY.

Mr. Barker has been asked to serve on various client executive and carrier HSE committees and to speak on topics of risk management and insurance at industry conferences including the Shale Insight Conference and by industry groups such as the Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Association and The Association of Desk & Derrick Clubs.

Mr. Barker has served as ESS Energy Group Principal since January 2012.  Prior to ESS, Mr. Barker held the role of Producer at Charter Energy (2005-2011) and Vice President at SunTrust Bank (1999-2005).

Mr. Barker received his BA from the University of Virginia and an Executive Masters of Business Administration from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.  Mr. Barker received the API Well Certification Certificate from Wild Well Control in 2014.

Mr. Barker is active in the community as Chairman of the Finance Committee at his church in Oakland and Board member and Treasurer of Pittsburgh Urban Christian School.


Jessica Shultz
Director

Ms. Shultz joined ESS Energy in 2018 from EQT.  At EQT she served as Corporate Director, Business Risk & Insurance responsible for placing and managing all lines of insurance for the company.  During her tenure, Ms. Shultz participated in EQT’s transformation from regional gas utility to the largest onshore natural gas producer in the United States.  She handled insurance and risk issues related to merger and acquisition activity, divestiture of the gas utility and the launch of two IPO’s while also creating a “best in class” process for collection and management of insurance documentation from EQT’s suppliers and service providers.  Prior to EQT Jessica was a broker with Marsh where she served as Client Executive in the Property / International department handling Property and Casualty placements for numerous global accounts. 

Ms. Shultz attended the University of Pittsburgh where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in a self-designed major focusing in Latin American studies and foreign languages.  

Ms. Shultz lives in downtown Pittsburgh with her husband, Eric, and enjoys being creative in the kitchen, exercising and playing fantasy football. 


Charles “Chip” Echnoz
Managing Principal

Mr. Echnoz is a native Pennsylvanian having grown up just north of Pittsburgh.  His family ties to energy date back to the early 20th century mining business whose industry ultimately served as the foundation to ESS Nextier/ESS Energy Group.  Mr. Echnoz has served as Managing Principal of ESS, et al since 1986. 

Under Mr. Echnoz’ 25+ year leadership ESS Nextier Insurance Group/ESS Energy Group has grown from 3 employees to 35 employees and ranks in the top 5% of all agencies located in the United States by leading agency consultant “Marsh-Berry” for agency operations, performance, profitability and general business practices. 

In addition to serving on various Insurance Advisory Boards, Mr. Echnoz served (past and present) on the following profit and non-profit Board seats:

  • Pennsylvania State Police

  • Armstrong County YMCA

  • Armstrong County Chamber of Commerce

  • Armstrong County Children and Youth Service

  • Armstrong  Health and Education Foundation

  • Armstrong County Memorial Hospital

  • Merchants National Bank

  • Farmers and Merchants Bank of Western Pennsylvania

  • NexTier Bank

Mr. Echnoz earned his BA from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA.