News from The University of Colorado Denver: Global Energy Management Program

The Global Energy Management Program has selected GEM studentRalph A. Cantafio as our first “Gem” of the New Year.

Cantafio, Esq. 52,. is a Partner at Cantafio Law and will give a presentation about the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission v. City of Longmont (involving Municipal Ordinances), as well as the Colorado Oil and Gas Association v. City of Longmont discussing the November, 2012 Referendum passed by the voters of Longmont prohibiting fracking on Thursday, Jan. 10 at the Denver Petroleum Breakfast.

During his presentation, oil and gas professionals will find out what they need to know about Legislative, Executive and Judicial branch treatment of the Preemption Doctrine, and how to benefit from Preemption in the future.

The GEM Program thanks Ralph, a member of Cohort 7, for striving for excellence both inside and outside of the classroom. He is scheduled to graduate in June 2013.

Briefly describe your current role and responsibilities.

I am an attorney having practiced for almost 28 years now. Our law firm has six attorneys and seven staff members with offices located in Steamboat Springs and downtown Denver. My practice emphasizes Oil and Gas Law as well as Commercial Litigation. I am also the managing partner of the firm.

How has the GEM program benefited you and your company?

GEM has helped me identify a host of issues that frequently are never properly addressed by smaller organizations like ours and made me take a much closer look at the fashion in which this law firm is run. My professors have been very generous in discussing with me ideas that were introduced in class, so that I may apply them at our law practice.

What are some of your favorite things to do during cohort weekends?

Reconnecting with classmates is one of the things I look forward to the most during cohort weekends. Once the cohort weekend concludes and everyone disburses from Denver, you tend to have a great deal of contact with your Team but a limited amount of contact with your other classmates. So, it is really nice to see everyone again during this time.

What are some of the things that you never forget to bring to cohort weekends?

I try to remind myself that the program is of a pretty fleeting duration in the bigger scheme of things. While the lessons in class are essential, the relationships you create with your classmates are also very valuable.

Please share a story about GEM that will entertain other students.

Ha, ha. What happens at GEM, stays at GEM — my lips are sealed.

Why did you choose the GEM program at CU Denver?

I was also accepted into the MBA Program at DU. I just believed that the GEM program with its emphasis on the Energy Industry was a much better fit for the substance of my learning than a more general MBA program. After being enrolled in the GEM program for a year, I am extremely confident that I made a wise choice.

Has GEM changed your perspective? If so, how so.

As you can imagine, at my age I am somewhat of an outlier compared to that of my classmates. In fact, most of my classmates are in the same age group as my own kids. I cannot tell you how much I have gained from my classmates. Also, the professors have been terrific. Not only has the material been generally well presented, but the professors have been incredibly accessible. I am very confident that as I move forward I am going to share professional relationships with not only my classmates, but with my professors as well. It is a tremendous thing to be able to have breakfast or lunch with your professors and get feedback on real-life business matters. Lastly, my law firm already keeps me busy and the GEM course work is challenging, so I have had to become more organized in order to budget time for lectures, readings, assignments, tests and discussion points. From my experience, the benefits of the GEM program far exceed all of the costs!