The Energy & Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF) is proud to announce it has presented its 2023 John L. McClaugherty Award to Natalie N. Jefferis. The McClaugherty Award is the Foundation’s highest honor and recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of energy and mineral law, and to EMLF. It is named after the late John L. McClaugherty, a founding member and former president of the organization.
Natalie has been a member of EMLF for over twenty years, and has served in numerous leadership roles, including as the organization’s president from 2018 to 2019.
2022 McClaugherty Award winner Tim Miller presented the award to Natalie at EMLF’s 44th Annual Institute in June in Charleston, South Carolina. Tim recognized that Natalie “guided this organization through some difficult times in a transition period with great skill and leadership” reflecting that her term as president oversaw the retirement of Sharon Daniels, EMLF’s Executive Director of nearly forty years, and the hiring and onboarding of Anna Girard Fletcher, EMLF’s current Executive Director.
In addition to recognizing that Natalie spearheaded EMLF’s Careers in Energy program, which provides outreach to law students who are interested in energy law, Tim mentioned that Natalie has served on numerous committees, routinely volunteers for many difficult tasks, is always helpful and reliable, and “takes on every assignment with enthusiasm, dedication, and professionalism.”
When accepting the award, Natalie reflected that she, like many winners before her, was surprised and appreciative, and used the opportunity to encourage those present to bring other colleagues to EMLF programs, especially younger attorneys. Natalie said, “It’s been a great place to grow up as a lawyer, and it’s reminded me over and over to mentor the ones below us.”
Natalie is a Sr. Attorney at BHE GT&S, an interstate natural gas transmission and storage company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, with operations in 10 states. In her current role, Natalie supports land, land administration, storage and operations teams focusing on title matters, landowner issues and real estate transactions.
She is a graduate of Fairmont State University and West Virginia University College of Law. After graduating from law school, Natalie began her career working as an associate for Bowles Rice in their energy department focusing on real estate, title and energy related contracts. In 2006, she joined EQT Production Company as a landman reviewing title for the company’s Virginia drilling program. Over a span of 13 years at EQT, Natalie managed land teams in five states, was VP of Commercial Operations and ended her career at EQT as VP of Land and Title. After leaving EQT, Natalie joined the energy department at Peacock Keller once again focusing on real estate, title and energy related contracts before joining BHE GT&S.
Natalie has been a member of EMLF since 2002, attending her first Annual Institute in 2003 at Myrtle Beach. Natalie has served on strategic planning committees, as Trustee and past president of the Foundation. In addition to her support of EMLF, Natalie is the President of the Women’s Energy Network, WV chapter and Visiting Committee Chair of WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resource and Design and a member of the American Association of Professional Landmen. Natalie regularly speaks to undergraduate and law students about careers in energy and is an Adjunct Lecturer at WVU College of Law teaching Property II.
Natalie has been married to her husband Andy for 16 years and is a mom to their 12 year old, Trey. In her downtime, you can find her at a baseball field, running or playing golf with the women of LPGA Amateur Golf Association’s Pittsburgh chapter.
The late John L. McClaugherty (1931-2003) was a former member and past president of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation (then named the Eastern Mineral Law Foundation). Mr. McClaugherty was a native of Princeton, West Virginia, who attended Northwestern University and the West Virginia University College of Law. He served as a Staff Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force before joining the law firm Jackson Kelly in 1959, where he later became the managing member for nearly twenty years. Civic-minded, Mr. McClaugherty served as chief counsel to the Senate of West Virginia Counsel on the Judiciary from 1967 to 1975, and held numerous community leadership positions including President of the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. He also frequently volunteered his time in service to the bar through his involvement with the American Bar Association, the American Judicature Society, the American Bar Foundation, the West Virginia Bar Foundation, the West Virginia State Bar Association, the Kanawha County Bar Association, and the West Virginia Judicial Council, among others.
EMLF is a non-profit organization that is an accredited provider of continuing education for lawyers, landmen, and other energy professionals. For more information about EMLF, visit emlf.org. To view the McClaugherty Award presentation, click here.