Jonathan Klein

Jonathan Klein

CEO, Cimation

Jonathan Klein’s career began in 2003 as an instrument and controls engineer specializing in the Oil & Gas industry. Mr. Klein served in lead instrument and automation engineering roles on numerous upstream, offshore projects.

After spending a few years in detailed engineering and design, Mr. Klein moved into roles focused on project management, business development, and departmental management.

In early 2009, Mr. Klein helped spin off Audubon Engineering’s Automation Department to co-found a new company, Cimation, an innovative technology company focused in Automation, Industrial IT, and Enterprise Data Solutions. Since Cimation’s inception, Mr. Klein has served in the role of CEO and is responsible for shaping the overall vision of the company, strategic planning, reporting to Board of Directors, recruiting key talent, overseeing business development, marketing, and operations. Other responsibilities include developing contracting strategies with clients and forming alliance partnerships with vendors, subcontractors, and OEM’s. Cimation has 150 employees and is headquartered in Houston, Texas with offices in New Orleans, Louisiana; Lafayette, Louisiana; Denver, Colorado, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

We asked Jonathan:

The OGM: What does sustainability mean to you?

Jonathan: Sustainability is a company’s ability to overcome challenges regardless of economic conditions and other external influences. More importantly, it is the capacity to adapt to change and remain relevant in a competitive market.

The OGM: Have you had a mentor?

Jonathan: I have had many mentors in my life but Ryan Hanemann has made the biggest impact on my professional career. Through Ryan, I learned the intangibles of running a business that are the most important ingredients in building a great company.

The OGM: What does success mean to you?

Jonathan: Success is giving purpose to one’s life by doing something meaningful.

The OGM: If you were to describe your career in three words what would they be?

Jonathan: Evolving, Challenging, Rewarding

The OGM: What advice would you give to someone looking for a career in the Energy Industry?

Jonathan: Find a progressive company that can offer a non-linear growth path. I did not know which direction I wanted to take when I started my career. I was fortunate to have landed in a small company that lacked rigid structure. This allowed me to navigate my own path and gravitate towards roles that interested me the most.

The OGM: Describe a milestone in your career?

Jonathan: Moving into a role that had personnel management responsibilities was a milestone in my career. I don’t think anyone can ever truly master the human side of the business, and it is often difficult for engineers to make that transition.

The OGM: Describe a challenge you faced in your career?

Jonathan: The biggest challenge I have faced in my career was starting a new company and the infinite responsibility that comes along with it. It is a crystalizing moment to realize how easily the decisions you make can directly affect other peoples’ lives.

The OGM: What impact does Technology have on your career?

Jonathan: My career and business revolve around technology. I personally rely on technology to improve efficiency and reliability, and integrate technology for my customers for these very same reasons.

The OGM: What do the next 5 years look like in your career?

Jonathan: When we started the company, we focused on solely on providing automation engineering to oil & gas companies. We quickly augmented this with industrial information technology and enterprise data solutions. Most recently, we started an initiative to develop technology, products, and other intellectual property. Technology and product development will be a major focus for Cimation over the next 5 years.

The OGM: Were you always interested in a career in Energy?

Jonathan: I never envisioned myself ending up in a career in Energy. When I was in college studying electrical engineering, my passion for electronics led me to believe I would go into the field of integrated circuit design. A slow economy landed me a job at an oil and gas engineering firm shortly after graduation. I have a hard time imagining an industry more conducive to innovation with the economics to support it than this industry.

The OGM: What interests you to sustain a career in the Energy industry?

Jonathan: The endless opportunities to innovate solutions are what interest me the most about the Energy industry. It is an amazing time to be part of an automation and technology company with the ‘digital shift’ taking place in Energy.

The OGM: Do you have a role model you look up to?

Jonathan: My father has been very influential in my life. He is one of the smartest people I know and has a brilliant mind for business. He instilled the work ethic and entrepreneurial drive that has led me to where I am today.

The OGM: What does Energy mean to you?

Jonathan: The first thing that comes to mind is the various resources, both renewable and non-renewable, used to generate the power we depend on.

The OGM: What is your favorite APP on your phone?

Jonathan: It changes frequently but at the moment I can’t get enough of Spotify. The ability to stream any song by any artist at any time is the essence of Steve Job’s vision for digital portable music.

The OGM: What impact will the Millennial Generation have on the Energy industry?

Jonathan: The Millennial Generation will have a positive impact on the Energy industry from the way energy is generated to the way it is consumed. I’m optimistic that continuous developments in Energy technology, combined with the right incentives and political atmosphere will keep us on a path to energy independence.

The OGM: What’s your take on Social Media and our ever changing digital world?

Jonathan: Unlike many things in our digital world that disappear as quickly as they appear, Social Media is not a fad. It has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other. The dominant social media platforms have solidified their purpose in this space and will not be easily unseated. New trends will be introduced and social media will have to continuously innovate to remain relevant.

The OGM: What Social Medium do you use on a daily basis?

Jonathan: I use LinkedIn for the professional aspects of my life and Facebook on the personal side. I am looking forward to accepting Twitter as the social medium to converge the two.

The OGM: Do you use Social Media for work?

Jonathan: At Cimation, our marketing team developed a sophisticated inbound marketing program using Social Media as the primary catalyst for lead generation, brand development, and recruiting. We actively use our website blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube. We are also a big proponent of our employees using social media to build their own personal brand.

The OGM: What do you think of Social Recruiting?

Jonathan: I think a company’s recruiting strategy is obsolete if Social Recruiting is not one of its key components. Other than receiving direct references on a candidate, this is the most effective way to find and attract talent. We do a considerable amount of recruiting out of colleges and Facebook has been an effective way to promote our brand.

The OGM: Why do you love what you do?

Jonathan: I love that I get to lead a dynamic company that caters to an industry that always presents new and exciting challenges. I surround myself with incredibly smart and ambitious people who aspire to achieve similar goals. I can’t imagine being part of anything more rewarding than my experience at Cimation.

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