Our Leadership


Jimmy D. Staton President and Chief Executive Officer

Jimmy D. Staton became President & Chief Executive Officer of Southern Star in December 2016. Mr. Staton has extensive experience in the energy industry. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors for Venture Global LNG before joining Southern Star. Prior to his work with Venture Global, he served as Executive Vice President of NiSource and the Chief Executive Officer of the Columbia Pipeline Group, Northern Indiana Public Service Company and the Columbia Distribution Companies. Prior to joining NiSource, Mr. Staton served in several Senior Executive roles with Dominion Energy where he led Dominion’s Natural Gas, Electric Transmission and Distribution, and Telecommunications operations. Prior to joining Dominion Energy, Mr. Staton was President, Regulated Operations, for Consolidated Natural Gas. Mr. Staton graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in Petroleum Engineering.

He is actively involved with industry and civic groups, serving as Chair of the Southern Gas Association,  Second Vice Chair of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, Vice Chair of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation and Advocacy co-Chair of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce.


Shawn L. Patterson Vice President, Chief Operations Officer and Chief Information Officer

Shawn L. Patterson was named Chief Operations Officer for Southern Star in 2017. Prior to joining Southern Star, Mr. Patterson was the Senior Vice President of Operations at TransCanada Pipeline USA Ltd. He also held the previous roles of Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President at Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc. and General Manager for Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Mr. Patterson received his undergraduate degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He serves on the boards of the INGAA Foundation, ONE Future, Wendell Foster, and the Regional Water Resource Agency (Wastewater Services for Owensboro & Daviess County, KY). He is the current Chair of the Innovation Committee for the Southern Gas Association.


Tami Wilson Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Growth Officer

Tami Wilson joined Southern Star as Chief Financial Officer in December 2018. Mrs. Wilson has extensive experience in the natural gas industry with both publicly traded and privately held companies. Most recently, she served as the Chief Finance and Risk Officer for IGS Energy. Prior to joining IGS Energy, she served as the President of Vectren Retail where she was instrumental in building an organization and executing a strong growth strategy. Throughout her career, Mrs. Wilson has amassed experience leading a multitude of functional areas. In addition to Finance and Accounting, she also leads Commercial Services and Business Development. In 2016, Tami was selected for the 2016 Progressive Woman Award by Smart Business Magazine. She is on the board of the Owensboro Health Foundation serving as Chair and is a member of the Finance Committee.

Tami is a Certified Public Accountant and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Evansville.


Chris Schindler Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer

Chris Schindler was appointed to the position of General Counsel in June 2019. Mr. Schindler has extensive experience representing diverse energy company clients in regulatory, compliance, commercial, litigation, enforcement, and strategic counseling matters. He has represented clients in nearly every facet of our industry. Chris served as Partner at Hogan Lovells, US LLP in Washington, D.C. where he started as an Associate in 1994 and became Partner in 2002. During his time there, Chris handled complex regulatory matters before FERC, CFTC and state commissions; executed regulatory strategies for energy infrastructure projects; drafted and negotiated pipeline development and transportation service agreements; litigated FERC rate cases; developed and executed regulatory strategy for mergers, acquisitions, and financing for energy companies; and was a frequent national speaker on FERC and CFTC regulatory issues.

Chris graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Vanderbilt University and continued to George Washington University to earn his Master of Arts and Juris Doctor with Honors in 1994.

jason sweeney web

Jason Sweeney Vice President, Business Development

Jason Sweeney joined Southern Star in June 2020. Jason has served in the energy industry since the 1990s, beginning as a power trader for Shell and Enron. In 2000, Jason moved to Suez to manage the Realtime Operations group, later moving into Business Development to work on power plant acquisitions and pipeline transport deals, as well as nuclear and LNG export projects.  In 2012, Jason transitioned into the FERC-regulated interstate pipeline space, when he joined Enable Midstream, to focus on developing their power plant load.  Finally, in 2015, Jason moved to Kinder Morgan, where he worked in Business Development for both Tennessee Gas Pipeline and Natural Gas Pipeline of America, covering upstream production to power generation to downstream industrials. 

Jason has a BA from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business.  He also volunteers as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of UH-Bauer’s Gutierrez Energy Management Institute.