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 groups, serving as Second Vice Chair of the Southern Gas Association and as a Board Member of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.


Shawn L. Patterson Vice President and Chief Operations Officer

Shawn L. Patterson was named Vice President & 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., and Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President at Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc. Mr. Patterson received his undergraduate degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.


Tami Wilson Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

Tami Wilson became Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of Southern Star 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. In 2016, Tami was selected for the 2016 Progressive Woman Award by Smart Business Magazine. She has also served as an Advisory Board Member of the University of Evansville, Schroeder School of Business.

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


Carol Burchfield Vice President, Business Development

Carol Burchfield was named Vice President, Business Development of Southern Star in February 2018. Mrs. Burchfield has extensive background in the natural gas industry with a focus on increasing revenues and creating new markets. Immediately prior to Southern Star, she served as Senior Director, Business Development, with NextEra Energy Resources where she focused on greenfield pipeline development and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to that, Mrs. Burchfield was Vice President, Marketing and Business Development with Enable Midstream Partners for seven years. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with bachelor degrees in Accounting and Finance.


Chris Schindler Vice President, General Counsel

Chris Schindler became Vice President and 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.