News • SEPTEMBER 22, 2022

Investing in Employees through Tuition Assistance Program 

Through Chesapeake’s tuition assistance program, employees are encouraged to deepen their expertise and grow their careers with financial support from the company. Employees are eligible to receive up to $5,250 a year in tuition reimbursement, the maximum nontaxable amount allowed by the IRS, if enrolled at a nationally accredited institution of higher education.

“Simply put, this program is a win-win for Chesapeake and our employees. We can further invest in our team while reducing barriers to education,” said Toni Parks-Payne, Director of Human Resources and Employee Services. “We believe that advanced studies can play a crucial role in helping employees reach their highest potential — both professionally and personally — and we want to help ease the financial cost of going back to school.”

Tuition assistance is one of many professional development opportunities Chesapeake offers to employees to help further their careers. In 2021 alone, Chesapeake invested more than $160,444 in 31 employees’ continued college or graduate school education. Three of these employees share their stories:  

Crystal Cottrell, Operations Accounting Specialist

Pursuing a dual degree in finance and accounting from the University of Oklahoma (OU)

Cottrell is currently taking classes to learn more about how the financial side of the business operates, including understanding markets, securities and hedging.

“I am able to integrate and apply what I learn from my classes into my job to create efficiencies. I am thankful for this opportunity to go back to school as furthering my education will broaden my skillset so that I can be an invaluable employee.”

Greg Steele, Manager of Internal Controls

Pursuing his certified public accountant (CPA) license from Mid-America Christian University (MACU)

Steele had previously earned a master’s degree in a different focus area and is seeking additional accounting expertise after changing roles at the company.  

“I am a firm believer in continuous learning. In any role that I’m in, I want to build as much knowledge as possible to grow in my position. After moving from Risk Management into Accounting, I saw an opportunity to go back to school for a deeper understanding of the accounting function and to expand Chesapeake’s network of CPAs.”

Jamie Osborne, Sr. Environmental Representative

Received her master’s degree in energy management from Oklahoma City University (OCU)

Osborne graduated this summer, completing the energy management program online with students across the country. She started her career in medical research before joining Chesapeake.

“Having not started my career in oil and gas, OCU’s Energy Management program was a great way for me to level-set my industry knowledge. I have a much better understanding of the overall business and how my role on the Central Air team directly impacts the success of the company as a responsible energy producer.”      

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