Rene Garza

Senior Natural Gas Trader

October 2023

Rene Garza, a Senior Natural Gas Trader at ACES, has a career trajectory that mirrors the shifting tides within the energy sector. Rene’s career began at Enron, which instilled in him a steadfast dedication to the industry. Following his time at Enron, he spent 14 years at AEP in Columbus, Ohio. Initially starting as a natural gas scheduler, Rene’s journey took him through a diverse range of roles, from trading hourly power to becoming a fuel buyer. However, changes within AEP’s structure prompted Rene’s desire to return to trading. The allure of ACES and the cooperative energy model, coupled with ACES’ active trading culture, led him to Indianapolis, also bringing him closer to his roots in South Bend, Indiana.

Rene’s transition to ACES was not only about changing jobs but also about embracing a fresh perspective on energy trading. While initially considering an hourly trader position, the opportunity to join the natural gas trading group arose, and he seized it. “I appreciate the flexibility ACES has shown not just with my own career, but all around; it’s nice to have the collaboration and cross-over we have here. Our Members come first, so we focus on doing what we need to do to get them the results they want. That’s a great change coming from a corporate structure that’s extremely siloed with a strict regimen,” says Rene.

Beyond his energy trading prowess, Rene is a fervent music enthusiast. He showcases his love for music by frequently attending music festivals and concerts, with a special affinity for smaller up and coming bands that are not as prominent in the music scene. Rene’s eclectic taste in music mirrors his ability to find harmony in the diverse aspects of life.

Rene’s professional aspirations extend beyond trading. He envisions an exciting opportunity to revolutionize the perception of coal-fired generation. By capitalizing on the potential of coal combustion products like fly ash and synthetic gypsum, Rene believes these byproducts can be economically viable and environmentally sustainable resources for ACES’ Members. His advocacy for finding ways to transform coal combustion products into valuable assets signifies a promising avenue for coal-reliant communities to transition into more ecologically friendly practices.

Rene Garza’s journey encapsulates the essence of a changing energy landscape. From mastering energy trading to promoting innovative solutions for coal combustion products, his story represents a testament to the adaptability and forward-thinking spirit that drive the industry forward. Rene’s professional trajectory serves as an inspiring narrative of navigating change, embracing evolution, and crafting a meaningful impact within the energy domain.

His advice to new employees? “Find a mentor and ask questions. First-hand knowledge can teach you more than years of studying in this industry. Years of experience isn’t always necessary either; sometimes, you just need someone on your team that you can lean on for support.”