Learning Undefeated’s STEM Spotlight series features young professionals from diverse backgrounds who are working to make a difference in science, business, medicine, engineering, and technology fields. Each short video includes a profile of the job role and information about how they came to be interested in STEM.
STEM Spotlight, Ashley Zumwalt-Forbes
President and COO
Black Mountain Metals
Ashley Zumwalt-Forbes is president and COO of Black Mountain Metals and Black Mountain Oil & Gas. Prior to joining Black Mountain in 2017, Ashley worked in several Lead Project Engineering roles at ExxonMobil and XTO Energy, managing drilling, completions, and planning aspects of international shale exploration in countries around the world, laying the groundwork for >$1B US capital deployment. Ashley has an entrepreneurial background, having developed business models and secured funding for companies in biotechnology, oil and gas, and educational software industries. Ashley graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Ashley was recently highlighted as the featured honoree on the 2020 Forbes 30 under 30 in Energy list.
Hey, I’m Ashley and I’m president and COO of Black Mountain Metals. Black Mountain Metals is a mining company in Texas and Australia which mines nickel and copper. Nickel and copper are two of the most important metals that go into lithium ion batteries so they’re absolutely instrumental and very important to powering your phone, tablets, everything in the world. STEM I consider very important to Black Mountain Metals’ success. It’s used in designing the mines, safely executing operations, to make sure no one gets hurt. It literally has impacts on every segment of the business. The biggest thing we as a society can do to people’s livelihood is to give them electricity so you can truly improve your quality of life. If you’re looking for an industry that really touches everyone in the most critical of ways it would be the energy business.