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Spotlight: George Rosato of Consol Energy Inc.

| Sunday, March 8, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
George Rosato, chief information officer at Consol Energy Inc. in Cecil.
George Rosato, chief information officer at Consol Energy Inc. in Cecil.

Before computers became the vehicles through which business is done, George Rosato was building them at one of Pennsylvania's oldest energy companies.

Rosato, vice president of information systems and technology for Consol Energy Inc. in Cecil, has witnessed the company's evolution over three decades, from a paper-based information system governing coal production to the automated computer systems that permeate its growing natural gas operations.

He is the winner of the (Chief Information Officer) Choice Award, an honor bestowed by fellow CIOs and tech executives from across Western Pennsylvania and presented by the Pittsburgh Technology Council and Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group. The award recognizes nominees for innovation and creativity in planning and deploying information systems, and service to the industry and community.

Rosato said fresh challenges always exist when it comes to business data management, and security increasingly is paramount in information technology.

“A lot of data today is becoming mobile, no longer static, no longer in a protected area. People want to be able to get their information everywhere,” he said. “As data moves back and forth, and specifically outside of our firewalls, we have to make sure we can protect that data.”

Rosato's career at Consol began with installing IP networks and computer systems underground in coal mines in the 1990s so miners could order parts and communicate. He has worked on cyber security plans and implemented the huge network of computer systems for gas drilling that overtook the company's coal operations. There is a network of automated systems to monitor Consol's gas business, he said.

“We put a major land system in to track all this movement, make sure payments were being made, (track) drilling schedules, gas marketing, from an IT standpoint,” he said. “We really had a change in our focus from a coal company to an (exploration and production) company. (In) the IT department, there's a lot of transitions for us as well.”

Rosato began working for Consol nearly 28 years ago, two days after graduating from Robert Morris University. Consol then had a limited number of personal computers, and employees could be booted from them if someone else's work took priority.

Now he helps other IT leaders and students stay updated on industry developments. He organizes biannual IT conferences with execs nationwide and sits on the advisory council for Duquesne University's Palumbo Donahue School of Business.

Finding the best ways to blend and optimize a new IT workforce with more experienced employees is important, he said. A cohesive IT team helps companies stay ahead of the curve in a fast-paced tech world.

“The good news is you're never bored; it's always changing,” Rosato said. “The bad news is it's always changing, and you have to continue to study and stay on top of the trends.”

When he's not on the job, Rosato enjoys working in his Green Tree yard, playing golf and spending time with his three boys and extended family.

Katelyn Ferral is a Trib Total Media staff writer.

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