Andrew Schill: The World is His Family

For almost a decade, Andrew Schill has specialized in the legal aspects of acquisition and divestment of oil and gas properties.  Andrew Schill is currently a shareholder of Abadie & Schill, PC, located in Durango, Colorado.

Aside from being a great oil and gas attorney, what makes Andrew unique and interesting are his personable relationships–not only with his wife and two girls, but also with numerous international leaders and cohorts.  Andrew is known by his peers as being extremely passionate about cultural exchange and interfaith dialogue. He also speaks frequently on issues related to clean energy, indigenous peoples, and global conflict resolution… all this in his, um… “spare time”.  After having only swept the garage past this weekend, I can say that I’m impressed.

We had an opportunity to talk to Andrew Schill last week…

InterestingCompanies: What brought you to Durango?

Andrew Schill: I first moved to Durango in the winter of 1997 after taking a semester break from my undergraduate studies.  I had spent the previous summer as in intern working on the Hill in the United States Senate, but was sufficiently disillusioned by the process that I decided I needed a break to rethink my career path.  My wife and I always loved to visit Durango and when I got an unexpected job offer from an oil and gas law firm in 2007, we decided it was an opportunity that we had to at least give a try, because it probably wasn’t likely to happen again. So almost five years later we are still in Durango and not looking back.

Courtesy of Andrew Schill on Flickr:

InterestingCompanies: How did you develop your interest in Middle East diplomacy and peacemaking?

Andrew Schill: I spent the first part of the summer of 2002 in Belgrade, Serbia working on a reconciliation and forgiveness project which in many ways changed my life.  After having implored Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian men scared from the war to choose the path of forgiveness, I began asking myself if I really believed in the very thing I was asking of them.  I still ask myself this question often, but in the months that followed I decided that trying to be a peacemaker would always be part of my life.  Frankly, I’m not very good at it, but I’ll keep trying.  My interest in the Middle East would really start to develop later that same summer after spending a month in Turkey.  I absolutely fell in love with the place and with Muslim people.  Since Turkey isn’t Arab, most don’t consider it part of the “Middle East,” but it is often tagged as being part of the greater Middle East.

InterestingCompanies: What are some of the main places in the Middle East to which you frequently travel?

Andrew Schill: Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon is where I spend most of my time, but I am heavily involved in Palestinian issues in the West Bank and will finally be traveling to both Israel and the West Bank this September.  

InterestingCompanies: How do you manage “family time” in the mix of your plethora of personal and professional interests?

Andrew Schill: Well, I don’t know if I do a very good job of managing my time, but generally my family time takes priority.  In most ways, I envision our involvement in the Middle East as being for the whole family.  Family and hospitality is such an important part of Arab culture, that it is just natural for our family to become part of their family.  This last November, the whole family flew together to Jordan, stayed with friends and spent Thanksgiving with them in Amman.  We made new friends, grew closer to old friends, rode camels in Petra and floated in the Dead Sea together.  A family trip will always be in the mix at least every other year.  It was a blast.  

Courtesy of Andrew Schill on Flickr:

InterestingCompanies: Why did you Start

Andrew Schill: I actually started to help index and keep track of my various social profiles [laughs]. Pretty quickly, it became a way for me to document the thoughts, feelings, and events that occurred in and around the passions in my life.  It has since evolved into a place to curate a variety of content that is important and relevant to me.

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