Our Leadership Team


Jim Taylor


Jim Taylor, a third-generation owner, is Chairman of the Board of ABARTA, Inc., a diversified holding company, and President and CEO of ABARTA Energy. Jim held various positions in the beverage and publishing divisions of ABARTA prior to joining ABARTA Energy in 1995.

Jim is a Director of Delabarta, Inc.; Treasurer of the Adams Foundation; Past Chair of Arthritis Foundation of Western PA; Past Director of Arthritis Foundation Great Lakes Region; and member of several oil and gas industry associations.

Jim is a graduate of Cornell University with an A.B. in Economics and earned his MBA from the University of Michigan.


John Emmerling



John Emmerling is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and has been with ABARTA Energy since 1997. He plans, directs and manages the company’s production, processing, exploration and operations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, its Engineering, Geology and Land Departments and its unconventional development, both operated and non-operated, in the Marcellus, Utica and Berea.

Prior to joining ABARTA Energy, John was employed by Peoples Natural Gas Company as Manager of Well Operations from 1994-1997 and by Equitrans, Inc. as Manager of Project Development from 1993-1994. He also held various engineering and supervisory positions while with Equitrans from 1984-1993.

John is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering.


Chuck Huczko


Chuck Huczko, Director of Finance and Assistant Treasurer, joined ABARTA in 2000 as an Internal Auditor and moved to ABARTA Energy in 2002. His prior experience was in public accounting, working for a regional firm that provided audit and tax services to many oil and gas partnerships and industry clients. His responsibilities include supervision of monthly annual financial reporting, cash flow forecasting, insurance oversight and various tax reporting. Chuck has formed family partnerships and negotiated lease agreements for Marcellus acreage, wells and related infrastructures.

Chuck has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a concentration in accounting from the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Pennsylvania and American Institutes of Certified Public Accountants.


Ken Fleeman


Ken Fleeman, Manager of Engineering, has been with ABARTA Energy since 1998. He is involved in all aspects of drilling, completion, pipeline construction, production and gas processing operations from budgeting to asset retirement, as well as economic modeling, internal reserve estimation and reporting. Besides providing technical support to field operations, Ken holds additional responsibilities in EH&S compliance.

Ken developed a passion for the industry at age twelve, working six consecutive summers on family-owned leases in Ohio. Following college graduation he worked as a Gas Measurement Service Technician from 1988-1990 with National Energy Service Company. He then accepted employment as an Engineering Technician with Ashland Exploration where he worked five and a half years. Two were spent in Kentucky during Ashland’s Accelerated Drilling Program targeting Devonian Shale. The balance was spent in Houston, TX supporting drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Upon returning to the Ohio Valley in 1996 he worked briefly in flow control instrumentation for Industrial Controls and Equipment. He joined Meridian Exploration in Pittsburgh as an Engineering Technician and joined our team following a sale of assets to ABARTA Energy.

Ken is a graduate of Hocking College’s “Oilwell Drilling and Production” program. Ken serves as co-chair of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association’s Environmental Committee and serves on the Board of Directors.


Shane Huffman

Exploration Manager

Shane Huffman is a Geologist and has been with ABARTA Energy since 2012. His responsibilities include exploration of oil and gas from unconventional reservoirs within the Appalachian Basin as well as maintaining and coordinating ABARTA’s joint venture partnerships in Ohio.

Prior to joining ABARTA Energy, Shane was employed by Dart Oil and Gas Company as Senior Geologist from 2005- 2012, and by CDX Gas LLC as Geologist from 2003-2005. He also held a Geologist position with Equitable Production Company from 2002-2003. During his career, Shane was instrumental in the drilling of Equitable Production’s first horizontal well where he assisted in both the design and geo-steering of the wellbore. While at CDX, Shane was responsible for designing and geosteering of ~40 horizontal wellbores in 3-4 foot coal beds in both Northern and Southern West Virginia. Shane has an extensive geologic background working in various basins within the United States as well as a wealth of experience in unconventional reservoirs and horizontal drilling.

Shane is a graduate of The University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology.