Rhett Bennett – Chief Executive Officer and Chairman . Rhett Bennett has served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of our board of directors since our inception. Since 2007, Mr. Bennett founded, served and continues to serve as Chief Executive Officer of various natural resource companies in the oil and gas, metals and other sectors, including the Black Mountain Entities, many of which are sponsored by funds managed by NGP. Mr. Bennett was the founder of Black Mountain Sand, which, under his leadership as Chief Executive Officer since its inception in December 2016, became the largest in-basin frac sand provider in the United States. Since 2015, Mr. Bennett founded and served as the Chief Executive Officer for Black Mountain Oil & Gas, which was acquired by Marathon in 2017, Black Mountain Oil & Gas II LLC, Black Mountain Minerals LLC, Wing Resources LLC and Black Mountain Midstream LLC. Mr. Bennett began his career in the oil and gas industry in December 2004 with Cascade Energy LP. Mr. Bennett is a board member of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Fort Worth Wildcatters, and a member of the IPAA, the TIPRO, the NARO, the AAPL, the YPE and the Fort Worth Petroleum Club. Mr. Bennett earned his B.S. in Business Management from the University of Georgia in 2003 and completed the Energy Executive Management Program at the University of Oklahoma Michael F. Price College of Business in 2012.
We believe that Mr. Bennett’s broad knowledge of the energy industry and significant experience with energy companies in management and leadership positions bring important and valuable skills to the board of directors.
Jacob Smith – Chief Financial Officer, Chief Accounting Officer, Secretary and Director . Jacob Smith has served as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Accounting Officer, Secretary and a member of our board of directors since March 2021. Mr. Smith has been Chief Financial Officer or Chief Accounting Officer of certain of the Black Mountain Entities since October 2014. In this position, Mr. Smith has overseen the sales of multiple energy-focused businesses. Prior to joining such Black Mountain Entities, Mr. Smith worked in accounting at TPG from 2011 to 2014, and as a senior associate in the audit function for KPMG, LLP from 2008 to 2011. At TPG, Mr. Smith worked in fund operations and assisted in deal closings and exits, distributions, and capital calls for TPG’s $18.9 billion flagship private equity fund, as well as other legacy private equity, growth and distressed debt funds. Mr. Smith earned his B.A. in accounting from Abilene Christian University in 2007 and a Master of Accountancy from Abilene Christian University in 2008. Additionally, Mr. Smith has been a registered CPA since March 2009.
We believe that Mr. Smith’s considerable experience in accounting and private equity fund operations and transactions, as well as energy mergers and acquisitions transactions, brings important and valuable skills to the board of directors.
Mel G. Riggs – Independent Director Nominee . Mel G. Riggs will serve as a director following the completion of this offering. Mr. Riggs has served in senior-level positions of Clayton Williams Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CWEI) and the Clayton Williams Companies for 29 years, including his current position of Vice President and Director. Clayton Williams Companies is a group of privately held companies involved in oil and natural gas activities, real estate, investments, and agricultural operations. From March 2015 to April 2017, Mr. Riggs served as President of CWEI, until it was acquired for $2.7 billion by Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL). From December 2010 until March 2015, Mr. Riggs served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of CWEI. From 1991 to December 2010, Mr. Riggs served as Senior Vice President-Finance, Secretary, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of CWEI. Since October 2019 Mr. Riggs has served on the board of directors and the audit committee of NexTier Oilfield Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: NEX). Since July 2018, Mr. Riggs has served on the board of directors and the audit committee of Royale Energy, Inc. Additionally, Mr. Riggs currently serves as a member of the board of directors and member of the audit committee of privately owned CNBM. From July 2009 until June 2020, Mr. Riggs served on the board and audit committee of TransAtlantic Petroleum, Ltd. (NYSE:TAT). Mr. Riggs is a registered CPA and received a B.B.A. in accounting from Texas Tech University in 1977.
We believe that Mr. Riggs’s extensive experience as an executive officer and as a public company director bring important and valuable skills to the board of directors.
Charles W. Yates – Independent Director Nominee . Charles W. (“Chuck”) Yates will serve as a director following the completion of this offering. From 2001 to 2020, Mr. Yates was managing partner for Kayne Anderson’s energy private equity activities. In this capacity, Mr. Yates led the strategic direction and execution of Kayne Anderson’s investments in early stage oil and gas exploration and production companies while managing the day-to-day operations of the firm’s private equity energy funds and its portfolio companies. Prior to joining Kayne Anderson, Mr. Yates served as a senior vice president at Stephens Inc. Mr. Yates serves on the Advisory Board of Montrose Lane, LP, an investment firm partnering with technology companies that provide digital solutions for the energy industry. Mr. Yates earned a B.A. in political science from Rice University in 1991 and a M.B.A. in finance from Rice University in 1994.
We believe that Mr. Yates’s significant experience in leading over $5 billion of private equity transactions in the energy industry, consisting primarily of oil and gas acquisitions and divestitures, brings important and valuable skills to the board of directors.
Stephen Straty – Independent Director Nominee . Stephen Straty will serve as a director following the completion of this offering. From 2008 to 2019, Mr. Straty served as a managing director and the co-head of energy investment banking and head of energy finance at Jefferies & Company, Inc., after previously having served as senior managing director and head of the natural resource group at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. for 17 years. Mr. Straty has served a broad array of companies in the energy and other industries and has over 40 years of energy investment banking experience, having completed over $250 billion in transactions through mergers and acquisitions and financing assignments. Mr. Straty served as a director and a member of the nominating and corporate governance committee for Goodrich Petroleum Corporation, a publicly traded exploration and production company (NYSE: GDP), from 2009 to 2016. Mr. Straty earned a B.B.A. in finance in 1977 and a M.B.A. in finance in 1979 from the University of Texas.
We believe that Mr. Straty’s experience in leading an array of M&A transactions and financings and experience as a director of public companies brings important and valuable skills to the board of directors.