Our senior management has extensive experience averaging more than 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. We work hard; we play fair.
Board of Directors
John B. Walker (Executive Chairman)
John B. Walker has served as our Executive Chairman since January 2012 and has been a director since 2006. Prior to serving as Executive Chairman, he served as our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 2006. Mr. Walker also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of EnerVest, Ltd. from its inception in 1992, and was the President of EnerVest, Ltd. from its formation in 1992 until 2014. Prior to that, Mr. Walker was President and Chief Operating Officer of Torch Energy Advisors Incorporated, a company which formed and managed partnerships for institutional investors in the oil and natural gas business, and Chief Executive Officer of Walker Energy Partners, a master limited partnership engaged in the exploration and production business. In his early career on Wall Street, Mr. Walker was selected by Institutional Investor as an “All American” energy analyst for six years in a row. He served the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) as Chairman from 2003 - 2005. In November 2007, he received the oil and natural gas industry’s highest award, the Chief Roughneck Award. He is a member of the National Petroleum Council and All–American Wildcatters.
He serves or has served on the boards of the Houston Producers’ Forum, Foundation for Energy Education, Petroleum Club of Houston, and the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association. His civic activities include having served as Chairman of the Board of Stewards of Chapelwood United Methodist Church and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boys Scouts of America. In 2001, he received the Silver Beaver Award and in May 2007 the Distinguished Eagle from the Boy Scouts of America. In 2004, he was named Distinguished Alumni at Texas Tech University and, in January 2012, he was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to serve on the Board of Regents. He holds a BBA with Honors from Texas Tech University and an MBA (with distinction) from New York University.
Michael E. Mercer has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since March 2015. Prior to that, he was our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2006. He was a consultant to EnerVest, Ltd. from 2001 to 2006. Prior to that, Mr. Mercer was an investment banker for 12 years. He was a Director in the Energy Group at Credit Suisse First Boston in Houston and a Director in the Energy Group at Salomon Smith Barney in New York and London. He holds a BBA in Petroleum Land Management from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Nicholas P. Bobrowski has served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since March 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Bobrowski served as Director of Finance of EV Management since 2013. From 2007 to 2012, he was an energy investment banker with Citigroup Global Markets, where he rose to the level of Vice President in the Financial Strategy Group advising clients on valuation, liability, risk management and capital structure. Prior to that, he rose to the rank of Captain in the 25 th Infantry Division of the United States Army after graduating with a BS in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Mr. Bobrowski also holds an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT.
Terry Wagstaff (VP Acquistions & Engineering)
Terry Wagstaff was promoted to Vice President of Acquisitions and Engineering in April 2014. Prior to this appointment he served as Senior Technical Advisor - Acquisitions and Engineering for the Institutional business of EnerVest, Ltd., since October 2008. Prior to joining EnerVest Wagstaff worked for El Paso in a variety of engineering roles, including establishing practices and procedures in the internal reserves group and working on an asset team, on which he was responsible for drilling 100 wells per year in the Black Warrior Basin. He also evaluated acquisition opportunities throughout his tenure at El Paso.
Wagstaff began his career at Marathon Oil Company in 1980, and later worked for Keplinger & Associates, Prime Operating Company, Torch Energy Advisors and Nuevo Energy Company. He earned a BS in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University, where he was a member of Pi Epsilon Tau (Petroleum Engineering Honor Society) and a MBA, Finance Concentration, from Rice University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Texas and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Victor Burk was appointed to our board of directors in September 2006. Since 2009, Mr. Burk has been a Managing Director for Alvarez and Marsal, a privately owned professional services firm. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Burk was the global energy practice leader for Spencer Stuart, a privately owned executive recruiting firm. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Mr. Burk served as managing partner of Deloitte & Touche’s global oil and natural gas group from 2002 to 2005. He began his professional career in 1972 with Arthur Andersen and served as managing partner of Arthur Andersen’s global oil and natural gas group from 1989 until 2002. Mr. Burk is a current board member of PAA GP Holdings, LLC, the general partner of Plains GP Holding, L.P. (NYSE: PAGP). He is also a board member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (Southeast Texas Region) and Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He holds a BBA in Accounting from Stephen F. Austin University, graduating with highest honors. Mr. Burk has over 30 years of experience in the oil and natural gas industry, with extensive experience in public accounting and consulting. Mr. Burk brings to our board wide expertise in financial and accounting matters relating to the oil and natural gas industry as well as providing leadership in complex business organizations.
Mark A. Houser has been a member of our board since 2006. He was named Chief Executive Officer of University Lands in March 2015, where he oversees activities on 2.1 million acres of Permanent University lands that serve as a resource for both the University of Texas and Texas A&M University. Before joining University Lands, Mr. Houser served as our President and Chief Executive Officer from January 2012 through February 2015. Prior to that, he served as our President and Chief Operating Officer since 2006. He also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of EnerVest, Ltd. from 1999 through 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Houser was Vice President, United States Exploration and Production, for Occidental Petroleum Corporation (“Oxy”), where he helped lead Oxy’s reorganization of its domestic reserve base, including the successful $3.65 billion acquisition of the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve. In 1989 he joined Canadian Occidental Petroleum, Ltd. (now Nexen Inc.), where he held positions of increasing responsibility, including Vice President of Corporate Planning and Investor Relations in Calgary and Vice President of Exploration for CXY Energy, Canadian Oxy’s United States subsidiary.
Mr. Houser began his career as an engineer with Kerr–McGee Corporation. He holds a petroleum engineering degree from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. Mr. Houser serves as the chairman of the industry board of the Texas A&M University Department of Petroleum Engineering and is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Mr. Houser was recently inducted into the Texas A&M Petroleum Engineering Academy of Distinguished Graduates. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors for the Methodist Hospital System and on the administrative board of Chapelwood United Methodist Church.
James R. Larson
James R. Larson was appointed to our board of directors in September 2006. Since January 1, 2006, Mr. Larson has been retired. From September 2005 until January 1, 2006, Mr. Larson served as Senior Vice President of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. From December 2003 to September 2005, Mr. Larson served as Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Anadarko. From 2002 to 2003, Mr. Larson served as Senior Vice President, Finance of Anadarko where he oversaw treasury, investor relations, internal audits and acquisitions and divestitures. From 1995 to 2002, Mr. Larson served as Vice President and Controller of Anadarko where he was responsible for accounting, financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting and tax. Prior to that, he held various tax and financial positions within Anadarko after joining the company in 1981.
Mr. Larson is a current member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Financial Executives International, Tax Executives Institute and the National Association of Corporate Directors. Mr. Larson also serves on the board of CSI Compressco GP Inc., general partner of CSI Compressco L.P. He holds a BBA in Business from the University of Iowa. Mr. Larson has over 30 years of experience in the oil and natural gas business, and has served as chief financial officer of a large independent oil and natural gas company. We believe that his knowledge of the industry and finance and accounting provide a critical resource and skill set to our board of directors.
George Lindahl III was appointed to our board of directors in September 2006. From 2007 to the present, Mr. Lindahl manages GL III Investments. From 2001 to 2007, he was a Managing Partner for Sandefer Capital Partners. From 2000 to 2001 he served as Vice Chairman of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. From 1987 to 2000, he was with Union Pacific Resources, serving as President and Chief Operating Officer from 1996 to 1999 and as Chairman, President and CEO from 1999 to 2000. He holds a BS in Geology from the University of Alabama and has completed the Advanced Management program at Harvard Business School. Mr. Lindahl has extensive geological and engineering experience, as well as leadership skills and a proven track record of successful investments in the oil and natural gas business. We believe that Mr. Lindahl’s technical knowledge and experience and his leadership skills provide an important resource to our board of directors.
Ken Mariani was appointed to the board in February 2015. He currently serves as the President of EnerVest, Ltd., a position he has held since January 2014. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President of EnerVest, Ltd. and President and Chief Executive Officer of EnerVest Operating Company from January 2012 to January 2014. Mr. Mariani joined EnerVest in 2000 and was Senior Vice President and General Manager – Eastern Division for 11 years. Prior to joining EnerVest, from 1991 to 2000, he served as Vice President of Operations for Energy Corporation of America (“ECA”), a privately held exploration and production company, and was responsible for engineering, land, geology and production operations. Prior to his role at ECA, he held various engineering positions at Conoco, Inc., in the Midland, TX, and Rocky Mountain Divisions. Mr. Mariani holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, graduating cum laude with a petroleum option. He received his Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin and is a licensed Professional Engineer.
Gary R. Petersen
Gary R. Petersen was appointed to our board of directors in September 2006. Mr. Peterson is a Managing Partner and co–founder of EnCap Investments L.P., an investment manager and leading provider of private equity capital to the upstream and midstream sectors of the oil and natural gas industry. The firm has raised 17 institutional oil and natural gas investment funds totaling approximately $18 billion and currently manages capital on behalf of more than 250 U.S. and institutional investors. Prior to the formation of EnCap Investments in 1988, Mr. Petersen was a Senior Vice President and Manager of the Corporate Finance Division of the Energy Banking Group for Republic Bank Corporation from 1985 to 1988. His duties and responsibilities included mergers and acquisitions, financial advisory services and institutional fund raising activities for the energy industry. Prior to his position at Republic Bank, Mr. Petersen was an Executive Vice President and a member of the board of directors of Nicklos Oil & Gas Company in Houston from 1979 to 1984. Previously, Mr. Petersen was a Group Vice President in the Petroleum and Minerals Division of Republic Bank Dallas.
He served from 1970 to 1971 in the U.S. Army in Washington D.C. as a First Lieutenant in the Finance Corps and as an Army Officer in the Army Security Agency. Mr. Petersen is a distinguished Alumni of Texas Tech University and holds B.B.A. and M.B.A. degrees in Finance. He has also done post-graduate work at American University and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. Mr. Petersen serves on the board of multiple EnCap portfolio companies and is a member of the board of directors of the general partner of Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (NYSE: PAA) and Canacol Energy Ltd. (TSXV: CNE). He is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Houston Producers’ Forum and the Petroleum Club of Houston. He is also a member and past Chairman of Chapelwood United Methodist Church, Chairman of the Memorial Hermann Healthcare Foundation and a past Chairman of the Council on Alcohol and Drugs in Houston. Mr. Petersen brings to our board the expertise he has acquired from being involved in the energy sector for more than 30 years, including extensive knowledge of the energy sector’s various cycles, as well as the current market and industry knowledge that comes with management of approximately $11 billion of energy-related investments.