A Salute to Oklahoma’s Dynamic Energy Legacy

In 2007, I served as chairman of Oklahoma’s Centennial Salute to the Energy Industry, Celebrating the Past, Present, Future and Women in the industry. There are many in the energy industry that I would like to highlight from the energy past. In this column, I will focus on five individuals who personally made an impact on my career. 
Two of the five were my bosses. With U.S. Senator Dewey F. Bartlett, I served as an intern/staffer from 1975-1976. Though from western Oklahoma and Elk City, which was known at the time as the natural gas capital of the world, I really didn’t know that much about the oil and gas industry at the time. One of my assignments, the senator asked me, along with a few others to review a rough draft of his presentation that he was going to present before OPEC in Oslo, Norway. It was a great learning experience to learn about the oil and gas industry. He was a very detailed person, so when I gave him my input about his draft, it came back with many “red marks.” This was a humbling experience and one that triggered my interest in the energy industry. 
Dewey F. Bartlett was a 1942 Princeton graduate, majoring in geological engineering. During WWII, he served in the U.S. Marine Corp as a dive bomber. After the war, he moved to Tulsa and led Keener Oil Company, a company founded by his family. He served as State Senator, Governor and U.S. Senator from Oklahoma. His son, Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr., currently leads Keener Oil Company and is former Mayor of Tulsa. 
I worked for J. Cooper West, from 1977-1979 as a petroleum landman. He was a pioneer in the natural gas industry. He personally instructed me and was truly a great mentor. He was one of the first entrepreneurs I knew and worked with. His interests included real estate, banking, oil and gas, insurance and other business development. He served in WWII in the Pacific Theater including Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After the surrender of Japan on Sept. 2, 1945, he was among the first American military personnel to enter Japan. Cooper was a western Oklahoma business leader for several decades, based in Elk City, Oklahoma. 
A. M. “Mac” Alloway, June Brooks, and James Stewart were individuals I had the honor of serving with on boards/committees. Mac Alloway was chairman/president of Tony Oil Company, based in Tulsa. He was such a great encourager, not only to me, but so many in the oil and gas industry. He shared many of his business experiences and dealings, including time that he served as president of Anschutz Drilling, based in Denver. He was instrumental in energy education advocacy and served as chairman of the International Society of the Energy Advocates. 
June Brooks, Ardmore, Oklahoma, was an Oklahoma businesswoman, speaker and promoter of the oil and gas industry. She advocated for energy independence and spoke throughout the world on responsible energy development. She won numerous awards. June provided me advice along the way, including tips on making presentations. She truly was an inspiration.
 James Stewart came from humble beginnings. He was always kind and approachable throughout the years that I worked with him. He started off as a janitor at Oklahoma Natural Gas Company (ONG), retiring as vice president of ONG. He had shared with me that he had been a janitor. I told him that I had been a janitor in high school, just a few years before I met him. He said, “no telling how far you’ll go.” He served as first battalion of Black Marines and became a Civil Rights leader both in Oklahoma and nationally. 
 These five energy leaders of the past live on.
Mark A. Stansberry is Chairman of the GTD Group, an Award Winning Author and Energy Advocate. Facebook: National Energy Talk