TU Inducts Lobeck and Brown Into Hall of Fame

HALL OF FAME: University of Tulsa School of Business named William E. Lobeck Jr., left, as the 2004 Outstanding Business Leader and C. Arnold Brown as the 2004 Outstanding Entrepreneur and inducted them into the Business Hall of Fame.

Photo courtesy of the University of Tulsa

William E. Lobeck, Jr., and C. Arnold Brown are the newest members of The University of Tulsa College of Business Administration Hall of Fame.

Lobeck, president and chief operating officer of Vanguard Car Rental USA, was named 2004 Outstanding Business Leader. For the past 40 years, William E. “Bill” Lobeck has steered a number of companies in the fast-moving auto rental industry. For many Oklahomans, however, his latest maneuver is among his best. He recently led the relocation of his company, Vanguard Car Rental USA, Inc., from Fort Lauderdale to Tulsa—a move that has begun bringing an estimated 600 jobs to town. Vanguard, which moved its headquarters to Tulsa this year, owns 217,000 vehicles and has 14,000 employees in 80 countries. Its 2003 sales were $2.6 billion.

Lobeck is no newcomer to Tulsa, however. From 1981 to ’93, he served as president and CEO of Thrifty Rent-A-Car here. He presided over that company’s initial public offering in 1987 and subsequent sale to Chrysler in 1989 for $263 million.

Lobeck is married to Kathy Taylor, Oklahoma secretary of commerce and tourism and executive director of the department of commerce. Taylor also is an attorney in private practice.

Brown, president and chief operating officer of KWB Oil Property Management and a 1950 TU petroleum engineering graduate, was named 2004 Outstanding Entrepreneur.

If his card is any indication, C. Arnold Brown (BSPE ’50) sees himself not so much as a businessman as an engineer who happens to be in business.

As CEO, president and founding partner of KWB Oil Property Management, Inc., Brown still bills himself simply as “petroleum engineer.” It is perhaps the most relevant billing in an industry where leaders must optimize a shifting equation whose terms include technology, geology, money and luck. In fact, Brown’s induction into the TU College of Business Administration Business Hall of Fame follows his 1996 induction into the TU Engineering Hall of Fame.

KWB provides consulting, valuation, and development management services for oil and gas properties. The company also manages its own properties, with operations focused on domestic mid-continent sites. Today the company, which is headquartered in downtown Tulsa, employs about 15 people.

Brown started out as a roustabout with Skelly Oil Company before joining the engineering consulting firm Keplinger and Wanenmacher as staff reservoir engineer. Four years later, he and his employers became partners, forming KWB Oil Property Management, Inc. In 1968, Brown bought out his partners and soon added subsidiary Brown & Associates to provide expanded services in property valuation, reserve estimates, and reservoir engineering.

“I think probably the [best way] to start is to get into the basic industry and learn about a lot of the ‘nitty gritty’ problems that you have at very low levels,” he says. “They’re basic to your profession, and by doing a lot of the so-called dirty work, you learn a lot of the technical developments from the ground up. Once you have a feel for the profession that you’re in, then you can advance rapidly to the tactical parts.”

The College established the Hall of Fame in 2000 to recognize outstanding business leaders and entrepreneurs for their contributions to the local, regional, national and global business communities. Other Hall of Fame members are Chester Cadieux (2002), Joseph E. Cappy (2003), Michael D. Case (2002), F. Roger Hardesty (2003), Robert E. Lorton, Jr. (2000), Paula Marshall-Chapman (2000), Peter C. Meinig (2000), James W. Pielsticker (2001), Genave King Rogers (2003), Raymond H. Siegfried II (2002), William K. Warren, Jr. (2001), Henry H. Zarrow (2000) and John S. (Jack) Zink (2001).

Updated 12-17-2004

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