Principal Chief John D. Red Eagle breathed new life into Osage Nation Enterprises, Inc. (ONE),a corporation formed under the Osage Nation’s previous government, by appointing three interim members to its board: Jill S. Jones, who will serve as Chair, Randy Standridge and C. E. (Chuck) Hessert.The three were officially sworn in during a ceremony held at the Executive Conference room by Osage Nation’s Chief Trial Court Judge Marvin Stepson on July 19.
Chief Red Eagle’s purpose in reviving ONE is to enable the corporation, chartered within the Osage Nation, to participate in the increase in oil and gas activity, currently underway in Osage County, which is expected to continue for the next five years or more.
ONE, established by the 31st Tribal Council, remained valid under the new Osage Constitution via the Savings Clause, Chief Red Eagle explained.
According to Chief Red Eagle, the names of the interim board members will be submitted to the Osage Nation Congress for confirmation during their next regular Tzi-zhosession in September, as the Osage Constitution requires.
Board Chair Jill Jones, has 22 years of experience in the petroleum industry with a focus on information technology. Raised in Skiatook, she began her career at CITGO Petroleum in Tulsa as a Systems Analyst, and later worked for Ernst & Young as a management consultant in their Energy & Utilities sector. For the past eight years, she has worked at ConocoPhillips in Bartlesville as a Senior Data Analyst.
Ms. Jones is a direct descendant of two original Osage allottees, A. Scott Bradshaw and John H. Stevens, both great grandfathers on her mother’s side.
“I look forward to working on the Board to pursue successful projects that will benefit the Osage Nation and further the tribe’s business ventures in Osage County,” Ms. Jones said.
Board member C. E. Hessertretired from ConocoPhillips in 2004, with over 30 years of experience in project management and quality assurance. During his career, Mr. Hessert handled all phases of new construction from initial conception through successful startup. Mr. Hessert is a direct descendant of two original Osage allottees, George Michelle, his great-grandfather, and Della Hessert, his grandmother.He also owns and operates theWAH-TSA-MOIE Angus Ranch and an independent oil and gas company called Hessert LOC Inc. Mr. Hessert will serve as the Board’s Vice Chair.
Board member Randy Standridge, who is Cherokee, retired from ConocoPhillips in 2010 after a 31-year career. His area of expertise includes procurement and warehousing operations for upstream and downstream energy organizations. He has experience in contracts and negotiations. Mr. Standridge will serve as the Board’s Secretary/Treasurer.
In 1996, Mr. Standridge was asked to represent the downstream organizations on the prototype development for the Materials Management module of the Systems Applications and Products (SAP)business system that Phillips Petroleum Company began working to implement worldwide. Thereafter, he worked as a project manager for various SAP projects around the globe, including implementations for 15 ConocoPhillips refineries.
As one of its first official duties, the new Board will consider a proposed joint venture with Yaka Energy (Yaka). Yaka is 51 percent owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, based in Pendleton, Oregon withoffices in Tulsa. Forty-nine percent of Yaka is owned by three non-OsageOklahomans: John L. Williams, Tamara J.Walden and Larry D. David.
Ms. Walden, who serves as Yaka Energy’s Executive Advisor of Marketing and Trading, and Mr. David, who is Vice President of Yaka Energy, have spearheaded efforts toward the proposed joint venture.
Established in 2005, Yaka has a proven record of success and expertise in the oil and gas industry,which could prove useful to ONE. The new entitywould be owned 50/50 by ONE and Yaka Energy. The proposed joint venture would entail forming an Oklahoma limited liability company, said Board Chair Jill Jones. Because over 50 percent of the ownership of the new company would be tribal, the joint venturewould have the bidding advantages of a minority-owned business, she explained.
The capital for the joint venture would be sought on a non-recourse basis. Non-recourse funding is that in which the funder is only entitled to repayment from the profits of the project. Neither the Osage Nation nor Yaka Energy is expected to provide start-up capital for the venture.
Board member Randy Standridge said, “I am interested in ensuring the success of this new company in the Osage Nation with the hope that it can generate some revenue to be used to improve the lives of the Osage people. We also hope to add some job opportunities for qualified Osage candidates and to expand the scope of our business strategy after our initial startup to including additional jobs.”
Chief Red Eagle said he is making good on a campaign promise by taking steps to create a new revenue stream for the nation through the revival of the ONE Board. “They’re going to explore opportunities that the nation may have in the energy field,” Chief Red Eagle said. “We’re not interfering with the business of the Minerals Council or the minerals estate. We’re going to be a regular competitor in the field, but with the advantage of minority status.”
Under the proposed venture, fifty percent of the net proceeds of the business would belong to the Osage Nation, thus creating a new stream of revenue for the nation and creating jobs for Osage individuals, Chief Red Eagle said.