FAMILY AFFAIR: Cousins Continue Grandfather's Legacy in Oil Business

FAMILY AFFAIR: Cousins Continue Grandfather's Legacy in Oil Business
Third-generation oilfield workers share their family history in the business.


During the oil collapse in the late 80s, Tom was still involved in drilling wells.

“It was a very difficult time,” he said.

In 1991, Tom became executive vice president of the OOGA, a position he held until he retired in 2014.

“It was a great opportunity to be involved in a part of the industry that not many are,” he said.

Though his dad would’ve preferred Tom remained in the office working with him, Tom said he’s glad he made the switch.

“I never really considered doing anything other than oil and gas. With the OOGA, I was in the industry from a different perspective,” he said. “Growing up in the business, being in the business and then going to be their advocate in the association worked out really well for me.”   

After his tenure with the OOGA, Tom went on to start his own company – Oilfield Policy Advisors LLC, a consulting firm for people who have questions or issues related to oil and gas in the state of Ohio.

Continuing the Legacy  

Robert, who has served on the Illinois Oil and Gas Association Board of Directors for 30 years, said it feels good to carry on his family’s legacy and expressed great pride for his father and grandfather and the accomplishments they have in the oil and gas industry.

Tom shared the same pride when speaking of his family.

“It’s a different lifestyle being a small independent oil and gas producer. I look at many of the people today in these large corporations and most of them have not stared down a hole in the ground and wondered whether their personal economic success is at the bottom of that hole,” he said. “My dad, his brothers … they stared down a lot of those holes and they know what it’s like.”

And the family legacy…

“It means everything to me,” Tom said. “When I first went to work for the OOGA, one of the patriarchs of the industry asked me what I wanted to get out of this. My answer was that I simply wanted to be listed in the Hall of Fame right next to my father. I wanted to do a good enough job that they put me in the Hall of Fame next to him and they did.”


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