NDPC Hall of Fame
Induction into North Dakota Petroleum Council Hall of Fame is one of the top honors for leaders in North Dakota oil and natural gas, associated service and midstream companies, and organizations supporting the industry.
Created in 2003 and held each year at the NDPC Annual Meeting, the Hall of Fame recognizes leaders who have made significant contributions to the development of oil and natural gas in North Dakota. The criteria for the award includes at least 25 years of work in the oil and gas industry with the majority of that time being spent in the Williston Basin. In addition, the recipient must have contributed significantly to the functions and activities of the associations representing the oil and gas industry in North Dakota and supported the promotion and development of the industry through hard work on behalf of the membership, commitment to well-being of the industry, and participation in association activities.
A. G. Golden, 2003
A.G. (Al) Golden, Golden Oil, Bismarck, was inducted into the North Dakota Oil and Gas Association’s Hall of Fame at the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s 22nd Annual Meeting in Bismarck on September 11, 2003.
“Al Golden was the obvious first choice as an inductee into the North Dakota Oil and Gas Hall of Fame,” says Jeff Herman, President of the North Dakota Oil and Gas Association. Herman says, “For the past 50 years, Al has been one of the most active “go to guys” on oil and gas issues in North Dakota.”
Golden is a native of Illinois. He moved to North Dakota as a Landman with the Mobil Oil Company in 1953. He started his own company, Golden and Land Oil Company, in 1960. Golden Oil located in Bismarck, is an active oil and gas company in the Williston Basin and other regions of the country. He currently serves on the North Dakota Oil and Gas Association’s Board of Directors and the association’s legislative committee.
Golden has actively served on numerous boards and commissions throughout the years representing the oil and gas industry. He has served as President of the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association, North Dakota Landman’s Association, and as Chairman of the Greater North Dakota Association. He was appointed a member of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission in 1970 by Governor Guy and served continuous terms under Governors Link, Olson, and Sinner.
Dick Broschat, 2004
Dick Broschat was inducted as the second member of the North Dakota Petroleum Council Hall of Fame at the Petroleum Council’s 23rd Annual Meeting in September in Bismarck, North Dakota. Broschat is a native North Dakotan having grown up on a farm in the Fessenden area. He graduated from North Dakota State University with a Mechanical Engineering Degree in 1949.
Dick started his career in the oil industry in 1953 as a Junior Engineer with Amerada in Tioga during the first oil boom. During the next 10 years he worked on assignments for Amerada in Tioga, Watford City, Midland, Texas, Hobbs, New Mexico, Seminole, Texas and Tulsa, Oklahoma. He returned to North Dakota in 1963 as Amerada’s North Dakota Division Engineer and later as North Dakota Operations Manager. In 1976, he left Amerada to set up his own consulting engineering and management firm (Broschat Engineering & Management).
Dick has been a long time member of the North Dakota Petroleum Council and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Dick is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. He has written several technical papers on the Williston Basin. He has also served as one of North Dakota’s representatives on the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission for five different governors. In 1993 and 1996 Dick and Edie traveled to China where he lectured on Petroleum Engineering and Western Oil Industry practices to Chinese engineers and managers.
Dick has also been active in the Williston community. He served many years on the Williston Economic Development Committee and was president of the Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee for 10 years. He is also active in his church and other charitable organizations.
Ken Luff, 2005
Ken Luff was inducted as the third member of the North Dakota Petroleum Council Hall of Fame at the Petroleum Council’s 24th Annual Meeting in September in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Ken Luff began working in the oil and gas industry in 1955 and is the owner of Luff Exploration Company, which has been actively engaged in the Rocky Mountain region for more than 40 years. Luff Exploration has been active in nine states, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, and currently operates approximately 65 wells in North and South Dakota. In 2005, Luff Exploration produced more than 1.1 million barrels of oil in the Rocky Mountain region.
Ken is a registered professional geologist and has been a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association (serving as President from 1991-1993 and receiving the Honorary Life Award in 1996), and the North Dakota Petroleum Council. In 2004, he was one of the 54 inaugural inductees in the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Hall of Fame and earlier this year he received the Independent Petroleum Association of the Mountain States’ 23rd Wildcatter of the Year award.
Bob Mau, Chairman of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, says, “Ken’s management expertise was crucial in the restructuring process of the Petroleum Council. The association has come through several restructuring efforts in recent years a stronger organization because of help from members like Ken.
John W. Morrison, 2006
John W. Morrison was the fourth inductee into the North Dakota Petroleum Council Hall of Fame at the Petroleum Council’s 25th Annual Meeting in Bismarck. Morrison has worked tirelessly and consistently for over 25 years in support of maintaining a strong oil and gas trade association in North Dakota and the Rocky Mountains. He has contributed countless hours of personal time assisting in the organizational structure and management of the association, not to mention his assistance on legal, technical, regulatory, and legislative issues, especially in matters associated with Public Lands. He was appointed by Governor Hoeven to represent the state on the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. He has served as chairman of the Executive Committee of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, a director of the American Petroleum Institute, President of the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association, and as a trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.
Morrison is a native of Mandan, North Dakota. He graduated from Mary College with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 and from the University of North Dakota Law School in 1978. His early career as a lawyer included working for the North Dakota Legislative Council, the North Dakota Board of University and School Lands and the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office before joining the Fleck, Mather & Strutz law firm in October, 1981. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the North Dakota Supreme Court. Since 1995, he has been included in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of natural resources and he authored: Horizontal Drilling The Changing Role of Conservation Principles, Federal Onshore Pooling and Unitization II, Rocky Mt. Mineral Law Inst. (1990); Regulation of Gas Gathering Systems, 39 Rocky Mt. Law Inst. (1993).
Since 1983, Morrison has represented oil and gas companies in spacing, pooling, unitization, taxation and pipeline matters. More significantly, since 1987, he has been at the forefront and a major contributor in developing the system the North Dakota Industrial Commission and other states have utilized to encourage and promote the use of horizontal drilling to exploit oil and gas reserves in the Williston Basin.
Alan Anderson, Chairman of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, says, “There is one example of his commitment to the industry that stands out. Late in the 90’s, John was the last President of Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association, an unenviable position. He had the enormous task of navigating an organization politically, legally and financially through its dissolution as a long-serving, multi-state organization into separate state associations capable of continuing to serve the oil and gas industry. He exhibited the use of diplomacy and compromise carefully interwoven with courage and fairness. This effort required orchestrating the continued commitment from large oil production companies along with increased financial support and leadership from the independent producers and other segments of the oil industry in North Dakota. The North Dakota Petroleum Council and its members today are an outstanding product of this effort put forth by John Morrison.
Jeff Herman, 2007
Jeff Herman became the fifth inductee into the North Dakota Petroleum Council Hall of Fame at the Petroleum Council’s 26th Annual Meeting in Medora on September 20, 2007. Jeff Herman has worked tirelessly and consistently for over 25 years in support of maintaining a strong oil and gas trade association in North Dakota and the Rocky Mountains.
Alan Anderson, Chairman of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, said, “Jeff has been a strong advocate of the industry’s legislative agenda, testifying regularly before various committees of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly on behalf of both the Landman’s Association and the Petroleum Council. He is certainly deserving of our association’s highest honor.”
Herman is a 1977 graduate of the University of North Dakota. He began his employment with the Hunt family entities in 1980, beginning as a Landman for Hunt Energy Corporation. In 1981, he was promoted to District Land Manager of Hunt Energy Corporation and has since held the same position with Placid Oil Company, Prosper Energy Corporation and, since January 1, 1989, Petro-Hunt, LLC. In 1992, he received special recognition from his employer for his role in discovering the availability of the Chevron interest in the Little Knife field, which was acquired by Petro-Hunt that same year.
During his 27 years in the industry, Herman has contributed much to industry associations. He is an active member and past president of the Landman’s Association of North Dakota and an active member and past national director of the American Association of Petroleum Landmen (AAPL). In September 1990, he was recognized by AAPL at their annual meeting with an award from the Industry Affairs Committee for his writings and work on independent contractor agreements within the industry. He also was appointed to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission by Governor Hoeven.
Herman has been on the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors for the North Dakota Petroleum Council for nearly 20 years. He served as the Chairman of the North Dakota Petroleum Council from 2002 to 2004. He served as the North Dakota Vice President of the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Petroleum Council from May 1988 through May 1992. In 1996, he was elected President of the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association. Jeff and his wife, Kelli, have one son and reside in Bismarck.
Jack Swenson, 2008
Jack Swenson became the sixth inductee into the North Dakota Petroleum Council Hall of Fame at the Petroleum Council’s 27th Annual Meeting in Bismarck on September 17, 2008. Swenson has played a significant part in North Dakota’s oil and gas industry since 1963, when he was named the Executive Director of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. Jack has had a stake in oil and gas at both the state and regional levels throughout his career and maintained the motto of Petroleum Council Hall of Famers by working tirelessly in support of maintaining a strong oil and industry in North Dakota and the Rocky Mountains.
Swenson served in the U.S. navy in WWII before spending 25 years in radio and television broadcasting as a reporter, editor and talk show host in Bismarck and Fargo. In the Fall of 1963, Swenson was named the Executive Director of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. Swenson had spent nine years with the Petroleum Council when, in 1972, he was promoted to Central Region Director for the American Petroleum Institute in Chicago. In 1975, Swenson became the Executive Vice-President of the Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Association in Denver, a position he held until his retirement in May of 1987.
During his 24 years in the industry, Swenson has garnered many awards for his contributions. In 1985, he became a member of the Rocky Mountain Petroleum Pioneers and in 1987, the year of his retirement, he was named the Denver Petroleum Club’s Man of the Year. Also in 1987, Swenson received the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s “Hard Hat Award” for his work on public land access issues.
In his earlier years, Swenson worked at the American Newspaper in Blackduck, Minnesota, and returned to northern Minnesota in 2001. He now writes a weekly column for that same newspaper and for the past six years has also been a director and officer of the electric cooperative serving that area.
Jack and his wife Vicki have four grown children, numerous grandchildren, and one great grandchild.
Wayne Biberdorf, 2009
Wayne Biberdorf was inducted as the seventh member of the North Dakota Petroleum Council Hall of Fame at the Petroleum Council’s 28th Annual Meeting in September 2009 in Medora, ND.
John Morrison, North Dakota Petroleum Council Hall of Fame member, said, “Wayne has contributed significantly to the functions and activities of the associations representing the oil and gas industry in North Dakota and supported the promotion and development of the industry through hard work on behalf of the membership, commitment to well-being of the industry, and participation in association activities. He is certainly deserving of our association’s highest honor.”
Biberdorf received Bachelor of Science degrees in math and physics from Minot State University and an engineering degree from the University of North Dakota. After teaching in the Minot Public School System, he began employment with Hess Corporation in 1980. He has held various positions with Hess, including Operations Manager, District Engineer, Business Unit Manager and Manager of Strategic Projects.
He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and has been on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the North Dakota Petroleum Council since 1997, serving as Chairman from 1999-2002. He is also on the Northwest Workforce Advisory Board and the North Dakota Training Advisory Board and was appointed by Governor Hoeven as one of the first members of the Oil and Gas Research Council, serving as its first chairman.
Wayne and his wife Jean reside in Williston.
Ernest R. Fleck, 2010
The late Ernest R. Fleck recently became the eighth inductee of the North Dakota Petroleum Council Hall of Fame at the association’s 29th Annual Meeting held Sept. 21-23 in Minot.
“Ernie was a true pioneer in North Dakota’s oil and gas industry. He was a very active and successful member of the Petroleum Council,” said Wayne Biberdorf, seventh Hall of Fame inductee. “Ernie worked hard and was a skilled negotiator representing mineral interests. The law firm he was associated with still bears his name, Crowley Fleck PLLP.”
Fleck served as a captain in WWII, and after active duty, graduated with a law degree in 1948. He practiced law in Bismarck for 46 years, working in numerous areas including oil and gas, mining law and environmental law. He authored a number of papers including “North Dakota Oil & Gas Law and Land Practices,” “Severed Mineral Interests,” and “Selected Leasing Problems.”
Fleck was also very civic-minded. He served as a Bismarck City Commissioner, a member of the Mary College Board of Trustees, President and Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and President of the Leach Foundation. He also served as director of the Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Association.
“Ernie was an excellent lawyer and a strong leader for the oil and gas industry for its first four decades in North Dakota. He was responsible for many legislative compromises that enabled the industry to remain viable and active in North Dakota, particularly during the turbulent early 1980s,” said John Morrison, fourth Hall of Fame inductee.
Fleck passed away in 1995. He is survived by his wife Rusty, daughters Barbara and Jane, and son Joel. Joel accepted the award on his father’s behalf.
Recipients of this honor must have contributed significantly to the functions and activities representing oil and gas in North Dakota, working on behalf of its membership, and be committed to its well-being.
Perry Pearce, 2011
Perry Pearce, manager of state government affairs for ConocoPhillips’ Rocky Mountain Region, recently became the ninth inductee of the North Dakota Petroleum Council Hall of Fame at the association’s 30th Annual Meeting.
Pearce began his career in Santa Fe, NM, where he was an attorney with the firms of Montgomery & Andrews and Bigbee, Stephenson, Carpenter & Crout and was also general counsel for the Oil Conservation Division and Energy and Minerals Department for the state. In 1992 he left private practice and joined the government affairs department of Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company.
Pearce was a member of the Petroleum Council’s board of directors and executive committee when it was a joint effort of Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Association and API. He was also on the board of directors of RMOGA and was instrumental in the transition from a multi-state association to independent state associations. He has been an officer of several state associations, including the Petroleum Association of Wyoming and the Montana Petroleum Association. Pearce continues to serve on the Petroleum Council’s board of directors and executive committee, and currently serves as co-chairman of the association’s Safety Committee.
He is also active in other civic activities and is a member of the board of directors of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and a past chairman of the Colorado Competitive Council.
He and his wife Bradley are the parents of three grown children and proud grandparents of three.
Bob Mau, 2013
In 2013, the North Dakota Petroleum Council inducted Bob Mau, president of MW Industries, into its Hall of Fame at the NDPC’s 32ndAnnual Meeting. Mau is the tenth inductee into the Hall of Fame and was selected by past recipients for more than 35 years of service and commitment to promoting and developing the oil and gas industry in North Dakota.
“Bob is a tremendous asset to the North Dakota Petroleum Council, and has been a part of North Dakota’s oil past, as well as its future,” said NDPC Vice-Chairman Perry Pearce. “Through previous boom and bust cycles to the current era of development that is revolutionizing the industry, state, and nation, Bob has lent decades of insight and experience to the Petroleum Council and the oil and gas industry to help make North Dakota the energy leader it is today.”
Mau grew up on a farm in southwest of Mohall, N.D. and studied geology at Minot State University. He started his career in the oil industry working on service rigs and pumping wells and moved to Kenmare where he spent a majority of the 1980s doing reclamation on well sites. An entrepreneur, Mau later moved on to found several businesses, including the oil and gas exploration company Eagle Operating Inc. in 1991, Wolverine Drilling Company in 1996, Eagle Well Service in the early 2000s, and most recently, MW Industries, where he serves as president of the drilling rig manufacturing company located in Kenmare, N.D.
Mau has served on the Petroleum Council Board of Directors and Executive Committee since 1999. He served as Chairman of the Board for two years and has been one of the greatest supporters, leaders, and innovators of the Petroleum Council as it has transformed into the organization it is today. It was Bob Mau’s vision that decided NDPC should manage and operate the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference starting in 2006. That conference in 2012 had more than 4,000 attendees and was the largest conference ever held in Bismarck.
Mau has contributed much of his time to building his companies but has also found time for volunteering on many local boards and councils, including Kenmare’s first Fund-It committee and the Economic Development Board. He was appointed by then Gov. John Hoeven to serve on the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Oil and Gas Research Council and has served on the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He was also awarded the Energy and Environmental Research Center’s Pioneer Award in 2007.
Mau has shared his professional and personal adventures with his wife, Kathy, and their four children, Cassandra, Brekka, Erin and Andy. He also has eight grandchildren.
Rick Ross, 2014
Rick Ross recently became the 11th inductee into the Hall of Fame and was selected by past recipients for his service and commitment to promoting and developing the oil and gas industry in North Dakota.
“Rick has been at the forefront of much of the Council’s success over the past decade,” said Ron Ness, NDPC president. “Rick is a leader in both the Council and the industry and his knowledge and experience has contributed greatly to the state reaching 1 million barrels of production per day and becoming the economic and energy powerhouse that it is today.”
He has served as chairman of the NDPC and spent 12 years on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. He has led the organization on many fronts including the Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Task Force that developed cutting edge recommendations to the ND Industrial Commission to reduce blowouts during the fracking and flow-back process. No incidents have occurred since the state adopted these technical policy changes.
“Rick Ross has been the key mover in our North Dakota operations since our discovery well. He is the best at what he does,” said Jim Volker, chairman, president and CEO of Whiting Petroleum. “In addition, Rick and his team have been great contributors to our communities and industry organizations in North Dakota.”
Ross, a native of Rapid City, S.D., joined Whiting Petroleum in March 1999 as a senior petroleum engineer and became operations manager in January 2000, vice president of operations in Denver in May 2007, and senior vice president operations in June of this year. Ross has 32 years of oil and gas experience including staff and management positions in his 18 years with Amoco, involving the Rocky Mountains, Mid-Continent and Gulf Coast areas. He is a graduate of the South Dakota School of Mines, graduated from the UVA Darden School of Business Executive Program, and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Colorado. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado. He and his wife Patti have two sons and live in Colorado.
Recipients of this honor must have contributed significantly to the functions and activities representing oil and gas in North Dakota, working on behalf of its membership, and be committed to its well-being. For more information on the North Dakota Petroleum Council Hall of Fame and other inductees, visit ndoil.org.
Kathy Neset, 2015
Kathleen Neset is President of Neset Consulting Service, Inc., which provides well site geologic/geo-steering and engineering services to the oil industry since 1980. She grew up in New Jersey and received a B.A. in Geology from Brown University and went to work as a seismologist in Michigan. She worked in Texas and Wyoming, and in 1979 she moved to North Dakota pursuing work as an independent petroleum geologist. Her first work in North Dakota was on a well east of Bismarck, near Linton in Emmons County.
After a few years of field work for various companies, Kathleen began what was to become a lifetime of work as an independent wellsite geologist. She and her late husband Roy, formed Neset Enterprises in 1980, the precursor to Neset Consulting Service, Inc. During the 1980’s Roy worked as a wellsite supervisor, and Kathleen worked as wellsite geologist. Some oil companies hired both Roy and Kathleen together, making a wellsite team of company man and geologist.
Drilling slowed through the 1980’s and 1990’s and Roy and Kathleen spent much of these slower oilfield days farming Roy’s family homestead, and Kathleen taught science at Tioga High School, worked as the school business manager, and served ten years on the Tioga School Board. In the early 2000’s oilfield work picked up and Kathleen grew the business as the Bakken took off. At the peak of the Bakken, Neset Consulting has wellsite geologists and mudloggers on 60 well sites in North Dakota, Montana, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Kathleen has served on the North Dakota Petroleum Council Board of Directors for 13 years and is on the Executive Committee. She has become one of industry’s greatest spokespersons by utilizing her teaching skills to explain how hydraulic fracturing really works and that it can be done safely to allow us to tap our country’s great natural resources.
In February 2014, Kathleen was asked by Governor Dalrymple to speak about Bakken and energy in America at the National Governors Association Natural Resources Committee, which he chaired. In June of 2014, Kathleen was a participant at the U.S. Army War College National Security Seminar week. She participated in discussion regarding military training for both U.S. and International military leaders and methods to promote world peace. Kathleen has been invited back to speak at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA in May of 2016, to present to the class “Energy and National Security.”
Kathleen was appointed to the State Board of Higher Education by Governor Jack Dalrymple and serves as the Chairman. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Board, and is a member of the American Associate of Petroleum Geologists, Williston API, Dickinson API, Minot API, Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, Bismarck State College Petroleum Technology Advisory Committee, University of North Dakota Petroleum Engineering Advisory Committee, Tioga Golf & Country Club board, and is the council secretary at St. Thomas Parish.
Recently, Kathleen was awarded the Prairie Business Top 25 Women in Business Award, the 2015 Williston Regional Economic Development Corporation Ambassador of the Year Award and the 2014 API Energy Outstanding Achievement Award for the Williston Basin Chapter.
Alan Anderson, 2016
Alan Anderson assumed the position of Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce in May 2011.
As Commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Anderson oversees the lead agency responsible for attracting, retaining and expanding wealth in North Dakota. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through four divisions: Community Services, Economic Development and Finance, Workforce Development, and Tourism. The agency has hundreds of partners — local, state, federal, public, private, and non-profit – and is the primary facilitator for all entities involved in the economic and community development process.
Anderson has three decades of business development experience, including the coordination of multi-million dollar projects and high-level strategy planning. He has a strong academic background in both the business and engineering areas, and diverse experience in managing complex projects, defining future growth opportunities and developing a diverse workforce.
He has 30 years of leadership and development experience in the oil and gas industry, serving on the management team for the Tesoro Corporation. Before retiring from the company last year, he served as vice president of operations strategy and development, charged with the overall development of future business opportunities and the evaluation of strategic options for the company’s future growth.
He was elected chairman of the North Dakota Petroleum Council and has served on numerous boards, including Bismarck State College and the Bismarck/Mandan Chamber of Commerce. He was appointed to the North Dakota Oil and Gas Research Council and has been active with Dickinson State University’s Business Challenge, the Missouri Slope United Way and the American Red Cross.
A native of Underwood, Anderson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Engineering from the University of North Dakota and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Utah.
He and his wife, Kelly, have three children, and five grandchildren.
Craig Smith, 2017
Craig Smith is a Partner in the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Department at the Crowley Fleck law firm. He joined the firm in 2009 after practicing with Fleck, Mather & Strutz, Ltd. in Bismarck, North Dakota, since 1988. He has extensive experience in all areas of oil and gas law, including the preparation of drilling title opinions, division order title opinions, and acquisition title opinions in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming as well as representing clients in various oil and gas administrative, regulatory and government affairs matters.
Craig is very active in the industry’s regulatory and government affairs relating to federal, state, and legislative issues, as well as county and local matters. He served as Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the North Dakota Petroleum Council from 2008 through 2012 and currently serves on the Council’s Board and Executive Committee.
Throughout his many years as an NDPC board member and legal counsel, Craig has been a tremendous asset for the industry. He has been instrumental in many victories for the industry and led the NDPC board during a period of significant growth. His leadership and wise counsel has been invaluable in making both the NDPC and industry as strong as it is today.