Scott Smith, president and CEO, Vanguard Natural Resources

Exploration & Production, Award Recipient

Scott Smith took over the top job at Vanguard Natural Resources in 2006. Since then, Vanguard has completed its initial public offering, has made 12 strategic acquisitions, has expanded its geographic profile from one region to six and has diversified its commodity mix from 100 percent natural gas to a balanced profile of 61 percent oil, 29 percent natural gas and 10 percent natural gas liquids.

When it completed its IPO in 2007, Vanguard was composed of 100 percent natural gas, and the company operated in only one region, the Appalachian Basin. Smith created a business model predicated on Vanguard’s ability to grow by acquiring oil and natural gas assets and funding those acquisitions with a combination of debt and proceeds from equity offerings.

Despite 2008 being an extremely tough year for the energy industry and capital markets, Smith completed two strategic acquisitions, one in the prolific Permian Basin and the other in South Texas. And by the end of 2009, Vanguard further balanced its commodity mix with two accretive acquisitions.

In December 2011, Vanguard completed a transformational merger with Encore Energy Partners LP. In so doing, Vanguard more than doubled its reserves and production and expanded its operating platform in the Permian Basin. The company also established new oil-focused operating areas in the Big Horn Basin in Northwest Wyoming and in the Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana.

During the year, Vanguard integrated the operations of the two companies and added 90 new employees. Vanguard is now one of the leading upstream master limited partnerships in terms of liquid reserves and percentage of revenue derived from liquid-based production.

How to reach: Vanguard Natural Resources,