EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Gulf Coast Area Awards

Energy Services


hou_eoy_BillBrownBilly Brown
President and CEO
Blackhawk Specialty Tools


Billy Brown was on the lookout for a new opportunity even though he had already accomplished quite a bit. He had two prosperous companies under his belt and oilfield industry knowledge to share. He was semi-retired when two buddies from New Orleans approached him with an idea.
Why not create an automated cement head that would reduce time, increase efficiency and improve the safety of rig workers? Brown and his co-founder determined that the idea had great potential and would have a market if they could make it succeed.
It certainly wasn’t the prime time to start a new business as the economic downturn of 2008 was taking hold. But Brown, a self-proclaimed risk taker contributed some of his own money to make Blackhawk Specialty Tools a reality.
He was confident he had a market for his product and six months later, when Blackhawk successfully completed its first cementing job with a one-of-a-kind, fully automated top drive cement head, Brown was proved right.
As word on the street began to spread and the contracts began coming in, Blackhawk’s cement head became the instant standard in the Gulf of Mexico. Brown knew he had the right technology, tools and people to have a huge impact on the drilling industry.
As president and CEO, Brown takes great pride in the employee benefits program. In the early stages of the business, as Brown searched for the best and brightest engineers, operators, sales team and management personnel, he offered his employees generous stock options to incentivize them to participate in his vision.
The company hasn’t lost a single employee since it was founded, and Brown says one of his greatest rewards is seeing his employees reap the rewards of their hard work as a team.


hou_eoy_JoshuaComstockJosh Comstock
Founder, chairman and CEO
C&J Energy Services


Josh Comstock has great admiration for his grandfather, who dredged diamonds off the coast of Africa despite people calling him crazy. In the end, Comstock’s grandfather had the last laugh when he dug up millions of dollars’ worth of diamonds in a matter of months.
Like his grandfather, Comstock’s determination, commitment, and devotion have guided him to great success and only served to bolster his confidence even further about what the future holds.
Working and gaining valuable experience in the oil field since he was 18, Comstock developed a strong work ethic as well as valuable leadership qualities.
His philosophy is to be flexible in providing a greater outlet for engineers to quickly develop and execute their ideas in days and weeks instead of months and years. He believes that hiring seasoned, knowledgeable industry professionals gives customers added confidence in the company and its ability to provide superior service.
He is also known for being loyal to the people he hires. C&J still has three of the original five employees that started the company. Comstock is also a believer in hiring veterans and feels an ongoing responsibility to the nation’s military service people.
Recently, he expanded that pledge by affirming his commitment to the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program. He has also supported U.S. veterans by sponsoring a Semper Fi Fund Marine Corps Marathon team.
Comstock, the company’s founder, chairman and CEO, offers employees ample opportunities to accelerate their careers and expand their scope of responsibility. With continued organic growth, an aggressive mergers and acquisitions plan, continued focus on its product lines, unmatched on-site servicing and people that define best in class, Comstock sees a bright future for the business.


Brad Childers
President and CEO


Brad Childers became CEO at Exterran at a time when the company was struggling financially. Childers, who also serves as president, was tasked with improving the company’s profitability. With his in-depth knowledge of both the industry and the company, the board of directors felt confident that he was the right person to lead Exterran into the future.
Nearly three years later, the company has transformed into an industry outperformer delivering exceptional service, earning significant returns for its investors and providing an engaging and exciting work environment for employees.
It can be a big challenge to lead more than 10,000 employees in more than 30 countries around the world. The situation requires strong leadership and an equally strong vision.
Childers builds relationships with individuals at all levels by speaking quarterly at the company’s town hall meetings, visiting various sites and offices throughout the year and meeting informally with employees.
While he believes strongly in his role, Childers encourages all leaders and managers in the company to build relationships with their divisions. He tasks these individuals with building genuine relationships with employees and spreading the goals and values of the firm.
The Power of X campaign is something that began under Childers’s leadership and has generated brand awareness. It articulates Exterran’s ability to serve clients and provide expertise. It’s also generated a deeper sense of loyalty and pride among the company’s employees.
In addition to brand awareness, Childers is committed to developing the technical expertise of his team. By working with other service providers, Exterran launched a certification program to provide technical training and professional certification.
Childers strongly believes that if employees are energized and enthralled in their work, it serves both the employee and the company well.
His goal was to improve the financial health of the company and focus intently on his people, Childers has done just that.

hou_eoy_JohnCrispJohn Crisp
Chairman, president and CEO
Forbes Energy Services


John Crisp got his start in business mowing the lawn at a local cemetery when he was 12. He received a loan from a local businessman in return for half of his future profits. Combined with money he had saved, Crisp was in business. He bought a mower, organized his friends and siblings to help him and turned a profit.
Crisp’s conviction for identifying potential business opportunities is so strong that he does not fear operating businesses with relatively high financial leverage. It’s a philosophy that served him well mowing lawns, and has worked out pretty nicely as chairman, president and CEO at Forbes Energy Services.
Crisp and the management team from his previous business founded the company in 2003, offering salt water disposal services and well-service rigs. Sensing an opportunity in the well-service rigs business, where competitors’ fleets were about 30 years or older on average, Forbes ordered six new rigs with debt financing.
Within four years, Forbes grew its rig fleet from two to 107, its truck fleet from 55 to 1,227 and its geographical presence from three locations to 18.
The board of directors at Forbes is balanced to adeptly handle the nature of the business. There are well-qualified members on the board with significant experience in well servicing, coil tubing, logistics, law and finance.
Crisp provides the vision for the company while other board members help to grow the company by providing leadership in technology, operations, financial and legal matters. He strongly believes in empowerment at all levels of personnel, bringing in a culture of ownership.
Crisp ardently believes in business ethics and in being fair to all stakeholders. His goal is to build a business that leads the way in innovation and positions people to excel.


Sealy Morris
President and CEO
Rotary Drilling Tools


Sealy Morris does not expect people to make a big deal about him when he enters a room. In fact, the president and CEO at Rotary Drilling Tools would love it if he were mistaken for a machine operator.
Despite his success in the boardroom, the machine shop is where his roots are firmly planted. Morris is a third generation oilfield machine shop worker, having followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
Morris began in the business working at his dad’s plant. He grew up in the industry taking on various jobs that included running a machine, working offshore, investing in oil and gas wells and eventually entering into the machine shop business.
He went to college and worked in a number of different capacities before starting RDT in 2006. It was formed to manufacture, sell, trade and service down-hole drilling tools supplied to domestic and international land and offshore drilling contractors, rental companies and national oil companies.
The oil and gas industry is extremely competitive and RDT has been through several changes since its inception in February 2006.
The company has expanded its service facilities into Colorado and Wyoming; started two international joint ventures in Colombia and Mexico; made an acquisition to expand service centers in Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania; and is currently building another service center in North Dakota due to be operational by the third quarter of 2014, with another service center planned for West Texas in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Morris firmly believes that each employee contributes directly to the company’s growth, success, customer satisfaction and reliability. He relies on them to give great effort each day to make things run smoothly. It has all played a big part in RDT’s ability to become a world-class integrated service and manufacturing company.