Board of Directors
James Russell (J.R.) Reger
James Russell (J.R.) Reger was the Chief Executive Officer of the Company since December 31, 2009 and has been our Chief Executive Officer and a director since April 16, 2010. Mr. Reger was born and raised in Billings, Montana and is the fourth generation in a family of oil and gas explorers and developers dating back more than 60 years. Mr. Reger's great grandfather was Vice President of Land for Mobil Oil's Rocky Mountain operations. His grandfather, Jim Reger, co-founded the exploration firm of Norsworthy & Reger. Prior to accepting the position as CEO of the Company, Mr. Reger was the President of South Fork Exploration, a mineral leasing company in Billings, MT with experience and interests in Montana and North Dakota. Mr. Reger holds a B.A. in Finance from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. We believe Mr. Reger's qualifications to sit on our Board include his extensive experience in our core business of oil and gas exploration and production.
Chief Executive Officer
McAndrew Rudisill has 11 years of investment management and investment banking experience in the natural resources sector. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Rudisill served as a non-executive director of Emerald Oil & Gas NL ("Emerald Australia") and was President and Chairman of Emerald Oil. Mr. Rudisill was the Managing Partner and founder of Pelagic Capital Advisors LP from 2007 to 2011. Prior to forming Pelagic Capital Advisors LP, Mr. Rudisill was a co- founder and Managing Partner of BrightStream Asset Management which focused on investments in natural resources from 2005 to 2007. Before co-founding BrightStream, Mr. Rudisill was an Analyst and Managing Director at North Sound Capital from 2003 to 2005 where he was responsible for investments in global natural resources. Mr. Rudisill currently serves as a Non-Executive Director of Ochre Group Holdings Limited (ASX: OGH) and serves as a trustee of the Tiger Foundation, which is a philanthropic organization focused on serving New York City. Mr. Rudisill's investment career began at JPMorgan, where he worked as an investment banker.
Mike Krzus has over 29 years of experience managing technical and business areas in upstream oil and gas, liquefied natural gas and geothermal. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Krzus was the Chief Executive and Operating Officer of Emerald Oil & Gas NL ("Emerald Australia") since February 12, 2009 and was its Managing Director since August 13, 2009. Starting as a petroleum engineer with Home Oil in Calgary in 1983, he then proceeded to Woodside Petroleum Ltd (Australia's largest operating oil company) in 1986 at which he held various management and executive positions involving technical oil and gas field development (including a four year secondment to Shell where he led gas and oil field development teams in the Netherlands), exploration and production business development, company business planning and evaluations, joint venture management and technical capability management. Before leaving Woodside Petroleum Ltd in 2007 he was responsible for its sub-surface technical oil and gas development capability and technology and its capital gating approval process. Prior to joining Emerald Australia, Mr. Krzus ran a geothermal exploration company that was a subsidiary of Eden Energy. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). He holds a Diploma in Oil and Gas Technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and a BSc in Petroleum Engineering from Tulsa University.
Thomas J. Edelman, a co-founder of White Deer Energy, joined the Emerald Board of Directors upon the closing of White Deer Energy's preferred stock investment in Emerald Oil in February 2013. Prior to forming White Deer, Mr. Edelman founded or co-founded a series of independent energy companies including Snyder Oil Corporation (now part of Devon Energy), Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) and Patina Oil and Gas (now part of Noble Energy). He also co-founded Bear Paw Energy (now part of ONEOK Partners) and Bear Cub Energy (now part of Regency Energy Partners), two mid-stream companies based in Denver.
Duke R. Ligon has been a director of Emerald Oil since October 2011. Mr. Ligon has served as Chairman of PostRock Energy Corporation (PSTR), a NASDAQ listed independent oil and natural gas company, since October 2010 and as Chairman and Director of one of PostRock's predecessor entities since 2006. He is also a member of PostRock's Nominating and Governance Committee and Compensation Committee. Mr. Ligon has more than 40 years of legal expertise in corporate securities, litigation, governmental affairs and mergers and acquisitions. He is an attorney and served as senior vice president and general counsel of Devon Energy Corporation (DVN), a NYSE listed independent natural gas and oil exploration and production company, from January 1997 until he retired in February 2007. Since his retirement in 2007, Mr. Ligon has been a strategic legal advisor to Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc., a privately held chain of fuelling stations and attached convenience stores, and currently is the manager and owner of Mekusukey Oil Company, LLC, a privately held oil and natural gas company. Prior to joining Devon, he practiced law for 12 years and last served as a partner at the law firm of Mayer, Brown & Platt in New York City. In addition, he was Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Investment Banking at Bankers Trust Co., a privately held commercial bank, in New York City for 10 years. He also serves on the board of directors of Panhandle Oil and Gas, Inc. (PHX), a NYSE listed oil and natural gas company, Chairman of the Board of Blue Knight Energy Partners, LP (BKEP), a NASDAQ listed midstream energy business, Chairman of the Board of SteelPath MLP Funds, a privately held mutual fund providing access to the Master Limited Partnership asset class, member of the board of SteelPath Energy Infrastructure Investment Company, an MLP focused investment manager, Chairman of the Board of Security State Bank, member of the board of Heritage Trust Company, member of the board of Vantage Drilling Company, an AMX listed offshore drilling contractor, and member of the Advisory Committee of LegalShield, a privately held prepaid legal services company (formerly Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. where he was a board member and Chairman of the Special Committee that negotiated the recent sale to MidOcean Partners). Mr. Ligon received an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Westminster College and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
Seth Setrakian has been a director of Emerald Oil since October 2011. Mr. Setrakian has 15 years of investment management experience. Mr. Setrakian currently is a Partner and Co-Head of Domestic Equities of First New York Securities, LLC, a privately held principal trading firm. Prior to First New York, Seth was a Partner of Helios Partners and Seneca Capital, US based private investment firms. Mr. Setrakian's career began at Arthur Andersen, where he was an associate in the Corporate Finance group. Mr. Setrakian graduated summa cum laude, with a B.S. in Accounting, from Pennsylvania State University.
Daniel L. Spears has been a director of Emerald Oil since October 2011. Daniel Spears has 16 years of investment management and investment banking experience in the natural resources sector. Mr. Spears is a partner and portfolio manager at Dallas, Texas based Swank Capital, LLC, an energy infrastructure investment management company, and its wholly owned investment manager, Cushing MLP Asset Management, LP. He was an investment banker in the Natural Resources Group at Bank of America Securities LLC for eight years. He also worked in the Global Energy and Power Investment Banking Group at Salomon Smith Barney. Mr. Spears received his B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Spears serves on the board of directors of Lonestar Midstream, L.P., a midstream master limited partnership, Post Rock Energy Corporation (PSTR), a NASDAQ listed exploration and production company, and Central Energy, LP (ENGY), a distribution focused master limited partnership trading in the over-the-counter market.
Lyle Berman has been Chairman of the Board of the Company since its inception in March 2002 and Executive Chairman since April 1, 2005. Mr. Berman served as the Company's Chief Executive Officer from February 25, 2004 until April 1, 2005. Since January 1999, Mr. Berman has served as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Lakes Entertainment, Inc. ("Lakes"), a publicly-held company that develops and manages Indian-owned casinos. From November 1999 until May 2000, Mr. Berman served as President of Lakes. Mr. Berman served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Grand Casinos, Inc. from October 1991 through December 1998. Mr. Berman served as Chief Executive Officer of Rainforest Cafe, Inc. from February 1993 until December 2000. We believe Mr. Berman's qualifications to sit on our Board include his decades of experience in owning, operating and managing a wide variety of companies both large and small, public, and private, in industries as diverse as gaming, television production, restaurants and apparel.