These are not the best of times for the oil and gas business. In September 2014, oil was priced in the $85 to $95 range; today the prices are in the $30s.
But one thing that has remained constant for brothers-in-law Joseph DeWoody ’05, MBA ’06, and Ryan Haggerty ’06 and their Clear Fork Royalty company is operating in an ethical manner in what many consider to be a wide-open industry. That’s why they’re particularly proud that they’ve been recognized twice for that behavior in the past 18 months – once at the top of the market and another in recent weeks.
Clear Fork, a mineral rights royalty company that purchases the oil, gas, and/or mineral rights from landowners in 24 states, received the Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence from the Fort Worth/Tarrant County Better Business Bureau on Feb. 20. They also won a special Exceptional Ethics award at the banquet. The plaques will be placed next to the Greater Tarrant Ethics Award that the company received from the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and TCU back in September 2014.
Clear Fork pays landowners a single upfront lump sum in exchange for the long-term rights to the royalties. In essence, the landowner is selling his or her rights to those royalty payments. Clear Fork Co-Founder Haggerty says the 2014 recognition has helped the company weather the storm of declining oil and gas prices because the presence of a respected Ethics award logo on the company letterhead definitely raises the confidence and trust of both prospects and existing customers.
In both cases, Clear Fork was evaluated on the level of trust they built with employees, customers, and in their communities; the type of ethical business practices they delivered; the quality of their involvement in their communities; and the demonstration of high service levels.
“We operate in a spirit of transparency to ensure our royalty sellers and our investors can feel total confidence in how we conduct business,” said Clear Fork Co-Founder DeWoody, who earned Academic All-Conference honors as the starting center on Baylor’s 2004 football team. “Doing the right thing should never be conditional. With us, it’s cultural.”
“Clear Fork has many stories about when it acted ethically, and went above and beyond the legal requirements,” said Dr. Shannon Shipp, associate professor of marketing and director of the Neeley Ethics Initiative at TCU. “It also clearly showed a process whereby new hires are given those examples and helped to develop the same sense of ethical action.”
“We have one customer in South Texas who has called us literally 20 times with an additional tract of land that he sells to us,” Haggerty says. “It means a lot that he calls only us because he trusts us to be fair on the price, accurate with the paperwork, and timely in sending the check.”
Haggerty adds that the “Clear Fork difference” includes being the only royalty company he knows of that places its physical address on its letterhead and website and invites prospects to call and even come to the office to close the deal in person.
DeWoody and Haggerty married Baylor Chi Omegas – Kimberly Ann (Kainer) DeWoody ’05 is a senior manager at the Whitley Penn LLP accounting firm in Fort Worth while Regan Haggerty ’07 owns Details & Designs Event Production in Fort Worth and is DeWoody’s sister.
The DeWoodys and Haggertys are more than business associates – they are also neighbors in Fort Worth. In fact, the wives submitted a few answers of their own (actually, more than their husbands):
- What Baylor Professor had the greatest impact on you?
- DeWoody: Gary Carini. Carini taught me how think through business decisions strategically and analyze all sides before making a management decision.
- Haggerty: One of the last classes I took at Baylor was with Dr. David Schleuter on Various forms of leadership. It was the perfect class to take before entering the post-college workforce.
- Kimberly DeWoody: Kendall Artz – the B.E.S.T. Class – this class was a capstone to my senior year in the business school. Dr. Artz’s demeanor and leadership style was something I will always remember. And the class trip to Tokyo was also very memorable.
- The most memorable thing to happen to me at Baylor was:
- DeWoody: Playing every offensive snap in the 35-34 overtime win against Texas A&M. It was the first time we beat them in 20 years. I did not give up a sack the entire game, or the entire season for that matter. Also being named 2004 Offensive Lineman of the Year meant a lot. As a former walk-on who earned a scholarship and was able to start and play more offensive snaps my senior year than any other player, that was a huge honor of which I am tremendously proud.
- One thing that’s not on my resume is:
- DeWoody: I’m a black belt in Karate.
- My superpower is:
- DeWoody: Extreme Work Ethic.
- Haggerty: Avoiding caffeine — totally
- My creative process begins with:
- Regan Haggerty: Making a list.
- The proudest moment in my career to this point is:
- DeWoody: Being able to work with my family and build and enterprise that will provide generational value creation. Very honored that people in the public are recognizing us for our core values of ethical behavior and high-integrity business practices.
- Haggerty: The resilience of our company through this recent downturn has shown the power of sticking to our core values and disciplined approach. I am very proud of our team.
- My proudest moment as a parent so far is:
- DeWoody: When my 3-year-old son, William, wants to dress or do things exactly like “Daddy” does.
- Haggerty: When our son, Collin, shows his bravery. I know this is something that a lot of parents witness with their kids, where their child tries to shy away from something but then all of a sudden decides to give it a try. It is fun to watch his confidence build.
- Kimberly DeWoody: Teaching our 3 ½ year old son to pray – the sincerity and honesty of a child is humbling but also humorous!
- Who’s your role model and why?
- Haggerty: My parents are my role models. My father is the most intelligent man I know yet is servant hearted and humble. My mother approaches everything she does with grace and class.
- Regan Haggerty: My mom, Pat DeWoody. She has always been so selfless to serve others. She has a can-do spirit that is unmatched and she never met a challenge that she couldn’t take on.
- I get exercise by:
- Haggerty: I enjoy running. I have a goal this year to complete a race a month. It has been a personal long-term goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
- Kimberly DeWoody: Chasing after two little ones – William and 15-month-old Sarah Beth.
- If I could have one meal from the road again, it would be:
- Haggerty: Vitek’s BBQ. Will you please open one in Fort Worth?
- One place I could return to again and again:
- DeWoody: London
- Haggerty: Scotland. I’m Scottish-Irish and have been twice and want to take my wife and kids.
- Regan Haggerty: New York City at Christmas. Ryan and I have made it an annual trip for the last several years. There is so much to do and to discover there.
- I always splurge on:
- DeWoody: Cowboy boots
- Haggerty: Books and travel.
- One of the great satisfactions of my life has been:
- DeWoody: Raising our children and watching them grow up cheering for Baylor.
- Haggerty: Knowing that I married the girl that I know on our first date was “the one.”