Presented by Grant Thornton and Preng & Associates. Photography by Evin Thayer Studios.

Bradley Williams, 37

President, CEO, Elephant Oil & Gas, Dallas

Bradley Williams co-founded Elephant Oil & Gas from his kitchen at age 25. Under his leadership, the independent company has become an industry leader in the identification and exploitation of unconventional resource plays.

“Looking back at it now, I am very proud that I had the courage at such a young age to start something new and the determination to stay the course,” Williams says. “Against all odds, my business partner and I were able to build a successful oil and gas operating company from the ground up, creating tremendous value for ourselves and our investors in just six years’ time.

“It’s amazing what you can do when you just go for it.”

Career path: Just three years after graduating from college, Williams co-founded Elephant Oil & Gas to pursue opportunities in emerging resource plays. The company, launched in 2006, quickly proved its ability to identify and evaluate prospective areas and effectively execute a lease-and-drill strategy.

It was acquired by Talon Oil & Gas II in 2012.

“The six years it took to build and sell the company were exhilarating,” Williams says. “It was like drinking from a firehose. I learned more during that time period than any other part of my life.”

In February 2018, Elephant Oil & Gas relaunched to pursue targeted acquisitions of high-quality oil and gas properties in the Powder River Basin.

A team player: Williams strives to foster an entrepreneurial spirit at the company by encouraging colleagues to collaborate, utilize technology and challenge themselves to find creative ways to solve problems.

“It’s important to me that everyone is self-motivated and that we all share the same passion for our business and the industry as a whole,” Williams says. “I truly believe you are only as strong as your weakest link.”

Advice for young professionals: “Never stop learning and never underestimate what you can achieve if you set your mind to it.”

Photography by
Evin Thayer Studios