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

Rhett Bennett, 36

CEO, Black Mountain, Fort Worth, Texas

Black Mountain moved into the Permian Basin frack sand market and is about to take off, building two, 4-million- tonne frack sand plants that will employ local workers and use local cement and other supplies for “north of $500 million.”

The NGP-backed company, which has six different businesses, is also developing Black Mountain Oil and Gas II after the sale in 2017 to Marathon Oil Co. for $700 million. “Our recent Delaware Basin sale … was a tremendous achievement by all involved building a company and monetizing in 16 months.”

Mentor: Bennett’s father ran the family’s coal mining business, and “if an employee was ever in need or going through a tough time, my father didn’t hesitate to give them any kind of assistance he could. He had employees with him for 30-plus and 40-plus years.”

In turn, Bennett says, “I try to provide a good example for others to follow, trying to develop a reputation for doing the right thing and having that permeate throughout the organization.”

Quotable: “Always work like you’ve got something to prove—because you do. A good chip on your shoulder is healthy in life.”

Advice for young professionals: “Find the best learning experience possible for your first job out of college—don’t chase the highest salary. You will have a higher ultimate ceiling and advance faster if you defer monetary incentives for the experience early in your career.”

Bennett considers oil and gas to be “the most dynamic business in the world. The progressions and advancements that occur year to year are astounding, and as a result, it is the most exciting business on Earth —never a dull moment.”

Audio Interview

Photography by
Evin Thayer Studios