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Q&A with Frank Harrison

July 27, 2009
TOPICS: OIPA
OIPA board member and Bronco Drilling CEO Frank Harrison was the focus of The Oklahoman's most recent Executive Q&A. From The Oklahoman:
Q: Would you tell us about your roots? A: I grew up in Tulsa. My father, who died in 1980, was a grocer and mother, now of Edmond, a homemaker. I have a sister who is 18 months older and lives in Tulsa. Since ninth grade, Iíve been fascinated with horses, and used to sneak out at night just to sit on horses my neighbors owned. When I asked my dad for a horse, he said I could choose between a horse and a car when I turned 16. I didnít get a horse ó or a car. I attended Oklahoma State University, pledged Sigma Nu and made some of my best friends ever. I started off as a business major, but after my dad called and told me he couldnít afford to send more money, I switched to sociology by chance. Frantic about what to do to finish school, I joined Teacher Corps and for a little more than a year got paid to teach at-risk kids at Kennedy Junior High at 13th and Eastern in Oklahoma City. We lived in the community where we taught, and our OSU sociology profs traveled there to teach us. We tried to bridge the gap between whites and blacks, who were equally distrustful of each other. It was a momentous time that Iím glad is behind us. Q: Did you do more social work after graduation? Howíd you settle in the oil industry? A: I spent about 18 months in Canada, where I wrote a program for juvenile delinquents for the Province of British Columbia. I went there with no job, just drove north until the pavement ended, which was mile one of the Alaskan highway north of Vancouver. I always wanted to see Canada. I also was interested in ranching and, after I came home, became a foreman of a large ranch in Morris. Thatís where I met my wife and started thinking about doing something different to earn more money. There were wells on the ranch, and I started as a pumper. Q: Youíve worked in the industry 30 years now. What are some of the highlights? A: Most of my experience is in exploration and production, drilling and putting deals together. Among other things, I helped open Tulsa and Dallas offices for The RAM Group, ran my own consulting firm and served as president of Boswell Energy and Harding & Shelton. Because Iíve worked in exploration and production, I believe I better know the customers of Bronco, where IĎve worked since August 2005. Iíve been the customer and know what itís like trying to replace reserves or when people make mistakes on drilling rigs. Q: What keeps you in the oil industry? A: I love the people. They understand risk and know how to have fun. You donít see that fearlessness as much in other walks of life. Weíre a tight-knit group and care about each other. I experienced that firsthand 18 months ago when a rare infection, which I believe I contracted on a business trip to Saudi (Arabia), settled in a disk in my back. After the rare bacteria was finally diagnosed, I for weeks laid immobilized on my back, taking antibiotics intravenously. It was miserable. But these big rough oil guys would visit me or make dinner for me. Q: Whatís it like having seven granddaughters? A: I find it funny to be surrounded by all that estrogen, as much as I like guy things ó hunting, fishing, riding horses or getting with the guys just to have fun. But itís wonderful when they sit in my lap and I can tell them stories. Iím working to instill a passion for horses in all of them.
 
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