The AAPG Foundation Trustees have named Bob Ardell and Mike Wisda as the 2014 Trustee Associates Service Award recipients. Awards will be presented at the 2014 Trustee Associates Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas in September.
Bob Ardell (left) and Mike Wisda.
The Trustee Associate Service Award is presented to individuals or corporations who have distinguished themselves in beneficial long-term service to the AAPG Foundation. The 2012 recipient was Ken Masters. The 2013 recipient was Jack P. Martin.
Michael Wisda is general partner with Lee, Hite & Wisda LTD. an exploration firm that he co-founded in 1987. He originates Eocene drilling opportunities in South Texas. Previously, he was employed by Tenneco Inc., Conoco Inc. and Trafalgar House Oil and Gas inc. The majority of his experience has been focused exploring in the onshore Gulf of Mexico states. Mr. Wisda received a B. S. in geology from Texas Tech University in 1975. He has served in the A.A.P.G. House of Delegates and as a past chairman of the Trustee Associates.
Bob Ardell, born of immigrant parents in Hinsdale IL in 1940, grew up in rural IL and attended Monmouth College as a State Scholar. He stumbled between Economics and Geology as a major and ended up going on to graduate school in geology. After a summer at Indiana University’s Montana field camp, Kansas State University offered a very good opportunity for Bob to develop serious study skills and employment opportunities.
Pure Oil made the best offer so Bob moved to Houston in the fall of 1964 to learn a trade. Almost immediately, Pure was merged into Union Oil and a new adventure began. Transferred to New Orleans Bob began his first foreign service without foreign pay. A great learning experience in many ways, Bob thrived in the Crescent City and left Union for Clark Oil and was shortly transferred back to Houston. Such is life with the vagabond oil community.
After Clark, Bob tried Kerr Magee for a few years and then on to self employment taking farm outs in the offshore for Samedan. Great move for Bob and all involved.
After 13 years of Samedan, Bob moved on to try another new venture and started a US company for Nippon Oil, the giant Japanese energy company. Twelve years of fun later, Bob retired. Since “retirement” Bob has participated in several new start up companies and served as a director of several outfits. Today Bob continues, on a retainer from Kossak Oil and Gas LP, as a consultant screening drilling opportunities for conventional drilling and advising Mr. Kossak concerning his oil and gas investments.
Bob is happily married to Lee and they enjoy travel together as well as the theater and opera. Four grandchildren are an ongoing joy with the eldest now a freshman in college.
Bob has served 25 years as a trustee at Monmouth College and Lee is now entering her tenth year as a trustee of Austin College. This work with higher education has been an important part of our life and continues even though Bob has gone emeritus.