Jeffery Hildebrand founded Hilcorp in 1989 and turned it into the largest privately-held oil company in America, drilling all over Alaska and in the Utica shale of Ohio. His business strategy was to buy old oilfields and squeeze out profits through the application of new technology. In 2011, Hilcorp turned a $100M investment in the Eagle Ford shale into a $1.8B sale to Marathon Oil. Jeffery made headlines in 2010 when he gave his employees a $50k bonus each to buy a new car. He topped that last year, giving each $100k.
On the real estate front, Hilcorp is building a 475k SF office tower in Houston. In 2013, Jeffery generated some controversy among conservationists when he bought the 957-acre property in Colorado that belonged to country legend John Denver. On the flip side, they should be pleased to hear he’s pledged $10M to build more parks in Texas.