Sooner Inc.

Employee Spotlight

January 8, 2024

In the heart of Midland, Texas, where the oil and gas industry thrives, we find Ron, a respected TerraTech Services advisor, celebrating an incredible milestone—45 years with the Sooner Inc. team. Ron’s journey with the company is remarkable, marked by his commitment, knowledge, and his role as a mentor.

Ron started his Sooner adventure in 1978, enticed by an unexpected encounter with Mr. Henry, Sooner’s founder, in Oklahoma. Starting as a yard foreman, he quickly proved his worth, handling special projects across West Texas and Oklahoma, showcasing his grit and leadership. Ron’s career with Sooner has been a journey of continuous growth. From field supervisor to operations manager, he played a pivotal role in shaping each pipe yard’s success. His transition to an advisor shows his dedication to passing on knowledge, fostering teamwork and shared expertise.

As technology advanced, Sooner transformed from manual pipe record-keeping to the advanced app system we now have with SoonerTECH programs. Ron witnessed this evolution firsthand, describing the transition as a leap into the “space age.” Today, testing and inspecting pipe includes laser scanning and tablet integration, aligning with the company’s pledge to stay at the forefront of technological advancements for oil country tubular goods (OCTG) asset management and logistics.

OCTG Sooner Employee Ron in Truck
OCTG Sooner Inc, successful TerraTech Employees taking a Group Picture

Throughout his career, Ron learned valuable lessons, and perhaps the most significant was the power of teamwork. He appreciates having a network of specialists he can call upon for advice—an invaluable resource that wasn’t as readily available in the earlier days of his career. The Sooner team has always focused on problem-solving and customer care. The company’s commitment to safety, customer satisfaction, and doing things correctly has been the cornerstone of his successful tenure. Ron recalls instances where the team didn’t just smooth over issues but fixed them correctly, embodying the spirit of teamwork.

One mentor who left an indelible mark on Ron is Joe Ottaviani, TerraTech’s president. They shared a professional journey spanning 34 years. Joe’s work ethic and straightforward approach significantly influenced Ron, shaping him into the seasoned professional he is today. In a nod to working with Joe, Ron humorously recalls the era of “the bricks,” the large cell phones of the 1980s. He shares, “In the early years, when in the field, Joe would send me to remote locations to sort out concerns. Cell phones had just come out, and I wanted one. Finally, after being persistently asked, Joe, with his wisdom, said, ‘We’re going to fix you right up,’ and said he instructed every gas station in the area to add a payphone so that I could call at any time. Joe loves telling that story. And now today, I’d like to just give back my cell phone.”

Ron reminisced on an old phrase, “The Sooner Way,” and how it was more than just a slogan to him, “When my wife and I moved to Tulsa for Sooner, we didn’t realize Sooner would be a huge part of our family. After grandchildren and great-grandchildren, it all goes back to the success of Sooner.” Ron’s career highlights include the joy of working alongside his grandsons, Jake and Chester, passing down knowledge and witnessing their names on pipe tallies—to see them successful in the OCTG service industry is a moment of pride for him. His impact stretches beyond family, as he takes satisfaction in making other yards better, sharing his wisdom and expertise with colleagues. As Ron reflects on his 45-year journey, he advises newcomers to Sooner to embrace patience, ask questions, and never be afraid to seek guidance. In the tapestry of Ron’s Sooner story, each thread represents a lesson learned, a challenge overcome, and a contribution made. His legacy is not just one of personal achievement but a testament to the collaborative, customer-centric, and innovative culture that defines Sooner, Inc. As we celebrate Ron’s 45 years, we also celebrate the success and enduring spirit of Sooner, a company that continues to evolve and thrive. Cheers to Ron and to many more years of success for Sooner, Inc.!