James C. Flores, a 36-year-old native of Lafayette, Louisiana, resides and works in Baton Rouge. This businessman serves as both the chairman and chief executive officer of Flores and Rucks, Inc., a publicly held independent oil and gas exploration company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. As such, he has overall supervision of approximately 234 employees. His company operates more than 500 productive oil and gas wells located in the Gulf of Mexico on approximately 50,000 acres of state and federal leases off the coast of Louisiana. Flores and Rucks, Inc. has a combined daily production of more than 24,000 barrels of oil and 50 million cubic feet of natural gas.
In addition, Flores is an active participant in many professional and alumni organizations and associations. He is a member of both the Lafayette and Baton Rouge Associations of Petroleum Landmen, and plays an active role in the American Association of Petroleum Landmen, as well as the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Flores also serves as a director of the Louisiana Independent Oil and Gas Association and has served as a member of the Governor’s Energy Commission. In 1995, he was elected to the Board of Directors of Union Planters Bank in Baton Rouge. In April of this year, he was inducted into the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report and Junior Achievement Hall of Fame as the Young Businessperson of the Year. In the area of alumni associations, Flores maintains membership with both the Kappa Alpha Alumni Association and the LSU Alumni Association.
Flores received a bachelor’s degree in corporate finance from LSU in 1981, specializing in investment and project evaluation. He then continued his education at LSU and, in 1982, obtained an additional bachelor’s degree in petroleum land management, which emphasized property, mineral, and contract law. He is married to the former Cherie Hair, an LSU College of Business Administration alumna in marketing, and they have three children, Olivia, Caldwell, and Meredith.Personal Reflections
My enrollment at LSU was a continuance of a family tradition that began with my Father, William S. Flores, Sr., and my three siblings - William S. Flores, Jr., Catherine C. Flores, and John V. Flores. As a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, I was honored to attend into the state’s flagship university - Louisiana State University in 1977.
These were great times for Louisiana — the oil & gas, agriculture, and banking industries
were enjoying double digit growth while Louisiana’s booming population was expanding markets and competition.
My Impression! Any prosperity you can dream of is possible in Louisiana and I knew that my LSU education was the best preparation I could have to build my career. I was lucky in a sense.
From my earliest days at LSU, I knew I wanted to be in the business end (and hopefully the money-making end) of the oil and gas industry.
My two degrees, a BS in Corporate Finance and in Petroleum Land Management, were the perfect combination to give me the knowledge and confidence to reach for my goals immediately upon my graduation from LSU in 1982.
“ Academic” LSU answered those questions on internal rates of return, the uses of leverage, and the identification of available capital. By discussing and detailing case studies of several companies, the world of corporate and entrepreneurial finance became my curiosity and my future.
The accounting skills I received from LSU’s business program are important tools I continually use when analyzing financial statements, especially items like stockholder’s equity and retained earnings. Professor Culbertson’s futures trading simulation lab, taught me the tough lessons of commodity risk. From Professor Staats’ banking class I learned the answer to an important question — Why bank’s loan money and how to borrow it! And from Professors Davidson and Breaux I picked up on the laws and rules that the business and real estate world must abide by.
As I embarked on my business career in August of 1982, I set up my own oil and gas lease brokerage company simply entitled James C. Flores, Inc. I was ready to parlay my LSU Education into a successful business calling on the knowledge, the contacts, the friends and most of all the confidence that I had gained at LSU.
Graduating from LSU is a sense of accomplishment that is unique. The wide range of activities that are available and the blending of those activities with the “Les Bon Temp Roulez” attitude of Louisiana is very challenging. Spending my college years balancing academics, activities and attitudes allowed me as a LSU graduate to look at my life and career not just as a straight path, but one with curves in the road, peaks and valleys.
LSU taught me that the curves in the road or changes in market trends were to be embraced, not contested, the peaks should be enjoyed, but not endure, and the valleys, which were initially painful, provide the greatest opportunity if you are willing to work at it.
The Great Valley, the oil crash of 1986, triggered asset value erosion of epic proportions that destabilized every facet of Louisiana’s economy. This downward spiral obliterated or severely impaired most oil and gas, real estate and financial enterprises. But it did give me an opportunity of entry for my partner Billy Rucks (LSU Business ‘79) and I. We quickly took up the challenge and through a lot of hard work, we successfully used the confidence and courage gained at LSU. Our success over this period resulted in a Louisiana based oil and gas company named Flores & Rucks, Inc. (FNR).
Today, FNR is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and with its 225 employees, produces daily over 25,000 barrels of oil. Although not a prerequisite to acceptance, six out of seven FNR directors, as well as a large group of our employees, are LSU Graduates. LSU has provided the foundation for the good that has come my way.
My wife, Cherie (LSU graduate, BS in Marketing ‘86) was well prepared during her four years at LSU to be a wonderful partner, wife and mother of our three children, Olivia, Caldwell and Meredith. LSU taught her about curves in the road, peaks and valleys also! You see, we were engaged in February 1986 - oil price $28.50/barrel and seven months later, we were married on August 16, 1986 - oil price a tragic $8.35/barrel.
Realizing the dire straits of our business and the stress on my face the day of our wedding, Cherie said, “This is as low as the price will go and it will be higher from now on!” Cherie truly has a confident LSU attitude and for ten years and counting, her prediction has been correct.
On behalf of my entire LSU Family, I am truly honored to be inducted into the Louisiana State University Business Hall of Distinction. LSU has provided a great foundation in academics, experiences and friends for me. I look forward to being a part of LSU’s foundation for the future.