2013 Oilfield A-List: Decker Dawson

2013 Oilfield A-List: Decker Dawson

The man behind building the largest company of it's kind in this hemisphere
Midland -- At the age of 92, Decker Dawson still goes to his office every day. He's quite an inspiration, and for those who know him, it's really no surprise that he built the largest company of it's kind in the United States.
It all started in 1941 when Dawson graduated from Oklahoma State with a degree in engineering, but his first job set him on a different path.

"The only job I could get in 1941...I had an offer to go to work on a seismograph crew. I didn't  even know how to spell seismograph, but I jumped at the chance because jobs were pretty scarce in those days," said Dawson.
He says he fell in love with geophysics, and eventually ended up in Midland. "That's the best thing that ever happened to me... was to come to Midland, Texas," said Dawson. "It was really booming and vibrant."
That was in 1950, and by 1952, Dawson had started his own company, Dawson Geophysical. At the time, they had ten employees, one seismograph crew, and worked only within one hundred miles of the Tall City.

"We've grown, of course, and prospered and built the largest company in this hemisphere,I presume, with what we do," he said. 

Dawson currently employees 1,500 people, and they operate all over the U.S. and Canada.
Not only has the company expanded, the way the operate has changed tremendously. Using dynamite to track down oil and gas when the company was founded seems like a distant memory.

"People all over the world... with all our brains working and thinking and there's an evolution of our abilities to help the world find more oil and gas, and that's what we're for," said Dawson.   
Although he gives his employees most of the credit, Dawson, without a doubt, has left his mark on this industry. Regardless of his success, at the age of 92, he has no plans of slowing down. "I just love these people, and I don't want to leave them."
According to his employees, the feeling is mutual.

"Just an all around good guy to be around from day to day. I learn something from him everyday," said Steve Jumper, president and CEO of Dawson Geophysical. "Been fortunate to be around him for 29 years."
Celebrating it's 61st anniversary this month, Dawson Geophysical is a company that's survived many booms and many busts. It is, without a doubt, something to be very proud of.

"I think probably my biggest achievement was just the initiation of this company," added Dawson.

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