Management Team

Jack Hightower

Chief Executive Officer

Jack Hightower serves as our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and brings extensive experience in all stages of the business cycle.

Mr. Hightower has over 49 years of experience in the oil and gas industry managing multiple E&P platforms.

Mr. Hightower served as Chairman, President and CEO of Bluestem Energy Partners, LP (“Bluestem”) from 2011 to 2013.

Prior to forming Bluestem, Mr. Hightower served as Chairman, President, and CEO of Celero Energy II, LP (“Celero II”) from 2006 to 2009 and as Chairman, President and CEO of Celero Energy, LP (“Celero”) from 2004 to 2005.

Prior to forming Celero, Mr. Hightower served as Chairman, President and CEO of Pure Resources, Inc. (“Pure Resources”) (NYSE: PRS), which became the 11th largest publicly traded independent E&P company in North America. In

October 2002, Unocal tendered for the Pure Resources shares it did not already own.

In March 1995, Mr. Hightower founded Titan (Nasdaq: TEXP), the predecessor to Pure Resources, and served as Chairman, President and CEO.

Prior to founding Titan, Mr. Hightower served as Chairman, President and CEO of Enertex Inc. (“Enertex”), the general partner and operator of record for several oil and gas partnerships from 1991 to 1994.

Mr. Hightower graduated from Texas Tech University in 1970 with Bachelor of Business Administration degrees in Administrative Finance and Money, Banking & Investments.

Michael Hollis


Michael L. Hollis serves as our President and director with a history of delivering cost effective operations and efficient asset growth.

Prior to joining HighPeak, Mr. Hollis served as President and COO of Diamondback Energy, Inc. (“Diamondback”) (Nasdaq: FANG), a Permian focused oil and gas producer, from January 2017 through September 2019, prior to which he served as COO since 2015 and Vice President of Drilling.

Since 2011, Mr. Hollis also served on the Board of Directors for Diamondback as well as on the Board of Directors of Viper Energy Partners LP (Nasdaq: VNOM).

Prior to his positions at Diamondback, Mr. Hollis was a Drilling Manager at Chesapeake Energy Corporation and also held roles of increasing responsibility in production, completions and drilling engineering at ConocoPhillips and Burlington Resources Inc.

Mr. Hollis has over 20 years of oil and gas experience and graduated from Louisiana State University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.

Rodney Woodard

Chief Operating Officer

Rodney L. Woodard serves as our EVP and Chief Operating Officer and delivers a broad range experience to all aspects of the business.

Mr. Woodard has over 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry as a CEO, COO, and leader of Engineering and Operations of numerous E&P companies. Mr. Woodard has served as the Executive Vice President & COO for the HighPeak Funds from 2017 to the present.

From 2016 to 2017, Mr. Woodard presented portfolio company investment proposals to acquire and develop oil and gas assets in the Permian Basin to several private equity firms.

Mr. Woodard served as the President and COO of Atlantic Resources Co., LLC (“Atlantic”) from 2015 to 2016.

Prior to Atlantic, Mr. Woodard served as CEO and COO of Celero II, a Natural Gas Partners portfolio company, with operations principally in the Permian Basin from 2006 to 2015.

Prior to Celero II, Mr. Woodard served as Executive Vice President and COO of

Celero, a Quantum Energy Partners portfolio company from 2004 to 2006.

From 2002 to 2004, Mr. Woodard was Vice President of Reserves and Evaluations with Pure Resources (NYSE: PRS) and was a co-founder of its predecessor, Titan Exploration (Nasdaq: TEXP).

From 1986 to 1995, Mr. Woodard held various positions of increasing responsibility at Selma International Investments Ltd.

From 1979 to 1986, Mr. Woodard held various positions at Delta Drilling Company, obtaining the position of Division Manager for West Texas.

Mr. Woodard held various positions at Amoco Production Company from 1977 to 1979.

Mr. Woodard graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Steven Tholen

Chief Financial Officer

Steven W. Tholen serves as our Chief Financial Officer where he brings to bear over 30 years of experience in building, leading and advising corporations through complex restructurings, purchase and sales transactions, and capital market transactions.

Previously, Mr. Tholen served as co-founder and Executive Vice President – Finance of Fieldco Construction Services, Inc., which provided oilfield construction services to clients throughout East Texas & Western Louisiana, from 2011 to 2014.

From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Tholen served as founder and President of SDL&T Energy Partners, a source of equity & debt financing to fund energy companies and energy projects worldwide.

From 2001 to 2008, Mr. Tholen was Senior Vice President & CFO of Harvest Natural Resources, Inc., an E&P company with properties in the United States,

Venezuela, Indonesia, Gabon, and Russia.

From 1995 to 2000, Mr. Tholen served as Vice President and CFO of Penn Virginia Corporation, an independent natural gas and oil company.

From 1990 to 1995, Mr. Tholen was Treasurer/Manager of Business Administration of Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, a North American independent natural gas producer.

Mr. Tholen graduated from St. John’s University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1971 and earned his MBA-Finance from The University of Denver, Daniels School of Business in 1979.

Alan Huffman

Chief Technical Officer

Alan R. Huffman, PhD serves as our EVP and Chief Technical Officer where his duties include management and oversight of the company’s exploration program, and integration of technology into the company’s drilling and field development programs.

Dr. Huffman is a recognized technical and business leader with over 35 years of experience in domestic and international exploration and production with expertise in the fields of exploration risking, evaluation and portfolio management, project management, well design and drilling operations. Dr. Huffman has in-depth experience in every major petroleum province in the United States in both conventional and unconventional reservoirs, and he is one of the industry’s leading experts in deepwater exploration and drilling worldwide.

From 2014 to 2017, Dr. Huffman was a Consulting Partner in SIGMA³ Integrated Reservoir Solutions Inc. (Sigma Cubed). From 2011 to 2014, Dr. Huffman was the Chief Technology Officer of Sigma Cubed where he managed the technical operations and technology development of the company following the merger of FusionGeo Inc. and SIGMA³ in 2011.

From 2002 to 2011, Dr. Huffman served as the Chairman & CEO of FusionGeo Inc. where he was responsible for the strategic growth and expansion of the enterprise. During his tenure at Fusion and SIGMA³, Dr. Huffman consulted for 400 client oil companies in over 60 countries and designed and implemented major projects in most of the major petroleum basins in those countries.
Dr. Huffman was also the Lyssa & Cyril Wagner Professor of Geology and Geophysics in the School of Geology and Geophysics at The University of

Oklahoma in Norman, OK in 2003 and 2004.

From 1997-2002, Huffman was Manager of The Seismic Imaging Technology Center (SITC) with Conoco. In this role, Dr. Huffman managed the geophysical technology division of Conoco.

From 1990 to 1997, Huffman was employed by Exxon Corporation, where he worked as a technical expert on exploration and production projects in The United States, West Africa and The Far East.

Dr. Huffman is active in industry and professional affairs, having chaired numerous international conferences and having served on organizing committees for the SEG, AADE, AAPG, SPE and the Offshore Technology Conference. Dr. Huffman was the recipient of the 2004 Robert H. Dott Sr. Memorial Award from The AAPG for the publication of AAPG Memoir 76, and the 2002 Best Paper Award from The SEG. He has published numerous papers in refereed journals and articles in international publications, and 40 abstracts. He has 10 U.S. patents in the field of geophysics.

Dr. Huffman received a Bachelors degree in Geology from Franklin & Marshall College in 1983, and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from Texas A&M University in 1990. In 1989-1990, he served as Science Manager of DOSECC, the U.S. Continental Drilling Program.

David DeLaO

VP Drilling

David F. DeLaO has served as Vice President – Drilling for the HighPeak Funds since 2017. Mr. DeLaO has 35 years of experience in drilling, completions and production operations.

He worked for Chesapeake Energy from 2004 through 2015 where he served as Vice President: Drilling, Northern Division in 2015 with oversight of drilling operations in the Marcellus, Utica and Rockies regions.

From 2013 to 2015, Mr. DeLaO served as Vice President: Operations & Technical Services leading an organization responsible for technical services in drilling, completions, production, facilities and midstream.

From 2012 to 2013, Mr. DeLaO held the position of Vice President Drilling, Engineering & Development supporting an 120 drilling rig program.

Mr. DeLaO began his career with Chesapeake in 2004 as a Senior Drilling Engineer and was named Drilling Manager for the Barnett Shale play in 2006. His responsibilities were later expanded to the Rockies, Permian Basin and Eagle Ford programs.

Prior to Chesapeake, Mr. DeLaO worked as a Senior Drilling Engineer for Pure Resources from 2001 to 2004 with field assignments in the Permian Basin, Rockies and South Texas.

Mr. DeLaO worked as a Staff Drilling Engineer for Conoco in 2000 and 2001 supervising drilling operations in the Val Verde Basin and Southeast New Mexico.

Mr. DeLaO began his career with Mobil Oil in 1985 where he held various positions in drilling, completions and production engineering.

Mr. DeLaO graduated from Texas Tech University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering.