The ONLY national organization representing, solely and without compromise, oil & gas royalty owners interests.

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Jim Souto, MBA, CMM   Wyalusing, PA

   Jim is a charter member of the NARO Pennsylvania Chapter and has earned the Certified mineral Manager (CMM) designation.  He graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Logistics and later obtained an MBA from Drexel University.

He is currently the Senior Vice-President/Chief Administrative and Risk Officer at PS Bank where he has worked for the past 20+ years.  He is responsible for all oil and gas activity within the bank.  He has been actively involved with natural gas legislature issues, including large deductions in Pennsylvania.



Vice President: James Elder, Houston, TX

Mr. Elder is currently the Portfolio Manager for the Apollo Royalties platform under Apollo Global Management LLC, which focuses on the acquisition of royalties, minerals and overriding royalties across the U.S. Prior to joining Apollo, Mr. Elder was the CFO at Phillips Energy Partners, LLC from February 2008 to September 2012.

Mr. Elder is currently the Vice President on the national board of directors of The National Association of Royalty Owners. Mr. Elder is also the co-founder and past president of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners.

Mr. Elder graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas with a BA in Economics and received his MBA from St. John's University, New York, New York.

Mr. Elder is a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, The National Association of Royalty Owners, and the Houston Producers Forum.


Corporate Secretary: Janice Bennett Good

Buena Vista, CO
Janice Bennett Good is an engineer, rancher and a member of NARO since 1990.  Janice has managed her family’s Permian Basin and Colorado mineral interest for the past 25 years. She has a degree in chemical engineering and worked for ExxonMobil in the areas of oil and gas reserve appraisals and gas plant fees charged to royalty owners.  In 2001-2003, Janice  established  NARO-Rockies.  She served  as its’ first President and on the Board of Directors of NARO National.   Janice lives in Buena Vista, Colorado with her husband, Bob Good and has two grown daughters.


Treasurer: Ryan Rupert, CPA

Ryan is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, where he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Accounting and Entrepreneurial Studies.  He began his accounting career at the global public accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP where he advanced to a senior audit position in firm’s Pittsburgh Assurance & Advisory Services practice.  In 2007, Ryan successfully completed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and subsequently became licensed to practice as a CPA in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

A Washington County, PA, native, Ryan is the founding member of Rupert Tax & Advisory Services LLC, a public accounting and oil & gas consulting firm tailored to serve individuals, businesses, and oil & gas owners impacted by the region’s ever-evolving shale gas development.  His practice specializes in tax and estate planning, oil & gas management and advisory services, and valuation of oil & gas assets for property owners and investors.

Ryan became western Pennsylvania’s first professional Certified Minerals Manager in 2011.  His wealth of knowledge in the oil & gas industry enables him to successfully serve oil & gas owners impacted by the exploration for and production of natural resources in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays.  In 2013, Ryan successfully completed the Certified Valuation Analyst Examination and is in the process of completing a case study to obtain full certification.

As a mineral owner himself, Ryan’s personal experiences in navigating the complexities of oil & gas ownership make him uniquely qualified and positioned to advise his clients, as well as effectively collaborate with attorneys, financial planners, and other accountants to ensure his clients’ goals are met to the fullest extent possible.


Immediate Past President

Candice Brewer, CMM,

San Angelo, TX 

Candice Upton Brewer is the Director of Operations for the Carr Scholarship Foundation at Angelo State University, President of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO), Past President of National Association of Royalty Owners-Texas (NARO-TX), and Secretary of the Royalty Owners and Producers Education Coalition (ROPE).  As the Carr Foundation Director, she manages and is responsible for the mineral and royalty interests owned by the foundation with an annual revenue of approximately $7 million.

She brings to this position a degree in Agriculture from Texas A&M University and is classified as a Certified Mineral Manager (CMM).  Furthermore, she is fifth generation mineral owner and rancher.  Her background, among other things, includes taking part in the management of her family’s ranching operation, as well as assisting her husband with real estate and ranching interest in Oklahoma.

Currently, Candice serves on the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce, San Angelo Desk and Derrick, ROPE, NARO and NARO-TX Board of Directors.  Additionally, she co-chairs the NARO-TX Annual Convention and is an instructor in Mineral Management for NARO. Added professional memberships include Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners (TIPRO) and the American Association of Petroleum Landmen (AAPL).

Candice has served as a director and president of numerous other community and charitable organizations and in 2013 she was named one of San Angelo’s Top 20 under 40.  She is a member of PaulAnn Baptist Church and in her spare time she enjoys horses, collecting antiques, a good bible study, and serving others.

At Large: Kellee Sparks Jernigan, MBA Chickasha Ok

A third generation mineral owner, Kellee manages her family’s mineral trust with property located in Oklahoma and Texas.  Kellee has an MBA from Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL.  She is a graduate of the TCU Energy Institute in Fort Worth, TX.  She is enrolled in the Professional CMM Program.   Kellee is “the new generation” and is excited about helping bring her 20-30 something contemporaries into NARO’s membership and assisting in developing the transitional wealth education for our members.


Prior to assuming the management of the family trust, she was the Director in the University Advancement Division of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Foundation, Inc. where she was instrumental in fund raising and event planning for alumni and donors to the USAO Foundation.


At Large: Gary Preszler, Bismarck, ND

Gary Preszler owns and manages a large mineral interest in Billings County, ND .  Mr. Preszler also gained knowledge and experience of the oil industry while working for two North Dakota state agencies.  


Mr. Preszler was appointed the Commissioner and Secretary to the Board of University and School Lands (North Dakota State Land Department) from August 2001 until retiring in April 2010.  As Commissioner, he was responsible for managing North Dakota’s over 714,000 surface acres, 2.5 million mineral acres, and an investment portfolio that at the date of his retirement was in excess of $1.1 billion.   The Department also administered the Unclaimed Property Act.  Prior to serving as Land Commissioner, Mr. Preszler worked in state bank regulation for over 25 years with the last 15 years as Commissioner for the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions.  In that position he was responsible for the supervision and examination of state-chartered banks and credit unions and was Chairman of the State Banking and State Credit Union Boards.

He graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in Business Economics. He grew up on a diversified cattle and grain farm in south-central ND.  He lives in Bismarck.  Mr. Preszler is currently the Vice President of the North Dakota NARO chapter.

 At Large:
Malissa Blackburn, Shreveport, LA

Malissa has been in the oil and gas industry for 38 years. In her 33 years as Land Manager for Kinsey Interests, Inc. in Shreveport, she currently oversees royalty and working interests in nearly 2,000 wells. The vast number of contacts Malissa has made over the years has proven to be an asset to NARO Louisiana. Being a royalty owner herself, she is dedicated to assisting NARO Louisiana members with their royalty and mineral issues. Malissa has been a member of NARO Texas since 2003 and now has dual membership between Texas and Louisiana. She is also a member of the National Association of Division Order Analysts, National Association of Lease and Title Analysts, American Association of Professional Landmen, Ark-La-Tex Association of Professional Landmen, as well as a past President of the Desk & Derrick Club of Shreveport.

David Sikes, CMM

David is a native Oklahoman, and the third generation of his family to work in the energy industry and has managed his family’s business for 25 years.  In 2001 David accepted a position with Jeroco, Inc., where he is currently the VP Director of Operations managing the company’s minerals and working interests.  Jeroco, Inc. is a non-operating oil and gas company based in Chickasha, Ok.  David also manages a portfolio of minerals for clients including individuals, bank trust departments and university foundations.


David has been a member of NARO since 2002.  He has served as a member of the National Advisory Council, National Legislative council, OK-NARO Secretary for 2 years, is a past chapter president and national board president.  David is currently on the OK NARO and National Boards and is serving as OK-NARO’s 2016 Convention Chairman.  He has also accepted a position on the NARO Foundation Board as well.


David has made several trips to Washington, D.C. as a representative of National Legislative Council and provided testimony to Congressional Committees as well as the Oklahoma and Pennsylvania Legislature during his tenure as NARO Board President.


In 2012 NARO helped form the ROPE Coalition where David serves as a founding board member and is currently serving as board President.  David is also an adjunct professor at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma where he teaches Oil & Gas Management classes.  In 2014 he began teaching non-credit courses on mineral management for the Texas Christian University Energy Institute.


David holds a MFA from Chelsea University.  In 2006 David earned Professional Certified Mineral Manager designation.


David is married with two children.  He is a member and past president of the Chickasha Rotary Club and continues to be very active in Boy Scouting.

At Large: Patti West, Oklahoma City

Patti is a native Oklahoman and resides in Oklahoma City, OK with her husband, Jim. She is a mineral and royalty owner and has been active in the oil and gas industry as a professional landman since 2007.

Patti is a member of OK NARO, the American Association of Petroleum Landman and the Oklahoma City Association of Petroleum Landman. Patti currently serves on the NARO Foundation Board and the NARO National Board as a member at large and holds certifications as a Professional Certified Mineral Manager and a Registered Professional Landman.

She enjoys helping to educate mineral owners and is committed to the future of NARO and strengthening the CMM and educational programs.



At Large: Linn Willers, Jacksonville, FL

Linn A. Willers is a three-decade member of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO), a current NARO Board Member, a three term past NARO President, a NARO Texas Board member, the current President and Chairman of the NARO Foundation for Energy Owner Research and the Vice President and Regional Manager of Wells Fargo Banks Trust Oil, Gas and Minerals Unit.  Linn is a four-decade Trust Banker who earned his Bachelors Degree from Metro State University located in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

He is a Certified Mineral Manager (CMM), and a member of the following organizations: The American Association of Professional Landmen (RL), the Denver Association of Petroleum Landmen (DAPL), the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, the National Association of Division Order Analysts (NADOA), the Appalachian Basin Association of Division Order Analysts (ABADOA), the National Association of Lease Title Analysts (NALTA) and the Southwest Kansas Royalty Owners Association.



NARO-Oklahoma President Rick Howell, Moore, OK

Rick Howell CMM, currently manages family owned mineral and working interests in 100+ tracts located in 8 Oklahoma counties along with a few properties in Texas and Illinois. Most of these interests have been in the family for 60 to 100 years. 


He subsequently started assisting other relatives in leasing and gaining information on activities within their ownership. This has since expanded providing consulting services to other mineral owners as time allows.


He completed the Certified Mineral Manager requirements at the Associate level and then again at the Professional Level.  Rick has taught the CMM Review course and is one of several participating in the update of the course materials.  He is the current Vice President of the Oklahoma NARO Chapter, and sits on the NARO National Foundation Board.  He is also a member of the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL).




NARO-Texas President G. Wade Caldwell, San Antonio 
Wade Caldwell's is an attorney whose practice has included a wide range of commercial litigation, and oil and gas law, with an emphasis on representation of mineral owners, heavy equipment dealers, real estate, construction, DTPA and collection litigation, and other complex commercial disputes.

Caldwell has substantial experience in class actions, employment, product liability, antitrust, insurance and bankruptcy litigation. Primary clients have been financial institutions, heavy equipment dealers, mineral owners, and policyholders.

Wade also has extensive trial experience and is the managing partner at BEC.

NARO-Colorado President:
Craig Carpenter, CMM

Mr. Carpenter is a third-generation mineral owner with holdings in Colorado and Oklahoma. He is a native Coloradoan and his roots run deep in the state. He is a graduate of Colorado State University with Degrees in Finance and Real-Estate, and a Masters in Marketing. Craig operates a cattle ranch in Colorado and in the recent past in Oklahoma as well. He has served as board member and Chairman of the governance committee of the Association of Landscape Contractors of Colorado and is a past board member and Treasurer of the Chapin South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. Craig was a board member of the Colorado Cattle Feeders Association and was a charter board member of the Colorado Live-stock Association. He spent his early work life with General Electric Capital Corporation and attended the General Electric management school, Croton-on-the-Hudson New York. In addition to managing Carpenter Land and Cattle, LLC and his mineral interest, Craig is a Broker with Agri-Enterprises specializing in agricultural transactions as well as farm and ranch management, and water and wind consultation.

NARO-Arkansas President: Terrel Shields,
Siloam Springs, AR

Terrel Shields is a Registered Professional Geologist, and a consulting Geologist since 1973.  He is an Arkansas and Oklahoma Certified General Appraiser. Terrel is the author of several books on mineral and property appraisal.

Terrel has been an instructor for Oklahoma's Oakcrest Appraisal Academy and Vintage Academy in Pennsylvania.  He is a member of AAPG, the Ft. Smith Geological Society, Metro Board of Realtors, the NW Arkansas Appraisal Section.

Terrel is currently the NARO Arkansas chapter President and a resident of Siloam Springs Arkansas.

NARO-Appalachia President:
Bob Mead, Wheeling West Virginia

Robert C. Mead has been named president of the Appalachia Chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners, which represents the interests of oil and gas mineral owners in eastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia.

He is the managing member of Goshorn Ridge, LLC, and MCL, LLC, family-owned corporations in Marshall and Ohio County that lease mineral rights to operators drilling wells into the Marcellus and Utica shale deposits.

Mead was formerly president of Buckeye Savings Bank of Bellaire, and owner of Buckeye Mortgage Company as well as Mead & Associates, both of Wheeling. A WVU graduate, Mead serves as a member of the Visiting Committee of the College of Business and Economics. He was formerly president of both the WVU Alumni Association and the Emeritus Club.

He earned his MBA from Long Island University and was a certified managerial accountant. He and his wife Amy reside in Wheeling.

NARO-Pennsylvania President: Jackie Root, CMM Lawrenceville PA

Jackie and her husband, Clifford, own a 400 acre crop and livestock farm with a producing Marcellus gas well in Lawrenceville, PA. She has a degree in animal husbandry from SUNY Delhi, was employed by NASDA for 25 years as a field supervisor, operated a successful income tax preparation business for 10 years, is President of R&R Energy Consulting, LLC and now serves as President of the new NARO PA Chapter. The first landman approached the Roots in 1999 offering $2 per acre for a 20 year lease.  Jackie began researching the process and quickly realized that if neighbors worked together they could negotiate a lease to protect their asset and encourage development. Since that time she has negotiated deals for over 19 landowner groups totaling more than 200,000 acres. NARO membership offers access to an extensive knowledge base  to aid in successful mineral management,  Jackie is excited about sharing this opportunity with mineral owners in all producing regions of PA.

NARO-Louisiana President:

Paul Vallhonrat, RPL, CMM,
Colleyville TX

Paul is a native Texan with strong Louisiana roots.  He is the 4thgeneration of his family to manage the family mineral and surface rights in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas.  Paul assumed management responsibilities in 2011.

Paul joined NARO in 2012 after completing the Petroleum Land Management Certificate Program at TCU.  Soon after joining NARO, he quickly earned his CMM designation.  Paul is currently the Vice President of the Louisiana chapter of NARO.

Paul graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas with a BA in Economics, along with minors in Finance and Accounting.  He is also a member of the American Association of Professional Landmen where he holds the RPL designation.

Paul was employed by Dillard’s Department Stores from 1995 - 2011 primarily in the Industrial Engineering Department of the Distribution Organization.  He currently resides in Colleyville, Texas.

NARO-New York President: Jim Leonard, CPA      

Mr. Leonard’s professional practice primarily consists of natural gas lease and utility scale wind and solar power lease consulting, litigation support, management advisory services, financials and taxation.

Mr. Leonard graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University at Albany with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree in 1978. He is licensed to practice as a CPA in New York and Pennsylvania. His work experience began with the firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., (now KPMG) in their White Plains, NY and Stamford, CT offices. He is currently the managing member of James E. Leonard, CPA, PLLC in Endicott, New York.


In 2009, Mr. Leonard co-authored (along with Joseph Bennett, CPA of Cornell University) a course designed specifically for accountants dealing with the complex income and taxation issues of individual mineral rights owners.

Jim is a US Navy veteran. He recently earned his Private Pilot license.


North Dakota President Tony Watterud, CMM

Minot, ND

Tony has over 20 years of financial and business management experience and started with First International Bank & Trust in 2015. He is proficient at Oil & Gas Mineral Management, Estate Planning and Farm management. Tony graduated from North Dakota State College of Science and Minnesota State Community College as well as North Dakota State University programs.  He has completed Cannon training in Certified Financial Planning and is a Certified Mineral Manager (CMM). He is currently the ND Chapter President of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) and serves on their national board. He is also a former board member of the Home-Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead, and the Home Builders Association of North Dakota.

California President Ed Hazard, CMM

Bakersfield, CA

Born and raised in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Edward S. Hazard and his family are California oil and gas royalty/mineral owners. Ed is one of the founders of the California Chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO-CA) and currently serves as its president. His background is in agriculture, banking, finance and real estate management/development. Ed is a licensed California real estate broker and a Certified Mineral Manager (CMM).  Currently residing in Bakersfield, California, he manages his family’s royalty and mineral interests.

He currently serves on the board of directors of the following organizations:

National Association of Royalty Owners-California, Inc., President and Director

National Association of Royalty Owners, Director

Royalty Owners and Producers Educational Coalition, Director

Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau, Director

Santa Maria Valley Historical Society, Director


NARO-Rockies President: Craig Peterson,
Salt Lake  City, UT

Craig Peterson manages DCP Investments, LLC, a family owned company that has been a member of NARO for over thirty years.

Craig has served as one of the original five members on the Board that brought the 2002 Olympic Winter Games to Utah, on the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Directors, on the Salt Lake Board of Health, for the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, on the Intermountain Medical Research Foundation,  on the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance,  on the Department of Commerce District Export Council, Chair of the Expo for the 2007 Rotary International Convention, on the Utah Air Travel Commission, on the Utah Governor's Commission on Literacy, on the Salt Lake Housing Authority, on the board for the Children's Museum of Utah,on the Business Employers Team for Disabilities, and chaired the Utah Job Opportunities Foundation.

Craig has just retired as President of the Days of 47 committee, where he served for twelve years.  The committee hosts one of the largest rodeos and parades in the United States in Salt Lake City.

Craig's youth was spent in the mountains of Utah on his paint horse, then he graduated from Stanford, and did a year of post graduate work at Harvard.  He is a widower after 30 years of marriage, with three children.


NARO Staff

Executive Director
Jerry Simmons

National Development Director
Cynthia Simonds

CMM Registrar
Rhiannon Harris


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