James R. Smail Wins the 2009 Oilfield Patriot Award

James R. Smail, J.R. Smail, Inc., was the recipient of the 2009 Ohio Oil and Gas Association Oilfield Patriot Award, sponsored by Producers Service Corporation. The award is given annually to an individual who has made a commitment for the betterment of the Ohio oil and gas industry.

Smail is the immediate past president of OOGA. He also served as Chairman of the Governmental Affairs and External Affairs committees. During this time, the Association was faced with several issues, such as House Bill 278, regarding urbanized drilling, and the Production Enhancement and Heat Content Agreements.

Jim, a native of Wayne County, has a 37-year career in oil and gas production and drilling, banking, coal mining, ranching, and real estate development. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of J.R. Smail, Inc, an oil and gas producing company with interests in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kansas, Texas, Louisiana, Illinois and Montana. Smail is the Director and an Executive Committee member of Gatherco, Inc., an Ohio gas gathering and transport company. Previously, he founded the Northeast Ohio Natural Gas Corporation, a gas utility corporation serving residential, industrial, and wholesale gas customers in Ohio.

During the awards ceremony, several family members, colleagues and friends praised Jim for his work ethic, honesty, integrity, vision and leadership that he displays in his life and his career.

“Jim Smail is who he is because he’s a man of high integrity, he has a tremendous work ethic, and he’s always willing to help,” stated Bill Bennett, of Cedar Valley Energy, Inc and OOGA President.

“He always wants to better not just himself, but other people,” stated Mark Lytle, of Buckeye Oil Producing Company. “He goes out of his way to do things behind the scenes that most people don’t realize. He is a very giving person.”

Outside of the oil and gas industry, Jim is active in the Wooster Republican Party, where he currently serves as its chair. “One of the things that I really appreciate about Jim Smail is that he is an individual who is the complete package,” stated State Representative Ron Amstutz (R – Wooster). “I appreciate him as a man of faith and as an individual whose ethics play out in his life and how he works with people.”

Jim was joined by several family members who gathered from across the country to celebrate the award with him. Jim’s wife, Sue, noted his ability to instill his values and work ethic into his family. “He says that nothing is unachievable if you work hard at it. He has stressed that to all of the kids. You have to be willing to work hard and be committed to what you are doing.”

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association would like to congratulate James R. Smail for being honored as the recipient of the 2009 Ohio Oilfield Patriot Award, sponsored by Producers Service Corporation. Thank you for your leadership and continued service to the entire Ohio oil and gas industry.

“To Jim Smail, it is all about respecting the community and respecting his industry peers. It’s about doing the right thing and getting a square deal, but also winning. He has brought this attitude to the Association,” stated Tom Stewart, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association.

The Association would also like to thank Dan Pottmeyer and Producers Service Corporation for their continued sponsorship and support of this annual event.