American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018 - 157

ConventionCoverage: Louisiana Oil & Gas Association

LOGA Honors Founder Don Briggs
LAKE CHARLES, LA.-Members of
the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association,
friends, political leaders and family gathered at LOGA's annual meeting on the
evening of March 8 to honor retiring
President Don Briggs, a onetime oil and
gas mud and pipe supplier who 25 years
ago resurrected a statewide organization
devoted to representing independents
and contractors.
At the Golden Nugget resort in Lake
Charles, Briggs was subjected to a lighthearted roast, but also was honored as a
man of character whose grit and faith helped
raise a fledging association to an organization
of prominence among lawmakers, regulators,
industry and the public.
A Florida native who took a summer
job in Louisiana during college, Briggs
graduated from the University of
Louisiana at Lafayette and four years
later launched Aztec Pipe and Supply,
which would become Aztec Corporation,
providing pipeline supplies, drilling fluid
and other material to the industry, a biography recounts.
Briggs served as chairman of the
Louisiana Association of Independent
Producers & Royalty Owners (LAIPRO)
from 1990 until it dissolved, and in 1992
he launched the Louisiana Independent
Oil & Gas Association (LIOGA) and
served as president of an association that
began with only 12 members. LIOGA
eventually transitioned into LOGA, which
now has more than 1,300 members.
After 25 years as LOGA president,
Briggs steps down and hands the role to
his son, Gifford Briggs, formerly association vice president.
Learning By Doing
Bob Baumann, retired from the
Louisiana State University Center for Energy Studies and owner of Hood Baumann
& Associates, joked during the ceremony
that Don Briggs "was supposed to be
there only a short time. It was a startup.
It took him a quarter of a century."
However, Briggs' work will be lasting,
Baumann considered, and LOGA's prominence is Briggs' legacy. "You cared about
your members," Baumann declared. "It
wasn't about the industry. You cared about
individuals."
Former LOGA Chairman William Fenstermaker, chairman and chief executive
officer of the Lafayette, La.,-based engi-

neering firm C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates, quipped that it had been said
Briggs was to lobbying what Barney Fife
was to law enforcement.
"Don, you are a very good friend and
a wise man once said 'Money might
make you wealthy, but friends make you
rich,'" Fenstermaker related. "You have
many good friends here tonight and you
are a very rich man."
Former state Senator Robert Adley,
R-Benton, told the audience that some
at the Capitol were glad Briggs was retiring, but he was not among them. Adley
recalled that Briggs became the successful
lobbyist that LOGA sought 25 years ago,
when the organization had little funding
or support.
Briggs has proven his mettle and heart
through numerous political and regulatory
battles during the years that ultimately
benefitted the entire state, Adley said.
"Many families in the state sit in their
homes having dinner, talking about their
futures and opportunities because of what
you have done," he said. "There are thousands of people in Louisiana who have
been affected because of what you have
done. It is incredible when I think about
that. Whatever you do and wherever you
go, it will be for the benefit of us all, be-

cause that is your nature."
Adley urged members to get behind
new President Gifford Briggs and the
rest of LOGA's staff. "Gifford is very
good," Adley assessed. "Work with Gifford. I watched him come into LOGA
and learn the process. He is very good at
what he does. He will represent you well,
but he cannot do it alone."
Industry Unity
Paul Hilliard, founder of Badger Oil
Corporation and former chairman of the
Independent Petroleum Association of
America, recounted how Briggs wanted
to resurrect a state association after
LAIPRO folded from what Hilliard
deemed as apathy. Although the industry
faced multiple federal challenges in late
1970s, some in the industry discounted
the need for a state association, because
of the friendly state government at the
time, Hilliard recalled.
When Briggs spoke of a reviving a
state association, Hilliard recalled telling
Briggs, "What are you talking about?
You don't know a damn thing about oil
and gas exploration. You've been in the
mud and pipe business for years and you
don't know what you are doing. It ain't
going to work."

LOGA Outgoing President Don Briggs accepts a retirement gift of a print of St. Mother
Teresa of Calcutta with a child during a ceremony honoring Briggs for 25 years of service
to the association. Briggs founded the association in 1992 with 12 members; at the time of
LOGA's 2018 annual convention, it had more than 1,300.

APRIL 2018 157



American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

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