Houston energy exec to chair Texas parks board
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, or TPWC has named its newest chair, and the job went to a Houston energy executive.
Governor Greg Abbott named billionaire Jeff Hildebrand as chair of the Parks And Wildlife Commission, effective August 31. The organization "manages and conserves the natural and cultural resources of Texas and provides hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations," according to a news release from the state. In the announcement, William “Leslie” Doggett was also named to the commission.
Hildebrand replaces Arch "Beaver" Aplin, the CEO of Buc-ee’s, who served as the chair for the past two years.
“I thank (Aplin) for faithfully serving his fellow Texans to preserve the beautiful Texas landscape that spurs our booming tourism industry and protects our state's rich history," says Governor Abbott in the release. "Jeff Hildebrand and William Doggett both bring unique experiences to the Commission and will help ensure that Texans, and out-of-state visitors alike, continue to enjoy Texas’ outdoors and recreational activities for generations to come.”
Hildebrand, the richest person in Houston with a net worth at $10.2 billion according to Forbes, is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Company, a privately held energy exploration and production company. He also serves as a director for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Central Houston Civil Improvement, and Central Houston Inc. A University of Texas alumnus, he was formerly the chairman of The University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company and served as the gubernatorial appointed vice chair for the UT System Board of Regents, among other roles.
Doggett, another Houston executive, is the executive chairman and founder of the Doggett Equipment Services Group and the Doggett Auto Group, which has 47 dealerships throughout Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and New Mexico. He's also a UT alumnus and a member of the World Presidents Organization, and a trustee of the Houston Methodist Research & Academic Institute, The Kinkaid School, San Jacinto Monument and Texas History Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston – Rienzi.
This year marks the centennial celebration for the organization, which is led by the commission. Governor Pat Neff worked with Texas leaders to create the State Parks Board in 1923 to create a place where Texans “might go and forget the anxiety and strife and vexation of life's daily grind,” per the website.