Matt Vining

CEO, Navigator CO2, Omaha, Neb.; and Navigator Energy Services, Dallas
Vining, Matthew

Matt Vining once picked up the phone and Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, was on the line. Dimon was interested in hearing about the challenges faced by a young entrepreneur with a growing startup company. “The conversation left an indelible mark on my journey, imparting lessons and insights that continue to resonate with me today,” Vining says.

Which of your professional achievements are you most proud of?
“One of my proudest professional achievements is establishing a company that has not only grown substantially but also maintains a high employee satisfaction rate. Building a team of over 100 individuals while achieving a turnover rate of less than 2% illustrates my commitment to fostering a positive work environment. This accomplishment is a testament to the company’s strong values, employee-focused policies, and collaborative culture that not only attracts top talent but also retains it. By prioritizing employee well-being, professional development, and providing opportunities for growth, we’ve created an organization that thrives on mutual respect and a shared commitment to succeed for one another.”

What qualities do you think are necessary to be a good leader in the oil and gas industry?
“The first is unlimited integrity and building trust. In the oil and gas industry, where relationships and trust are paramount, possessing unlimited integrity is not just a desirable trait, it’s a fundamental necessity. The other is consistency and resilient leadership. The oil and gas industry is marked by its cyclical nature, with periods of boom and bust. Leaders who can maintain consistency across these cycles and seize opportunities during both prosperous and challenging times are truly invaluable.”

How have you exercised leadership to help shape your company?
“I reshaped our leadership approach by elevating key team members and delegating greater leadership responsibilities. This shift empowered my team and freed me to focus on strategic initiatives. Capable team members now oversee day-to-day operations and administrative tasks. By doing this, I saw enhanced efficiency, as they proactively streamlined workflows, resolved challenges, and allowed me to concentrate on strategic planning.”

What advice would you give other young professionals?
“When it comes to making career choices, embrace calculated risks. The road to success often involves stepping out of your comfort zone. However, there’s a clear line between calculated risks and impulsive gambles. Seek out opportunities that align with your goals and skillset. This approach not only propels your career but also minimizes unnecessary setbacks.”

What are your long- and short-term career goals?
“In the near future, I aim to lead a company where employees thrive, investing in their success while generating solid returns for investors. A balance between growth and a positive workplace will be central to my approach. Looking ahead, my goal is to solidify a corporate culture and leadership team that outlasts my personal involvement. I want to establish an enduring legacy of purpose, ethics, and innovation, ensuring the company’s success for generations to come.”

What keeps you motivated and passionate about working in the oil and gas industry?
Competition: The dynamic competition in the oil and gas industry fuels my passion. The constant need to innovate and excel keeps me engaged and driven.
Connection with people: The diverse and collaborative community in the industry is a huge motivator. Building relationships and working alongside like-minded individuals energizes my commitment to the sector.

Three More Things
  1. I’m a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan, and I’m not sorry, Dallas. That said, The Ticket w/fake Jerry Jones is the best Monday morning radio show in the U.S.
  2. I’ve lived most of my adult life in Omaha and love rural living.
  3. While never having dogs growing up, my brother and I, and without notifying the other, adopted golden retrievers and are now addicted to the breed.