Josh Stevens

Vice President of Finance, U.S. Energy Development Corp., Arlington, Texas
Josh Stevens

Although introduced to the oil and gas industry through various family members, Josh Stevens continued down that path driven by his desire to help people. He now uses his experience in the field to lead his team members to success.

“I entered the oil and gas industry because I had exposure to it through my family and various mentors,” Stevens said. “Oil and gas is an entrepreneurial industry where you are truly helping people by providing the energy needed to run their lives. I viewed the industry as challenging and always evolving, which was enticing to me.”

He works in Arlington, Texas, as vice president of finance with the U.S. Energy Development Corp. He lives in Trophy Club, Texas, with his wife Camille and his two sons, Charles and Wyatt.

Early accomplishments and challenges

“Becoming a VP [vice president] by the age of 30 was a large accomplishment for me. Hard work and determination were key. Trying to learn about all aspects of the business and never saying ‘that is not my job.’ It is important to dig into all aspects of the business and see if there are areas for improvement through collaboration with your team.

At one of my previous positions, I was able to spend a lot of time in West Texas, which is unique for a finance guy. This was an invaluable experience for me, as it allowed me to see how things actually work in the field, which is what drives the business. I am grateful that I had this opportunity.

My most challenging projects to date occurred when I spent time in the field in West Texas. I was definitely out of my comfort zone coming from an office setting my entire career. However, this really allowed me to see how the business is run and gave me a new perspective on the industry. I met the goal by working hard and asking lots of questions. Listening to others was vital for me to gain insight into how things worked and then understand how each component of the project impacts the economics.”

Listening and leading

“A good leader must be able to show empathy and compassion to those around them. A good leader must also show strong integrity to gain the trust of their peers. Also, a good leader must understand the details of the business and have good people around them that are experts in their particular areas. It is very important to understand what you do not know and seek counsel from those who know more than you on a particular topic.

To develop leadership abilities, I am always willing to listen to what others have to say. I am a strong believer that you can learn something from everyone, and listening to others is a key to growing leadership abilities. Also, knowing when to speak your opinion in a way that is direct but not condescending is important.”

Inspiration from others

“I have several mentors who I have been lucky to learn from through the years. I have also been lucky to work with tons of great people through my career. My mentors have taught me hard work and also a lot about the business. I am very grateful for having worked with so many great people who I have been able to learn from.

I am always looking for ways to improve processes and getting the key people involved who are necessary. I have helped spearhead the analysis of several of our recent acquisitions, which I am very excited about.”

What the future holds

“Those under 40 have a lot of valuable insight and skills to add to the industry. We are fast-paced and have relied on technology to improve processes in our lives since a young age. The industry has evolved a lot even in the eight years that I have been involved, and it must continue to leverage new technologies to improve.

The oil and gas industry is the fuel that keeps the entire global economic system in motion. The technological improvements that led to shale production have improved the living standards of people all over the globe.  

Young professionals should put themselves in a position where they can learn multiple components of the business. Then roll up your sleeves and work hard. Always ask questions, and make sure that you are learning at all times. Immerse yourself in industry news and research to understand the big picture of the industry.”

Three More Things

1. I enjoy spending time with my wife and two boys.

2. I am an avid reader. I try to read for at least two to three hours every day. I believe that reading is the primary key to gain knowledge.

3. I enjoy hockey—big Dallas Stars fan. I also played in an adult hockey league until a couple years ago.