Alumnus Gesell earns IOGA Lifetime Achievement and Second Wildcatter Award

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (July 12, 2022) — The Illinois Oil & Gas Association (IOGA) held their Annual Convention & Trade Show at the Old National Event’s Plaza in Evansville on March 2-4. During the awards ceremony, they named Gesell's Pump Sales & Service of Whittington the 2021 Wildcatter of the Year for making a significant new discovery in the Illinois Basin.

IOGA also presented owner and operator Brad Gesell with a Lifetime Achievement Award for setting standards of excellence as a mentor and leader. Gesell exemplifies the highest level of professionalism and dedication to the Illinois oil and gas industry.

“Brad Gesell and his team work hard to continue to find new discoveries in the Illinois Basin,” said Jim Elder, Executive Director of IOGA. “We’re excited to be able to honor them and have them as part of our association.”

"These awards are the result of a family effort," Gesell said. "We have been working together for over 40 years to reach the level we have. Winning the Wildcatter award in 2007 was great. Winning it this time — we were totally shocked."

15041 2717jpg IOGA 2022 Wildcatter 1030x550(L-R) Justin Gesell, Mark Gesell, Brad Gesell, Craig Hedin, and Jake Hahn. (Photo Courtesy of Humphrey Photo of Nashville, Illinois)

Gesell’s family-owned oil corporation has been an economic powerhouse for the area. From humble beginnings in dad’s garage, Brad and his brother Mark propelled the family company into an oil-drilling operation overseeing more than 250 wells in Jefferson, Franklin, Williamson, and Hamilton counties.

Brad earned his A.A.S. from RLC in 1980. That same year, he joined Mark and their father, Kenneth, in establishing Gesell’s Pump Sales and Service. Brad later returned to RLC to take computer science, business, and accounting classes once he was the company's business manager. In 2007, he was named RLC's Alumnus of the Year. 

Gesell said furthering his education at RLC was crucial to his success. "Once I finished my degree, I realized there was more I could be doing. I took night classes at Rend Lake College to learn about computers and business. I feel this gave us a competitive edge in the oil and gas industry. 

"The future is bright for Gesell's Pump Sales & Service, Inc.," he said. "With the right people in place, we could keep expanding. We have a great team working well together, and they keep plugging away. We now have a younger generation that has seen our success and is pumped to be the ones aiming for a new field that would warrant a third wildcatter."


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