the torch Winter 2015, Issue 4 - Page 19

BOA R D profile KEN HERSH 22 Kenneth Hersh is a co-founder and the chief executive officer of NGP Energy Capital Management, a premier investment franchise in the natural resources industry where he is responsible for directing the strategic and investment activities of the firm. He is a frequent lecturer at industry functions covering topics relating to the energy, corporate finance and private equity sectors and has been a frequent contributor on CNBC and Fox. In addition, Ken is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the World Economic Forum where he has been a featured speaker at its annual meeting held in Davos, Switzerland. In addition to his myriad professional engagements, Ken has also been very involved in the nonprofit arena. In 2010, he founded the Global Adaptation Institute, which today has become the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN) where he serves as a member of its advisory board. The Institute is focused on helping the world adapt to population growth, economic development, urbanization and climate change. A Dallas native, Ken also lends his wide-ranging knowledge of the community’s needs and decades of experience to numerous local organizations, including Baylor Health Care System Foundation. In addition to the unique perspective that he has brought to the Foundation board since he joined in 2010, he also recently made a $75,000 gift in support of the dermatology residency program at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas and the work of Alan Menter, M.D., chief of dermatology and director of the dermatology residency program at Baylor Dallas. “I was looking to make a significant gift to the Foundation, and Dr. Menter has taken great care of me and family over the years,” said Ken. “The work he is doing is some of the most impactful in the dermatology field in the region, if not the country. I was happy to support the work of this program.” What brought you to the Foundation? Leonard Riggs, M.D. He introduced me to the Foundation and asked me if I would consider becoming a Foundation board member, and I never say no to Leonard. What do you think differentiates Baylor? The professionals I have encountered across all areas of Baylor are just that, professional. Baylor has great expertise and has always been very available and patient-oriented in the delivery of care. Over the years, I’ve referred numerous people to specialists in a variety of fields, and they have great outcomes, response times and experiences. It’s easy to recommend Baylor. To what do you attribute your success? Focus would be the most important thing. In the energy industry there have been wild swings in the market since the 1980s, both positive and negative, and we never quit. It’s a highly volatile industry, and you either have to learn how to take advantage of that volatility, risk becoming victim of the volatility or leave the industry. I’ve always operated under the adage, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. We stuck with it and found ways to build businesses and back great people. What is the highlight of your career? Being able to work with Richard Rainwater for 11 years. Not only was he a charismatic investor, but he was also my mentor and I learned a ton by watching him work and interact. What are your hobbies or interests? If I can get out of town, I love to fly fish. My wife, Julie, and I have a retreat in New Mexico and that’s my favorite place to visit, relax and fish. In general though, I could stand in a cold mountain stream anywhere in the western United States and fly fish and be perfectly happy catching nothing. KIP TINDELL 19