Zion Oil and Gas Leadership
John M. Brown – Founder and Executive Board Chairman
John M. Brown, the company’s founder, has been Chairman of the Board of Directors since its organization in April 2000. Mr. Brown has extensive management, marketing, and sales experience, serving as corporate director of purchasing at GTE Valeron, a subsidiary of GTE Corporation from 1966 to 1986, and as corporate director of procurement at Magnetek, Inc. during 1988-89. Until 2012, Mr. Brown has been also an officer and director of M&B Holding Inc. a provider of cement walls and floors for industrial buildings, office buildings, and home developers.
Robert Dunn – Chief Executive Officer
With a career spanning 26 years and 5 continents, Robert Dunn brings an extraordinary wealth of expertise to Zion Oil & Gas, encompassing all phases of the seismic acquisition process, from field operations to presidential leadership in onshore drilling and geophysical services. Mr. Dunn’s endeavors focus on obtaining optimal, safe, and commercially-effective results in frontier exploration and development.
Mr. Dunn was President of Geophysical for Viking Services from 2012 before joining Zion. In that capacity, Mr. Dunn managed all aspects of geophysical exploration in Europe, Turkey, and Africa, seeing Viking acquire over 7,800km2 of 3D and 10,000km of 2D. During his tenure, Mr. Dunn also implemented operational plans in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Iraq as Managing Director of Central European Drilling and Oilfield Services in Northern Iraq. Prior to this, Mr. Dunn oversaw Viking’s acquisition of over 2200km2 of 3D as Technical Operations Manager, leading to the discovery of new basins.
Mr. Dunn’s considerable experience extends to the early ’90s, and includes logistics/acquisition management in remote regions ranging from the Arctic to South American jungles as Project Manager and Technical/Recording Crew Manager for CGG Veritas, where his innovations helped Veritas become the largest, most trusted name in the geophysical industry.
William H. (Bill) Avery – President, General Counsel, and Board Director
William H. Avery was appointed to the Board as a non-employee director, effective September 1, 2013. From 2001 to 2003, Mr. Avery worked on a broad variety of administrative, financial and legal matters for the Company. He served as Vice President of Finance and Treasurer commencing 2003 until 2007. He worked full time as Executive Vice President and Treasurer and as a director commencing in 2007 with responsibility for administration, finance and legal until 2010. Avery has a BBA in Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and a Juris Doctor from Duke University.
Michael Croswell – Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Michael B. Croswell Jr., CPA, is currently serving as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In February 2013, Mr. Croswell was promoted to Vice President of Administration and in August 2016, he was promoted to CFO. Michael is a corporate accounting and management professional with a diverse range of industry experience. He has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1997 and earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1994 and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dallas in 2013.
Martin van Brauman – Executive Vice President, Corporate Secretary, Treasurer, and Board Director
Martin M. van Brauman was appointed to the Board effective April 1, 2014, and since January 1, 2012, has been the Corporate Secretary and Treasurer and since June 1, 2013, has been a Senior Vice President. Previously between July 1, 2007, to January 31, 2009, he served as the Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Secretary, Senior Vice President, and Board director. Between February 1, 2009, to July 1, 2009, he served as the Chief Legal Officer. He is Board Certified in Tax Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has been in private legal practice in Dallas specializing in international and corporate tax and business corporate law. Previously, he spent 12 years as a Senior Attorney (International Specialist and Petroleum Industry Specialist) with the Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, followed by three years as a tax consultant with Deloitte & Touche and Grant Thornton. He has published on subjects related to taxation of international oil and gas ventures. Mr. van Brauman holds a B.E. degree from Vanderbilt University, a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from St. Mary’s University and an M.B.A. (Beta Gamma Sigma) and LL.M. (Tax Law) from Southern Methodist University. He has been an Adjunct Professor at Southern Methodist University, School of Law, LL.M. Tax Program and at the University of Texas at Dallas, Masters of Accounting Program.
Dr. Lee Russell – VP, Senior Geoscience Advisor, and Board Director
Dr. Lee R. Russell has been an independent Geoscience Consultant with the Company since August of 2012. He has over 41 years of industry experience in research and exploration positions with Shell Oil Co., Arco, and Sun Oil, as well as in his own exploration pursuits and consultancy. Projects have ranged from domestic exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, Rocky Mountains, and Alaska, to international projects in East and West Africa, North Sea, Norway, Onshore China, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Newfoundland. He is a published author of many scientific articles and served as a Panel Chair and Co-Author of a National Research Council study on “Solid Earth Sciences and Society.” He received his BA in Geology from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1970, and MSc and Ph.D. degrees in Geology and Geophysics from Texas Tech University in 1972 and 1977. He is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, serving two terms as Associate Editor, and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.
Jeffrey Moskowitz – VP, Israeli Branch Managing Director, and Board Director
Mr. Jeffrey Moskowitz is a certified attorney in Israel with over 30 years of experience primarily in the areas of corporate and commercial law. Mr. Moskowitz served as an attorney and in-house legal counsel at Koor Industries, a major Israeli industrial concern. For over ten years, Mr. Moskowitz has been providing Zion Oil & Gas legal advice regarding various aspects of operations in Israel. Mr. Moskowitz has developed an expertise in all aspects relating to the Israel oil and gas industry, including helping to guide exploration companies such as Zion through the complexities of governmental permitting and regulatory issues. Mr. Moskowitz has extensive experience working with the Israel Securities Authority and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that will serve as a very valuable asset in assisting with corporate strategy and implementation. Since 2008, Mr. Moskowitz has also assisted Martin M. van Brauman, Zion’s Corporate Secretary/Treasurer/SVP, in establishing and maintaining the Bnei Joseph Foundation, an Israeli charity.
Mr. Moskowitz graduated from Bar Ilan University with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree. Mr. Moskowitz served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) as a combat medic.
Paul Oroian – Director
Paul Oroian was appointed a director in November 2003. Since its founding in 1983, he has served as President and managing partner of Oroian, Guest & Little, P.C., a certified public accounting and consulting firm based in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Oroian holds a Bachelor of Science – Business Administration from Bryant College. He has served as a board member of Technology Oversight Committee and the IRS Regional Liaison Committee of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and was Vice President and a director of the San Antonio CPA Society between 1992-1998. He recently served as Chairman of the Board of the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio (YOSA).
Gene Scammahorn – Director
Mr. Gene Scammahorn joined Zion as an independent member of our Board of Directors in October of 2012. Mr. Scammahorn graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is currently a practicing Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas.
He has over 30 years of business experience including having worked for two “big four” public accounting firms, major oil and gas companies, as well as in banking and consulting. From 2001 to 2012, he was the Internal Audit Services Director for Xerox Business Services, LLC.
Kent S. Siegel – Director
Kent S. Siegel, was re-appointed to the Board of Directors in January 2013. He previously served on our Board from November 2003 to April 2011 and also served as Zion’s Chief of Finance from July 2010 to April 2011. He has served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Siegel and Siegel, P.C. since 1984. Siegel and Siegel is a firm of certified public accountants and attorneys at law based in West Bloomfield, Michigan, at which Mr. Siegel practices as a tax and bankruptcy attorney and CPA. Mr. Siegel holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Michigan State University School of Business, a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University School of Engineering. He currently serves as chairman of the Temple Israel School Board Fund Raising Committee.
Virginia Prodan – Director
Ms. Virginia Prodan is an international human rights attorney, an Allied Attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom; a sought-after International Speaker and an Author – www.virginiaprodanbooks.com.
Her memoir – Saving My Assassin – was published in 2016 by Tyndale House Publishers.
She is the president and the founder of Virginia Prodan Ministries – www.virginiaprodan.com.
Ms. Prodan earned a Juris Doctor Degree at the Bucharest Law School, Romania, and was licensed in 1977. She was exiled from Ceausescu’s Romania in 1988 for defending human rights cases, which concerned Ceausescu’s persecution of Christians in Communist Romania. She earned a Master of Laws, LL.M. International, in 1995 and earned a Juris Doctor in 1997 from Southern Methodist University.
She is licensed in Colorado and in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. She was an intern for the Institute for Justice in Washington, D.C. and was an intern for U.S. Judge Sidney Fitzwater of the Northern District of Texas.
She taught as the Adjunct Faculty at El Centro College Paralegal Program.
Ms. Virginia Prodan has been appointed by the TX Governor Gregg Abbott to the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission; has served as a Board of Directors in several political and professional groups or clubs. She is on the advisory board of Stand with Persecuted Churches, the 21st Century Wilberforce Ministry and 4wordwomen; and just finished her 3rd term as the State Republican Executive Committee Women (SREC) for Senate District 16.
Ms. Virginia Prodan currently resides in Dallas, TX, where she enjoys practicing law, writing, attending the opera and the symphony, and traveling for pleasure. She has two daughters and a son. She also enjoys her numerous speaking engagements, where she continues to inspire and impact lives with her incredible true-life story.
John T. Seery – Director
Mr. Seery has over forty years’ experience in the project management and design of oil and gas facilities. Projects have included refining, gas processing, compressor stations, oil and gas terminals, production and storage facilities. His scope has ranged from feasibility and conceptual design and studies, including cost estimating, detail design, procurement, startup, project and construction management of domestic and international projects.
Mr. Seery was employed by Mustang Engineering from 1998 – 2015, until his current retirement as a Project Engineer and included projects across the United States and Lithuania, Scotland, Columbia and Equatorial Guinea for clients such as Williams International, ExxonMobil, Citgo and Oxy. At Mustang Baltic-he was General Manager/ Site Project Engineer –at a Russia Refinery in Lithuania. He was employed by Basic Systems, Inc. as a Project Manager for projects in the Ukraine and Uzbekistan from 1993 to 1998. He was employed as a Project Manager by Armelline Engineering from 1990 to 1992 for projects in Oklahoma and California for clients such as Arco Oil & Gas and Mobil Gas Co. He was employed by Nova Engineering from 1984 to 1990, Aztec Construction Co. from 1981 to 1983, Edeco- he was General Manager/ Project Manager from 1973 to 1981 and Sun Oil Refinery from 1969 to 1973. Mr. Seery earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at New Mexico State University and is a retired Professional Engineer.
Dr. Amotz Agnon – Director
Dr. Amotz Agnon is a Professor of Geology and Geophysics, whose research has spanned the geology and geodynamics of the boundaries of the Arabian Plate, from the Levant to the Zagross – Persian Gulf. He has been a professor at the Institute of Earth Sciences of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, teaching in field and structural geology, geodynamics, marine geology, and geophysics. After founding and directing the first geophysical lab at Hebrew University, Agnon initiated and co-founded the Neev Center for Geoinfomatics. Dr. Agnon has served as Vice-President and President of the Israel Geological Society and acted as the chair of the Oceanography M.Sc. and Marine Science B.Sc. programs at the university. He has been invited to three Ph.D. juries for the Institute de Physique du Globe (Paris, Strasbourg). He has served on the inter-ministerial Committee for National Infrastructures and as an advisor for the Atomic Energy Commission in Israel. He holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Geology from Hebrew University and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of California at Berkeley. He has published jointly 93 journal articles in his field and has published numerous chapters in books and professional publications.
Brad Dacus – Director
Mr. Brad Dacus is the president and founder of the Pacific Justice Institute (“PJI”). Mr. Dacus is licensed to practice law in both Texas and California. He received his Bachelors in Business Administration and Finance at Texas A&M University in 1986, and he attended Law School at the University of Texas in Austin, where he received his Juris Doctorate in 1991.
Mr. Dacus can be heard weekly on The Dacus Report on more than 170 radio stations across the country. He has testified before the United States House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and has testified numerous times before the California State Legislature on legislation affecting religious freedom and parental rights. He was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Religious Freedom and Family Rights degree from California Baptist University.
Sarah Caygill – Director
Sarah Caygill, appointed a director in June 2021, is an experienced financial analyst, portfolio manager, asset allocator and independent board director. She began her career in London at Chase Manhattan in 1984 and subsequently worked as an equity analyst at BZW and Schroders in London covering French equities. In 1990 she joined Sweden’s Trygg Hansa SPP, a major Scandinavian banking and insurance firm, as a portfolio manager, with responsibility for French, Spanish and Italian equities. In 1993, following the Swedish financial crisis, she moved to JP Morgan’s Private Bank in Geneva to manage advisory portfolios covering Europe and Emerging Markets. She then ran both institutional and private portfolios as a Vice President of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, also in Geneva, with responsibility for European Consumer and Services sectors. In 2000 Sarah launched White Mountain, a European equity long/short hedge fund and she later joined the main investors in the fund, Canadian-based Arrow Hedge Partners. She established Arrow’s European operations, including manager due diligence and selection for its global fund of funds, also serving on Arrow’s investment committee. Over her career as a fund manager and advisor, the funds and mandates Sarah managed and advised outperformed their benchmarks and peer groups.
Since 2011 Sarah has served as an independent director for alternative funds and absolute return funds, management companies, foundations and corporations across a range of jurisdictions including Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Ireland. She is a member of AIMA (The Alternative Investment Management Association) and 100 Women in Finance. She is also a panel director of IPAF Group (Industry Professionals serving as non-executive directors to Alternative Funds).
Sarah holds a Masters’ Degree in Modern Languages and Philosophy from Oxford University. She has both British and Swiss citizenship and is domiciled in Geneva, Switzerland.
Javier A. Mazón – Director
Javier has had a 50+ year career that has encompassed a broad range of operating, C- suite, BOD, external affairs and leadership positions, involving both international and U.S. domestic operations & management responsibilities. Javier’s background includes successful, international executive positions with Texas Instruments, Oki Electric and other U.S. and South American companies. He is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
His company, Group Lamerica, is a leading provider of professional consultative and business operations services for clients seeking to strategically expand their businesses into Latin America and/or North America. As the company’s chief executive officer, he is responsible for all aspects of the business. In his direct work for clients, he specializes in international expansion strategy, forming new businesses, market-entry initiatives, developing public/private sector relationships and establishing in-country operations.
Frank F. Starr II – Director
Mr. Frank F. Starr II has over 30 years of experience in oil and gas operations, reservoir engineering, acquisitions, and management.
He has been the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Crimson Energy Partners IV since 2014 and has been active in the South Texas Eagleford since 2016. The company has drilled 40 horizontal Eagleford wells since 2016. Crimson Energy Partners IV currently has a drilling program planned through the end of the year on the company’s 28,000 net acres.
From 2009 through 2014, Mr. Starr was President and Chief Executive Officer of Crimson Energy Partners III, which developed a 30,000-acre leasehold position and drilled over 35 horizontal Eagleford and Woodbine wells in 2010. In 2014, Crimson sold the assets to Hawkwood Energy.
From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Starr was President and Chief Executive Officer of Crimson Energy Partners II, which developed a 5,500-acreage position in South Texas, drilling 45 vertical wells into the Olmos and San Miguel plays. In 2008, Crimson sold those assets to Swift Energy.
From 1998 to 2004, Mr. Starr was President and Chief Executive Officer of Crimson Energy Partners I, which developed a 65,000-acre leasehold position. Crimson drilled over 120 vertical wells into the Olmos, San Miguel plays. In 2004, Crimson sold those assets to JM Huber.
Before founding the Crimson partnerships, he worked for Union Pacific Resources (Anadarko) for 17 years, covering Texas, California, the Mid-Continent, and the Rockies.
In 2013, Texas Monthly Magazine awarded Mr. Starr the Top Producer Award, Best CEO of a Mid-Size Company.
Mr. Starr attended the University of Oklahoma for a B.S. Degree in Petroleum Engineering. He serves on the Board of several nonprofits in the DFW area, including Kids Matter Intl. (KMI) and Heart of a Champion (HOC).