Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Bill Flores
by TexasGOPVote on November 17, 2010 at 11:35 AM
Bill Flores is the incoming Representative for the 17th Congressional District of Texas, beating out Democrat incumbent Chet Edwards.
Growing Up In the Panhandle
Bill Flores was born at Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, while his father was serving in the military. Following his father’s service, the family moved back to Stratford, Texas, located in the Panhandle – nine generations of Bill’s family have called Texas their home.
As the oldest of six children in a family of modest means, Bill quickly learned the value of hard work, a job well done, and saving for the future. At the age of nine, in order to help his father support their family, he began helping his father work cattle for other ranchers in the area as well as for the ranching operation that his father was starting to build. Despite the hardships, Bill’s family never asked for or sought government assistance. It taught Bill an early lesson that personal responsibility and making your own way are important aspects of our American spirit.
Whether it was helping his father, delivering newspapers, participating in 4-H activities, Boy Scouts, or doing his schoolwork, Bill was always busy. He met Gina during high school and she still fondly remembers him as one of the most driven and hard-working, young men she had ever known.
Paying His Way Through College
Bill’s hard work, determination, and prudent saving paid off and allowed him the opportunity to enroll at Texas A&M University in College Station, where he became a member of the Corps of Cadets. He would later go on to serve as a Ross Volunteer, MSC vice president, and the vice president of finance for the student body. Bill earned a BBA in Accounting and, a few years later, went on to Houston Baptist University where he earned an MBA.
His college education at A&M would prove to be one of the most rewarding and valuable experiences he had as a young man. These experiences instilled in him a desire to help others fulfill their aspirations for higher education and experience the character-building atmosphere of Texas A&M.
Following his graduation, Bill married Gina, the girl he pursued in high school. They have been married for thirty-two years and are the proud parents of two adult sons, Will and John. They also recently learned that John and his wife, Aimee, will have the first granchild in early 2011.
Creating Jobs for Americans and Helping to Produce AMERICAN Energy
With a degree in accounting and, later, an MBA, Bill pursued a career helping to manage the finances of several businesses and eventually found a home in the oil and gas industry. Coupled with his education, he continued to rely on the lessons he learned as a child and young man – spend within your means, work hard to achieve well-planned goals, and form strong teams to overcome obstacles.
Before long, Bill was chosen as Chief Financial Officer for a string of successful energy companies, ultimately becoming the CEO and President of Phoenix Exploration, from which he recently retired in order to pursue public service.
During his thirty years leading these businesses, Bill helped create more than 500 AMERICAN jobs with AMERICAN companies that helped and produce much needed AMERICAN energy resources to help fuel our economy.
As anyone who has followed the energy business in Texas knows, it is not always easy trying to grow a company in this industry. Certainly, there are booms, but there have also been numerous downturns during which companies failed and jobs were lost.
One of his proudest moments—and biggest challenges—came in the early 1990s when Bill was the chief financial officer for Marine Drilling. A period of exceptionally low oil and gas prices was underway, and Marine Drilling was facing severe cashflow problems. To help ensure the company had cash flow, Bill and some of the Marine Team worked 18 to 20 hour days, and Bill occasionally elected to forgo his compensation, in order to help the company survive another week. In the end, they did more than survive…they succeeded.
Bill helped Marine Drilling prevail because he was able to get everyone working as a team. He and the Marine management team established expense reduction targets, negotiated with their bankers and investors, and even sought money saving ideas from the company’s rig-hands. They set goals, brought employees together as a team, and worked hard. As a result, Marine emerged at the end of 1992 as a lean, financially stable company, which was one of the best performing NASDAQ stocks in 1993. Most members of the Marine Team will still say today that nobody out-worked Bill during those difficult years and that without Bill’s negotiating skills, personal sacrifices, determination, and grit, the company would have likely failed, causing the loss of hundreds of jobs. It is this kind of determination, which has helped Bill work with strong teams to build solid companies that have grown jobs for Americans and helped deliver important energy sources for our nation.
A Commitment to Serving Our Community
While Bill has enjoyed a successful business career, he has never forgotten where he came from and the values, principles, and character that inspired him along the way. He views his success as a further responsibility to help empower a new generation of leaders for Texas, assist those who have protected our nation, and support conservative causes and candidates.
Because he so valued his experience at Texas A&M and Gina’s eighteen years as a teacher, they are committed to help insure that more young Texans would have the opportunity of higher education; at this time there are sixteen students at Texas A&M University that receive scholarship or fellowship support from Bill and Gina. In addition, each summer, dozens of entering Freshmen from underrepresented groups attend Texas A&M Fish Camps on a free or reduced price basis due to the Flores Fish Camp endowment. Over the years, the Flores’ have contributed millions of dollars in support of the following:
Scholarship programs to help many first generation Aggies in the College of Education and Accounting students in the Mays Business School; Scholarships for members of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets and; Funding for President’s Endowed Scholarships.
Recognizing the importance of K-12 education for all Americans, Bill and Gina have also been significant supporters of Yellowstone Academy, which provides elementary education in a safe and supportive environment to children in one of Houston’s poorest inner city areas, as well as Faith Lutheran School and Fort Bend Baptist Academy.
Both Bill's father and Gina's father served in our country's armed forces and Bill also recognizes that his success and that the future of all American civilians rests on the capable shoulders of the men and women of our armed forces. Without their dedication to protecting our nation, our freedoms, and way of life, generations of Americans would not have grown up with boundless opportunities in front of them. Bill has honored their commitment, sacrifice, and that of their families by contributing over $100,000 to programs and institutions here in Texas that help provide therapy, training, and counseling to veterans who have been wounded in the global War on Terror.
Gina and Bill are members of Central Baptist Church of Bryan. In addition to supporting their local Church, Bill and Gina also support several Bryan/College Station organizations with gifts and volunteer service including the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley, Habitat for Humanity, the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, Boys & Girls Clubs of Brazos Valley, Special Olympics, OPAS, the Hope Pregnancy Center, and other local charities.
In early 2010, Texas A&M University's Association of Former Students recognized Bill's achievements by recognizing him as a Distinguished Alumnus--the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of A&M.
Limited Government Conservative First
Put simply, Bill does not always agree with the Republican party and leadership in Congress, especially when it came to deficit spending and growing government programs in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. His entire career has been spent balancing budgets, meeting payrolls, and ensuring his companies were focused on producing a good product or service that was better and delivered more effectively than the competition.
From his early youth in Stratford, Texas, to the endless hours he has invested to grow successful energy businesses in Texas, the breadth of Bill’s experiences has formed the foundations of his principles as a limited government conservative. Bill has consistently supported conservative candidates and causes to further the goals of a more limited federal government with less spending, less taxation, less regulation, and less political interference with our families and small businesses.
"I think these qualities of hard work, fiscal discipline, and putting our country first are in short supply in Congress. Our district deserves a leader in Congress who will stand up and fight against the destructive policies we are seeing today." - Bill Flores