Texas Eco Services Inc.
Nelda Stucks boasts an accomplishment that would be the envy of any businesswoman.
Then again, boasting isn’t her style; rather, leading Texas Eco Services Inc. to debt-free status is something the Fort Worth executive keeps in her heart, not on her lips.
“It’s a very good feeling,” says Stucks, CFO of a company that provides environmental cleanup and general maintenance services. “We like to think we make a huge impact on our environment.”
Stucks wears two hats – as company CFO and CEO of sister company SCM Containment LLC, which manufactures and sells secondary containment systems used by oil and gas companies, electric utilities and pipeline companies, among others.
“It’s already taken off,” Stucks says of the newly launched spinoff. Helping run the new venture is Mark Stucks, Nelda’s husband, who helped launch the primary business 28 years ago.
For Nelda, the venture followed years of firsthand financial experience. She honed her numbers skills at Murphy & Rochester Inc. insurance agency in Odessa, starting as a file clerk and working her way up to a commercial underwriter’s personal assistant. What followed was oilfield industry success in West Texas before the industry crashed in the early ‘80s.
“From that West Texas experience, we learned early on to manage our money and our company and to be efficient,” Stucks says. She brought that know-how to Fort Worth and seeded a company that paid off its last loan in 1999 and has remained debt-free ever since.
Asked to describe the most fulfilling part of her job, Stucks pointed to her 36 employees. “When we have a profitable year, we try to share with our employees. That’s rewarding,” Stucks says.
Asked to name the most challenging aspect of her job, she offered an immediate response. “Keeping up with technology. Everything changes so fast, and I’m kind of old school. My daughter works for me, and that’s part of her position,” Stucks says. But what Stucks does, she does well, to hear at least one colleague and family member tell it.
“She is not a CFO that sits back and examines reports to evaluate how the company is operating,” said Sharena Wilkins, Stucks’ daughter and the company’s human resources coordinator. “She encourages her staff to think outside the box and come up with more ways to be productive at their jobs, which ultimately saves time, money and increases the bottom line.”
When away from the office, Stucks enjoys family time and looks forward to putting her latest birthday gift through its paces. “One thing I look forward to is driving my ’69 GTO,” Stucks says of a recent gift from her husband. “I was raised on a West Texas wrecking yard, so we have respect for muscle cars.”
Stucks, 58, and her husband live in Fort Worth and have three daughters: Sharena Wilkins; Kandace Wade, a bridal boutique owner in Burleson; and Mandi Hardin, a banking industry professional in downtown Fort Worth; and six granddaughters.
What is the best piece of financial advice you’ve ever received?
My dad, he always told me, if you keep your money straight, it will grow and stay debt-free.
What books/publications do you read to stay ahead in your industry?
The Fort Worth Business Press – that’s the truth! – that, and the Internet, primarily.
Who would you say is your hero/someone you look up to, and why?
My husband. He’s just my rock. He’s probably the most intelligent businessman I’ve ever been around.
– A. Lee Graham