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Energy Energy services the better part of Valor for Southlake firm

Energy services the better part of Valor for Southlake firm

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

A. Lee Graham lgraham@bizpress.net

To say that Valor Land Resources LLC is rooted in teamwork is an understatement. While skimming Afghanistan’s rugged terrain by air and patrolling its landscape by foot, Dennis Horning and Chad Harrop developed bonds that have only strengthened since returning to civilian life. “We looked out for each other and learned the value of teamwork and integrity,” said Horning, a Fort Worth resident who is harnessing those values as co-founder and president of Valor Land Resources LLC. Despite falling oil prices that could persuade some producers to curtail production, Horning is undaunted. He and Harrop, Texas Air National Guard reservists deployed to Afghanistan as part of the Operation Enduring Freedom, focus on building their business even as industry dynamics make prospects uncertain.

“The oil and gas industry has historically had its ups and downs, and we feel that the current status of the industry has created us endless opportunities for growth,” Horning said. In an industry that Horning said is filled with companies “compromising their integrity to make a dollar,” he said his firm clings to integrity, teamwork, innovation, transparency and exceptional quality – what he described as military core values – in pursuing his latest mission. With Harrop at his side, that mission is to provide energy companies with land services as they drill new oil and gas wells and strengthen an already strong energy industry. From their 1,000-square-foot office at 1205 S. White Chapel Blvd. in Southlake, Horning and Harrop oversee a staff of four. They offer title services, project management and seismic permitting, among other assistance. It’s a growing industry as other companies compete to provide those services. Among those businesses is Purple Land Management LLC, the Fort Worth firm founded by two Texas Christian University graduates. It also served as a training ground for Horning and Harrop’s latest enterprise.

From 2011 to 2012, Horning worked as a mineral rights researcher for PLM, while Harrop was project manager between 2011 and October 2014. The entrepreneurs have nothing but good things to say about their former firm; they simply felt a need to strike out on their own. So they formed Valor Land Resources in October. Realizing their vision with their own money and help from an unnamed investor, the partners found themselves facing a new battle: competition. “What makes us stand out is the quality of our team,” Harrop said.

Asked what distinguishes the firm from PLM, Harrop said, “It’s hard to say. But it’s really the value of the people we interview [as prospective employees]. We judge the character of the person more than on their experience in the industry because, ultimately, that’s what’s going to define our company in the team we develop.” Horning and Harrop’s 10-year friendship grew while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom. It continued at Purple Land Management, where they grew confident enough to launch their own business. Only two months since setting up in Southlake, the duo landed Breckenridge Geophysical Inc. as its first client. Valor Land provides seismic permitting for the Texas firm and hopes to provide those and other services for more clients as it expands. “We want to be in other states and are discussing opportunities to office in other states,” said Horning. He said he plans to hire up to 10 or 11 more employees soon.  

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