Michigan Oil And Gas Association Senior Staff
Over time, seven individuals have served as the senior staff person of the Michigan Oil And Gas Association.
1934-1937: Harry G. Hunt
Harry Hunt was left the Saginaw News to become the
first full-time Association secretary. He quit the Association to
affiliate with the Lupher Drilling Company, a drilling contractor. Hunt
left Michigan for the Illinois basin in 1939.
1938-1941: A. J. "Whitey" Weideman
Whitey Weideman was a former contractor and producer in Ohio
and Michigan who had served in the Michigan Legislature for two terms.
He served as the association executive secretary from 1938 until ill
health forced his resignation March 12, 1941. During his tenure efforts
of many in the industry were rewarded with the passage of Act 61 of
1939, Michigan's original "Oil and Gas Law."
1941-1945 W. B. "Wallie" Pardoe and Harold "Butch" McClure
Wallie Pardoe was an independent who operated out of Alma
and, later, Grand Rapids. He was a charter member of the Association and
was named "recording" secretary of the Association in 1938.
Butch McClure had been the Association President in 1939-1940
and succeeded Weideman in May, 1941, continuing as the industry's "man
in Lansing" through the World War II years Also President of the
National Stripper Association, McClure brought favorable press coverage
for the. To illustrate the absurdity of low oil prices, McClure employed
all sorts of props including a milk bottle and a pail of barn paint.
In December 1945, a move was made to make Arthur H. Ledbeter
the paid executive secretary, mostly by members who wanted to see the
Association offices moved from Lansing to Mt. Pleasant, where they had
been some years before. Wally Pardoe did not want to move to Mt.
Pleasant. He left the Association after the votes were counted to move
the office to Mt. Pleasant.
-1949: Arthur H. Ledbetter
Ledbetter was an accountant who got into the oil business as
office manager for McClanahan Oil Company in the 1930s. During his
tenure MOGA's office was in Mt. Pleassant.
1949-1970: William Palmer
Palmer had been a State Senator from 1933 through 1937 and
was serving as the secretary for the Associated Petroleum Industries of
Michigan. Under Palmer , the offices and position of executive secretary
for both the Oil and Gas Association of Michigan and APIM were combined
and located in Lansing. The Mt. Pleasant office of MOGA was closed.
During Palmer's tenure the Association took on membership insurance
service. Palmer retired December 31, 1970. With his leaving the two
Associations went their separate ways, both opening their own office and
hiring their own executive secretary.
1971- Present: Frank L. Mortl
Mortl was recruited by MOGA President G. R. "Rollie" Denison
after Mortl, a Central Michigan University Business Administration
Masters degree program student and General Motors management trainee,
contacted Denison to participate in a CMU business forum. Mortl joined
MOGA as Executive Secretary (a position that evolved first into
Executive Vice President and then President as the elected chief
Association office title became Chairman of the Board.) Under his
administration, MOGA acquired the Michigan Oil & Gas News,
consolidated and centralized the MOGA insurance program and was
instrumental in establishment of the then nation-unique Michigan Natural
Resources Trust Fund, which uses oil and gas royalties and lease bonus
money paid to the state to acquire and improve Michigan's environment
and improve outdoor recreation throughout the state.