Street Smart Podcast

Everyone knows an entrepreneur, but do you know how they became who they are? Entrepreneurs are a different breed and have a mindset only few can relate to. On the Street Smart Podcast we will sit down with these amazing individuals and find out what makes them successful. This long-form discussion will be informative, fun, and inspirational. Who knows...maybe you have what it takes to be the next great entrepreneur. Maybe you are Street Smart!
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James Hulse is the Chief Executive Officer of Clean Recompression, a company that is committed to Energy Delivered Cleaner™. Hulse is a respected leader and development contributor in the natural gas industry.

With 14 years of experience in natural gas pipelines, LNG and CNG, James has combined his technical expertise as well as the business knowledge to provide real-world solutions to the natural gas industry.

In his previous role as Director of CenterPoint Energy Mobile Energy Solutions, James took a small subsidiary of a large utility and turned it into a national leader in mobile natural gas services. Those results led to the highly profitable divestment of the company in 2021. James also spent 4 years as the Director of CenterPoint Energy Intrastate Pipelines, the transmission pipeline arm of CenterPoint Energy, which constructs, operates, and maintains final mile natural gas transmission pipelines.

Other positions include the VP of Business Development for Transfuels, Manager of Business Development for Applied LNG, as well as roles in management, sales, and global supply chain. James Hulse is someone who is truly Street Smart.


Born and raised in Midland Texas, Tripp Edwards has been a part of the oil and gas industry forever. After attending Auburn University, where he met his wife Haley, Tripp returned to Midland where he and his wife live now with their two sons, Duke and Hawkins.

Tripp first started working for Wildcat Oil Tools 8 years ago in an Administrative role and transitioned to managing special projects. In 2018 he was promoted to Vice President of Finance  where he was responsible for planning and fundraising initiatives.

In 2021 Tripp was again promoted, this time to Chief Operating Officer and in 2023 he became Wildcat Oil Tools’ Chief Executive Officer and also serves on the Board of the Rawabi / Wildcat JV.

Tripp is born and bred in the oil and gas industry and his career path at Wildcat Oil Tools from entry administrative roles to CEO is truly inspiring and definitely makes him STREET SMART.


Military Brat and Preacher’s Kid to Entrepreneur, Chris Westmoreland has had quite the journey.

A self proclaimed nomad Chris loves the journey and believes it has been critical in his development as a business founder and leader.

As a child he had a love for architecture and was designing homes while in high school. When offered a scholarship in Arizona he decided to pivot and move to Houston, TX where he is still today.

Chris’ story is one of faith, family and helping others.

He is truly STREET SMART!!!


Raised by an Entrepreneur, Austin Blaney (Owner - Paisano Dimensional Control) didn’t begin his journey by wanting to be one.

Instead, Austin wanted to be out in the country working outside and enjoying the natural terrain. Where did that take him.

It took him to the border of South Texas working for the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Once that ran it course Austin found himself changing industries and on to an offshore platform in Aberdeen, Scotland doing survey work where he excelled. During an inevitable downturn he was caught up in the reduction in force and found himself again on a precipice.

It was then when he was contacted by a company representative asking him to head out to do some work, but he was not with a company. It was at that point he invested in himself and his family and the rest is history.

Austin Blaney is a great man with a great family and an amazing story. He is truly STREET SMART!!!


If you spend any time at all around the Team at Opla Energy you will realize a couple of things. First, they are great people with a great mission, but perhaps the thing that stands out the most is they are different!!!

As part of the modernization of oilfield processes with a push toward technology Opla Energy are trailblazers in the area of Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) and Pressurized Management Devices (PMDs).

They are also the only company in more than 50 years to win TWO AWARDS at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) where they were recognized with the Small Business Award for their Pressurized Management Device (PMD) and their proprietary software OplaSmart.

In this episode we sit down in two 30 minute sessions. First session is with Elvin Mamaadov (Founder & President) and Kieron Gibbs (VP of Business Development). The second session is a conversation with Shawn Cody (VP of Engineering & Operations) and Dave Hoffman (COO).

Opla Energy is truly Street Smart!!!


Born to a farming family Dan Hoffarth knows the value of hard work and planning. Dan came up through the ranks, starting his career as a Floorhand and working through all positions in a drilling contractor environment and eventually into Executive Management at Nabors Drilling.

When he founded Citadel Drilling the focus was bringing a new solution to the industry, not just the same thing that was there already. As Dan puts it, “If we did the same thing as the ‘big guys’ they would just beat us with experience”.

This intentional planning and forward thinking is what sets Citadel Drilling and Dan Hoffarth apart and what makes his truly Street Smart.


Upright Digital and Gulf Publishing/World Oil are delighted to announce an expanded collaboration in support of each other's podcast and media efforts in the dynamic upstream oil, gas, and energy marketplace. Since our initial partnership in 2019, we have achieved remarkable success, and this deeper integration is a testament to our shared commitment to excellence.

We are proud to highlight the exponential growth of our diverse podcast lineup, including the highly popular Oilfield 360 Podcast and The Energy in Transition Podcast, which have garnered widespread acclaim and captivated audiences worldwide. These shows have set new benchmarks, offering valuable insights and driving meaningful conversations within the energy industry.

Behind this flourishing alliance lies the strong friendship between Josh Lowrey and Andy McDowell, who have shared a profound vision for the industry's success for many years. Their collaborative spirit and unwavering dedication have paved the way for a partnership rooted in a true win-win approach.

Josh Lowrey, Co-Founder of Upright Digital, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, "Our longstanding friendship with Gulf Publishing/World Oil has been instrumental in our joint pursuit of podcasting excellence. We are thrilled to embark on this enhanced partnership, which allows us to leverage our combined expertise and resources for the benefit of our #listeners and the energy industry as a whole."

Andy McDowell, President of Gulf Publishing/World Oil, added, "The exponential growth of podcasts like Oilfield 360 Podcast, The Energy in Transition Podcast, and others reflects our unwavering commitment to delivering valuable content and fostering dialogue within the industry. Through our expanded collaboration with Upright Digital, we aim to elevate the podcasting experience and further contribute to the success and sustainability of the energy sector."

Stay tuned as we bring you thought-provoking discussions and captivating insights through our exciting lineup of podcasts, including Deep Dive, The Reservoir, Oilfield Electrification, Energy in Transition Podcast, The Highly Capable Podcast, Oilfield 360 Podcast, and Street Smart Podcast, as we recognize World Oil as the exclusive “Media Partner” of Upright Digital podcasts.

Together, we are driving innovation, knowledge sharing, and growth of the energy industry. Join us on this incredible journey!


Seth Staples, Owner and Co-Founder of P.A. Fitness in Conroe, TX may be the only person I have ever met who did not have an answer when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up.

Just because Seth didn’t know what he wanted to be does not mean he didn’t know how to work. It also doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what it takes to build a business.

Seth has had a lifelong passion around fitness and making others the best versions of themselves. This servant mentality has been instrumental in his success and the success of his business and is just part of what makes Seth Staples Street Smart!!!


Amy Malkan, Founder and CEO of The Malkan Group is a Houston based muralist, public speaker and author who has dedicated her career and passion into transforming public spaces into vibrant works of art.

Raised by very traditional Indian parents, Amy found herself going the predictable route of college but when that was ultimately not where her passion was she left and moved to Australia for a year. When she came back to the states she found herself working and succeeding in corporate sales and professional development teams but still never felt like she was fulfilling her purpose which turned out to be…….ART!!!

Amy then transitioned to a full-time artist and worked to understand the nuances of painting murals and how to make it a successful business model while inspiring, empowering, and motivating those around her.

The story of how she has done this is truly amazing and definitely proves she is STREET SMART.


Taylor Golden is a serial entrepreneur having started 8 businesses…AND COUNTING.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Taylor grew up as she says, “loving Jesus, singing in choir, and soaking in nature”. 

Taylor’s entrepreneurial journey began with a photography studio which became internationally acclaimed with pictures featured in magazines all over the world. While working in the photography industry Taylor noticed there was a real knowledge gap for other photographers in how to run and manage a business. This led her to found and build the world’s largest professional photography magazine and travel the world teaching marketing and business skills to other entrepreneurs while working with companies like Panasonic, Fuji, and Canon.

Taylor has photographed the President of the United States and First Lady, sports celebrities, been featured on TV, created the world’s largest professional photography magazine, traveled the world, made millions and lost it all. She has been divorced 3x, slowly poisoned by breast implants, and nearly died in a hurricane, but has come out of all of this stronger and more resilient.

These experiences are just a small sample of what makes Taylor Golden Street Smart.


After attending West Point and serving the United States in the first Gulf War, Scott Milliren found himself looking for a new challenge. He found himself that challenge working rigs in the oilfield.

From there, Scott began working and founding many companies.

From Academy Drilling to Ranger Energy Services to Commander Oilfield Services to Bullseye Testing and now Rally Point Energy Services a couple of trends emerged.

One….Scott really likes military terminology for the names of the companies he founds.

Two….These companies benefit from Scott’s ability to connect the right people with unique solutions.

Enjoy hearing how this founder of multiple companies over the last 20 years continues to demonstrate how he is Street Smart.


Bill Austin is a multi-disciplined senior finance and strategic business adviser with an exceptional depth of experience in the energy and manufacturing industries but Bill did not see himself as an entrepreneur for the majority of his life. Instead, he worked for several industry leaders in treasury, risk management, M & A, and credit functions.

When Bill found himself on the wrong end of a contraction during the pandemic, he partnered with John Daniel and his journey in entrepreneurship was launched. His current role is as a Managing Partner of Daniel Energy Partners where he is instrumental in providing Consulting Services, Oil Service and Capital Equipment Market Intelligence, and Networking Events such as the Thrive Energy Conference and Permian Basin BBQ Cook-Off.

By using his knowledge and experience Bill continues to demonstrate what makes him Street Smart and I know his story will be impactful.


Born in Louisiana and raised in Canada, Nicole Gauthier, Founder of Wicked Holdings, has quite the story.

As a young lady in Canada her first experience with entrepreneurship was babysitting which turned into nannying over the years. When she met her husband his profession took them back to the United States and eventually to Houston. 

During this time Nicole was working in Finance in the Oil and Gas Industry and was not scratching that entrepreneur itch.

Nicole left Finance to found Wicked Holdings, a real estate investment company focused on social change and community empowerment. Here Nicole strives to help pave the way for busy professionals to get passively invested in Multifamily syndications.

Her passion to invest along with her heart to help those who may need a bit of a hand are what make her an exceptional person and definitely very Street Smart.


Bill Ellison was raised in poverty with the desire to do better and for his family to not go through the same hardships and troubles. In his teens BIll spent some time in foster care due to physical abuse by his mother’s husband ultimately running away from the foster facility and finding himself spending the night in jail when he was 13 years old.

He would not let this define the trajectory of his life and began working at IBM in a co-op program while he was raising himself and trying to finish high school.

From there he began selling homes and in 2016 he started a residential building company called ASGi Homes. ASGi Homes builds affordable housing for families whose price point is between $100K and $200K.

Bill's journey is truly a "rags to riches" story and he is most definitely Street Smart.


Sidney Minassian is the CEO of Saasyan, a leader in AI-Powered Online Student Safety, enabling K-12 schools with flexible cybersecurity controls for the classroom, advanced alerting of cyberbullying & self-harm, and easy reporting of student online activities.

A serial entrepreneur, Sidney has founded and led numerous ventures in Silicon Valley and Australia and has served customers across USA, Europe and Asia Pacific. 

Prior to Saasyan, Sidney was the Founder & CEO of Contexti, a data analytics and AI company which he founded in 2012, built into a multi-million-dollar, 80% annuity business serving 100+ enterprise customers including Seven West Media for the Rio Olympic Games and Australian Open Tennis, Caltex, SAI Global, Suncorp & Woolworths. Contexti was acquired in 2019.


Bob Kresson and I met under some very unusual circumstances. No...I was not under investigation. He sponsored a Hole-In-One at a charity golf tournament and I won the $25,000.

Since that time Bob and I have remained friends and I could not wait to bring his story of how he founded his Private Investigation Company - Empire Investigations - OVER 40 YEARS AGO!!!

Here's Bob's story of how he has been Street Smart.



Here is a mashup of some of the best moments from 2022 on the Street Smart Podcast.

Here's to an even bigger 2023.


Chad Robichaux has had an amazing life of service.

Chad is a #USMC Force Recon Veteran, best-selling author, Pro MMA Champion and #Founder and #President of the Mighty Oaks Foundation, a leading non-profit playing an instrumental and pivotal role in helping our nation’s Veterans, active duty military and first responders combat trauma and build resiliency.

In addition to the Mighty Oaks Foundation, Chad co-founded Save our Allies during the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. Save our Allies successfully evacuated 17,000 people, rescuing them from the Taliban and is now serving on the ground in Ukraine.

In addition to Chad’s military service, he has served our nation as a Special Agent with the US Federal Air Marshal Service and the US State Department as a Surveillance Detection Senior Program Manager. Chad is a Medal of Valor recipient for his bravery beyond the call of duty in law enforcement. Chad has earned an MBA from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) and is a board-certified pastoral counselor with a focus on PTSd. Chad is married to his wife Kathy of 27 years, and they have a daughter and two sons and two granddaughters. Hunter and Hayden are both 3rd generation Marines in the Robichaux family and share Chad’s passion as lifelong martial artists. Chad is also a 4th degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under the legendary Master Carlson Gracie Jr and is a former Professional Mixed Martial Arts Champion having competed at the highest levels of the sport.

Enjoy listening to what makes Chad Robichaux “Street Smart”.


Richard Rodriguez was born in El Paso, TX but he didn't stay there for long. When he graduated high school he attended the University of Texas (Austin) where he studied Business.

Richard then worked for NOV and was a key part in the integration of multiple mergers and acquisitions around the globe during his time there.

Richard then went on to found Rubicon Oilfield International where he was able to duplicate the success of the "growth by acquisition" model he was a part of at NOV.

Richard is now the Founder and CEO of B.I.T.S. (Business Information and Technology Systems) where he works with companies large and small to help them identify the proper IT solutions for their organizations.

Enjoy the conversation and see what makes Richard Rodriguez "STREET SMART".


From High School dropout to CEO of an Exploration & Production company to the founder of several business, Eric Waller is truly one of a kind.

Raised in Odessa, TX, Eric is 4th Generation Oil & Gas. His work ethic and competitive drive kept him restless in his professional career and led him to always challenge himself and those around him.

Eric's entrepreneurial portfolio includes a tattoo parlor, an oil and gas service company, a pumpkin patch and a roofing company. To say it is eclectic would be an understatement.

Eric Waller is one of my very close friends and someone who is definitely STREET SMART!!!


"Our team members have gone to war to secure energy independence...we don't think you should have to."

Tony Frisone was raised in Ohio, went to Xavier University and joined the Army serving the United States around the world. While he was deployed, Tony recognized problems with using fossil fuel for power and transportation and its impact on our environment and security. 

When he returned from Afghanistan in 2015 he co-founded CZAR-Power with Dr. Nelson Wang with the mission to bring energy independence to everyone and create a smarter, safer, and more sustainable world. 

Tony is a passionate leader and I am excited to share his message with you.


Chad Harman is a 25-year health insurance and cannabis executive possessing unique leadership and diverse experience across operations, manufacturing, finance, product development, IT, sales, and marketing while placing emphasis on hitting corporate KPI’s.  

Chad has enjoyed an extremely successful career over 5 years in the Cannabis industry, developing critical industry relationships and gaining a thorough understanding from seed to sale.

Prior to the Marijuana industry, Chad had the fortunate opportunity to successfully lead and manage various areas within Anthem, Inc., a Fortune 30 company, from operations, technology, sales, marketing to finance. The extensive breadth of his knowledge and skills led him to overseeing the profits and losses for the sales and marketing division of the company. His efforts resulted in several successful $100 million-dollar projects and saving the company over $250 million dollars through his organization’s efforts.

Chad is motivated to understand every aspect of the businesses he runs.  By communicating directly with employees at every level, he can see everything from the big picture to the little details that make an operation run smoothly.


Ralph and Olivia Arnauts have a passion for service which is what inspired them both to enlist in the Army.

Olivia's joined the Army when she was 17 and was stationed in Hawaii where she worked in intelligence. Ralph joined at 20 and also found himself stationed in Hawaii after joining the Army which is where they met and this power duo began.

They are continuing their service of others with ZFIS | Protective Intelligence which provides targeted intelligence gathering methods to investigate and assess client-specific risks or threats, including internationally and on the dark web.

Ralph and Olivia have also founded a non-profit called The Relentless Revival Safe Haven ( which will provide long-term treatment for victims of human trafficking.

It goes without saying, these are two special people.

Enjoy the episode.


Josh Lowrey is the co-founder of multiple companies including Galtway Enterprises, Upright Digital, Essential Safety and Daniel Energy Partners.

You may also recognize him from his role as a co-host on the Oilfield 360 Podcast and the Energy in Transition Podcast but he has never agreed to be a guest to tell his own entrepreneurial story until he sat down with the Street Smart Podcast.

We are humbled and grateful to him for that.


Have you ever met an English-born Indian who played football at LSU?

You're about to!

Alchemy Industrial Founder and CEO Mush Khan is a leader in the manufacturing industry and is passionate about reshoring efforts and solving the challenges associated with it. 

I know you will enjoy hearing his story and the lessons he has learned along the way. 


Stealth Oilwell Services Founder and CEO Cody Gill has been an entrepreneur since he was a 12 year old selling chickens because he wanted "the finer things". He now has one of the largest companies of its kind in North America.

A native of West Texas, Cody is oilfield through and through and treats his employees as family. Some of them actually are.

Enjoy hearing Cody's story of how he became the entrepreneur and person he is today!

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