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Dallas 500

Meet the Dallas 500: Jack Lafield

The Caiman Energy chairman discusses scuba diving and dreams of New Zealand.

Jack Lafield has survived decades of ups and downs in the oil and gas industry. “Losing all one’s equity in a company that you spent years developing is difficult to rebound from,” he says. “It happened twice in my career.” Today, he’s on solid footing as chairman of Caiman Energy, which focuses on Ohio’s Utica Shale and beyond.

Stanford University (EMBA), Texas A&M University (BS-Chemical Engineering)

First Job:
“I was a bus boy at the cafeteria in the Pentagon, where my father worked. I learned to make sure I was on time and to stay busy.” 

Who I Admire:
“My father. He taught me how to remain honest and keep your integrity while dealing with life’s challenges.”

What Keeps Me Up at Night:
“The poor, or the lack of, decisions made by our representatives in Washington.”

Lesson Learned:
“Stay true to your word. Relationships will follow.”

Car I Drive:
“2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo”

Advice to an 18-Year-Old Me:
“Follow your passion. Strive to find a business you’ll have fun with in life.”

How I Motivate Others:
“I try to work harder than they do and put them in a position to achieve success doing what they like to do.”

Fun Fact:
“I played the French horn (first chair) in junior high school.” 

Scary Moment:
“A deep scuba dive off the North Wall in the Cayman Islands.”

Proud Moments:
“When I married my wife 37 years ago at the Napa County Courthouse, and when my daughter was commissioned as a Naval Officer.” 

Favorite Movies:
“Doctor Zhivago and Out of Africa”

“Boating with my wife and family, snow skiing, and golf all rate about equal.” 

Who’d Play Me in a Biopic:
“Jimmy Stewart. I know he’s gone, but I don’t really have a favorite now.” 

Bucket List:
“I’d like to visit New Zealand.”

This Q&A is extended content from the Dallas 500, a special edition produced by D CEO that profiles the region’s most influential business leaders. Visit for details.