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NEWKOTA SERVICES & RENTALS

Founded in 2011, NewKota Services and Rentals has experienced exponential growth by providing safe, quality service and valuing our employees and customers.

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Controller for NewKota Services and Rentals

Juilet Edwards

NewKota is approaching its tenth anniversary as a company. With humble beginnings, the company has achieved impressive growth and has achieved positive outcomes for many different customers.

One NewKota team member that has contributed to this growth is Juliet Edwards. Juliet is the controller for NewKota Services and Rentals. She has been at NewKota since 2014 and has played—and will continue to play—an integral role at the company.

Juliet’s Journey to NewKota

Before coming to NewKota, Juliet wasn’t new to the oil and gas business. She had been working for another startup company in the industry. Specifically, she pursued an opportunity to help that startup implement software and hire an accounting department.

Through the hard work of Juliet and her colleagues, that startup was in the process of being sold. She had been speaking with a recruiter when she heard about a new opportunity at NewKota. Not only did that recruiter personally know some key executives at the company, but Juliet was intrigued with NewKota and its mission. After the interview process, Juliet got the job and made the move to NewKota.

Fulfilling a Critical Task at NewKota

Juliet has a critical job at NewKota. As the controller, she spends her time on a variety of tasks related to the financial aspects of the business.

For instance, she manages the company’s cash flow statements. She handles things like insurance renewals, banking relationships, monthly reporting, financial statement preparation, and overseeing accounting and payroll. She also spends time, as necessary, completing audits. In the oil and gas industry, there are plenty of audits, so she helps guide the company through the audit process.

Essentially, Juliet has many of the duties and responsibilities of a typical corporate controller. As there is no CFO at the company, she reports directly to Kent Kirkhammer, one of the CEOs of the company.

As a woman in a male-dominated industry, Juliet has had to overcome some additional challenges in her work. Having extensive professional experience in the manufacturing industry, she has learned not to be sensitive. As she says, sensitive individuals may find it a difficult field to work in.

Juliet lives in Denver. She works remotely from there, but she also spends some time in the company’s Minot office. Working remotely certainly has its advantages and disadvantages. There are times where it may be more difficult than others. While Zoom calls are convenient, they sometimes don’t replicate important face-to-face conversations with her colleagues. There is something to be said about physically being in the same room with a colleague and completing important work.

But for the most part, her remote working arrangement works out well. The company has utilized technology the best way that it can, which has made remote working arrangements like hers more feasible. That being said, with Covid-19 becoming less of a travel burden, she foresees visits to Minot around once per month.

Helping the Company Best Serve Its Customers

One of the most rewarding parts of Juliet’s job is that she has watched NewKota notch impressive growth. The company started in a trailer and has come a long way from there. As far as its financials, NewKota initially relied on QuickBooks and a CPA firm to complete its books. Now, the company has brought this work entirely in-house. It is yet another indication of NewKota’s impressive growth.

Juliet has also noticed that NewKota has an extremely supportive board of investors. Having worked for several private equity firms, she recognizes that investors may not be as supportive or understanding about downturns in oil fields. While NewKota is in a cyclical business, it doesn’t have investors that don’t understand the cyclicality of the industry as a whole.

NewKota is coming up on its tenth anniversary. According to Juliet, the company stands out because of its extreme focus on the customer. The company as a whole is constantly thinking about what the customer needs and how it can build a better mousetrap. Ultimately, Juliet believes that NewKota will continue to innovate and find new solutions for customers’ problems.

With employees like Juliet at the company, NewKota is in a fantastic position to keep providing immense value to all of its customers.

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Chris Caldwell

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North Dakota Health, Safety, and Environmental Advisor

Quinlan Axtman

The Minot community is full of fascinating individuals that are doing their part to secure our economic future. Through their hard work, persistence, and sense of community, they make it a special place to work and live.

Minot is full of so many talented, kind, and hardworking individuals. Through our collective work, we make Minot an outstanding place to work and live. While the future is always uncertain, we can rely on each other to make Minot even greater. One of those talented individuals in Minot is Quinlan Axtman. While he is only 27 years old, Quinlan has created immense value—both for the company and Minot as a whole.

Quinlan is the North Dakota Health, Safety, and Environmental (HSE) Advisor at NewKota Services and Rentals. NewKota, which was formed in 2011, is an oil and gas company that offers an array of frac, completion, and drilling support equipment and staff. Its overriding mission is to provide the best possible service and equipment to all of its customers.

At NewKota, Quinlan has an extremely important role. His day-to-day work ensures that the company provides the safest possible environment for its employees. Not only does he help protect his colleagues on an ongoing basis, but his work ensures that the company complies with all necessary rules and regulations. Without him, it would be much more difficult for the company to protect its employees and contribute to Minot’s growth.

Speaking with Quinlan, we discovered that he has a really interesting backstory. He is a smart and driven individual who has a passion for his craft.

The Journey to NewKota

Quinlan’s road to NewKota involves stints at several other companies in the North Dakota area. His journey shows the importance of hard work and the willingness to be aggressive to take on new career challenges.

In 2012, Quinlan was working as a welder for a company called Do All Manufacturing, which was located in Glenburn. Do All Manufacturing was a fabrication shop. While he was working there, a company called Rekota worked with Do All Manufacturing to recertify a derrick.

Quinlan rewelded the derrick. At the same time, he had a lifelong friend that was working on that rig. Both Quinlan and his friend started discussing Rekota and the work that the company took on. Soon thereafter, Quinlan left with the rig and began working with Rekota.

Quinlan ended up working with Rekota for about one year. As he described, the opportunity wasn’t the best fit for him. That being said, at the same time, he discovered the chance to work at NewKota. He also found out that Kent Kirkhammer, the CEO and founder of NewKota, was also a part-owner of Rekota.

In December 2013, Quinlan visited the NewKota shop and interviewed with Kirkhammer. Essentially, Kirkhammer transferred Quinlan from one of his companies to another company. His journey at NewKota was just beginning.

Embracing an Evolving Role

At NewKota, Quinlan started by leveraging his welding background. Specifically, he used his welding experience to maintain open tops that were damaged on location. He ensured that they were both safe on the road and on location.

About a year and a half later, NewKota discovered that it could start doing screenout operations. Because of this, Quinlan and his colleagues developed a plan to build a screenout skid, which is essentially a skid to hold the manifold and a full package of iron valves, nineties, pups, and 10-footers. Working with another welder, Quinlan built around 10 of these skids. When those skids went out into the field for a big client, he was one of the first operators as a hand on that project.

Ultimately, Quinlan really enjoyed working in the field. He enjoyed seeing the fruits of his labor in the real world. Not only was it satisfying to see his hard work, but Quinlan worked to identify new ways to improve field equipment and make it more efficient.

From there, Quinlan’s continued to evolve. He started coming out of the shop and was more of a full-time welder for about two years. He focused on steaming in the winters and then production testing in the summers.

As he was laser-focused on doing the best job that he could in his current role, he jumped at the chance to become NewKota’s HSE Advisor. It was the summer of 2018 and Quinlan leveraged his knowledge and field experience to obtain the position.

As he describes it, he brought the best of both worlds to the company in this new role. On one hand, he knew how operations actually worked. He knew the duties and responsibilities of NewKota’s employees in the field. On the other hand, he knew what it took to help his colleagues safe as they were completing their jobs. That characteristic is within the entire NewKota leadership team. Everyone in the office knows what is required of those in the field, and using that knowledge, they can make better decisions for both field employees and the organization as a whole.

Helping NewKota Accelerate Forward

Quinlan has worked at NewKota for around eight years. During that time, he has seen plenty of changes occur within the company. Starting with rentals and open tops, the company has been able to pivot and navigate its way through tough macroeconomic conditions. For instance, during the downturn of 2015, NewKota focused on providing the best service to all of its clients—including combining rentals and operations to provide clients with better prices. The focus has been on providing the best service to clients and ensuring that NewKota employees have the proper resources and conditions to do their best work.

Individuals like Quinlan play a huge role in helping NewKota accelerate into the future. When asked what he loves so much about his job, Quinlan mentioned his ability to go out into the field and talk with his coworkers. NewKota employees aren’t numbers on a spreadsheet or names on boards that they can move around. Instead, they are individuals with families. They have a passion for their craft and Quinlan wants to help them do it in the safest way possible.

The job is about having honest conversations. In the end, everyone is on the same team. With people like Quinlan at the helm, NewKota is in great hands.

U.S. Operations Manager for NewKota

Real Mercier

Real Mercier is the U.S. Operations Manager at NewKota. Real is originally from Grande Prairie, Alberta. Grande Prairie is around four and a half hours northwest of Edmonton. Real has been in Minot and working with the company since 2007.

Real is a great example of how NewKota separates itself from its competitors. Through intelligent and hard-working employees like Real, the company can better serve its customers, accomplish its goals, and create an even better workplace culture.

Moving From Pure Energy to NewKota

Real’s path to NewKota comes via Pure Energy. He started at Pure Energy in 2003. His flowback career started there, but he traces his career in the oil fields as early as 1998. At Pure Energy, Real worked his way up from hand to field supervisor management. He also spent some time in research and development on several different projects for Pure Energy and FMC Technologies.

As Real said, as the Bakken Formation started out, there was no flowback presence in the Bakken. But in early 2007, a client of Real’s (which is still a client) had a substantial incident. Real was on the response team that was sent in from Wyoming. Since that time, Real has been working on flowback at NewKota.

Real was satisfied with his work at Pure Energy. However, when the company was purchased by FMC, he felt that the company became too large and too corporate. Ultimately, Real wanted to move to a smaller company that had a family feel. He noticed that many NewKota executives used to work at Pure Energy. Once he made the switch to NewKota, he even convinced some of his other Pure Energy staff members to make the leap with him.

Coming to NewKota

Real came to NewKota as the Rockies testing manager. He was also in charge of flowback. Since that time, he and his NewKota colleagues have brought on several new business lines. However, when he started at NewKota, he primarily focused on getting the company’s flowback work off the ground. While the company had team members that had a background in this type of work, NewKota did not have a manager to oversee the work. Ultimately, the company went from two units to 16—all within five years.

Ever since the beginning, Real and his team at NewKota have been extremely tight-knit. As the U.S. Operations Manager, Real works with a few different divisions. For instance, at NewKota, there are distinctions like the regulatory division, construction division, flowback division, and Gorilla Jack division. Each of these divisions has different team members, so Real is focused on helping his colleagues with all kinds of different tasks. He helps them with things like technical advisement and pricing. At its core, his job is about moving around helping his colleagues where they need help. Real also has some sales experience, so he uses that experience to help his sales colleagues overcome challenges they are facing in their day-to-day work.

Obviously, his managerial skills are extremely relevant to his work. Part of those managerial skills is relying on his prior experience in the oil and gas industry. Real can take a step back and empathize with the challenges and opportunities that his colleagues face. Along with this, Real leverages the smaller feel of NewKota. He knows all of his colleagues and is always trying to learn more about them. While it is easy to focus on the technical aspects of their work, culture is at the top of Real’s mind.

Looking to the Next Ten Years

With NewKota celebrating its tenth anniversary, Real is eagerly anticipating the company’s next ten years. Because it is virtually impossible to forecast the future, Real and his colleagues are relying on their strong corporate culture to reach their goals.

Along with this is Real’s focus on the client. If a client is facing a specific problem, Real and his colleagues spring into action. They develop innovative solutions and help those clients accomplish their specific goals.

In the end, these soft skills separate NewKota from its competitors. The company forms true partnerships with its clients and is laser-focused on creating the best corporate culture possible. Combined, these ingredients will help make the next ten years even better.

Regulatory Supervisor at NewKota

Erin Runyon

Everyone from the CEOs to the newest hires works to make NewKota the best company it can possibly be. While there are many companies in the oil and gas industry, NewKota’s competitive advantage lies in its people.

Erin Runyon is one of those talented individuals that make NewKota stand out in an increasingly competitive sector. Erin is a regulatory supervisor at NewKota. He has been with the company for around seven years. During that time, he has moved from steaming to a regulatory supervisor role. No matter his specific role, Erin applies an outstanding work ethic to his job. It is individuals like him that make NewKota a fantastic place to work.

Erin’s Move to NewKota

Erin isn’t originally from Minot. Before coming to the city and working for NewKota, he worked for the parks and recreation department in Rupert, Idaho. Rupert is located in the southern part of the state. It is around 1,000 miles southwest of Minot.

His path to NewKota came from a close personal connection. At the time, Erin was coaching high school baseball with a friend. That friend was working on a job with NewKota. Essentially, his friend told him that there were plenty of opportunities, both financial and otherwise, to make money with the company. Not only was NewKota an up-and-coming company in the oil and gas space, but the macroeconomic conditions provided Erin with even more confidence to make the move.

Thriving at NewKota

Once Erin made the move to NewKota, he started steaming with the company. As he described, one of the biggest learning curves came from adjusting to the oil life. Not only did he have to learn the realities of a new sector, but he had to learn the potential dangers and safeties that come with his line of work.

He was in steaming for about three years before he moved on to work in the regulatory space. As Erin said, making this type of switch was a big deal. Working as a steamer, Erin primarily worked by himself. He even drove his own personal vehicle. It was an independent endeavor, so going from that to a regulatory supervisor was a big transition.

On the regulatory side, Erin had to navigate a steeper learning curve. He needed to adjust to things like more paperwork. That being said, Erin loves his current work. One of his main roles involves monitoring and fixing potential leaks within tanks at specific facilities. If the system or an individual flags a potential leak, Erin ensures that his colleagues mask up and open up those tanks. Identifying the underlying problems, they make the necessary fixes and changes.

Ultimately, Erin sees the pros and cons of making his career moves. On one hand, physical distance remains a challenge. Being away from family and friends can be difficult. On the other hand, Erin sees his role as NewKota as being a great experience. He is not only able to work on difficult tasks, but he works with a group of intelligent and driven people.

Maximal Freedom

Erin said that there are plenty of benefits of working at NewKota. However, one of the most significant is the extensive amount of freedom that he and his colleagues have. He isn’t pressured to take on certain tasks. Rather, NewKota management lets him complete his regulatory work without micromanagement or interference.

That sense of freedom also comes from another angle. Specifically, Erin doesn’t need to be in the shop all the time. He can do his best work without being tied down to a specific location. This type of freedom is liberating and allows Erin and his colleagues to be both productive and efficient with their time.

And then there is the freedom to experiment with new ideas. NewKota management lets team members like Erin try out different ideas in their day-to-day work. Even if those ideas don’t work out, management encourages even further experimentation. It is this attitude around experimentation that lets NewKota survive tough macroeconomic conditions and deliver even more value to its customers.

In the end, employees like Erin make NewKota a gem in the oil and gas world. Looking to the future, it is clear that Erin and his colleagues will continue to innovate and create outstanding customer outcomes. The journey is only beginning.

An Outstanding Field Supervisor at NewKota

Chance Kraft

It goes without saying, but NewKota has so many talented, hardworking, and driven employees. Having been in existence for only one decade, the company owes its success to its stellar team members.

In this post, we want to highlight one of those individuals. His name is Chance Kraft and he is a field supervisor at NewKota. The 32-year-old has been at NewKota for around eight-and-a-half years and has helped NewKota grow to the company that it is today.

Ultimately, Chance is one of the many NewKota employees that not only helps the company reach its goals, but helps make Minot a great place to live and work.

Chance’s Path to NewKota

Chance was born and raised in Minot. He started his oil and gas career in the winter of 2009. Chance was working at Pure Energy along with some of the soon-to-be members of the NewKota management team. Those individuals included Jarod Seifert, Kent Kirkhammer, and Real Mercier. Two years after he started at PureEnergy, Chance moved to AmeriTest. He worked at AmeriTest for about a year-and-a-half before he moved to NewKota.

Chance came to NewKota as a supervisor. Throughout his nearly nine years at the company, Chance has held the same position. When he first entered the company, he said that his work was a “constant grind.” It was the attitude of constant training and the avoidance of shortcuts that led him to develop an expertise in his work.

Chance brings that expertise to his work today. He certainly is staying busy. As he told us, he has been traveling to Gillette, Wyoming to complete some of his work. While it is always difficult being away from family, Chance said that NewKota is like its own family. If personal issues ever were to come up (as it did for Chance last year), NewKota’s management team has been accommodating. This family-first approach to business has created immense values for both employees and the company as a whole.

Looking at his nine years at NewKota, Chance’s job scope has remained relatively the same. Chance and his colleagues still run iron, set up for their screen out packages, and similar tasks. Basically, he is continuing to provide the same top-notch work that he provided when he first joined the company.

Identifying NewKota’s Competitive Edges

Ultimately, there are several things that Chance finds rewarding about working at NewKota. For one thing, he appreciates the company’s humble beginnings. NewKota began in a little shop with barely enough room for two desks and several pieces of equipment. Now, Chance has nice offices in both Gillette and Minot. To see a company like NewKota be created out of thin air is truly something to behold.

Tied with that is a management team that is intelligent and agile. Like many other oil and gas businesses, NewKota has had to navigate through tough macroeconomic conditions. Some companies in the Bakken weren’t able to make it. NewKota, however, was able to survive and thrive.

While it took the entire company to make it through those difficult times, Chance credits the company’s management team. The team created an environment where great operators and supervisors could effectively collaborate and overcome the many challenges that the company encountered.

Like any business, success comes down to people. As Chance described, NewKota’s management team did a great job in both setting expectations for its current employees and hiring talented individuals. Hiring experts from places like Wyoming, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, the entire NewKota team learned different ways of doing their day-to-day work. They were able to take this knowledge and give the company better odds of survival during those darker days. Not only that, but this focus on talent led to better results for clients and an even better reputation for the company itself.

Chance adopts the same attitude to his work. While it depends on the operation, he could be managing one other person to five other people on a crew. He identifies their skill sets and places them in positions where they are most likely to succeed. In other words, he is following the outstanding example set by management and his colleagues at the company.

Looking toward the future, Chance and his colleagues are in a great position. Not only do they have a great opportunity to grow the business, but they have an outstanding chance to create an even better culture at NewKota. We can’t wait to see what happens next.

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Landy Brown

Vestibulum ac diam sit amet quam vehicula elementum sed sit amet dui. Mauris blandit aliquet elit, eget tincidunt nibh pulvinar a. Pellentesque in ipsum id orci porta dapibus. Curabitur arcu erat, accumsan id imperdiet et, porttitor at sem.

Sed porttitor lectus nibh. Sed porttitor lectus nibh. Curabitur arcu erat, accumsan id imperdiet et, porttitor at sem. Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus magna justo, lacinia eget consectetur sed, convallis at tellus. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim. Curabitur non nulla sit amet nisl tempus convallis quis ac lectus. Mauris blandit aliquet elit, eget tincidunt nibh pulvinar a. Pellentesque in ipsum id orci porta dapibus.

Curabitur arcu erat, accumsan id imperdiet et, porttitor at sem. Curabitur non nulla sit amet nisl tempus convallis quis ac lectus. Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Proin eget tortor risus. Praesent sapien massa, convallis a pellentesque nec, egestas non nisi. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim. Pellentesque in ipsum id orci porta dapibus. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Donec velit neque, auctor sit amet aliquam vel, ullamcorper sit amet ligula. Mauris blandit aliquet elit, eget tincidunt nibh pulvinar a. Pellentesque in ipsum id orci porta dapibus.

Flowback Supervisor

Krist Erickson

The Minot community is full of fascinating individuals that are doing their part to secure our economic future. Through their hard work, persistence, and sense of community, they make it a special place to work and live.

Krist Erickson is one of those individuals who adds much to our community. He is a flowback supervisor at NewKota Services and Rentals, the oil and gas service company that offers frac, completion, and drilling support equipment and staff.

The 38-year-old plays an important role at the company. Not only that, but he brings that experience to an entirely different state in his day-to-day work. With people like Krist working at the company, NewKota is certainly in good hands.

Krist’s Path to NewKota

Krist grew up in Stanley, which is in the heart of the Bakken. If you are new to the area or haven’t heard of it, Stanley is a town of around 2,700 people and around one hour west of Minot. While he didn’t grow up in Minot, he spends a good amount of his life in the city.

Krist’s path to NewKota spanned a wide range of industries and sectors. He has worked in everything from the hospitality industry to the entertainment industry. As he described to us, his experience in all of those industries helped him obtain skills that he uses to this day. Ultimately, he relies on his career experiences to provide stellar customer service for all of his clients at NewKota.

His professional experience in the oil and gas industry began at Pure Energy. A friend of Krist’s was working there and he felt like it was a great opportunity to learn more about the energy business. After working at Pure Energy for some time, Krist noticed that Jarod Seifert and Kent Kirkhammer were starting a new company called NewKota.

Around seven years ago, he leaped at the opportunity to join Jarod and Kent as they were building and scaling the company. To this day, Krist has the voicemail that was in response to his initial inquiries into NewKota. He was excited about the chance to join the company and was able to leverage his passion, expertise, and intelligence to find a position there.

Kris’s Role at NewKota

Now, Krist is a flowback supervisor at NewKota. He spends much of his time working with flowback equipment at the company.

Krist is based in Minot. Compared to some of his colleagues, however, Krist works both in North Dakota and Wyoming. The company has a district in Wyoming, so when clients need his assistance, he travels from Minot to Wyoming. While it may sometimes be inconvenient, Krist is able to leverage his skills and expertise to help NewKota clients in both states.

A typical day in Krist’s life starts early. He wakes up at around 3:00 in the morning and grabs a cup of coffee. From there, he goes out to the location and meets with some of his crew members. Sometimes, he may be starting up a new location meeting. On that typical day, Krist would conduct an operations meeting on location, complete shift changes with individual crews, and conduct multiple safety meetings with the company’s clients.

As if that wasn’t enough, part of Krist’s day is meeting with clients. When meeting with prospective clients, he both identifies what their needs are and how he and NewKota can fulfill those needs. For existing NewKota clients, Krist continues to see how he and his colleagues can provide even more value.

Krist admits that throughout his career, he has been lucky for so many reasons. One of those reasons is that he has been able to venture into many different regulatory roles. Krist is one of the few people that has actually worked in every one of the company’s service value lines. From the renters and steamers to the flowback equipment, Krist is well-versed in his work.

One of the things that excites Krist about NewKota—and the oil and gas industry as a whole—is that the field is always advancing. It allows anyone to think outside their roles and create value. NewKota management encourages Krist and his colleagues to experiment. For instance, if he thinks that a new piece of equipment can improve the quality of the company’s products or services, management will give him some leeway to try different things in his day-to-day work.

Another thing that Krist enjoys about NewKota is its collegiality. As he describes it, there is only one team at the company. While all of them are tasked with specific roles, he and his colleagues are willing to help each other and collaborate with their work.

There are no numbered employees at the company. It truly is a family. Krist even knows some of his colleagues’ children. This type of collegial environment lets all NewKota employees do their best work. As Krist said, NewKota offers the support of a corporation, but isn’t exactly like a corporation. In effect, it combines the best of both worlds, letting its employees do their best work for the company’s clients.

Looking Towards The Future

While it is always tough to forecast the future, NewKota and Krist are eager for the opportunities ahead. NewKota is willing to make big bets—even during economic downturns. NewKota was one of the few companies of its size (let alone a company in the oil field) that invested cash to buy more assets during one of the worst markets for the oil industry.

Few companies in the Bakken can say that they have been in business for more than 10 years. NewKota checks off that box. With employees like Krist, it is in a great position to continue creating value for its clients. His passion for his craft, work ethic, and stellar demeanor toward clients are not only beneficial to NewKota, but to Minot as a whole. He truly is doing his part to help NewKota succeed and, thereby, helping the Minot community grow.

Rental, Steam and Construction Manager at NewKota

Mark Brisson

Mark Brisson, like all NewKota employees, is an impressive individual. Originally from Alberta, Mark now lives in Minot and is NewKota’s Rental, Steam and Construction Manager. Through the hard work of individuals like Mark, NewKota is able to create a positive workplace culture, inspire and motivate all team members, and deliver better customer outcomes.

Mark’s Journey From Alberta to Minot

Compared to other NewKota employees, Mark didn’t come to Minot with a sole focus on the oil and gas industry. Instead, he came to attend college at Minot State University and to play hockey there. It was 1998 and he eventually met his current wife while in college.

Both when he was in college and during summers off, Mark worked in the oil fields. Specifically, Mark was in the scaffolding business and built scaffolds at refineries. Once Mark finished college, he went into that work full-time. Around 2009, he went into the front office of his scaffolding company and worked his way to become the general manager. In 2012, however, he permanently moved to Minot to be with his wife.

Mark met Kent Kirkhammer in 2003. He reunited with Kent in 2012 and was offered a job at NewKota. Upon joining the company, Mark went out into the field (he was a steamer). While he worked at NewKota for about a year and a half, he left the company for about two and a half years. After exploring other opportunities, Mark returned to the company in April 2016. He has been there since.

Combining Hockey and His Work at NewKota

When Mark returned to NewKota, he was overseeing a good amount of work at NewKota. However, after Real Mercier arrived, Mark was moved to the rental and steam side of the company. This past spring, Mark started overseeing construction and helping the company with administrative work.

Mark describes himself as a leader who leads by example. He isn’t afraid to put in long hours, even if that means being in the field at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. That sort of dedication goes a long way in helping Mark develop strong relationships with his colleagues and better serve NewKota’s clients.

Mark even looks to his college hockey career as inspiration for his current work. Not only did he need the technical skills to help his teammates, but he needed to be a team player. He needed to develop the grit and diligence to help his team when they needed it the most. Along with this, he needed to adapt to changing circumstances. Even if he felt like he wasn’t prepared, Mark had to be adaptable—whether it made him comfortable or not.

While business and sports are not the same things, Mark relies on those traits when completing his work for NewKota. It helps that NewKota has an extremely strong workplace culture. As Mark described it, NewKota is just like a family. Everybody can talk with everybody. At NewKota, there is an open door policy with no ramifications for bringing up potential issues or problems. It is this kind of culture that helps the company navigate through uncertain times and provide the most possible value to its clients.

The Next Ten Years

Few companies in the Bakken have been able to survive for ten years. NewKota isn’t one of those companies. Through the hard work of individuals like Mark, the company is in a great position to thrive in the next ten years.

As Mark says, it all starts with ownership. There is a trickle-down effect with good management at NewKota. Through both words and action, management inspires and motivates every team member. They see what they need to do and they have the support in doing their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Mark believes that the Gorilla Jack will be especially exciting for the company’s future. Even though the future is uncertain, Gorilla Jack could be a stepping stone into other basins in the United States. It is an exciting product and an exciting time for the company. Whether or not the strategy goes according to plan, individuals like Mark will continue to create immense value for NewKota’s customers.

U.S. Sales Manager at NewKota

James Rozell

The Minot community is full of fascinating individuals that are doing their part to secure our economic future. Through their hard work, persistence, and sense of community, they make it a special place to work and live.

NewKota is full of outstanding individuals. Everyone from the CEOs to the newest hires is laser-focused on helping the company best serve its customers and accomplish its goals.

One of those impressive employees is James Rozell is the U.S. Sales Manager at NewKota. His role requires him to do many different things. Yet whether he is managing his sales team, dealing with customers or managing tickets & invoices, James brings a true passion to his work. Through the hard work of individuals like James, NewKota is in an excellent position to maintain its impressive growth and contribute to Minot & Gillette as a whole.

James’s Path to NewKota

James started with NewKota in November 2013. Before he began with NewKota, James worked at Pure Energy Services. At Pure Energy Services, James took on several roles, including Testing Supervisor, ND Operations Manager, US Testing Operations Manager and U.S. Testing Sales Manager. He was working for Pure Energy in several different places, including North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, and Canada.

In 2012, James was at FMC Technologies for about one year after Pure energy had been acquired, before going to NewKota in October 2013. He saw that Jarod Seifert and Kent Kirkhammer had started NewKota and was interested in working for a company that was doing exciting things in the oil and gas space. He met up with Kent at a Bronco’s game to discuss a potential opportunity at NewKota. From there, he met with Kent and Jarod to officially make the switch to the company.

James’s story shows us the power of seizing opportunities. He quickly recognized that he needed a change and jumped on the chance to work for NewKota. While some people would be intimidated by such a switch, James had the courage and fortitude after spending the prior 14 years at one company to take a leap of faith and work for a new, up-and-coming company.

Typical Responsibilities

On a typical day, James looks after the field sales team. He ensures that his colleagues are on-task and are speaking with certain customers that day. Along with this, James works on events and sponsorships and is responsible for guiding the processing of final invoices.

Ultimately, James’s job requires plenty of soft skills. At a high level, he must be a motivational and inspirational leader. Being a sales manager at a fast-growing company, James must ensure that his team is on the same page. He has to be agile and thoughtful in a business world that is constantly changing.

He must also pay close attention to detail. At times, it can be much easier said than done, yet James has the aptitude and patience to ensure that his team is on the same page and that the customer is getting the service they expect.

A Different Company in the Oil and Gas Space

In the end, James has been extremely satisfied with his move to NewKota. His experience at NewKota has been a huge change from his short stint at FMC Technologies. Instead of navigating through a difficult corporate bureaucracy, James is can do his work and contribute to NewKota’s positive workplace culture. Everyone is able to volunteer ideas that may help the company deliver even more value to its customers.

That leads to another point that James made. NewKota is unique in the amount of freedom that it gives to its employees. There is not only the freedom to make decisions, but the freedom to work together and do all kinds of things to help customers. Not every company offers this, so James makes sure to leverage this freedom when interacting with both colleagues and customers.

Accelerating Into the Future

Looking to the future, James is optimistic about NewKota and the value that it will keep providing to its customers. Yes, forecasts are always uncertain. However, NewKota is uniquely positioned to thrive even in the midst of unforeseen challenges.

The reason? It’s people.

Leaders like James can respond to difficult challenges, motivate their colleagues to work together and develop a solution, and quickly deliver that solution to customers. While they may not always be perfect, they are constantly learning, whether that is educating customers about the new Gorilla Jack or preparing a bid for a complex flowback operation or just answering generic questions about NewKota and how it can improve customers’ lives.

It will be individuals like James that will help the company accelerate into the future. We are eagerly anticipating what they do next.

North Dakota Production Testing Manager at NewKota

William Blatnik

William’s Journey to NewKota

William is originally from Duluth, Minnesota. He started in the oil and gas industry in 2010.

His path to NewKota is similar to many others’. There was a personal connection that persuaded them to take a chance and join the company. That being said, William’s story is unique in that Real Mercier, now NewKota’s U.S. Operations Manager is William’s brother-in-law who planted the seeds for William’s eventual arrival at NewKota.

William met Real in Duluth. At the time, William was in high school and Real was engaged to his sister. At the time, William knew nothing about the oil fields. After hearing Real discuss the Bakken and the type of work involved, he invited William to the North Dakota to do some work.

After graduating from high school in 2010, William moved to Minot. He started out as a flowback operator for Pure Energy Services. As William describes, his first experience in the oil field was extremely eye-opening. He had never picked up a sledgehammer in his life. But after one week, he fell in love with the work. He knew that he wanted to work in this industry for the foreseeable future.

When he was at Pure Energy, William met Jarod Seifert and Kent Kirkhammer. Real, who at the time was a supervisor at NewKota, is the one that convinced William to join the company. When he came to NewKota, William was a flowback supervisor.

William’s Role at the Company

At NewKota, William is the North Dakota Production Testing Manager. He climbed the ladder to this position when the oil market started picking back up. As the company brought on more employees, it needed a field superintendent. Among his responsibilities were monitoring gear and making sure morale was good in the field. From there, he was promoted to his current position.

As the North Dakota Production Testing Manager, William is still heavily involved with his colleagues in the field. Even though he is in an office role, he constantly checks in with those colleagues that are outside of the office. He also works on scheduling for upcoming jobs and manages assets. For instance, if there is rental equipment in the field that NewKota is renting from a third party, he ensures that there are trackers on that equipment.

William also works on other tasks, like reviewing ticketing and invoices that are coming in from the flowback side. If a specific team member needs help with things like ticketing or invoicing, William is willing and able to provide assistance.

A Second Family

While many companies in the Bakken haven’t been around for one decade, NewKota is approaching its tenth birthday. As William said, one of the most important things about NewKota is that it is like a second family.

Everyone at NewKota communicates like a family, whether that is on the flowback side, construction side, the Gorilla Jack side, or something else. If one department is short-staffed, team members from other departments are willing to help out. It is this level of camaraderie that helps the entire NewKota team get more done and better serve its customers.

As William said, management is also a huge factor. Jarod and Kent sit in the same office as their other colleagues. They communicate with their team members every day and help ensure that the company is best serving its customers. Every employee isn’t just a number; rather, Jarod, Kent, and the entire management team help each individual do their best work.

In the end, William enjoys working with all of his colleagues. His days are fast-paced and he likes solving challenging problems with others at the company. Every job is different, and because of this, William and his team members need to be on their A-games. However, with such a positive workplace culture and a commitment to the customer, William and his colleagues will keep reaching their goals.