Axial's Growth 100 : William Dressel

William Dressel

CEO, S.T.L. Resources

Young Energy

William Dressel is about twenty years younger than most of the people working at his company.

“I started my first company at 27…and now at 34 I’m trying to raise half a billion dollars,” says William.

As a young entrepreneur, William understands the importance of recognizing his own strengths — and hiring others with more experience or specialization to take over when necessary. William is the founder of three companies — S.T.L. Resources, a vertically integrated E&P company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, and development of natural gas and oil properties; Iron Will Energy, a full service land acquisition and development company; and Front Runner Seismic, a full service, front-end seismic design and land negotiation company.

Says William about S.T.L. Resources, “we are basically a startup E&P company, focused on exploiting the downturn in the market to acquire distressed assets and mature them through the next beginning of the lifecycle.” The company, which is focused primarily in the Appalachian basis, hopes to turn the assets back into the market within the next 5-7 years.

Founder First

In the past few years, William has stepped aside from the CEO role at each of his three companies. “I have a business degree,” he says. “I’m not an engineer or a geologist.” Instead, he has taken an executive board member roles and serves as a majority shareholder and decision-maker for each company, while “allowing industry veterans to be the face of the organization” and make the important technical decisions that determine how a project is executed.

At the beginning of his tenure, William spent a lot of time getting more experienced and older stakeholders to buy into his vision for the companies. Now, with trusted specialists at the helm, he spends the majority of his time managing investor relationships and overseeing strategy.

Part of this strategy includes capitalizing on their broad industry relationships to “create a proprietary deal flow within the industry” — finding the right assets with the right geological structures and targeting them before they’ve hired a marketing company or set up a data room to lessen the amount of competition for the acquisition.

“This is how I see leadership,” William says. “Hire people smarter than you are and then listen to them. You don’t have to worry about the day-to-day activities in the company, because you know that there are being managed by the best managers in the business.”