Ronnie K. Irani was honored as a Living Legend by the Oklahoma Geological Foundation in Oklahoma City on Thurs., Nov. 7, 2019.
The Living Legend Award recognizes outstanding individuals in Oklahoma who have distinguished themselves through substantial contributions to the science of geology, created significant advancements in the petroleum industry, and have improved their communities for the betterment of society.
An alumnus of the Mewbourne College, Irani has more than 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He is the founder and CEO of RKI Energy Resources in Oklahoma City and former CEO and founder of RKI Exploration & Production, which he sold in 2015. Before venturing on his own, Irani was senior VP and general manager at Dominion Resources and was responsible for the company’s oil and gas exploration and operations in the western half of the United States. Prior to Dominion, he served in senior executive positions for Louis Dreyfus Natural Gas Corp. and Woods Petroleum Corporation.
Irani holds a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Mewbourne College and has been a consistent visionary and advocate for the College, programs and students. He established the Ronnie K. Irani Center for Energy Solutions, a unique program that brings real-world, real-time projects from energy companies to Mewbourne College students. His hope is that the Irani Center will help unite petroleum engineering and earth science knowledge with entrepreneurial experience to give students a head start in launching their careers.
“Being an entrepreneur, in my mind, is not necessarily starting your own company. It’s how you approach a project or a problem,” Irani told to the inaugural participants of Irani Center for Energy Solutions last year.
Irani also serves on the College’s Board of Visitors and is an engaged mentor to students. He champions scholarships that enhance diversity and inclusion initiatives, help drive the energy industry and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Irani’s fingerprints are across campus. A graduate of OU’s MBA program, Irani created the Price College of Business’ Ronnie K. Irani Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth, an economic development organization specializing in technology commercialization, software business development, social entrepreneurship, and agile product design.
Irani and his wife Shahnaaz seek to be a source for good throughout Oklahoma City. in 2017, they founded OKCRespond to provide life-changing programs and support for Oklahoma’s first responders and their families and to redirect at-risk youth by creating mentorship opportunities with first responders, corporate leaders and athletes. They support such causes as the Integris Arcadia Trails Addiction Center, the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Museum, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. Irani serves on multiple boards including the OKC Boathouse Foundation where he is chairman, the Oklahoma Energy Explorers, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and on the board of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
“Congratulations to our very own Ronnie Irani for his recent recognition into the Oklahoma Geological Foundation as a Living Legend,” said Mike Stice, dean of the Mewbourne College. “This distinguished honor properly recognizes Ronnie’s many contributions to the energy industry. I want to further express my sincere thanks to Ronnie for all his contributions to our College and our University as a whole. A true legend is someone of extraordinary accomplishment and beloved by many. Ronnie Irani certainly qualified in my book!”
Congratulations, Ronnie! You are a living legend.