Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board Member
Representing Sonora and Sutton County
John Friess grew up on a ranch in Sonora, Texas, where he learned that stewardship of land and animals is hard, but rewarding, work. An early fascination with science, especially geology, led him to a career in oil and gas exploration; following formal training in geophysics at Texas Tech University. These grand plans were put on hold for a couple of years while the U.S. Army required his services as an infantry platoon sergeant in Vietnam.
Once the career plans were resumed, John worked for Phillips Petroleum, Mobil Oil, and Conoco. His Conoco work was in international exploration with many overseas assignments, including two years in Egypt.
Following retirement from Conoco, John spent two years as Visiting Associate Professor in Oklahoma State’s School of Geology teaching graduate courses in geophysical exploration. He then spent 6 years as a consultant for a small independent oil company in Oklahoma. John moved back to the ranch in Sonora in 2004, and since that time has been busy with volunteer work, mostly civic and church affairs. He has also led efforts of the local transportation committee to address the pros and cons of a reliever road for the Ports-to-Plains route through Sonora.
He has been happily married to Judy, the love of his life, since 1967. They have two children and five handsome and talented grandchildren.
John believes that it is crucial that the Sonora area maintain representation on the PTP board. Sonora is situated at the intersection of Interstate 10 and PTP. This part of the PTP corridor is the largest section of two-lane remaining (60 miles north of Sonora and 90 miles south). The southern leg connects Sonora to Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña, the nearest access to Mexico. John believes that PTP will bring industrial growth and jobs to small towns in West Texas, thus broadening their economic base. He looks forward to working with a coalition of like-minded individuals whose collective efforts can influence highway construction in low population areas.