BISMARCK, ND — Jim Arthaud’s knowledge and insight on land, oil and business in the Williston Basin led him to starting a company in 1979 called MBI Energy Services. That company quickly grew from three employees to become the largest independent oil field services provider in the Williston Basin with its world headquarters in Belfield, ND, and locations across North Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming. Arthaud’s accomplishments and understanding of oil and gas exploration and production led to his appointment on state and local boards and committees. Over time, expertise in these fields not only helped progress his company in the energy industry, but also contributed to the Bakken’s rise as one of the leading producers of oil and gas in the world.

“There are two ways to operate during a downturn,” said Arthaud. “You can manage or you can lead. We lead through the downturn.”

University of Mary President, Monsignor James Shea presents Jim Arthaud with the very first Virtuous Leadership Award

University of Mary President, Monsignor James Shea presents Jim Arthaud with the very first Virtuous Leadership Award

It’s evident that Arthaud has taken that philosophy and personal mantra one step further by leading through virtue. During Arthaud’s career and lifetime, leadership has been about more than just theories, charts and balance sheets. It’s been about people: the strength of character and the virtues that define an individual as a person and business leader. It’s for that reason Arthaud is being recognized by the University of Mary with its very first Virtuous Leadership Award at a special luncheon ceremony today, Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 12:30 p.m., in the Great Room of the Harold Schafer Leadership Center on campus.

“I can’t think of a better, more respected businessman and entrepreneur to receive this first Virtuous Leadership Award from the University of Mary,” said Dr. John Warford, dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business at Mary. “Jim’s passion for his workers, his state and his faith, exemplifies what the Gary Tharaldson School of Business is all about—that business can be a force for good.”

Jim and his family of companies currently operates 13 wells, 20,460 net acres in the Williston Basin, with interest in 745 wells and 96,952 undeveloped net acres in North America (ND, MT, WY, OK, TX and PA). Since Arthaud’s founding and leadership as CEO of the company, MBI has made several significant and strategic acquisitions to position itself as a broad-based oilfield service company, augmenting its hauling business with service rigs, wireline units, a fishing and rentals business, oil tools, well-site supervisors, hot oil trucks and a crane business. Most recently in August of 2016, Arthaud and his brother, senior vice president of Fluid Management Operations, Jody Arthaud, retired from MBI Energy Services.

Arthaud has now set his sites on a new business venture by starting McKenzie Energy Partners, LLC, based in Watford City. Arthaud has teamed with leaders from his previous ventures to offer expertise in water management solutions in the Williston Basin, while adhering to their core values as stewards of the land and the environment they love. Arthaud formed the company to provide experienced engineering to design produced water gathering systems and disposal solutions with leak detection and control systems that follow industry best practices.