Zane Woods is going to change the world.
That change may not come today, it may not come tomorrow and it may not even come during Woods’ own lifetime, but he will, without a doubt, change the world.
Just ask him. Not leaving a legacy and or not making positive difference on a global scale is simply not an option for the Oklahoma City resident.
Woods, who founded ZZW Global Inc. in July 2010, has already done more than anyone expected from a small-town boy. He “came from nothing,” but had the drive, business sense and “never say die” attitude to make it work.
Born in McLoud and raised in Guthrie, Woods made his rise in the auto industry, and the world of Fortune 500 companies was opened to him when he was in his early 20s. But, being entrenched in the business climate of Oklahoma, the young man soon turned his sites to oil exploration.
He began working the oil fields of Texas and Louisiana, found the skills he excelled at and started ZZW Global, which provides oilfield services to the oil exploration and drilling industry. In a mere three years, the company experienced a 5,200 percent growth.
Now, Woods has new goals. He wants ZZW Global to begin oil exploration and drilling by September, and, more importantly in his mind, he wants to end the “outdated and harmful” ban on the export of crude oil to the rest of the world.
“I try to grow steadily each day,” Woods said. “But my goal isn’t money. It takes a lot of time and energy and my own money to reach these goals. My goal is to create a positive impact on the community and the country in a powerful way.”
The Rise Of Zane Woods
At Woods’ office in the Oklahoma Tower in Oklahoma City, Wood’s battles between talking about his industry and talking about his passion to leave a legacy. He serves on the board of directors for both the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, as well as the Sam Noble Museum for Natural History. He also sits on the committee for the nonprofit group, Pros For Africa.
He has a love of history, and his eyes light up when he talks about archeological digs in the Black Mesa area of Oklahoma. He owns a gyroscope from the turn of the century, and one day, he wants to be Indiana Jones.
But for now, Woods wants to expand his fast-rising empire and help America become free from dependence on foreign oil.
Starting with almost no funds, Woods’ fledgling ZZW Global scored a master service agreement with Devon Energy, and for two years, Woods would log 100-hour work weeks as a one-man show doing a wide variety of oilfield service. He’s kind of famous for frac tank cleaning in particular and could do 20 frac tank jobs in the time it took other contractors to do one.
“I pushed myself every day,” said Woods. “It was a lot of hard work. But, I found mentors, like Carl Loos. He spent so much time and wisdom with me. I can’t stop learning from his examples. I feel like I’d be neglecting my potential if I didn’t keep working.”
As ZZW Global grew, Woods was determined not to take on any debt. He would purchase equipment or hire staff only if the money was there, and today, ZZW remains debt free.
“I put all my money back into the company, and I still do that today,” Woods said. “In fact, I still live in the rental home that I lived in when I started my company. Honestly, I grew up knowing I couldn’t buy anything, but now there is nothing I want to buy. I’d rather grow the company and give to charitable foundations.”
ZZW Global became the go-to company for services like soil farming, wash crews, emergency clean up, oilfield transport and more. Clients like Continental Resources and SandRidge Energy contracted with the little services company.
In three years, ZZW Global wasn’t a small company any more. With a 5,200 percent growth in its first three years, ZZW Global was honored as the area’s fastest-growing, privately-owned companies.
Even better, Woods was able to hire a full staff.
“I will say it’s easier to not be physically pushing it in the field myself, but I realized the importance of selecting the people around me,” said Woods. “I’m very aware that all my accomplishments are because I’m surrounded by great people.”
Woods is passionate about a lot of things. He’s passionate about learning something every day from mentors like Harold Hamm of Continental Resources. He’s passionate about this wife and 3-year-old twins, and he’s passionate about giving and supporting causes.
Most of all, he’s passionate about lifting the current US restrictions on the export of crude oil. As a new member of the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, a nationwide collaboration representing about 10,000 individuals and companies engaged in domestic onshore oil and natural gas exploration and production, Woods is spending his time, energy and personal money to lift that ban.
“Lifing the ban will be the defining direction of our nation and will potentially decide who will be the superpower in the world,” Woods said. “It would also free us from being dependent on foreign oil. I’m more excited about this than anything.”
In addition, Woods wants to make America stronger, but he knows he may not be alive to reap the rewards of the seeds he is sowing today.
“Our founding fathers never got to enjoy what they fought for in creating our country, but they still fought,” Woods said. “That’s inspiring to me. They did what was right, and we need to continue to fight to make our world better. I may never see it, but I’m fighting for my kids and the grandkids I haven’t met yet.”
Woods sees companies like ZZW Global as the frontline soldiers in the fight to open the global economy.
“We can be a global provider, and we have the ability to provide oil to the world, to areas that are forced to bend to another country because they can only get oil and gas from them,” said Woods. “This would give us independence too.”
ZZW Global will also begin its own oil exploration and production this fall, thanks to being able to buy leases when other oil companies were selling off when oil prices dropped this year. He doesn’t have to expand, but he wants to.
In 2015, Zane was honored by The Journal Record as one of Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEOs.
“Do I plateau and take it easy or do I keep going?” he said. “I feel the need to make a difference, and I want to at least do my part. It’s not about the money. It’s about leaving a legacy that makes positive change.”
Written by Heide Brandes | Photography by Richard Rowe Photo