“I have very fond memories of my time at OU,” Zinke said. “I graduated in 1975, at a time when OU won national football championships in 1974 and 1975. I had many fabulous professors and counselors, but my favorites were Dr. Daniel Wren and legal studies professors (Jim) Mauser and (Forest) Frueh. The business school community was robust and dynamic during my years at OU, and I established many close friendships that have endured to this day.”
Zinke began what was to become a long and distinguished relationship with OU’s Petroleum Land Management program, the first program of its kind when it was established in 1958, as an OU student. He served in several capacities, including president, of the program’s student association.
Following graduation, Zinke worked the next five years in various positions with ARCO, Northern Natural Gas Co. and Hawkins Oil and Gas Co. before going out on his own. He started what has become Zenergy Inc. in September of 1980 with his partner David B. Trumbo, serving as president/CEO for the majority of its history. He has been responsible for most of the company’s E&P activities, including prospect generation, leasing, drilling programs and operations. He was instrumental in leading the company’s growth from a small two-man prospect generation company to the 80-employee, fully integrated, upstream and midstream oil and gas independent of today.