Meet Our Panelists and Moderator
Russell Gordy | Panelist
President, Gordy Oil Company
Founder, Gordy & Sons Outfitters
Russell Gordy, son of a Houston policeman and office cleaner, was born in Savannah, Georgia, before moving to Houston at the age of three. He began his industrious career working his way through Sam Houston State University as a garbage collector, a truck-loader, and roughneck. From there, he went into the oil industry and soon co-founded a small oil and gas company in 1981. He sold the majority of the company in 1985, shortly before oil prices collapsed. Using the proceeds from the sale, Mr. Gordy took advantage of the then-low oil prices, buying up additional oil fields and expanding into coal-bed methane drilling and minerals exploration. He then formed RGSS Land & Minerals when he gained control of the mineral rights for 1.5 million acres from U.S. Steel in 2004. Mr. Gordy is also President and Managing Partner of SG Interests, formed in 1989, which owns oil and gas, coal, and other mineral interests in Colorado. SG Interests finds low-risk properties to drill and develop in a more efficient and low-cost manner than larger exploration and production organizations can support. He then formed Gordy Oil to operate the oil and gas properties, and Rock Creek Ranch, which owns all his ranching properties. Like his diverse resume of college jobs, Mr. Gordy has used the nationally known oilfield empire he built to expand his core business in a way that suits his varied interests and hobbies.
In 2017, Mr. Gordy and his two sons opened Gordy & Sons Outfitters, an ultra-high-end hunting and fishing equipment, apparel, and accessories store in Houston. Not only does the store have an Amazonian peacock bass stocked casting pond, it also employs the only Purdey gunsmith in the U.S., allowing purchasers to forgo the years-long waiting list mandatory anywhere else, including at the company’s own store in England. It is no surprise the store has become a country-wide destination for hunters and fishermen.
When he is not managing one of his vastly successful businesses, Mr. Gordy enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren, ranching in Montana, Wyoming, and Texas, wildlife conservation, and focusing on numerous philanthropic endeavors alongside his wife, Glenda.
Ignacio “Nacho” Torras | Panelist
CEO and owner, Tricon Energy
Owner, BCN Taste & Tradition, MAD Houston
Ignacio “Nacho” Torras was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, and moved to Brazil when was 18 years old. After a year in Mexico, Nacho first moved to Houston in 1989, working for a Houston-based chemical and gasoline trading company. In 1996, Mr. Torras open Tricon Energy and moved with his family to Panama. Originally motivated by the idea of creating a global trading and marketing company specializing in chemical commodities, Tricon Energy now operates a global footprint of more than 28 offices with over 600 employees, providing logistics, risk management, finance, and marketing intelligence services to its commercial partners. As President and CEO, Mr. Torras has led Tricon Energy to be a worldwide industry leader in the global trade and distribution market with revenues in excess of $10 billion.
In 2014, Nacho sought to bring a taste of the widely underrepresented but highly applauded Spanish cuisine to Houston. He teamed with chef Luis Roger, who has experience among others at Spain’s legendary El Bulli, (an iconic restaurant, featured on Netflix’s Chef’s Table and believed to have been the best restaurant in the world), and opened Houston’s BCN Taste & Tradition. The team aimed to give Houston a taste of Spain’s highly starred cuisine and culture. After the success of BCN, the duo went on to open MAD in the River Oaks District, which has also become a culinary destination nationwide. The success has been appreciated not only because its food concept, but also for its visual beauty and allure by decorating the restaurants with original masterpieces by great Spanish artists Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Eduardo Chillida.
In addition to creating successful businesses in different industries, Mr. Torras enjoys spending time with family, globetrotting around the world, actively practicing sports such as running, tennis, soccer or skiing, and embracing several philanthropic causes with his wife, Isabel, trough many different areas. These philanthropic areas include the arts, where Nacho was a board member of Huston Grand Opera and the Latin department of the MFAH, education and formation as board member of St Thomas University, as well as supporting Strake Jesuit, St. Agnes High School, Magnolia and Western Academy. He was also lead fund raiser for the Alzheimer Association as well as the new PBC – Public Benefit Corporation. His newest restaurant, Rocambolesc, is set to open in November 2021 at Uptown Park, with the social mission to create as many jobs as possible for people with IDD – Intellectual and Development Disabilities.
Rusty Gates | Moderator
Host and Founder, Houston Made Podcast, Rusty Gates Media
Realtor, Rusty Gates Real Estate
Rusty Gates is an entrepreneur and serial hobbyist based in Houston. After years in non-profit and executive search industries, Rusty started a local real estate company focusing in residential real estate. His passion for thoughtful conversations around business startups led him to launch Houston Made Podcast, a weekly show in which he talks with local entrepreneurs and small business owners about what it’s like to be in the middle of that journey. Houston Made can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and most major podcast distributors.