Employee Spotlight – Lloyd Bennack

Lloyd Bennack joins the Nexus PMG team as General Counsel. His legal career began in the International Practice Group of Houston-based Baker Botts, following two years as a judicial clerk for U.S. District Judge John V. Singleton, Jr. In 2006, Lloyd moved into energy transition at a Goldman Sachs renewable energy portfolio company, Horizon Wind Energy. Serving as Senior Project Counsel, Lloyd spent five years supporting the company’s development, environmental, construction, and operations and maintenance teams, serving as the primary project counsel to teams developing and operating over 60 renewable energy projects. In the years since then, Lloyd has been the General Counsel of Meteor Entertainment, Inc. (a video game production company), Assistant General Counsel – EPC for Quanta Services (where he worked on projects in gas transmission, power generation and transmission, and industrial processes), Division General Counsel for Quanta Telecommunication Solutions, and Deputy General Counsel for Orbital Infrastructure Group, Inc. 

Tell us about yourself and your background.

I grew up on a working farm outside the small town of Lyford, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley. The farm straddled the Willacy County/Hidalgo County line. By my teenage years, my father had stopped farming, rented the land out, and moved on to crop dusting, and I worked in the family business after school, weekends, and summers for seven years. After graduating from high school, I went to Rice University, studied abroad for a year in Spain, graduated, and then went to law school at the University of Houston. I’m married to Michelle Bennack – she’s an administrator at Rice University – and we have two grown sons.

What’s the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?

Always be willing to learn another skill, ready to discover that it might be the wrong one, and able to roll with the punches, especially if you’re in the energy sector!

If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

I like micro-histories and memoirs about short, eventful periods in a person’s life (e.g., A Devil to Play: One Man’s Year-Long Quest to Master the Orchestra’s Most Difficult Instrument or Rebuilding the Indian). So, in that vein, I might write about restoring an airplane and learning to fly it, training to run the 400 meters competitively at age 70, or buying and restoring one of those derelict, one-euro Italian homes. It would be a vehicle for talking about blown-out knees, blown-out head gaskets, or blown budgets, and all the interesting people I’d meet along the way.

People would be surprised if they knew:

How about two facts? (1) I was driving a tractor and plowing fields at the age of 12. (2) I ran a competitive 400 meters in less than 60 seconds at the age of 51.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?

Well, this job is new, so I still don’t know what my favorite part of it will be, but generally, my favorite thing about being a transactional lawyer is coming up with a novel solution to a business or legal problem. (Bonus points if I actually have enough time to implement it.)

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Everything. Choosing one thing would be extremely difficult – maybe Mandarin, improvisational jazz piano or saxophone, Portuguese, how to fly a small aircraft, how to restore derelict, one-euro Italian homes.

What does leadership mean to you?

I’ve always liked much of what Dwight Eisenhauer said about leadership – for instance, “Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.” I might presume to revise that to “Leadership includes taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong. . .” etc. (And I like to think that Ike would not have said “includes, without limitation.”)

What was your favorite class of your educational career?

High school biology. My high school did not let freshmen take biology classes – I guess we were seen as too fragile or immature – so my mother appeared before the school board to ask for an exception. (Knowing my mother, she probably rejected the notion that I was fragile but admitted that I was immature.) My biology teacher and I are still good friends. Close seconds: various language classes.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Snowboarding, fitness, road cycling, and hiking. As a farm kid, I also get a kick out of growing my own food. Maybe my book would be about trying to grow all of my own food for a year while minimizing my carbon footprint. It might end up being about fasting!

Meet the rest of the Nexus PMG team.

Nexus PMG

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