GHK TEAM
Robert A. Hefner III, Founder, Owner and Managing Director
Robert, a geologist and geophysicist, is Sole-Owner and Managing Director of GHK – a group of companies holding a global portfolio of private and publicly traded investments principally focused upon new technology and innovation companies. His passion for earth science and environmental sustainability inspired his early career in natural gas and clean energy. He created GHK in 1959 as a natural gas exploration and development company. He pioneered the necessary technological innovation for the successful exploitation of the world’s deepest and highest pressure natural gas production, setting a multitude of world records. In 2012, GHK sold virtually all its producing properties interests. Robert’s vast technical background and natural curiosities for science, exploration and innovation of new frontiers, dominates GHK’s portfolio of investments that today includes his exploration and research into microbiology and sustainable natural biodynamic winegrowing at Ramiiisol Vineyards, Virginia’s leading producer of natural wines.

Robert is author of the ground-breaking book The Grand Energy Transition published in 2009 by John Wiley & Sons. It first forecast a Grand Transition in energy consumption from the energy industry’s inefficient, environmentally destructive past, fueled by solids and liquids in the form of coal and oil, and toward a future of clean energy led by carbon light natural gas toward the ultimate goal of a totally clean hydrogen economy. A documentary film of the same title was released in 2012 followed by a Chinese translation of the book published by CITIC Press Corporation in 2013.  

Robert currently serves on the International Council at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, is co-founder and President of the Bradshaw Foundation, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London, former Board Member of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, a 2010 inductee to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and a 2017 Oklahoma Creativity Ambassador. Robert’s B.S. degree in Geology is from the University of Oklahoma.
 
MeiLi Hefner, President, Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation
MeiLi, Robert’s wife, is a close advisor to Robert. As President of the Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation, she directs and oversees its activities. The Foundation principally invests in causes the Hefners believe will help make the global community a better place, with a focus upon their interests in Foreign Affairs, the Environment & Global Ecosystem, Education, Culture and Clean Energy. Robert and MeiLi are active partners in overseeing the The Hefner Collection of Chinese contemporary oil paintings and all aspects of Ramiiisol Vineyards.

MeiLi was born in Singapore and has travelled and lived around the world for much of her life. Her professional career was with five-star international hotels as well as her creation of a successful company specializing in marketing, public relations and branding.
 
Wade Kovash, General Manager
Wade serves as General Manager for the group of companies within the organization and is President of The GHK Company, LLC. He is also General Counsel for the company and a Director for the Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation. Wade has extensive experience in energy, multiple business transactions and new ventures. He holds a B.S. degree in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma, a Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University School of Law and recently completed his studies for the Oxford University Said Business School M.B.A. program. Prior to joining GHK in 2011 Wade was with EOG Resources, Inc.
 
James C. Brewer, Director
Jim joined GHK in 1980 as Data Processing Manager. He became Controller in 1992, Manager of Special Projects in 2005 and General Manager in 2010. Jim is now part-time and remains a trusted advisor overseeing various company and family interests as well as supervising our data processing functions. Jim attended both Northern Oklahoma College and Oklahoma State University from 1964 until 1969. He began his career at Conoco in the development of computer operations managing several data processing and accounting departments. Following his work at Conoco, he became supervisor of programming for Texas International Petroleum before joining GHK.
 
Jody Symons, Chief Financial Officer, London Office
Jody serves as Chief Financial Officer for the group of companies within the organization and is Treasurer of the Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation. He has extensive international experience in finance and investment transactions. Jody holds a B.S. degree in Banking and Finance from Cardiff University and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. Prior to joining GHK in 2020 he worked at PwC in Audit and Transaction Services. Jody advised on large, complex transactions across Europe and has held senior positions at large single family offices with Unifund in Geneva, Switzerland and Clermont Group in Singapore.
 
Metra Taleghanifard, Executive Assistant and Manager of the Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation and The Hefner Collection
Metra joined GHK in 2007 working in executive administration. She presently serves on The Board of the Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation which principally invests in causes the Hefners believe will help make the global community a better place, with a focus upon their interests in Foreign Affairs, the Environment & Global Ecosystem, Education, Culture and Clean Energy. Metra also manages The Hefner Collection of Chinese contemporary oil paintings. Metra’s responsibilities include human resources, company websites and the role of Executive Assistant to Mr. and Mrs. Hefner for special projects. Metra holds a B.S. degree in Biology and a M.A. degree in Gerontology from the University of Central Oklahoma.
 
Charlie Shively, Controller
Charlie joined GHK in 2019 as Controller and head of the accounting department. His responsibilities include accounting records, federal, state and private filings and preparation of financial statements. He has over 25 years of private industry Controller experience, primarily in the manufacturing sector. Charlie holds a B.S. in Business Administration with emphasis in Accounting from San Diego State University.
 
Steve Lilly, Principal Trader
Steve began his career as a bond trader at the Chicago Board of Trade. He then focused upon energy commodities for the next 30 years working with Costal Corporation, Shell Energy Trading and Bank of Oklahoma. He first worked with GHK in 1985 until 1989 and remained a trading advisor to Robert Hefner until 2017 when he rejoined GHK to open its trading division. Steve has previously held positions on the New York Mercantile Exchange in natural gas options and arbitration committees and is currently on the Financial School Advisory Board of the Michael F. Price College of Business to The University of Oklahoma and participates in the William M. Majors Energy Mentors Program. Steve graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Business Administration, emphasis in Finance.
 
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