Press Release: JBS Leadership Institute Names 2019 Outstanding Leaders

JBS Leadership Institute Names 2019 Outstanding Leaders

by Tatum Guinn – Communications Manager | August 7, 2019

The University of Texas Permian Basin is celebrating the winners of the John Ben Shepperd Leadership Institute’s highest honors during the Texas Leadership Forum in October.

The John Ben Shepperd TLF is a state-wide public leadership conference that has brought together some of the best Texas leaders since 1985. Each year the conference honors Texans who are making a difference in their communities by naming an Outstanding Texas Leader, Outstanding Local Leader, Shepperd Pathfinder and Shepperd Trailblazer.

This year’s Texas Leadership Forum honorees include: Chief Justice Kem Thompson Frost, Jim Woodcock, Dr. Jason Terrell and Vivienne Dragun.

The public can attend the weekend event on October 4thand 5thin Austin.  It begins with a reception at the Bullock Texas State History Museum; includes the opportunity to attend a morning session inside the state capitol and concludes with the awards ceremony at the Sheraton Austin Hotel. For more information on sponsorships or tickets to the event contact the JBS Leadership Institute at (432) 552-2850 or email at




The 2019 Outstanding Texas Leader is Chief Justice Kem Thompson Frost. Appointed to Texas’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals in 1999 by then-Governor George W. Bush and elevated to Chief Justice in 2013 by then-Governor Rick Perry, Kem Frost just marked two decades in the Texas judiciary. Before taking the bench, she enjoyed a fifteen-year civil trial and appellate practice with two large, Texas-based law firms. Kem Frost has received many honors and awards for her leadership and service on the bench and in the community, including a State Bar of Texas Presidential Commendation for “individual leadership in improving justice in Texas.”




local-leader-jim-woodcock.jpgJim Woodcock is the 2019 Outstanding Local Leader. Jim Woodcock has led a life filled with love, philanthropy and many successes.  As proud Midlanders, Jim and Claire Woodcock have made the Permian Basin their home for over forty years. Jim purchased Hy-Bon Engineering in 1979. The company was an early adaptor of the environmental side of the oil and gas industry. This Midland-based company and its cutting-edge opportunities took him to many countries around the world. While there have been many more businesses and accomplishments during Jim’s career, which has spanned five decades and several continents, Jim also finds time to provide philanthropic insight and giving to his community.Jim serves on many community boards, including UT Permian Basin’s Development Board and College of Business Advisory Council. He is also the founder of the world’s cutting-edge, premiere water conference, the Permian Basin Water In Energy Conference. It is an almost all volunteer-run non-profit organization which has provided approximately $1M in positive economic impact to the Permian Basin and provided gifts to UT Permian Basin totaling over $110,000  to help grow, fund and fuel our local economy and future in just under two years.



Dr. Jason Terrell is the 2019 Shepperd Pathfinder for his work in the fight against cancer. Dr. Terrell is the Chief Executive Officer of Austin-based Volition America and the Chief Medical Officer of the international parent company VolitionRx. Volition’s development of low-cost, easy-to-use, routine blood tests for cancer testing expects to save countless lives by improving cancer screening compliance and early detection. Dr. Terrell is the Non-Executive Chairman for Kiromic Biopharma in Houston. Kiromic is currently conducting multiple clinical trials and is developing the world’s first off-the-shelf immunotherapy pill to reprogram the patient’s immune system to defeat cancer. Dr. Terrell is the Chief Medical and Scientific Officer for Generex Biotechnology, an integrated healthcare holding company providing physicians, hospitals, and providers comprehensive solutions for patient centric care from rapid diagnosis through delivery of personalized therapies, streamlining care processes, minimizing expenses, and delivering transparency for payers. Dr. Terrell is a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School Department of Oncology where he serves as an industry and clinical expert for the Texas Health Catalyst Program supporting researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the translation of ideas and innovations to health products.



Earning the 2019 Shepperd Trailblazer award is Trinity High School senior Vivienne Dragun. Dragun has a heart for
serving her community. She is a thirteen-year member of the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest. Last year Dragun organized a Children’s Safety and Wellness Fair that brought together multiple agencies in an outreach effort to families of young children. Bike helmets, car safety seats, first aid kits, and books were given away by the Midland Police Department, Midland Fire Department, and the Midland County Public Library. Through scouts, school, and church she has been taught to set a good example and to help others.