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It’s the Scouting Way for Rex Tillerson, Trevor Rees-Jones

From left: Rex Tillerson, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones
From left: Rex Tillerson, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones

Rex Tillerson credits his Boy Scout experiences with  shaping who he is today–chairman and CEO of  Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s most valuable company (although Apple Inc. is nipping at its heels.) So despite his busy schedule, Tillerson still makes time to serve as national president of Irving-based Boy Scouts of America–not just by lending his name, but through hands-on leadership and fundraising. That included a visit a couple months back with Texas oilman Trevor Rees-Jones, who yesterday announced that he and his wife, Jan, were donating $25 million to the BSA’s Circle Ten Council in Dallas.

Rees-Jones, the founder of Dallas-based Chief Oil & Gas, said Tillerson and other Circle Ten leaders had done their homework before asking for a check: “You know the Boy Scout saying, ‘Be prepared?’ Well, they were very prepared. And it paid off.” The $25 million gift–the largest in Circle Ten history–kick-starts the council’s $90 million Centennial Campaign, which aims to raise funds for development projects and ScoutReach, a program that allows at-risk youth to participate in scouting even if they can’t afford it.

A former Eagle Scout himself, Rees-Jones said the opportunity “struck a chord” with him. “Scouting is not something that should be limited to those with financial means,” he said. “All young men are valuable.” In true Texas spirit, Rees-Jones said he also liked how the program “helps young men who want to help themselves.”

Others on hand for the gift announcement at Circle Ten headquarters included former Texas Gov. Bill Clements, former Halliburton CEO John P. (Jack) Harbin, and Nancy Ann Hunt, all of whom are serving on the capital campaign’s leadership team. It will wrap up in 2012, when the council celebrates its 100-year anniversary.

The national Boy Scouts of America, which is based in Irving, turned 100 earlier this year. As president, Tillerson said he’s focused on getting the organization ready for the next century. “It’s a generational thing,” he said. “My grandfather was one of the state’s first Eagle Scouts in Texas. My dad was an Eagle Scout, I’m an Eagle Scout and my son is an Eagle Scout. We represent the first 100 years. When you think about the next 100 years, it seems like a long time. But really, it’s just a couple of generations away.”

5 comments on “It’s the Scouting Way for Rex Tillerson, Trevor Rees-Jones

  1. Jan Rees-Jones appears to be very blessed.

    It’s wonderful that she and her husband can provide this gift, is what I mean.

  2. So the CEO of an Anti-Gay Corporation (Exxon) gives to an Anti-Gay Organization…way to keep hate alive. I’ll continue my boycotts of Exxon gas and Boy Scout popcorn (the ONLY things I boycott…e.g. I still shop at Target). Truly a match made in hell.

  3. Boy Scouts don’t sit around wasting energy hating, do you? They have policies in place, probably for really good reasons. It’s unfortunate that you disagree with those policies, but then again, I bet you weren’t interested in being a Boy Scout anyway.

    Thank you, Trevor Rees-Jones for that gift. As the wife and mother of Eagle Scouts who do a great deal of leadership work with boys from at-risk communities, I know this gift will be used for good works.

  4. As an Eagle Scout, and a former employee of the BSA, I disagree with the policies of the organization regarding homosexual and atheist leadership, deeply and profoundly. I think it is a true shame that an organization that, in so many ways, represents the very best of ideals, has allowed it’s reputation to be sullied by a misguided and intolerant policy.

    Having said that, No Thanks representation of the BSA does not take into account the truly wonderful community outreach, moral guidance, and leadership opportunities that the volunteer and professional leadership of the BSA undertake.

    It is my hope that the organization will change their policies, and my sources tell me that such a change is inevitable, albeit slow-moving. Let’s remember how much social attitudes towards homosexuals have changed in just the last 10 years, and hope that the Boy Scouts will catch up.

  5. What tremendously generous gift provided by the Rees-Jones Foundation. This will undoubtedly have a very positive impact on many youth, boys and girls, in Texas.