Our People

American Energy's management team is seasoned with over 150 years of combined experience in the oil and gas industry. From the oil patch to the board room, our management team and key technical employees have extensive expertise in identifying and analyzing prospect areas that hold the promise of outstanding reserve growth, enhanced production and superior economic returns for the optimized development or re-development of identified fields. The team is particularly focused where it is most experienced, the on-shore gulf coast of Texas and Louisiana. Our Senior Executives have the high-level oil and gas industry experience and skills to successfully build AEO&G into a large public independent E&P company that maximizes the value of its shareholder’s equity..


Robert B. Ruston

President & CEO

Between 1975 and 1983 Mr. Ruston co-founded International Western Oil Corporation, International Western Drilling, and International Western Mud Corporation. He then served on the Board of Directors for Pan Ocean Oil Corporation ( PANOCO), a Marathon subsidiary in Nigeria, Africa. He was responsible for the staffing and development of 450 kilometers of seismic, contract negotiations, and was Public Liaison to the Nigerian government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC). Mr. Ruston has drilling and operating experience in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, Wyoming, Africa, and South America. In 2003 he successfully negotiated the seven figure sale of Global Envirotec, Inc to ASCO Scotland, a worldwide offshore service company to the majors. Mr. Ruston attended Lamar University from 1964- 1968.

Stephen Wippel

Executive Vice-President, Director of Geo-Science

Stephen Wippel has 35 years of exploration experience in the Gulf Coast and is the founder and President of Legend Petroleum. Stephen has served in various management positions with such companies as Williams Exploration, Noble Energy (Samedan), Burlington Resources, and Ginger Oil. He has designed and shot proprietary 3-D surveys since 1991 using state of the art techniques. Stephen is both a geologist and geophysicist and has interpreted and generated over 1,000 square miles of 3-D data. He has had significant discoveries in Kaplan Field, Vermillion Parish, Grand Isle block 17, offshore Louisiana, Rincon Field, Star County, Texas, Garden City Field, St. Mary’s Parish, Louisiana, Sulphur Mines Field, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, and Gueydan Field, Vermillion Parish, Louisiana. His experience and firm belief in Technology is a huge asset for American Energy.


James L. Watts

Director, Chief Financial Advisor

Jim began his career as a Legislative Assistant for the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC handling oil and gas deregulation and later went on to become an attorney and registered lobbyist in DC specializing in securities and tax. In 1986 he was recruited to join an investment banking firm in California and since then has specialized in financing microcap companies and advisory work involving mergers, valuations and corporate governance. He is founder and CEO of Pacific Summit Securities in Irvine, CA. Jim has a BA in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, and MA in International Economics from American University in Washington, DC and a JD from the Washington College of Law, is a member of the DC Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, and additionally holds Series 7, 24, 27 and 63 securities licenses.

Greer Tidwell


Greer Tidwell was a Professor of the Practice of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He served as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Planning for the Energy and Environmental Sector of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), an organization of 2,500 professionals and offices all over the world. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and again by President George Bush to serve as Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IV (EPA). He participated heavily in formulating and implementing national policies and programs on critical environmental issues. He coordinated national environmental policies through diplomatic dialogue with U.S. Senators and Congressman, state governors, and federal and state administrative officials. Mr. Tidwell holds a Bachelors of Engineering (Magna Cum Laude) from Vanderbilt University, a Master of Science in Engineering (1st in class) from Vanderbilt University, and is a Graduate of Harvard University as a Fellow, National Institute of Public Affairs concentrating in Economics and Political Science. Directorships open for appointment by equity investors.


James Gunther

Vice President, Exploration Manager

Jim has over 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry as a geologist and geophysicist. He has directed various elements of exploration while working for majors, large and small independents, on his own, and in partnerships with others. Jim's professional career began with Conoco where, over a span of 15 years, his experience ranged from hands-on geology and geophysics to multiple upper management positions. Prior to leaving Conoco he coordinated the exchange of critical technical information between Conoco and Dupont during negotiations of a possible joint venture or merger. Jim had a similar range of responsibilities with Meridian Oil and Burlington Resources. Since becoming a partner in Legend Petroleum his contribution has been more focused on generating oil and gas drilling opportunities where technical success has remained high with the ongoing development of state of the art technologies adopted to reduce risk. Jim received his BS in physics and geology from Wichita State University and his MBA from University of Houston.

Joyce Rothacker

Manager of Technical Services

Joyce has worked behind the scenes giving technical support to oil & gas explorers for the past 20 years. Beginning her career with Transco Exploration as a Geological/Geophysical Technician, Joyce went on to work for independent companies including Convest Energy, MGF Oil Corporation, First Matagorda Corporation, Sterling Production, and Samedan Oil Corporation. For several years she was a Geo-science Technician consultant for International Oil & Gas and Plumb Oil Corporation. Joyce handles all Geophysical, Geological, Engineering and Land support for Legend Petroleum using state of the art industry software such as SMT, Petra, Enerdeq, PI/Dwights, and Neuralog. She possesses the experience and expertise for all the Geo-science, Engineering, Land, and Legal aspects of the oil and gas industry.