Jordan Jayson Named “Top Entrepreneurial Thinkers in Family Business”
By Beth Braverman
A Competitive Culture
Jordan Jayson’s parents began U.S. Energy Direct Corporation (USEDC) in 1980 in Buffalo, N.Y., as an exploration and production operating company in the Northeast. Jayson, now 46, joined the company in 2009 as vice president of business development and was promoted to CEO in 2014, taking the reins from his father.
Jayson took an entrepreneurial approach to the business early on in his tenure there, and he was instrumental in evolving the firm’s business model.
“I am very competitive in nature, and I was determined as a leader not to let ourselves become complacent or become one of those family business statistics about companies that fail in the second or third generation,” he says. “So, we are continually pushing ourselves.”
Under Jayson, the company has moved away from exploration and production and operates now more like a Wall Street investment firm, structuring securities to deliver the best arbitrage opportunity for accredited investors and institutional partners.
In addition, Jayson created multiple internal committees within the organization, including safety, hedging, investment and finance, employee benefits, and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). He looks for employees who share his drive to move the company forward.
“When I’m interviewing people and they ask me to describe the culture, I tell them that it’s competitive,” he says. “We push one another with empathy and transparency, with communication and respect.”
He also looks for ways to reward employees and foster a spirit of entrepreneurialism in them as well.
“We offer continuous education and pay for leadership and technical courses,” he says. “PR has also become a currency, rewarding people by nominating them for accolades. We try to take a holistic approach.”
The company offers even greater incentives to entrepreneurial employees who come up with entirely new business ideas.
“We’re open to structuring it like a private-equity model for that individual or team, so that there is additional upside,” he adds.
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