James and Cherie Flores
A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, James “Jim” Flores has played a major role in establishing LSU’s MBA program as a nationally recognized producer of industry leaders and forward thinking executives and professionals.
Flores co-founded the oil and gas company Ocean Energy Inc. in 1992, and over the next decade served in the capacities of chairman, vice chairman, and chief executive officer. During this time, in 1995, he was named director of Union Planter’s Bank in Baton Rouge. At the age of 36, the native of Lafayette, La. served as the chairman and CEO of Flores and Rucks Inc., a publicly held independent oil and gas exploration company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was operating more than 500 productive oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico.
The mid-1990s were an especially exciting time for Flores. He was inducted into The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report and Junior Achievement Hall of Fame as the Young Businessperson of the Year in 1996, and was already an active participant in many professional and alumni organizations. These included the Lafayette and Baton Rouge Associations of Petroleum Landmen, the American Association of Petroleum Landmen, and the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Additionally, he was already serving as a director of the Louisiana Independent Oil and Gas Association and had been a member of the Governor’s Energy Commission by this time.
In 1996, Flores and his wife, Cherie, made a gracious donation to the E. J. Ourso College of Business to endow the MBA program, which was renamed in their honor.
Since it has become the LSU Flores MBA Program, the program has experienced an increase in positive perception. Ever-increasing admission standards have improved the quality of students. Their performances in their chosen professions has been a major contributing factor in aiding the program raise its standing throughout the business community and with fellow academic institutions.
Flores earned his bachelor’s in corporate finance in 1981 from LSU and earned a bachelor’s in petroleum land management in 1982 from the University. He is the chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Plains Exploration & Production Company, an independent oil and gas company primarily engaged in the upstream activities of acquiring, development, exploring, and producing oil and gas in its core areas of operation. Flores has been inducted into the LSU Alumni Association Hall of Distinction and the E. J. Ourso College of Business Hall of Distinction.
Cherie Flores received her bachelor’s in marketing in 1986 from LSU and has established the Cherie H. Flores Endowed Chair of MBA Studies in the LSU Flores MBA Program. An active member of Houston’s community, she has served as host for the Texas Women in the Arts’ annual meeting and is a trustee of Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Additionally, Cherie and Jim Flores have chaired Hermann Park Conservancy’s Evening in the Park fundraiser.