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Luke Essman, 34

President & CEO, Canyon Creek Energy Tulsa
He might have found himself running his own restaurant, but Essman had other plans for his life. “My family has owned and operated restaurants going back almost half a century,” he says. “Naturally, my first jobs were working alongside my family cleaning and cooking in our restaurants.” The lifelong Tulsa resident graduated with a finance degree from Oklahoma State University and went to work for regional banks before he started his own oil and gas exploration and production company based in Tulsa. “I enjoy taking on new challenges both professionally and personally and I find myself always looking for new opportunities,” he says.