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Who Is Matthew Fleeger? How the Gulf Coast Western CEO Went From Entrepreneur to Oil Tycoon

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Who Is Matthew Fleeger? How the Gulf Coast Western CEO Went From Entrepreneur to Oil Tycoon

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. When Thomas H. Fleeger founded Gulf Coast Western in 1970, he’d soon have an heir apparent to the family business in son Matthew Fleeger. The littlest Fleeger watched as Thomas led Gulf Coast Western through its early days with a focus on earnest, hard work.

Matthew Fleeger graduated from Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business and then joined the administrative team at Gulf Coast Western, where he remained for seven years while learning the ins and outs of the business firsthand at his father’s side. However, propelled by an entrepreneurial spirit, Fleeger soon sought out on his own, proving he didn’t need to rest on his family’s laurels to run a successful business.

Matthew Fleeger’s Early Business Ventures

Fleeger founded the medical waste management company MedSolutions, leading it to extraordinary success and profitability from 1993 to 2007. As the commercial tanning industry rose to consumer prominence in the late 1990s, Matthew Fleeger acquired two startup tanning businesses that ultimately approached $100 million in revenue under his management. The first of these acquisitions, Palm Beach Tan, became one of the most profitable indoor tanning bed franchises in the United States. The second, Mystic Tan, became the biggest spray-on tanning booth franchise in the world.

Working away from the familiar confines of Gulf Coast Western’s Dallas headquarters gave Matthew Fleeger valuable insight. His diverse professional experiences also gave him newfound abilities to identify profitable industry trends, and acquire promising, small companies.

Returning to His Roots

Gulf Coast Western began as a small family business in 1970, focusing on acquiring and developing domestic oil and gas reserves in resource-rich areas of Gulf Coast states such as Texas and Louisiana. The company spent its early days establishing mutually beneficial partnerships with key industry players to broaden its horizons and drive consistent growth. These strategic relationships ultimately led to the formation of Joint Ventures — an oil and gas organization that leverages the combined resources of numerous companies to further industry growth despite evolving challenges.

When Thomas Fleeger retired in 2007, Matthew Fleeger was finally ready to take the reins. Due to his breadth of success in various industries, Matthew Fleeger rapidly earned a reputation as a Renaissance man among his oil and gas colleagues. Fleeger’s return came during a time of great struggle and instability for the oil and gas industry from the rise of alternative energy sources and the resulting fluctuating demands of oil and gas consumers worldwide.

Complicating these issues were gas shortages, rapid technological developments, and uncertain economic times. For his part, Matthew Fleeger led Gulf Coast Western to reduce corporate overhead, adopt new technologies, improve operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness, adapt to changing global energy consumption patterns, and invest in key prospects such as Orbit Energy Partners. As a result of Matthew Fleeger’s dramatic administrative, operational, and strategic company overhaul, Gulf Coast Western grew in reach and profitability.

The key to Gulf Coast Western’s success, says Fleeger, begins with the right mindset. “Having a positive attitude in the face of adversity… is a contagious mindset for everyone and is required in every successful leader,” he says. “You have to constantly portray this quality, or else, negative morale and despair will creep into your business quickly.”

Today, Gulf Coast Western stands head and shoulders above the majority of its oil and gas industry competitors by maintaining an A+ grade and a five-star rating from the Better Business Bureau. As one of its clients recently wrote, “Under the active and responsible leadership of Matthew Fleeger, every joint venture has been conducted with both engineering and fiscal rigor with an active risk management protocol.”

From the Lone Star State to the Centennial State

Under Matthew Fleeger, Gulf Coast Western, a leader in oil and gas exploration, continues to flourish with operations in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Colorado—the latter, a place where Fleeger made headlines for his history-making real estate moves.

Along with his wife, Candee, he recently remodeled his mountain-style stone home in Vail, Colorado.

When the Fleegers bought the home for $17 million in 2019, they thought that it was too traditional for their tastes. They also bemoaned its small windows, which failed to showcase the panoramic views of the Gore Mountain Range in the near distance.

That led the Fleegers to spend roughly $7 million on renovations to the property. The result? A six-bedroom estate that spans 11,000 square feet and features spacious, open-plan living rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto terraces, and various outdoor living areas, including a new swimming pool with a poolside bar. A prudent investor through and through, Matthew Fleeger significantly boosted the property’s overall value just one year after purchasing it through this extensive redesign and rebuild. Fleeger listed the property for $32 million—making it one of the most expensive listings ever to hit Vail’s exclusive real estate market.

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