'66 Tiger Talks

A not so ordinary life

by Tom Tureen '66

Wednesday, June 29, 4:00 Eastern

Everyone who gets a '66 Locomotive Award is special. He has been chosen by our classmates because of some element of service, whether vocational or avocational, that has distinguished him in some way from the many service-oriented accomplishments of the rest of us.

 

But rarely do we uncover someone who deserves this award for more than one accomplishment. Which is what we have in Tom Tureen.

 

Tom spent nearly 50 years at the forefront of efforts to make the legal and economic system work for Indians.

 

  • When he was 27, he brought a claim seeking return of two-thirds of the state of Maine to two virtually unknown Indian tribes. A decision in favor of his clients in 1975 caused Maine's municipal bond market to collapse, and led to the return of over 300,000 acres to his clients.
  • His firm won the case that required states to enter into gaming compacts with tribes.
  • He and his partners arranged $2 billion in financing for Foxwoods, the Pequot casino in Connecticut that was, when built, the largest casino in the world.
  • On behalf of another tribe, via a firm (Tribal Assets Management) that Tom created, he arranged the acquisition of two cement plants (the basis of a Harvard Business School case) and the largest mirror manufacturer in the U.S.
  • In 2007 he developed the first utility scale solar project on an Indian reservation in Nevada.
  • In 2011 he arranged for a major transmission system upgrade to cross the Morongo reservation in Southern California.

Along the way he tangled with three Presidents (Carter, Reagan, and George W. Bush) and one President-to-be (Trump).

 

One would think this would have been enough for any lifetime. But six years ago, he and his 27-year-old partner, Jay McKenna, set out to make gasoline at high volume from natural gas and renewable natural gas. Making gasoline from natural gas cuts its lifetime carbon footprint in half; substituting 25% renewable natural gas from farms and landfills cuts it to zero. Four plants the size of the one they already have permitted in Texas could offset the carbon footprint of Los Angeles; they expect to break ground later this year. The company is Nacero (www.nacero.co) (not .com). Tom is Chairman, Jay is CEO.

 

Tom will talk about this and more in his Tiger Talk. He gave a shorter version when receiving his Locomotive Award at Reunions and the crowd was enthralled.

 

Please join us on Wednesday, June 29, at 4:00 Eastern (1:00 Pacific) to hear and talk with Tom. Click here.