OKLAHOMA CITY – Brian Busey is hoping one of his recent accolades will inspire others.
Though he’s just 26, Busey (Cherokee) has some rather important responsibilities with his family-owned business, Delaware Resource Group of Oklahoma. For the past year he’s served as DRG’s vice president of human resources and operations.
His efforts have been recognized by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, which selected him as one of its 40 Under 40. NCAIED compiled its first list of 40 notable American Indian professionals under 40 to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
Winners were honored at a reception Sept. 18 in Tulsa, at the Indian Progress in Business Event (INPRO). They were selected based on their leadership, initiative and dedication in propelling Native businesses and communities toward further progress.
“It feels really good,” Busey said of the award. “Often Native Americans get a bad rap about not being able to succeed. It shows kids and the community you can succeed and go on to become successful.”
Busey isn’t sure who nominated him, but a panel of representatives from NCAIED selected the winners after sifting through nominations from across the country.
Individuals eligible for the award had to be between the ages of 18 and 39.
Busey has been working for DRG since he was 21. The company, founded in 2002 by his father, Phil, has become a leading firm specializing in the services of aerospace defense and energy industries.
DRG is one of four businesses under the Busey Group of Companies. The others are Busey Law, Busey Resource Group and First Eagle Enterprises.
DRG, which has more than 200 employees, has offices in Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Wyoming.
Though he’s unsure how he became a nominee for the award, he has a fairly good idea of why he won.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the position I’ve achieved at age 26,” said Busey, whose responsibilities include overseeing multi-million dollar government contracts.
When Busey started working for DRG he was an assistant vice president, a post he held for two years.
He then spent two years as the vice president of human resources. His duties expanded this past year as he became the vice president of human resources and operations.
Busey has a hectic schedule; he estimates he works a minimum of 50 hours per week. This partly explains why he’s not able to boast about his golf game.
“I just don’t have enough time for it,” said Busey, who was born in Oklahoma City but now lives in Edmond, Okla.
Because of varying time zones in Alaska and Hawaii, he said it’s not uncommon for him to be working the phones or responding to employee e-mails at all hours of the day, and even on weekends there is plenty of company business to attend to.
Busey believes the fact that DRG is family-owned – and also part of the Busey Group of Companies – greatly contributes to its fortunes.
“That attributes a lot to the success. When your name is on it, you live and breathe it. We take it to heart. We know we have 200 people out there working for us. We have to make good decisions for them to keep their jobs.”
Busey’s father is the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. His mother, Cathy, is the executive vice president.
Busey’s brother, Philip, who was also selected as one of NCAIED’s 40 Under 40 recipients, is the vice president of communications. And his uncle, Joe Temple, is the company president.
Busey believes he will be with the company for some time.
“Still with the company, hopefully in a more senior role and playing a lot more golf,” he said when asked where he sees himself in the coming years.