About Us

Our late founder, Mel Falcon, a North Dakota native and industry visionary, had a dream to build a local refinery in Williams County, North Dakota to provide local jobs and locally sourced and much needed refined products from the abundant source of crude oil being produced in the state.  Mel socialized the concept with the state and industry and it was clear that more refining capacity was needed and would provide the required infrastructure for a growing regional industry.

We are an American Company, with American investors and our priorities are on keeping the economic benefits of our Project and Mel’s vision here in the United States.

Our team is dedicated to seeing Mel’s vision come to reality and has established a team of professionals and partners that are ready to see the project through to completion.

Meet the Team

Steve Schneider

Board Member, Chairman, and CEO

Mr. Schneider has more than 30 years of management, operational, and investment experience, including serving as CEO and Director of several large, multi-national companies, as well as start-up and high growth businesses across numerous sectors.  In combination with this leadership experience, he brings extensive project and oil & gas industry experience, particularly in the shale oil regions of the US.  Steve received an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Detroit and a B.B.A. in Finance from Notre Dame.

Tristram Collins

Board Member, Chief Financial and Development Officer

Mr. Collins has over 30 years of finance and operating management expertise. Mr. Collins brings a combination of his career experience as a senior investment banker with his private equity and project and direct operating experience across numerous industry sectors including the oil & gas services sector.  During his long career in investment banking, he executed over $85 billion of transactions including during his tenure at Merrill Lynch and while he was a former sector head in Citigroup’s Media Investment Banking practice where he managed the firm’s relationship teams for such companies as Viacom and The Walt Disney Company.  Mr. Collins holds an AB from Dartmouth College and also an MBA from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Jack A. Hamel, P.E.

VP Project Manager

Mr. Hamel has more than 30 years of industrial construction and operations management experience.  Having constructed in excess of $2.5B in world-class oil and gas gathering an processing projects, he brings a history of excellence in project execution and operating experience that produces superior cost and schedule performance in all aspects of the business.  Jack is a licensed Civil Engineer and received an M.B.A. and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Wyoming.

Brom Lutz

Board Member, Secretary

Brom Lutz is currently the president of BEI LLC, an energy and Infrastructure company serving western North Dakota and eastern Montana, and also serves on the executive board of the MonDak Energy Alliance, a nonprofit company working to diversify and enhance the oil, gas and renewable energy industry in the Williston Basin. He has extensive experience in sales and marketing and has been directly involved in the development of the project since its inception.  Lutz serves as Secretary of the Board.

Our Late Founder

As a founding member of the MonDak Energy Alliance, Mel Falcon served on its Board of Directors and was a principal and a driving force behind the initial formation of Dakota Oil Processing.  Falcon was the President and CEO of Aqua-Envirotech Mfg., Inc., of Williston, North Dakota, was the Finance Officer of the Trenton Indian Service Area and was a member of the Board of Supervisors of Trenton Township, North Dakota.  Mel also had extensive experience in water resource management.  Falcon was the Regional and General Manager of Fluids Control, Inc. for the U.S. Central Division and Canadian and Alaskan Divisions. In that capacity Falcon was responsible for management and oversight of the District managers of Williston, North Dakota; Gillette, Wyoming; Calgary Alberta, Canada; and Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska. Fluids Control, Inc. was the first company in the Williston Basin to provide equipment and technology for a complete closed-loop mud processing system.   Falcon designed and manufactured oilfield filtration, drilling fluid processing, soil remediation, and potable water treatment systems. He also installed oilfield tank batteries, pipelines, and operated roustabout equipment.  Other operations included solidification of oilfield drilling pits, recovery of waste oil, filtration and providing material for drilling and production products. Work as a derrick hand and roughneck in the oilfields of North Dakota and Montana provided Falcon with an up-close experience in operations.  He also served as a supervisor for several large construction companies in North Dakota, Montana, Hawaii, California and South Dakota. Falcon, who was born in Trenton, ND spent most of his life in North Dakota and was active in community affairs. Mel received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and a Minor in Accounting from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota.  Mel passed away in 2015 in Trenton, ND and is deeply missed by his family and all his friends, including those of us at Dakota Oil Processing that shared his vision.