Leadership Team

Our leadership team's combined knowledge, expertise, and abilities cultivate strength, and drives our mission –“Investors First.”

Merica Oil Company

Franz Ronnie

CEO & President (Founder)

Franz Ronnie developed leadership skills when he served in the Marine Corps. Mr. Ronnie has a natural talent for engaging, communicating, motivating, and leading people. His focus has always been to build a network and infrastructure of professionals who can execute highly valued operations for his companies and investors. Franz’s goal is to create opportunities for private and industry partners to generate long-term residual income, grow a multi-faceted business, develop legacy assets, and provide generational wealth to everyone involved. Mr. Ronnie has a complete understanding of what it takes to advance Merica Oil’s agenda. He has proven to have the skills to bring our company to further success. Mr. Ronnie supports several charities, including The Sempre Fi and the Tunnels to Towers Foundation. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, and traveling

Devin Ropp

Devin Ropp is a 3rd generation Oil and Gas C level Executive with over 25 years of industry experience. As a transformative Chief Operations, Accounting, and Information Technology Officer, he has led turnarounds through innovative strategies, meticulous project execution, and team leadership to create a Return on Investment for shareholders. Devin has worked with multiple billion-dollar Oil and Gas majors, private equity firms, and hedge funds in Oklahoma and Texas. He has a proven track record of building, developing, and automating accounting systems modules and procedures for multiple hundred-million-dollar private equities and Fortune 100 companies. Devin is a well-rounded oil and gas professional with experience in exploration and production, midstream and downstream operations. He has managed and influenced most daily operational aspects of the oil and gas industry, from mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures to implementing office systems.

Merica Oil Company
Merica Oil Company

Robert Rother

VP of Operations

Robert Rother gained a Business Degree from the respected University of Oklahoma. He went on to obtain a certification from The Leadership Academy in 2011. Formerly with Devon Energy Corporation for 18 years as a Petroleum and Reservoir Engineer. This led to his expertise in the Eagle Ford, Mississippian Lime, Delaware, Permian, and Anadarko Basins. His oil and gas industry skill set includes field and reservoir studies, strategic portfolio modeling and analytics, log and seismic interpretation, acquisition, and divestment analysis, regulatory compliance, reserve economics, capital budgeting, optimized well spacing, development plans, and implementation of safety programs. Mr. Rother has proven extremely valuable through effective management and specific problem-solving. His sound and systematic approach to business management will benefit the Partnership’s success. 

Milton Smith

Lead Geologist


Milton Smith is from a 4th generation oilfield family and started working for the family oil company in Illinois at the age of 11, performing various tasks related to well maintenance such as cleaning up wellsites, pulling rods/tubing, running chemicals, gauging tanks, pumping wells while the normal pumper was on break, and assisting service companies when they were short-handed. He graduated from SIU with a BS (1999) and MS (2007) in Geology. He worked for several companies(Weatherford, Chesapeake Energy, Ascent Resources, and Geovision Geosteering) in the oil and gas industry, gaining experience in tasks such as wireline operations, analyzing borehole image logs and petrophysics, geosteering wells, and prospecting for oil and gas in unconventional plays. He has worked in various regions, including the IL Basin, LA onshore, inland waters, and offshore, as well as Marcellus, Point Pleasant, Haynesville, and the Utica-Trenton interval of the Appalachian Basin. In addition to his professional work, he also volunteers with the Boy Scouts and USA Archery as a merit badge counselor, advancement chair, unit commissioner, and level 1 coach, helping introduce the sport of archery to youth and adults in the OKC metro.

Merica Oil Company
Merica Oil Company

Paul Richardson

Consulting Geologist

Paul Richardson gained a B.S. Degree in Petroleum Geology from the University of Oklahoma and an M.S. in Geology from Oklahoma State University. Formerly with Devon Energy Corporation, Double Eagle, and Panther Energy. With over 14 years as a geologist, he has expertise in the Rockies, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, including the Permian, Ardmore, Marietta, Anadarko, Gulf Coast, and Powder River Basins. His skill set includes data organization and software such as Petra, Geographics, and Petrel. Paul’s interests include his family, gardening, and farming.

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