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☛ US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is an NCHA member 2-23-18


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 23, 2018

Rex Tillerson (center) with ranch hands on his ranch.

Recently, our current Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, sat down with 60 Minutes about his life and how being a Boy Scout and following the “Code of the West” has affected his past, future and decisions in life.

In fact Rex Wayne Tillerson, 65, who was born on March 23, 1952 in Wichita Falls, Texas,  was named after Rex Allen and John Wayne, two Hollywood actors famous for playing cowboys. Showing that he still has “cowboy” his blood, today, he and his wife, the former Renda St. Clair, own two ranches in Texas, where they raise cutting horses.  Both Rex and Renda are lifetime Amateur/Non-Pro members of the National Cutting Horse Association.

The Tillerson Ranch

Although neither Rex nor Renda compete in cutting horse competitions, they own and raise cutting horses on their ranch and have them trained and shown in NCHA competition. Although Rex usually doesn’t have the time to spend at the NCHA events that their horses are entered in, Renda can be seen in the stands cheering on their cutting horses on a regular basis.




Rex Tillerson, The United States Secretary of State

Tillerson began his career as an engineer and holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. According to those who know him best, Tillerson is a fiercely private person who started his career in 1975 at the bottom of the ladder with Exxon Company USA as a roustabout in the Oil & Gas Division in the Gulf of Mexico. He achieved a degree in civill engineering and worked his way up through the managerial rank and file of two companies: Exxon Company USA and the resulting company after the merger with Mobil Oil company, ExxonMobil. He rose to serve as chairman and chief executive of ExxonMobil from 2006 to 2017. Tillerson’s final destination with ExxonMobil was retiring as the CEO and Chairman of the Board. When he left Exxon to become Secretary of State, he was four months away from retirement, at which time he would have been entitled to a $180 million retirement package. According to Wikipedia, he is worth approximately $300 million.

A past employee said, “I found Tillerson to be a no-nonsense type of guy with one objective: efficiency. He had a unique knack of promoting his theory of “doing more with less.” Many a day I sat across from the desk of Mr. Tillerson, who was dressed in his usual attire: a pair of blue coveralls and steel-toed boots with a hard hat sitting on his desk.

“Over the years, I discovered that Tillerson had the driest humor I’ve ever heard, a duty of loyalty without equal (his theory is he always ‘rides for the brand’ and expects you to do the same – the Cowboy Way) rock-solid personal, business and work ethics, as well as one of the sharpest business minds I’ve ever encountered.”

But one of the most treasured pastime accomplishments for Tillerson was being a long-time volunteer with the Boy  Scouts of America. His father was an executive of Boys Scouts of America and Rex earned the rank of Eagle Scout, was national president of the Boy Scouts and was inducted into the Eagle Scout Hall of Fame of the Greater New York Councils. At the end of his presidency of the Boy Scouts, he remained on the organization’s National Executive Board.


When Margaret Brennan of 60 Minutes on CBS News asked Rex what “Code of the West” meant, Tillerson responded: “Well you know, the Code of the West is (when) the West was unfolding, there wasn’t a lot of law enforcement and people basically relied upon each other’s word and ‘My Word is my Bond.’ I’ve used that throughout my life, as well, even at Exxon Mobil. I would sit down with the head of state for that country or the CEO of that company and we’’d look each other in the eye and I’d say, ‘All I need to know is that you’re gonna live up to your side of the deal. And I give you my word I’ll live up to my side of this deal.’ And then a lot of the Code of the West people were very loyal to their organizations. And the phrase, ‘Riding for the Brand’ is a phrase that’s always stuck with me. When a cowboy signed on to a ranch or to that organization, he was committed to that organization.”

Asked what the brand meant for Tillerson today, he said, “The State Department of the United States government. The American people are my brand.”


Although Tillerson had never met President Donald Trump before he became the United States Secretary of State, he was invited to Trump Tower.

“He (President Trump) just began by asking me, you know, ‘I want you to just kinda talk about how you see the world.’ We walked around the world for about an hour and then he kinda went into a little bit of a sales pitch with me and said, ‘I want you to be my Secretary of State.’ And I was stunned.”

Tillerson didn’t have any idea that he was having a job interview. “I thought it was just – I was going up just to talk to him and share with him, which I’ve done with previous presidents. I did with President Obama, I did with President Bush. So I really thought that’s all it was.”

However when he was asked if he had any sense of what he was getting into, Tillerson responded, “By and large – I did.”

Tillerson’s final statement in the article was, “I hope with this little bit of exchange we’ve had, you understand the man better. That’s why I’m still here. Those things don’t bother me. I’m here to serve my country I committed to this President. My God is my bond. I ride for this brand. That’s why I’m here. And nothin’ anybody else says is gonna change that.”

Tillerson said that his recommendation to the President was said to have come from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who have a consulting firm that works with Exxon.


Rex and Renda Tillerson

Tillerson said that it was  his wife who told him to take the role of Secretary of State. Renda is the co-owner of the Bar RR Ranches LLC in Bartonville, Texas, located northwest of Dallas, which is also where she was born.  On her suggestion, the Tillersons purchased the ranch in 2009 which specializes in the breeding, training and showing of cutting horses. It was previously owned by the late Charles Wyly and called the Stargate Sport Horse Farm. The Tillersons changed the name to Bar RR Ranches for Rex and Renda.

“I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job,” said Tillerson in another publication, regarding being the United States Secretary of State . “My wife told me I’m supposed to do this.”

He continued that his 60-year-old wife shook her finger at him and said, “I told you God’s not through with you.”

Click for Denton Chronicle article>>

Click for full CBS Interview>>





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