More than 10 years ago, George Yax declared that he and his family “have truly lived the American Dream,” having taken the company he started in 1981 “public” in 1993 and receiving the Entrepreneur Of The Year award for Louisiana in 1997.
By 1997, Yax’s third underwater diving company, American Oilfield Divers, Inc., had expanded to 2,400 employees on six continents while controlling 30 percent of the Gulf of Mexico sub-sea construction business. They also laid underwater pipelines, manufactured sacrificial anodes and sub-sea pipeline repair tools and fabricated proprietary offshore oil platforms.
He owned 21 diving support vessels and had entered into the underwater robot business, with company annual revenue approaching $200 million.
Yax retired that year, at the age of 57, though he remained chairman of the board, and he and his wife, Necia, and their family moved to Trail’s End Ranch.
In 1998, the company was sold to another NASDAQ company for $280 million dollars.
All of this from an ex-SHSU geography professor.
Yax, who earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1966 and Master of Business Administration degree in 1967, was a non-traditional student when he came to SHSU in 1962. He had previously served in the U.S. Army from 1959-1962, earning the rank of sergeant.
He was elected president of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and taught 12 hours of geography on a fellowship at SHSU while earning his master’s degree.
After receiving his MBA, he began working in Houston for an underwater contractor, the field he remained in for the duration of his career.
Today, Yax and his family continue to work to improve their home at Trail’s End Ranch, putting in “at least six hours a day” (and loving “every minute”).
Animal lovers, they provide a home to 10 endangered species from around the world, including animals from China, India, Manchuria, Africa and Tibet.
Also among their brood, a camel named R.J. Reynolds.
Yax and Necia have two sons, Porter Scott and Roger Kent.