Houston 2022

Geologists Have a Saying: Rocks Remember Featured

Sep 11 2023 Be the first to comment!
GeoInteriors has kept many of us ARCO-ites connected  - Galen Treadgold

With a master of arts in Geology and Geosciences, Galen Treadgold’s path has been a rocky one - in the best sense of the word. He and his fellow ARCOites, many of them geologists, can’t get enough of rocks. For Galen, that passion led to GeoInteriors, a company he created which has provided charities with $400,000 in funding, all thanks to not just a pile, but many pallets of rocks. Pictured are Galen and ARCO colleague Jeremy Greene when they donated a big rock to the University of Texas.

Galen was at ARCO from 1985 to 2000. He is currently the Managing Director of the Houston office of AMNI International Petroleum Resources, which is a support company for AMNI International Petroleum. With acreage in Nigeria and Ghana and a number of new venture opportunities in West Africa, there are 25 people working with Galen in Houston. “It is a hot spot in a lot of ways,” laughed Galen. The company is prospecting not far from wells that were once ARCO properties in Ghana, and Galen knows people who were with ARCO 40 years ago working that acreage. “We have had nice successes in West Africa, including doubling the reserves on acreage we bought from Chevron.”

I shipped 10,000 pounds of amethyst and quartz from Rio  - Galen Treadgold

Between ARCO and AMNI, Galen was in charge of Trinidad, Venezuela and Brazil, where Petrobas was the partner. “They could never get budgets to travel to the committee meetings so I went to Rio de Janeiro for budget approval,” said Galen. “My first trip down there, I asked fellow geologist and ARCO alumnus Steve Sinclair what I could do in Rio besides go to the beach. He told me about a rock shop and the next thing I know, I made a deal with the family who owned the shop to ship back 10,000 pounds of amethyst and quartz knowing fellow geologists would be interested. I sold it out of my garage to fellow ARCO-ites and others.”

This business trip soon led to GeoInteriors being formed, and Galen was flying to Rio for rock purchases. “My wife was working for American Airlines so I could fly down in a first class seat for almost nothing. I would fly overnight, land, shop all day and fly back that night. The model I created for the process was taking the costs of the trip and the cost of the rocks and distributing the cost with a markup but anyone buying the rock would contribute 10% of their purchase to the chosen charity.” From Alzheimers, SPCA to Wounded Warriors, a different charity is chosen each year. Galen and his friends were soon renting warehouse space, gathering for breakfast and spending three weekends in a row unpacking pallets, sorting and shipping the rocks.

“We did this once a year so it was a great chance to get together with people we otherwise would not see,” said Galen.
With no advertising, no credit card transactions,and just $200 a month storage costs, there is very little overhead.

The mailing list has grown to 1,400 individuals, and the venture has taken on a life of its own. From lamps, bowls, cathedrals, sea urchins, petrified wood and fossils, the offerings are very diverse and interest remains strong.
Giant crates and pallets is a brutal process, and Galen is looking to scale back the workload. Transitioning from Brazil to rock shows in Denver and Tucson, the excitement of mineral, gems and fossil shows, makes scaling back easier said than done, but Galen has a grandchild and other activities he is enjoying to help ease the transition.

Pictured are the core team, Curtis Conrad, Galen and Steve Sinclair.

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