Donald E. Jones

– President

Don Jones is founder and owner of Pioneer Oil and its sister companies, D.E. Jones, Inc. and Pioneer Oil Field Services, LLC.

Pioneer Oil Company was organized in 1979 to own and operate oil wells in the Illinois Basin area. As a fifth generation oil producer, he has applied his talents and resources successfully to create a recognized oil producing business. 

Don Jones later acquired Franklin Well Services to provide operational support to Pioneer Oil’s production activities. Today, Franklin Well Services not only supports Pioneer’s production activities but also services the needs of other producers in the region. Due to the growing demand for drilling rigs in the Illinois Basin area and foreseeing increased exploration activities, Don Jones created Pioneer Oil Field Services, LLC in the fall of 2004. 

Donald E. Jones, Jr. was previously nominated for the Illinois Oil and Gas Association’s “Wildcatter of the Year” award for his successful wildcat drilling activities in Edwards County, Illinois. Mr. Jones has also been awarded the Indiana Oil and Gas Association’s Hall of Fame Award in 2009. Pioneer was recognized as the “Facility of the Year” award from the Indiana Oil & Gas Association in 2006 for the Harmonie State Park facility, the Indiana State University facility in 2014, and the Springfield Facility in Vigo County in 2015. Mr. Jones has been active for both the Illinois Oil & Gas Association and the Indiana Oil & Gas Association.


Mark Jones

– VP Finance & Engineering

Mark Jones is the Vice President of Engineering and Finance of Pioneer Oil. A Geologist by profession, he performs activities unique to his functional area aimed at determining oil rich locations for drilling activity. Mark is involved in all aspects of the oil industry, specializing in geological work and daily operations of both Pioneer Oil and Franklin Well Services. Mark also ensures that all companies operate with the utmost integrity, utilizing the newest techniques and most knowledgeable employees to perform their duties.

Brent Jones

– VP Operations

Brent Jones is the Vice President in charge of operations for Pioneer Oil Company. As the son of Donald Jones, he came on board to assist with the development of the fabricating operations of the company. 

Brent soon applied his skills at welding to fabricating custom equipment to support the Oil Production effort. Today, nearly all major equipment in the Franklin fleet was either assembled from the chassis on up or has been customized in some form by the highly skilled Brent Jones.

Steve Miller


Steve began his business career with Ernst and Young in Indianapolis and became its Partner in Charge of Tax Services. He later was a partner in Ernst and Young’s National Tax Group heading up its employee benefits practice (Washington, DC) and subsequently led its national practice in Actuarial, Benefits and Compensation Consulting (New York). 

He left E & Y to join Resort Condominiums International, Inc. where he held various positions including CFO, Executive Vice President, President and CEO. RCI, the world’s leader in vacation exchange services, grew during Steve’s tenure to include 2,500,000 members from 165 countries, 3,500 affiliate resorts in 85 countries, 70 offices in 35 countries and more that 4,500 employees. He was named the Leader of the Year by the American Resort Development Association in 1998 and appointed to President Clinton’s first White House Conference on Travel and Tourism.

Steve served as the Chief Financial Officer for CD Enterprises, LTD, Christel House International and the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation. In this capacity he was responsible for the investment strategy and implementation for these entities. Most recently Steve has been an owner of private companies which focus on real estate (residential, commercial and industrial) investments and an aggregate company.

Steve received his BS and MBA from Indiana University, Bloomington and his JD from Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.


Stephen Link

– General Counsel

Steve joined Pioneer Oil following a 32 year career in private practice as a mineral attorney. He began his legal career as an associate with the Evansville, Indiana based law firm, Buthod, Longest, Buthod, and Reitman and later as a partner at Buthod, Longest, Clark, Reitman, Steedman, and Link. Prior to joining Pioneer he maintained a solo practice, representing among independent oil and gas producers, operators, crude oil purchasers and industry service companies and professionals.

He is past President of the Indiana Oil and Gas Association (INOGA) and served that organization as its general counsel for over 10 years. He was awarded the Hall of Fame Award in 2017. Steve was appointed by State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations, Inc. (STRONGER), under auspices of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, as the oil and gas industry representative to a 9-person multi-stakeholder team charged with reviewing and recommending improvements to Indiana’s existing oil and gas regulatory framework and programs. (April 2005).

In addition to INOGA, Steve’s other memberships include the Indiana State Bar Association, the Evansville Bar Association and the Association of Corporate Counsel. He is admitted to practice before the Indiana Supreme Court, the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S Tax Court. He is frequent Author and Lecturer on oil and gas matters, including “Anatomy of an Oil and Gas Lease”, ICLEF, Energy and Mineral Law of Indiana (2008); “Oil and Gas Matters”, ICLEF, Energy Law in Indiana: Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources (2012) and “Handling Mineral Interest in Estate and Trust Administration, EBA (2012).

Steve received his B.A from Eastern Illionios University and his J.D from the University of Illinios College of Law.

Wes Brooke

– Associate Counsel

John ‘Wes’ Brooke was admitted to the Illinois Bar in May of 2013 and was admitted to practice before the US District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in 2014. In addition to these appointments, he has also practiced before the Illinois Fifth District Court of Appeals defending the mineral rights of Illinois landowners.

Wes started in private practice writing title opinions for oil and gas companies and was hired by Pioneer Oil Company in the Fall of 2013. Wes has been a member of the Illinois and Indiana Oil and Gas Associations since 2015. He has served as the chair of the Mineral Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association and has been a member of the Council since 2015. Since being licensed to practice Wes has also drafted or assisted in drafting oil and gas regulations in the State of Illinois.

Wes received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Millikin University and his Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School.

Brandi Stennett

– Director of Regulatory Compliance

As Director of Regulatory Compliance for Pioneer Oil Company, Inc., Brandi is responsible for permitting and communication with all state and federal regulatory agencies.  Additionally, Brandi's position with Pioneer includes business management, as well as investor and public relations.

Brandi joined Pioneer Oil Company in 2013 after spending seventeen years in the public sector working with economic development in Southeastern Illinois.

Brandi is the 2020-2022 President of the Indiana Oil and Gas Association, Illinois Oil and Gas Association Executive Board Memberand Treasurer, Member of the Illinois Oil & Gas Advisory Board 2021-2024, and Kentucky Oil and Gas Association Board Member.

She is a 1999 graduate of the University of Illinois in Springfield with a BS Degree in Legal Studies and holds an ABA Paralegal Certificate from UIS.

Jay Ritter

– Land Manager

Beginning his career as an independent Landman in 1981, Jay became Land Manager for Victor R. Gallagher and Gallagher Drilling, Inc., in September 1984.    In over 20 years with the Gallagher companies, he was responsible for title work , leasing, curative and assisting
in establishing secondary recovery units in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.

In January 2006, Jay became co-owner and President of Energy Landmen, Inc., a company involved in title work, lease acquisition and right-of-way acquisition for the oil and gas, coal and utility industries.    Jay sold his interest in Energy Landmen in July 2013 to assume the position of Land Manager with Pioneer Oil Company, Inc.

He is a member of the American Association of Professional Landmen as well as the Tri-State Association of Professional Landmen and Wichita Association of Professional Landmen.   He served as President of TSAPL from 2010-2013 and again in 2019 and has served as a Regional Director of AAPL.

Jay is recognized as a Certified Professional Landman by the AAPL, having earned the highest designation offered in the energy management industry.  Jay graduated from Purdue University in 1978 with a BS degree in Management.