Two former athletes start land company

Jesse Hejny and Bryan Cortney learned more than just football plays while playing for head coach Gary Patterson.

The two former Horned Frogs founded and currently run Purple Land Management, their own company based on a deeper meaning and purpose, which Patterson always encouraged them to develop, Hejny said.

The company is a lease acquisition, project management and title firm that works in the local area, including around TCU and the Ridglea area.

Employees meet with mineral owners to inform them about natural gas explorations and productions, execute oil and gas leases on behalf of a producer/operator and provide title and curative services to clients.

Hejny and Cortney said many people from TCU influenced their business practices.

“Coach Patterson, because our business is basically an exact replication of how he runs his football program,” Hejny said. “A lot of the principles and things that we stand by, how we hire people, train people and how we bring people up within our organization is the exact same way that Coach Patterson does at TCU.”

Other influences included Ken Morgan, director of the Energy Institute, and the Energy Institute itself, which provided them with a great support system for starting the company, Hejny and Cortney said.

Morgan said, “I was honest with them about how hard it might be to get a foot in the door as a new business when there was a lot of already-established competition. These guys loved the business, had the passion to stay with it and wanted to contribute and succeed, and they wanted everyone to know that TCU had contributed to their sound business philosophy – hence the name Purple Land Management.”

At the start, Hejny and Cortney did not know what they wanted to do with their business ideas right away, but they knew they wanted to do something together with entrepreneurship, Hejny said. 

Hejny said he and Cortney decided to start their own company after working at Four Sevens Energy after graduation. Cortney had worked at Four Sevens for four years and Hejny had worked for two years, allowing them to earn leadership positions, make contacts, and create a great reputation.

The opportunity to branch out on their own arose in June 2010 when the owner of Four Sevens decided he no longer wanted to own the company. Hejny and Cortney were given an opportunity to work out a contract with Chesapeake Energy and inherit Four Sevens’ clients, Hejny said. This resulted in the founding of Purple Land Management.

The company grew rapidly, going from 20 to 130 employees, Cortney said.

Purple Land Management is important because it decreases the need for foreign oil. The education for the landmen is critical because every well that is drilled is less energy needed from the Middle East, Hejny said.

“Landmen in oil companies are the faces of the geology and thought behind the wells and the gas because they present the great importance behind it all,” Hejny said. “The job as a landman is the second most patriotic job because troops come home based on the importing of oil and this affects the world that we live in because we depend on foreign oil.”

It was important to Hejny that Purple Land Management upheld its principles and helped the public become more patriotic. They wanted workers that would standby education and awareness of the importance of oil, he said.

“We always wanted a business to be founded on right principles, where people were going to work hard with deeper meaning and deeper purpose,” Hejny said.