December 18, 2018  

Current weather

Overcast, mist, light rain

Southern Miss College of Business Honors Lock with Alumnus of Year Award

Main Content
Dallas-based entrepreneur Duane Lock, left, was honored as the College of Business Alumnus of the Year during a ceremony held Nov. 12 on the Hattiesburg campus. Pictured with Lock is Dr. Faye Gilbert, dean of the College of Business at Southern Miss. (Photo by Danny Rawls)

Duane Lock took the skills he learned more than 30 years ago as a business student at The University of Southern Mississippi and parlayed them into a successful career in the energy sector.

On Thursday, Nov. 12, the Southern Miss College of Business honored Lock with its Alumnus of the Year Award during a banquet held at Scianna Hall on the Hattiesburg campus. The award is sponsored by Joseph F. Boardman.

“It is a true honor to receive this recognition, coming back to a place where my skills as an entrepreneur and business professional truly began to be molded,” said Lock, president of River Oaks Energy, an electricity brokering and consulting company based in Dallas, Texas. “It feels good to connect back to where I started, and to have the University recognize me in this way is very special.” 

Lock earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Southern Miss in 1983, and has since earned an MBA from Rockhurst University in Kansas City. As president of River Oaks Energy, he oversees a company that offers energy consulting and risk management expertise to businesses in deregulated states across the country. He founded the company in 2004 and built it into a multi-million dollar enterprise. 

“Duane Lock is a wonderful example for our students and community. He has filled his life with professional accomplishments, a commitment to family, and service to the community,” said Dr. Faye Gilbert, dean of the College of Business at USM. “We are grateful that he also engages with our Southern Miss family, and we are proud to honor him with this award.”

Lock grew up on a farm in Brandon, Miss., before graduating from Pelahatchie (Miss.) High School. He recalls, as a 15-year-old, visiting his older brothers who were enrolled at Southern Miss. From an early age, he learned the value of discipline and education.

“There is no substitute for hard work,” he said. “I don’t think anyone in America has ever drowned from sweat as a result of hard work. Also, I believe, as others do, that education is the great equalizer of the world. Southern Miss provided me a great foundation.”

In addition to brokering and trading energy commodities, Lock is also a member of the Council of Advisors for energy, based in New York. As a member of the Council, he consults regularly with investment banking firms such as Capital Advisors, Goldman Sachs and others on matters related to energy policy, market structure and regulatory activities. 

His energy career began after 10 successful years at Xerox Corporation from 1984-1994 in various locations in the U.S. He proudly served four years in the United States Marine Corps active reserve. Lock, his wife, Kathy, and their children live in the Dallas area.

To learn more about the College of Business at Southern Miss, call 601.266.4659 or visit: