The Tidewater and Big Bend Foundation is a Texas 501(c)3 nonprofit, founded and endowed by John B. Poindexter in late 2020. The Foundation acquires, restores, reconstructs and preserves significant historical structures and expansive rural landscapes in the Big Bend region of West Texas and Tidewater, Virginia. It is well funded and maintains a cash balance more than suitable for its proposed undertakings.
Complementary to building and land restoration, the Foundation acquires and exhibits historical art and artifacts and reconstructs lost structures on its properties. Through the combination of these elements, the Foundation intends to create an educational tableau of rural life in former times. Craftsmen, historians, archeologists and academics are employed to enhance the understanding of historical structures and lands. The Foundation engages biologists and botanists in the furtherance of its mission to conserve the flora and fauna inhabiting the two regions.
The Foundation expects to interact with the public primarily through tours, but also by offering seminars, academic discussions and special events. Guided excursions in the form of nature walks, garden exhibitions and access to working farms and forests are anticipated.
To date, the Foundation has acquired eight historical properties in Virginia, all listed or to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Foundation owns or will acquire by gift 5,200 acres that surround, or are in close proximity to, its buildings.
Further acquisitions of land and buildings are anticipated in New Kent and adjoining Virginia counties. In West Texas, a sizeable project to restore a largely abandoned mining town – Shafter – is contemplated. This initiative will proceed providing that key structures in the village are purchased in a timely manner from the corporation that owns them.
“I don’t want to use the term ‘building a legacy.’ That is such a tiresome phrase, and it implies personal ego as well, an element I’m trying to exclude. What I am trying to leave behind . . . is a property that is genuinely noteworthy. We can expand what we are doing to a much larger terrain.”
– John B. Poindexter
John B. Poindexter – Chairman/President
John received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with Honors, from the University of Arkansas, and a master’s degree in Business Administration and Ph.D. in Economics and Finance from New York University. Following his undergraduate education, John volunteered for the U.S. Army, Officer Candidate School and service in the Republic of South Vietnam. In addition to two Purple Hearts, John was awarded two Silver Stars, the Soldier’s Medal, two Bronze Stars, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star and other decorations for service and valor. In 2009, the Presidential Unit Citation was conferred on John’s Vietnam command, Alpha Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
In 1971, John joined Salomon Brothers in New York City as an investment banker but within a few years transitioned into private equity investment. Later, he became a partner at Smith Barney Venture Corporation, an affiliate of Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. By 1983, he was Managing Partner of two investment partnerships, KD/P Equities and J.B. Poindexter & Co., L.P., which acquired companies with aggregate revenues of more than $1 billion.
John is actively involved in historical preservation and land conservation. In the Big Bend region of West Texas he has restored 30,000 acres of land and three historical forts. Over his 32 years of work in the region, he has sponsored important ecological and historical research projects and authored several books on the history of the region and his ranch, Cibolo Creek. John’s efforts in West Texas are recognized through three listings on the National Register of Historic Places and four Texas Historical Commission listings. In 2012, John initiated a property acquisition and restoration campaign in Tidewater Virginia, earning three listings on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2020 he formed and endowed the Tidewater and Big Bend Foundation to continue his land conservation and historical preservation vision.
Paul B. Clemenceau
Born in 1940 in Bordeaux, France, Paul Clemenceau is a dual French and U.S. national. Paul has a bachelor’s degree in English from Washington and Lee University and a law degree from Tulane University Law School, where he served on the Law Review. He served as Captain in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Paul is licensed to practice law in Louisiana, Texas and France and was a partner in the New York law firm of Coudert Brothers (in its Paris and Houston offices until 1988). In 1988, he joined the Chicago-based law firm of Mayer Brown LLP as a partner in its Houston office until his retirement in 2006. Paul was a board member of the French American Foundation of New York and numerous French-American and Houston civic organizations. He is married and has two adult children.
David R. Nuzzo
David Nuzzo is Chief Financial Officer of J. B. Poindexter & Co., Inc. He also directs the company’s merger and acquisition activities. Immediately before joining J. B. Poindexter & Co, David served as managing partner of First 1 Financial Management, a business consulting and private equity firm. Prior to that assignment, he has held positions of authority in private equity, manufacturing and a well-established law firm specializing in corporate/securities transactions. David holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston College, a law degree from Emory University and a master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University.
Stephen P. Magee
Steve Magee has served as Director of J. B. Poindexter & Co., Inc. since the formation of the company in 1988, as Treasurer from 1988 to 2001 and additionally as Chief Financial Officer of the company from 1994 to 2001. He currently serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.
Richardson B. Gill
Dick Gill holds six degrees from the University of Texas at Austin: four undergraduate degrees in Latin American Studies, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Physics, a master’s degree in Anthropology and a Ph.D in Archaeology. Dick has served as President and Chairman of two financial institutions and was the founding chairman of the two largest wineries in Texas. He has served on the boards of numerous civic and educational institutions and organizations. He is a fluent speaker of Spanish and French and a published author in the subjects of Archaeology, History and Wildlife Management.
Henry B. Thompson
Hank Thompson oversees Southwestern Holdings, Inc. which owns 29 manufacturing plants, the 30,000-acre historical Cibolo Creek Ranch in the Big Bend Region of West Texas and a historical shooting preserve in Tidewater Virginia. In addition, he manages real estate acquisitions, construction, land development and special projects. Prior to joining Southwestern Holdings, Hank managed product development for a successful oilfield services startup. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Lewis & Clark College, where he was team captain of the men’s crew team and a master’s degree in Business from Texas Christian University.
Norbert R. Markert
Norb Markert is the President and Chief Operating Officer of J. B. Poindexter & Co. Prior to his current role, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Corporation from 2005 to 2021. He joined Morgan after a 22-year background that included several engineering, manufacturing, sales/marketing and general management assignments.
Norb holds both a B.A. degree in Economics and a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester, an M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Jeffrey R. Parsons
Jeff Parsons has successfully represented major corporations, institutions and individuals in complex civil trials, arbitrations, and appeals across the United States. In his over 40 years of experience, Jeff has time after time demonstrated the judgment, insight, advocacy and integrity that has favorably resolved many high-stakes disputes. He has handled a broad array of commercial disputes including antitrust, banking, construction, energy, finance and securities, insurance, libel and slander, products liability and wrongful death and serious bodily injury cases.
Christopher S. Cobb
Chris Cobb grew up in Houston, and upon graduating from Mirabeau B. Lamar High School, moved to Washington, D.C. to attend The George Washington University. A part-time position on the staff of Senator John G. Tower of Texas led to more than 40 years of professional political involvement at the state and national level. He has played key roles in national and state committees and the election campaigns of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Before his retirement in 2014, he spent 20 years with a Washington, D.C. agency that raised money for various non-profit organizations including think tanks and history museums. Amongst his notable clients is Lt. Col. Oliver North, who Chris advised in his Virginia Senate race and later with the formation of Lt. Col. North’s 501(c)(3) foundation.
Grant C. Hayes
General Manager – Tidewater
Grant grew up in the international community, graduating from the International School of Kenya, and went on to complete a B.A. in Organizational Psychology from Hampden Sydney College with highest honors and later earned an M.B.A. from the University of Richmond.
Prior to joining the Foundation, he spent more than two decades in various operational and development roles in commercial and residential real estate, including several years in the non-profit arena. He has also been involved in several historic rehabilitations during his career. Grant brings his passion for responsible development, history, preservation and conservation together in his role as GM at Tidewater, where he hopes to continue shaping and maintaining the history of the region.
Grant and his wife and two children live in Ginter Park, Richmond, where they are rehabilitating their second historic home.