Team Huddle at Derricks and Diamonds

Our Story

Learn how Derricks & Diamonds got its start

Derricks and Diamonds began as a grass roots initiative for the first and second classes of the NOV Next Generation Program in 2005. The “Next Gen” Program recruited, trained, placed, and retained high potential college graduates from various global universities at NOV. Many Next Gen alumni work at NOV today. They are united through their shared experiences, and for early Next Gen participants, their involvement in Derricks and Diamonds.

Challenged by management to identify a community investment opportunity, approximately 30 Next Gen members connected and started envisioning possibilities. Since they were all new to the energy industry, the members reached out to friends and family members to explore ideas on how they could make a meaningful, positive impact in the community. Common themes the Next Gen group encountered while brainstorming included a manageable, team-oriented endeavor that families could enjoy together.

Softball made sense.

Derricks and Diamonds Crafters

Volunteers at the softball tournament

It was a weekend event and a decidedly inclusive sport. The Derricks and Diamonds name was born soon thereafter as a nod to the industry partnerships (Derricks) and sport tournament of choice (Diamonds).  The Next Gen class members reached out to customers and vendors in the industry to onboard teams, and the platform for fundraising in support of a significant cause gained momentum.

At the same time, the group worked on deciding the charitable beneficiaries for Derricks and Diamonds. A Next Gen class member whose brother had survived pediatric cancer suggested Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) because of the support they had provided his brother and their family. After a few discussions, the first beneficiary was selected and Derricks and Diamonds was officially launched, initially as a softball tournament fundraiser. 

Despite industry downturns, management changes, and company mergers, Derricks and Diamonds has withstood the test of time. The organization is supported by a caring group comprised of the NOV global family that continue to help children living with cancer year after year. Over time, Derricks and Diamonds has matured and evolved into an advocacy group. Its members work all year-long to produce philanthropic events which unite the oil and gas industry in support of TCH and Snowdrop Foundation.

Team Batmant at Derricks and Diamonds

Team Batman at the 2019 Derricks & Diamonds Charity Softball Tournament

A story from a founding Derricks and Diamonds member

Michael Martin of NOV shared this anecdote about a year-one fundraiser the Derricks and Diamonds group held at the Westchase building.

The fundraiser, Floor Wars, incited a friendly competition. On each floor, the committee placed a 5-gallon water jug and rallied for donations to the cause – with a slight twist. Dollar bills worked in favor for each floor donating, but change contributions were subtracted from that floor’s dollar count. Michael described that you would have people throwing in their change to opposing floors water jugs so that their floor would stand a better chance of winning Floor Wars.

On the last day of the fundraiser, the CEO at the time contacted Michael wanting to know how much money had been raised. Michael hadn’t been prepared to share these amounts just yet, but when even the CEO is excited about the possibilities a grass-roots initiative can bring about, he knew he needed to act fast. He asked for members of the Diamonds and Derricks Committee to meet him at his apartment that evening so that he would have a total to share.

One thing Michael and the group had not counted on was how difficult it is to pull dollar bills out of 5-gallon water jugs. Initially, Michael tried using a circular saw to cut open the jugs, but after this labor-intensive trial, he and others discovered a safer strategy of fishing the dollar bills out with a coat hanger.

The group worked through the night, calculated the totals, declared a Floor Wars winner, and shared the final amounts with the CEO.

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