Richard Varner, a native of Wichita, Kansas, graduated from the University of Nebraska. He received his MBA from the University of Kansas in 1978. His early career included positions in crude oil logistics, trading, and refining in the U.S. and Europe with the Coastal Corporation, Questor Petroleum and Mitsui & Co., USA. In 1991, Varner formed Newport Petroleum, building a fleet of ocean-going petroleum barges and tugs. Since the sale of Newport Petroleum in 2003, he has actively been involved in the acquisition of LDC and pipeline assets in the natural gas industry through Navitas Utilities and Warrior Petroleum.
Richard’s passion for collecting and restoring automobiles and motorcycles turned an avocation into a business, building complete motorcycles and producing performance parts, and now extends to an ownership in the professional motorcycle road racing series, MotoAmerica.
He serves as on the board as treasurer for the Petersen Automotive Museum and the California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation. He is a Trustee of the University of Nebraska Foundation, and serves on the advisory board of the University of Nebraska School of Business. Varner is a member and former chairman of the Southern California Chapter of the World Presidents Organization and Young Presidents Organization. He has three children and two grandchildren. Other activities he enjoys include involvement in the family cattle and horse ranch in Kansas, and being a member of the Varner family office.