Wm. Buck Johns, President
Mr. Johns, an Eagle Scout, graduated as the Outstanding Senior with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas in 1964. Mr. Johns received the 1976 Distinguished Engineer Award and was one of the founding inductees in the Academy of Industrial Engineers in 1980. As well as inaugurating the first academic chair in the College of Industrial Engineering, he was inducted, in 1977, into the University of Arkansas Engineering Hall of Fame as its youngest member.
After joining the NYSE-listed Trane Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 1964, Mr. Johns was named Manager of Dealer sales in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1969 he was elected to found the industry’s first factory-direct air conditioning operation, located in Fullerton, California. Under his direction, the division grew from inception in 1970 to 1,000 employees in 1980 working in six locations throughout California with annual sales exceeding $28 million.
In 1986, Mr. Johns was appointed as a Director of the 32nd Agricultural District (Orange County Fair Board) by Governor George Deukmejian. He was reappointed for a four year term in May 1989 and was again reappointed by Governor Pete Wilson in January 1993. In April of 1989, Governor Deukmejian nominated him to the United States Selective Service Board. President Bush made the appointment in June of 1989.
Mr. Johns founded the Newport Beach headquartered development organization, Inland Group, Inc. in 1986 and, subsequently, Inland Energy, Inc., for the purpose of concentrating on entitlement and development activities for real estate, infrastructure and energy related projects. In 1994, Inland Energy founded the High Desert Power Project and subsequently partnered with Baltimore Gas and Electric (later Constellation), the nation’s oldest utility, to develop the Project in Victorville. The California Energy Commission granted the construction and operation permit on May 3, 2000 and construction commenced in April 2001. In March of 2001, the California Department of Water Resources signed a 10 year contract for the facility’s output for $3.6 billion. In April, 2003 the plant came on line ahead of schedule and on budget.