We give clients and employees an open door to our executive management team,
reflecting our philosophy of active engagement at every level.
Mr. Whitener founded and serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lauren.聽In 1984, he formed Lauren Constructors, Inc. as part of the Comstock Group to pursue industrial projects on an open shop basis.聽In 1988, Mr. Whitener created Lauren Engineers & Constructors, Inc. as a holding company for three of the Comstock Companies and began doing design/build projects throughout the Southeast and Southwest.聽The Company was relocated to Abilene, Texas in 1994.
In addition to acting as Chairman and CEO, Mr. Whitener has been actively involved with many of the Company鈥檚 significant EPC projects.聽He has over 44 years of wide-ranging experience in ownership and management of EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) companies, with project experience in the electric power generation, chemical/polymers, refining and industrial manufacturing markets.
Mr. Whitener has also been actively engaged in community affairs, having served as Chairman of the West Central Texas Workforce Development Board and Chairman of Harmony Family Services.聽He is a founding member of the board of directors for Bible Training Center for Pastors in Tucker, Georgia where he continues to serve. He is also on the board of Fellowship of Companies for Christ International FCCI.
Mr. Whitener holds a bachelor鈥檚 degree in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Methodist University.聽He has also completed graduate courses in Business Administration at the University of Texas at Arlington, as well as graduate courses at the Dallas Theological Seminary.
Mr. Lipps joined the Lauren team in June 2015 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and now serves as President and Chief Operating Officer.
Mr. Lipps started his professional career in Construction Management and later served as President of two Engineering/Construction Management firms. Prior to joining Lauren, he held the role of Executive Vice President in the Industrial EPC Division of a $6.5 billion international firm.
Throughout his professional career has dedicated over 32 years to project work in the chemical processing, petroleum refining,聽power generation and manufacturing arenas. During the last 20 years, Mr. Lipps has held聽executive-level leadership roles.
Mr. Higgins joined Lauren in 2018 and currently serves as Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology and Risk Management for The Lauren Corporation, a holding company for all Lauren assets. Mr. Higgins is a member of the company鈥檚 Executive Committee, and has 29 years of experience in Finance and Accounting Management in both public accounting and public and privately-held company environments.
Prior to his current position with Lauren, Mr. Higgins served as an audit partner for 11 of his 15 years at Condley and Company, LLP, a public accounting firm based in Abilene. In addition, he worked for The West Texas Rehabilitation Center, an Abilene outpatient rehab facility, as well as Pittencrieff Communications, Inc., a publicly traded wireless communications company, in various finance and accounting capacities. He also worked for KPMG, a national public accounting firm.
Mr. Higgins is active in community endeavors. He serves as treasurer and director for the P4X Foundation, which assists families that have children being treated for pediatric cancer, is a school board trustee and president for Jim Ned Consolidated Independent School District, and is a deacon and on various committees for Pioneer Drive Baptist Church.
Mr. Higgins is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Valuation Analyst and holds a BBA from Tarleton State University.
Mr. Hyland joined Lauren in 1984 and currently serves as Executive Vice President. He is responsible for the execution of major projects as well as all Project Management, Project Controls and Estimating.
Mr. Hyland has over 36 years of wide ranging experience in the heavy industrial construction industry. Extensive experience in project management, project controls, estimating corporate management, contract management and proposal development. Projects include concentrated solar power, conventional power generation, refining, polymer and chemical plants, pulp and paper, water treatment and carbon fiber facilities as well as multiple maintenance projects. In addition to serving Lauren, he is actively involved in the community, volunteering for Lauren sponsored organizations including the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity.
Mr. Hyland holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the University of Maine.
Mr. Shoemate聽joined Lauren in October 2002聽currently serves as Executive Vice President. He is聽responsible for Lauren’s Power business.
Mr. Shoemate has over 45 years of Engineering Design and Project Management experience in the power generation industry.聽 He previously was partner of Tippett & Gee, an Abilene-based Engineering firm acquired by Lauren in 2002.
Mr. Shoemate is actively involved in the community, having served on the United Way of Abilene Board of Directors and the program committee for the Kiwanis Club of Abilene.聽 Currently, he serves as a Deacon and Pastor Prayer Partner at First Baptist Dallas.
Mr. Shoemate holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and is a Professional Engineer.
Mr. Barbee joined Lauren in September 2001 and currently serves as Senior Vice President. He is currently responsible for all聽Business Development efforts for Lauren.聽 During his time here, he has served in a number of roles including Project Management, Business Development and over the past several years, as Vice President of Fabrication and Small Capital Projects with which is still operationally involved on a daily basis.聽聽Prior to joining Lauren, Mr. Barbee held the position of Vice President at Texas Industrial Manufacturing, Inc., a custom manufacturing equipment firm.
Combining his experience at Lauren and Texas Industrial, gives him over 30 years of project experience including project sales, project management, execution of small capital projects, pipe and vessel fabrication and modular fabrication.聽 His background further gives him a distinct market perspective with a strong emphasis on modular construction across all markets including electric power generation, chemical/polymers, refining and industrial manufacturing markets.
Mr. Barbee is a lifelong resident of the Abilene area.
Mr. Boyce聽joined Lauren in July 2019 and currently serves as the Vice President of Engineering. He is聽responsible for all engineering and design disciplines for Lauren.
Mr. Boyce has over 24 years of process design engineering and engineering management experience in the oil and gas industry, primarily in the engineering execution of EPC projects in the downstream market.聽 He has a strong process engineering background in the syngas industry, leading the process work on hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and syngas projects utilizing steam-methane reformers, partial oxidation reactors, carbon dioxide removal, feed pretreatment, product purification, and supporting utilities.
Prior to joining Lauren, Mr. Boyce held various positions at EPC firms in Tyler, Texas.聽 He was recently involved in company growth plans to diversify opportunities in the syngas and midstream industries, complementing existing refining business.聽 He was also a founding member of a new startup EPC office, developing workflow guidelines, engineering tools and standards, and engaging business development to provide technical support.
Mr. Boyce holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arkansas and is a Professional Engineer.
Mr. Weatherly joined Lauren in 2000 and currently serves as聽Vice President of Construction. While he is actively involved in many areas of the company, he is directly聽responsible for the management of all direct labor as well as the direct execution of all construction and fabrication activities.
Starting his career in this industry as a Fitter/Welder, Mr. Weatherly rapidly moved up through the company due to his leadership, responsible decision making and proven ability to safely execute projects of the highest quality and on schedule.聽 With over 20 years of experience in power and heavy industrial construction as well as fabrication and modularization, his involvement in all aspects of these projects make him a valuable asset for Lauren both now and for many years to come.聽 Mr.聽Weatherly has distinguished himself year after year as he continues to excel at Lauren.聽 His corporate recognitions include both the Safety Core Value Award as聽 the Lauren Innovation Award, to name only a few of his honors.
Mr.聽Weatherly takes great pride in mentoring Lauren’s next generation, living Lauren’s Core Values as he helps every worker reach their full potential and develops extreme loyalty through exceptional performance.聽 His interests include coaching girls summer basketball and is an avid hunter.