The chairman of the Boys Ranch board believes in building teams.
Lance Purcell is a team builder.
It’s a skill he developed when he graduated from law school and started working with a lawyer in Canyon, Texas.
Purcell’s father, an attorney and district judge, said, “You don’t know as much as you think. Those people who work in those offices and courthouses know a lot more than you, so you better listen to them.”
Purcell did – and he continued to do so. That advice has served him through positions in real estate, banking, oil and gas, investment management, and agriculture.
“I’ve always been a jack of all trades and can relate to most people,” he said. “Where my success has come from is having a good network and good people around me.”
Early Years Growing Up in New Mexico
That network is going to serve him well as the new chairman of the board of directors for Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch.
He accepted the position in October 2021 and will serve a two-year term.
“During my time on the board, I’ve been able to serve on just about every committee we have,” he said. “Stepping in on the chairman’s side of it, I was excited about that just from a leadership perspective. I came on at a very challenging time. But that’s all right. Personally, I like those challenges, and there are a lot of good people in this organization who are going to be part of the future.”
As a child growing up near Tucumcari, New Mexico, Purcell had heard of Boys Ranch. He jumped on the opportunity to join the Boys Ranch Independent School District board in 2007 and served until 2013. He became a member of the Boys Ranch board in 2014.
“Some folks have the impression that Boys Ranch is for kids in trouble,” Purcell said. “As I’ve become more familiar with the mission of the organization and interacted with the kids, you realize it’s their circumstances, not the kid. As I’ve said to many people, it’s amazing what those kids can do with a little support structure and somebody who cares about them and gives them half a chance.”
A Mission That Connects With Purcell’s Ideas
Boys Ranch provides that chance, he said.
“I just like the Boys Ranch mission of helping the young men and women reach their potential, whatever it is,” he said. “It’s critical to teach the kids to believe in themselves so that whether they go to college, trade school, the military or the workforce, they can succeed. We’re all individuals, and we all have our own individual goals and talents, and it is about helping them to realize their own potential, so that’s what I like about it.”
Purcell himself grew up rodeoing through high school and college.
He still enjoys the sport on the weekend and shares it with his four sons.
His wife, Johnna, a college sweetheart, takes pictures of all the action.
“Rodeoing is something my dad had always done, and my granddad encouraged him,” Purcell said. “It’s a great way to spend time together as a family competing and challenging yourself. I always tell my boys, ‘Be a good sport, not a good loser.’ You can’t always win, and if they beat you, they beat you. Shake their hand and try harder. Sometimes there are people better than you in sports – there just are! It’s about reaching your potential.”
Purcell also aims for Boys Ranch to continue to reach its full potential.