Michael R. Dyson

Chief Executive Officer - Infinity Water Solutions

Michael R. Dyson is the CEO of Infinity Water Solutions. A seasoned entrepreneur and venture capitalist, he has a proven track record of driving early-stage project growth and development, having founded or co-founded seven top-tier operations, with five successful exits. As a second-generation energy professional, he has spent more than two decades working in the water, technology and real estate space, often connecting all three.

In 2019, Mike and his team launched Infinity Water Solutions, a sustainability and water management company focused on green infrastructure and water recycling in the Permian Basin. Today, Infinity is among the largest produced water recycling companies in New Mexico, conserving millions of gallons of freshwater annually, while also driving a culture of innovation in a circular economy.

With a magna cum laude BA from the University of Houston and JD from Rutgers University, Mike holds several board of director positions in technology and energy companies. He’s also a graduate of Stanford University’s Business Executive Program. An active member of his community, Mike served as Mayor of Rollingwood from 2018-2021 and remains committed to giving back through various local, regional and state initiatives.

When not working or volunteering, Mike indulges his love for adventure and travel with his wife, Marsha, and their two daughters, Mia and Maddie.

Karen Fili

President & Chief Executive Officer - URENCO USA

Karen serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of URENCO USA (UUSA) and has over 37 years of experience in commercial nuclear power. As President & CEO of UUSA, she oversees the company’s business strategies and objectives and provides organizational leadership for the UUSA plant. Located just outside of Eunice, New Mexico, UUSA enriches uranium for commercial nuclear reactors for U.S. and international customers and serves as the only centrifuge based operational facility in North America. Karen’s responsibilities include maintaining safe and compliant operations, meeting corporate business goals and objectives, and fulfilling environmental and community stewardship of this facility.

Prior to joining UUSA, Karen served as the Site Vice President for two different nuclear power plants: Vogtle 3 & 4 and Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant. She also served as the Vice President of Nuclear Projects at Xcel Energy and Vice President of Nuclear Oversight at FirstEnergy.

Karen holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Mississippi College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University. She has a Senior Reactor Operator Certification, Professional Project Management Certification, and attended the Wharton Executive Program. Karen is an active member in the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), the American Nuclear Society, Women in Nuclear (WIN) and serves on the Dean’s Advisory Counsel in the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University. In 2022, Karen was named one of the “Women Worth Watching in STEM” by the Diversity Journal. In addition, Urenco USA is a founding member of the American Nuclear Society’s Trustees of Nuclear program and Karen serves on its Leadership Council. She resides in Hobbs, New Mexico and is a contributor and giver in the local community.



Finn Smith

President - Watson Truck & Supply, Inc.

Finn Smith is the President of Watson Truck & Supply, Inc., a third-generation family business started in 1943. Finn began his career with Watson Truck & Supply, Inc. as a manager in 1996. After becoming Vice President in 1998, Finn took the reigns as President in 2000. Today, Watson Truck & Supply, Inc. has more than 140 employees and maintains its headquarters in Hobbs, NM. Prior to his work at Watson Truck & Supply, Inc., he was a Supervising Senior for KPMG LLC in Fort Worth, TX. Finn also has a distinguished record of service to the Lea County community. He currently serves as Hobbs City Commissioner – District 1, and has previously served as the board chair for the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County, University of the Southwest, United Way of Lea County, and First United Methodist Church of Hobbs Endowment. Finn is a Leadership New Mexico graduate and a past president of the Southeastern New Mexico Chapter of AESC. Finn is a proud graduate of TCU, with an accounting and finance double major, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder and Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Heather Brewer

New Mexico Government Relations Liaison - Permian Strategic Partnership

Heather Brewer is the New Mexico government relations liaison for the Permian Strategic Partnership. Over the past four years, she has worked with PSP to bring statewide attention to regional problems—in order to find solutions. Heather has worked with the New Mexico Department of Transportation to support a streamlined contracting process to expedite Southeast New Mexico road projects and has helped connect local industry and Permian communities with the state’s new broadband programs to ensure improved access and service.

Heather brings to her work more than 20 years of political engagement. She previously served as state director for Sen. Martin Heinrich and began her career in Washington, D.C., providing communications services to members of Congress. For the last nine years she has run her own public affairs business, HB Strategies, which is based in Albuquerque. 

Stephanie Garcia Richard

Commissioner of Public Lands

Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard is the first woman, the first Latina, and the first educator to serve in the position as New Mexico’s Commissioner of Public Lands.

Born in Tucumcari and raised in Silver City, Stephanie learned at a young age the importance of serving others. Her father, a WWII veteran, was a teacher; her mother was active in their church and community. Stephanie grew up in a family that operated ranches on the eastern plans and northern mountains of New Mexico, sparking the strong connection to our land that she holds today. After graduating from Silver High School, Stephanie went on to receive her undergraduate degree from Barnard College at Columbia University in New York.

Stephanie was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives in 2012. During her six years as a State Representative, she championed laws to increase access to a quality education, transparency, and investments in renewable energy, job training, and economic development. She served as Chair of the House Education Committee for two years before being elected Land Commissioner in 2018.

As Land Commissioner, Stephanie is focused on raising as much money as possible while always keeping an eye toward stewardship and preserving the land for generations to come. We can diversify the revenue that comes into the Land Office by tripling the number of renewable energy projects, promoting outdoor recreation, and encouraging new and innovative commercial development on state trust land. With the largest continuous oil and gas resources potential ever assessed in the world sitting in Southeast New Mexico, and land that is prime for wind and solar development, Commissioner Garcia Richard is committed to working to make more money for New Mexico while protecting the health of our land.

Ken Harrawood

President and Program Manager - SIMCO

Ken Harrawood is SIMCO’s President and Program Manager at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico.

Ken is an accomplished executive with more than 36 years of project/program management experience gained within the nuclear and hazardous waste industries, both domestic and international. He proudly served in the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power program for eight years. Subsequently, he has developed broad DOE complex-wide environmental cleanup experience while at several of the generator sites that ship to WIPP, including those throughout the western U.S. He was responsible for the safe startup of operations at the DOE’s Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project located at the Idaho National Laboratory and the transuranic waste program at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

Ken has also held key leadership roles at the DOE’s Hanford Site in southeastern Washington state; the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site in Colorado; the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; the West Valley Demonstration Site in New York state; and at the Sellafield Site in the United Kingdom.

Prior to joining SIMCO, Ken served as the Program Manager for the Bechtel-led team at the U.S. Department of Defense’s first-of-a-kind Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Colorado where he was responsible for the safe destruction of more than 780,000 World War II-era chemical weapons munitions. Ken holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Technology from Excelsior College. 

Kassi Harrington

Operations Manager - Chevron’s Mid-Continent Business Unit

Kassi Harrington is an Operations Manager for Chevron’s Mid-Continent Business Unit.  She manages several assets across the Permian focused on delivering safe and reliable operations, developing new growth opportunities, and lowering Chevron’s carbon footprint. 

Kassi has over 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry spanning across several different asset classes and geographical locations including offshore Gulf of Mexico, heavy oil in Bakersfield, CA, a major capital project in Kazakhstan, and now shale and tight in the Permian.  Her passions include mentoring others, career development, and serving as the management sponsor of Chevron’s Midland Women’s Employee Network. 

Mrs. Harrington graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in chemical engineering and recently completed her Executive MBA in Energy through the University of Oklahoma.  She joined Chevron in 2002 and is currently based in Midland, TX.

Greg Bloom

Assistant Commissioner of Mineral Resources - New Mexico State Land Office

Greg Bloom is the Assistant Commissioner for Mineral Resources at the New Mexico State Land Office where he oversees the Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division, the Water Bureau, and the Royalty Management Division.  He held this same position from 2012 through 2014.  Additionally, Greg serves as Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard’s designee to the Oil Conservation Commission. Prior to the Land Office, Greg was State Director for U.S. Senator Tom Udall from 2015 through his retirement in 2021 and State Director for U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman from 2009 through 2012.  Greg has worked and focused on energy and public land policy for nearly two decades.  He lives with his family in Albuquerque and is an avid skier, hiker and biker. 

Austin Beam

Supervisor Permian Sustainable Development Project Integration - ConocoPhillips

Austin Beam is the Permian Sustainable Development Project Integration Supervisor for ConocoPhillips, responsible for leading and coordinating ConocoPhillips’ overall sustainable development projects and strategies in the Permian. Key responsibilities include managing external collaboration efforts, developing new technical solutions and supporting key business stakeholders regarding sustainability topics. Topical focus areas include water, power, emissions, technology and data/digital integration. 

Beam earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Texas Tech University and an MBA from Mississippi State University. He and his wife, Lauren, have two young children and live and work in Midland. 

Aaron Hunter

Vice President - ConocoPhillips, Delaware Basin

Aaron Hunter is vice president, Delaware Basin for ConocoPhillips. 

Hunter has 18 years of oil and gas experience, including eight years of experience at Chevron and ten years at Concho Resources. 

Over the course of his career, he has worked in CO2 flooding, microbial and conventional water flooding, field operations management, reservoir engineering, development management, reservoir engineering supervising, and as an asset manager. Prior to his current role, Hunter served as the vice president, Midland Basin for ConocoPhillips. 

Hunter is a member of the Midland Salvation Army Advisory Board and on the board of directors for Wilderness Trek, a Midland-based non-profit. 

Hunter earned a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering from Montana Tech in 2004. 

Dean Jackson

Commission Chair - Lea County

Lea County Commission Chair Jackson came to government service by way of the Lea County Fair & Rodeo Board.  After terming out of the fair board, he was asked to run for Lea County Board of Commissioners and took the opportunity.  One of Commissioner Jackson’s goals is to help the State of New Mexico to understand what a gem Lea County is and to highlight how the county is a major benefactor to the state. His priorities are to run the county conservatively with taxpayers’ money and to keep personal opinion and leadership opinion separate when making decisions on the county’s behalf.  After graduating from Lovington High School, Dean attended Texas Tech University and returned home to Lovington. Although his boot shop has been open full time since 1980, he also considers ranching to be his second job. Dean describes himself as “Lovington, born and bred,” and as a fourth generation Lea Countian, he plans to always make Lovington his home. He and his beautiful wife, Kirestie (pronounced Kristy), have two sons as well as Fancy the dog.

Sam Cobb

Mayor - City of Hobbs

Mr. Cobb was first elected Mayor of Hobbs in March 2012, and was sub- sequently re-elected in 2016 and 2020. During his tenure as mayor, the City of Hobbs has achieved a number of major accomplishments, includ- ing improvements to its infrastructure; significant development in single and multi-family housing; award-winning recreational facilities, such as the CORE family recreation center and Rockwind Community Links; workforce training initiatives, such as the newly constructure CTECH vocational high school, and premier healthcare access through the newly constructed Cove- nant Health Hobbs Hospital. Sam is the President and owner of RMS Foods, Inc., a manufacturer of food products for the Kraft Heinz Company with distribution throughout North America.

Justin Smiley

Director of Business Customer Relations - Xcel Energy

Justin Smiley is the Director of Business Customer Relations for Xcel Energy. Smiley has been with Xcel Energy for 22 years and until recently was the senior operations manager in Xcel Energy’s Substation Operations and Maintenance group for Texas and New Mexico, a post he had held since 2015. In past roles, Justin has worked in the company’s distribution and transmission divisions. In his current role Smiley oversees a group of account managers who serve as primary liaisons between the company and its largest industrial customers in Texas and New Mexico.

Smiley is a native of Amarillo, TX and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Texas Tech University, as well as a professional engineering license with the state of Texas.

Michael D. "Mike" Smith

Managing Director - Permian Road Safety Coalition

Recognized as one of the “Most Influential” public relations professionals by a leading industry publication, Michael Smith’s eye for detail, industry knowledge and network of contacts have well-served clients of his firm, MDSA Strategic Communications, for 29 years.

Michael is a regarded as an international stakeholder engagement expert and is trusted by some of the energy industry’s leading companies. He has authored and executed a variety of engagement plans over his career from non-profit charities to multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects – implementing each with a savvy blend of public affairs, government relations, business development and relationship management.

In 2018, Michael helped to organize a group of energy companies to form the Permian Road Safety Coalition (PRSC), a not-for-profit organization seeking to reduce the number fatalities on the roadways of the Permian Basin of Southeast New Mexico and West Texas. He became Managing Director of the PRSC in 2021 and oversees financial, legal, and regulatory matters for the organization.


Debra P. Hicks

President & CEO - Pettigrew and Associates

Debra P. Hicks graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. She started as a summer intern at Pettigrew & Associates in 1979. Upon graduation from NMSU in 1983, she joined the firm as an engineer intern. In 1990 Hicks bought the firm and proceeded to become the CEO and President. 

Throughout her 40-plus-year career, her engineering experience has included mining, power plants, bio-diesel plants, multi-family housing projects, aquatic facilities, parks, education facilities, small and large-scale subdivisions, museums, hotels, racetrack/casinos, roadways, hazardous materials facilities, uranium enrichment facilities, infrastructure, trail systems, airports and numerous other commercial and industrial developments.

As a part of her professional activities, she has served as director and president for the New Mexico Engineering Foundation, section chair and director for the American Council of Independent Laboratories, president for the Southeastern Chapter of the New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers, and Public Relations Committee for the National Society of Professional Engineers. Currently she serves as President of Lea County Community Improvement Corporation, Vice Chair of the City of Hobbs Utilities Board and President-Elect of the American Council of Engineering Companies New Mexico. Additional directorships include Carlsbad Department of Development, Eagle Trust Foundation, Covenant Health Hobbs Hospital and NMSU College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council.

Most recently Debra was awarded the 47th Distinguished Frank Bromilow Lecturer for New Mexico State University College of Engineering.  She was honored as Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of the Southwest in 2003, received recognition for Contributions in Economic Development for the State of New Mexico in 2008, named New Mexico Woman of Influence by Albuquerque Business First in 2013, and Top CEOs in 2015.  In 2019 she was inducted as a member of the Sociedad de Ingenieros as an Ingeniero Eminente in recognition of her outstanding service to the New Mexico State University College of Engineering. 



James Lackey

Community Relations and Economic Development Manager - Xcel Energy

James Lackey, is the Community Relations and Economic Development Manager for Xcel Energy a position he has held since March of 2019. In his current role James manages the relationships between Xcel Energy and the communities in Southeast New Mexico. James was formerly a Key Account Manager for 5 years where he managed the relationships and business needs of many of Xcel Energy’s largest commercial and industrial customers in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas.

James joined the Xcel Energy in 2008 as a Power Plant Engineer, and worked as a Senior Engineer in Xcel Energy’s Engineering and Construction business unit.

James was born and raised in New Mexico.

James received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of New Mexico and a Master of Business Administration degree from West Texas A&M University. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in the States of New Mexico and Texas. 

James currently serves on the Boards of many community groups including: University of the Southwest Board of Trustees; Economic Development Corporation of Lea County Board of Directors; Carlsbad Department of Development Board; Lea County Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Committee. 

James has been a resident of Lea County for 15 years and is married to his wife Tanya of 23 years. He is the proud father of a son, Seth (19) and two daughters Falyn (17) and Aubrey (11). In his free time James enjoys coaching and watching his children play golf and volleyball. 

Babatunde Cole

President and General Manager - Delaware Basin Business Unit - OXY

Babatunde Cole is President and General Manager of Delaware Basin Business Unit, Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum. In this role, he oversees the development and production of unconventional reservoirs in the Delaware Basin in both Texas and New Mexico, where he is responsible for improving operational excellence and accelerating the growth of those assets.  Mr. Cole has more than a decade of industry experience and understands the reservoir characterization and production operations of different resource plays including heavy oil, tight oil and gas and conventional reservoir rock types. 

He previously served as Asset Director for Permian Resources in New Mexico, managing production operations, business processes and asset lifecycle integrity. Mr. Cole also has served as Portfolio and Planning Manager for Occidental’s Permian Resources, developing investment strategy for domestic assets, implementing portfolio optimization processes, and developing short and long-term business plans.  

Before joining Occidental in 2012, he held various reservoir engineering roles of increasing responsibility with Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil in Canada, where he worked onshore and offshore oil and gas assets.  

Mr. Cole holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science from Western University in Ontario, and a Master of Science in Finance from the University of Houston


Paul E. Shoemaker

Senior Manager - Retired - Sandia National Laboratories

Paul Shoemaker recently retired from his position as a senior manager at Sandia National Laboratories.  In his last assignment, he was responsible for Sandia’s remote site in Carlsbad, New Mexico.  He managed all of Sandia’s work in connection with the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.  This was his second stint in this role for Sandia, having resided in Carlsbad from 2000 to 2006, when he led the WIPP participant organization team that provided technical content for the first Compliance Recertification Application for WIPP.  He has degrees in physics and public administration.  Over the last forty plus years he served in many programs at Sandia National Laboratories, including advanced batteries, electronic subsystems, and project planning for nuclear weapons development.  He also served for several years on Sandia’s Executive Staff, including an extended tenure as head of the Laboratories’ strategic planning function.


Mike Hightower

Program Director - New Mexico State University's New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium

Mr. Hightower is the Program Director of New Mexico State University’s New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium. After serving 38 years at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, Mike continues as a mentor on energy and water issues. Mike holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from New Mexico State University and has 40 years of experience in space, weapons, and energy and natural resources research and engineering. His focus in the past two decades has been on the use of distributed and renewable energy and water treatment technologies to enhance economic development, global public health, and infrastructure and natural resource security and resiliency.
Since 2000 Mike has actively supported the Departments of Interior, State, Defense, and Energy in establishing science and technology programs to address energy and water sustainability issues and interdependencies. These efforts have centered on advanced treatment and desalination of non-traditional water resources such as brackish groundwater, oil and gas produced water, and power plant cooling water to efficiently and cost effectively reduce freshwater use and supplement fresh water supply availability in inland areas. Mike has had numerous articles and reports published on desalination and energy/water interdependencies including two Reports to Congress, an article in Nature, an Energy Water Food research roadmap for the National Science Foundation, and chapters in three books.

Francisco Sanchez

New Mexico Department of Transportation- District Two Engineer

Francisco Sanchez is the District Two Engineer for the New Mexico Department of Transportation. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from New Mexico State University and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New Mexico. Mr. Sanchez was born and raised in Roswell, New Mexico and is married to his lovely wife Sonia Sanchez and has one son Joaquin Sanchez. He has 23 years of experience in civil engineering beginning his career with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla, Washington – Snake River District, returning to his hometown Roswell, NM delivering public works projects for the City of Roswell Engineering Department. For the last 8 years, Mr. Sanchez has been working for NMDOT District Two in various capacities delivering regional significant transportation projects and currently is the District Engineer overseeing highway operations for southeast New Mexico. As a native New Mexican, Francisco understands the safety concerns travelers face on daily basis on southeast New Mexico highways. He is striving to improve the state highway system in the Permian Basin providing a safe and efficient transportation system for the travelling public while promoting economic development.

Ryan Lane

Representative - (R) - Minority Floor Leader District 3 San Juan County

Ryan was born and raised in Aztec, New Mexico and is a third-generation “Aztecian.”  After graduating from Aztec High School, Ryan played collegiate baseball while obtaining a degree in mathematics at a private Christian college in the midwest.  In 2007, Ryan graduated Cum Laude from Liberty University School of Law in Lynchburg, Virginia, where Ryan also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Liberty University Law Review.  After graduating law school, Ryan spent the next three years as a law clerk to the Hon. John C. Gemmill of the Arizona Court of Appeals as well as to the Hon. James A. Teilborg of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

Knowing that he is truly a “small town kid at heart,” Ryan chose to return to Aztec in 2010 in order to enter private practice.  Ryan is a solo practitioner at his own law firm, T. Ryan Lane, P.C. in Aztec, New Mexico.

Ryan is happily married to his wife Nicole of 18 years and has two wonderful sons.  Being a father is life’s greatest privilege and also life’s greatest challenge.

Ryan is an avid trail runner, having completed multiple ultra-marathons, including a 100-mile race known as the Run Rabbit Run in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  When he is not out on the trail, Ryan can often be found pursuing trout with a fly rod in hand.

James Pinchback

Vice President of Pipeline Commercial - Plains All American Pipeline

James  Pinchback  is  Plains’ vice president of pipeline commercial. He joined Plains in 2006 and serves as Plains’ top executive located in the Permian Basin. Mr. Pinchback is responsible for Permian pipeline business development. He also coordinates the company’s operating, business  development, and commercial activities in the region. His expertise has focused on a variety of roles, including managing director of pipeline commercial operations. Mr. Pinchback has also worked with INEOS, NGL and BP with experience in supply and trade, lease crude acquisition, and marketing. 

Mr. Pinchback received a Bachelor of Science in petroleum engineering from Louisiana Tech University in 1987. 

Lynn Granger

Executive Director - API - Colorado

Lynn Granger is the Executive Director of API-Coloradoa statewide organization focusing on energy priorities in the state, including hydraulic fracturing and energy infrastructure. Lynn leads API’s efforts in the state, helping the natural gas and oil industry create jobs, generate more revenue for the state and make America less reliant on foreign energy.

Prior to joining API-Colorado, Granger served as COO for Colorado Concern, where she led all operational and strategic execution for the organization, supporting legislative candidates and statewide policies that promote a sound economic future for Colorado.

Granger’s career initially began as a Soldier in the United States Army. She went on to serve as a Civilian for the Department of the Army in South Korea and Germany. Her service includes Strategic Communications Advisor to the Commander of United States Army Europe, a 3-star billet, based in Wiesbaden, Germany. In that position she conducted research and strategic analysis, authored papers, drafted executive correspondence and developed engagement synchronization plans for the Commanding General. Initiatives tied directly to transforming military communities, shaping strategic and operational environments, and informing U.S., NATO, and regional leaders. Of note, Lynn worked extensively on “Operation Atlantic Resolve”, a reassurance mission for our NATO partners after Russia annexed Crimea. She also proactively coordinated media opportunities with The Rachel Maddow Show, BBC and The Wall Street Journal resulting in positive coverage of our troops in Europe.

After her time with the Army, Granger served as the Communications Director for the Colorado Department of Revenue. There she was the senior point of contact and subject matter expert for all agency (both internal and external) outreach, media contacts, website content and management; and public relations efforts to articulate and promote the Department of Revenue’s mission and policy priorities including: Taxation, Division of Motor Vehicles, Colorado State Lottery, and Enforcement of the Auto, Gaming, Liquor, Marijuana and Racing industries.

Lynn has fulfilled professional training with Georgetown University’s Strategic Communications and Social Media Seminar, the Department of Defense’s Defense Information School, and the U.S. Army’s Management Staff College to learn the principles of communication, leadership, and strategic thinking.

Rikki Seguin

Executive Director - Interwest

Rikki Seguin joined Interwest as the Executive Director in April 2019, overseeing the organization’s six-state strategic agenda, managing Interwest’s team of policy and technical experts, and building political power for the renewable energy industry. With a long history working as a coalition-builder, Rikki works to develop consensus positions across the industry and within Interwest’s diverse membership.

Prior to joining Interwest, Rikki oversaw the development and implementation of a regional policy agenda to support the responsible development of renewable energy across the Pacific Northwest. Rikki also worked as a community organizer in New Mexico, California, Texas, and Oregon, focusing on clean energy and climate campaigns. Rikki has worked to develop and pass numerous renewable energy policies related to utility resource procurement, land use and siting, tax treatment, transmission line development, and community solar. Rikki holds degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Florida.

Rikki is based in Albuquerque, NM.

Corey Needham

Assistant County Manager - Lea County

Corey and his wife Robin moved to Lea County in 2003 after graduating from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Both Corey and Robin were raised in Eddy and Chaves County and have always called southeastern New Mexico their home.  Their two sons, Landon and Colin, attend Hobbs High School and Highland Junior High.

Corey began his professional career at Pettigrew and Associates, where he had the unique experience of working in the materials testing, surveying, inspection, and civil engineering fields.  While working for Pettigrew and Associates, Corey obtained his professional engineering license in Civil Engineering.  

In 2010, Corey accepted the position of Lea County Public Works Director and became the first Lea County staff engineer since the 1960’s.  Since 2010, Corey has led a variety of departments and construction projects, including the Road Department, Airports Division, Utilities, Planning and Zoning, Environmental, and Permitting, and was project manager on multiple construction projects. 

In 2016, Corey was promoted to Assistant County Manager for Lea County.

Corey is proud of the activities that the departments that he has worked with have accomplished. 

Lea County Airports Department has made significant strides in becoming the premier airport network in the state and region, winning numerous awards from NMDOT, including Airport Manager of the Year, Air Show/Event of the Year, and 2 Most Improved Airport of the Year awards.

Lea County has also been very busy with infrastructure during this period.  Over $260 million into transportation maintenance and reconstruction has occurred during this time.


Laura Riley

President & CEO - Gavilan Solutions

Laura served as Deputy Land Commissioner under Commissioner Aubrey Dunn.  Development of Gavilan Solutions, a governmental relations and regulatory compliance firm, was a natural next step.  . Gavilan Solutions provides knowledge and skills associated with review of title, determination of water and leasehold rights, market analysis and completion of due diligence required in assessing the value and potential of a property to the company. We facilitated the approval of projects through the coordinated management of the various agencies and landowners involved, the public perception through paid and public media, and the permitting and approval process in local municipalities, counties, and state authorities.  Laura has developed a unique insight to the land and water management regulations of both State and Federal Lands in New Mexico.   Gavilan Solutions is served by her 35 years of experience in real estate, land and water management, permitting and leasing.  Additionally, our firm has completed right of way and easement valuations for all utility purposes, including residential development, public use (i.e., drainage and open space), local and interstate petroleum product transmission and interstate electrical transmission lines.

Whitney Dobson

Vice President - Beneficial Reuse - Aris Water Solutions

Whitney Dobson is a chemical engineer with a strong background in developing innovative water infrastructure systems. She began her career researching nuclear waste reduction using wiped film evaporation technology before pivoting to focus on the development of water infrastructure for oil and gas operators. Whitney’s early role as water manager for PDC Energy involved engineering and constructing one of the first water recycle sites in Pecos, TX, as the industry began to explore the potential for the reuse of treated produced water in completion operations.

Whitney received her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business before joining Aris Water Solutions in 2019 as the leader responsible for the integration of Concho Resources’ produced water gathering and sourcing assets into Aris’s infrastructure system. Today, as Vice President of Beneficial Reuse, she is instrumental in developing and executing Aris’s strategy of working with regulatory agencies and scientists to identify technology and opportunities to drive the use of treated produced water outside of the oil and gas industry. Her work is key to supporting Aris’s commitment to developing sustainable solutions for water reuse and management.

John Cochran

Managing Director of Commercial and Business Development - Phillips 66 - Delaware Basin Gathering and Processing

John Cochran is Managing Director of Commercial and Business Development for Phillips 66’s Delaware Basin Gathering and Processing assets within the Permian, as well as Contract Analytic activities across the Gathering and Processing business.  Prior to the Phillips 66 buy-in of DCP Midstream, John held various Commercial, Marketing, and Business Development roles within DCP Midstream’s Northern Business Unit, Southern Business Unit, and Marketing & Logistics Business Unit.  John earned his BBA & MS in Accounting, as well as his JD from the University of Houston.

Kartik Garg

Vice President - XTO Energy Delaware Basin

Kartik Garg was appointed as Vice President of XTO Energy Delaware Basin (a wholly owned subsidiary of ExxonMobil) in February 2023 and is responsible for the rapidly growing New Mexico business.

He commenced his career with ExxonMobil in 2003 and has since held positions and responsibilities in North America – Texas and California, Australia, Russia, Canada and Guyana.  His roles and experiences have spanned operations, engineering, projects and business planning.  He brings significant operational experience, having had the unique opportunity of directly managing and transforming businesses in every phase of the life cycle.  In his last operational assignment, he embarked on and advanced a transformative plan to improve unit cost performance and reduce emissions at the Longford Gas Plants, critical infrastructure responsible for supplying approximately 40% of Eastern Australia gas. 

Kartik holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia.  He relishes outdoor activities and loves spending time with his wife and three sons.

Meredith Dixon

Representatives - (D) Vice Chair - House Appropriations & Finance District 20 Bernalillo County

Meredith Dixon is a small business owner and serves as a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives from the 20th district. Elected in 2020, she assumed office on January 19, 2021. She is the vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee. Meredith’s husband is an engineer at Sandia Labs, and they are raising two daughters, Madeleine and Elizabeth. Meredith works to bring together stakeholders from all walks of life to listen to their concerns, problem solve, and move New Mexico forward. She was born in Ossining, New York. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Chatham University and a Master of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.


Missi Currier

Owner - Cambiar Consulting, LLC

Missi Currier is the owner of Cambiar, LLC, a governmental affairs consulting firm. Missi’s experience includes governmental affairs, community development, and strategic communications championing energy, tax, regulatory, and economic diversification issues. Her career has allowed her to focus on initiatives concentrated on moving communities and relationships forward in positive, enriching ways. Missi earned a Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Science, and Bachelor of Science in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University. 


Gary Schubert

President - Schubert Construction

Gary Schubert Arrived in Hobbs, NM in 1977 after graduating from Texas A & M University.  Three years later he formed Schubert Construction which has become a commercial contracting firm focusing on constructing facilities for energy related companies.  Schubert Construction (and sister company Grimes Land Company) has developed over 150 such facilities since 2005.


Schubert Construction has been a Certificate Member of the Lea County EDC for over 30 years and during that time Gary has served the EDC Board of Directors (Chairman 3 times), on the Airline Committee, Executive Committee, Search Committees, etc.

 Gary also served on the Lea County Commission 2003 thru 2011 (Chairman 3 years) & has served on numerous civic and church boards.

Russ Doss

Board Chair - EDC

Russ was born and raised in Denver, CO, but spent the summers of 1970 to 1978 in Hobbs working for his Aunt and Uncle, who owned a small business on Broadway. After graduating from Colorado State University in 1979, he began work with the City of Hobbs Engineering Department. 

Upon receiving his Professional Civil Engineering license in 1983, he became City Engineer and oversaw the Engineering and Planning Departments.  Several economic development projects were first considered for development at that time, with the WIPP project and Urenco being two of the largest.

 Russ joined Souder Miller and Associates (SMA) as the Senior Engineer in the Hobbs office when it was opened in 2014. SMA is the third largest Engineering Firm in NM specializing in Engineering, Environmental, and Geomatics work.  He continues to serve on the EDC Board and the EDC Executive Committee, and is the present Board Chair of EDC.