Shared from the 6/5/2019 Hobbs News Sun eEdition

Third annual EnergyPlex conference set for June 25

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The third annual New Mexico Energy-Plex Conference will be held June 25 at the Lea County Event Center.

Hosted by the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County (EDCLC), the one-day conference includes talks and panel discussions involving executives from the various forms of energy found in the county.

“This gives us an opportunity to further showcase Hobbs and Lea County to folks coming in,” said Mike Barnes, interim CEO and president of EDCLC. “We have some phenomenal speakers, in addition to all of our local elected and appointed officials that have agreed to participate.”

State officials set to appear include representatives of New Mexico Department of Transportation and the New Mexico office of the Bureau of Land Management. Industry representatives will include those from the Permian Strategic Partnership and midstream facilities, Barnes said, in addition to speakers involved in nuclear, solar and wind energy projects.

Confirmed speakers include Tracee Bentley, CEO of the Permian Strategic Partnership, and Sarah Cotrell-Propst, cabinet secretary the NM Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department.

Panels will include industry professionals as well as local and state officials set to discuss transportation challenges in southeastern New Mexico, community updates in Lea County and other issues involving the diverse energy industries.

Barnes is serving as head of the EDCLC while the board of directors searches for a permanent replacement for Steve Vierck, who resigned last month.

“It’s really an honor for me as an interim to be involved in this. It’s been extremely successful in the past. I think most recently, we had an attendance of about 225 persons from a broad spectrum and a very broad geographic region,” Barnes said. “I tip my hat to the staff here at the EDC and to Steve Vierck, my predecessor, for really getting this thing moving in the right direction.”

He anticipates participants will learn much from a panel of oil and gas executives.

“We’ve had very positive support from the community, from the participants in terms of sponsorships,” Barnes said. “We’ve had a number of stellar companies stepping up and helping to offset the costs.”

Various companies and organizations will set up booths in the exhibit hall.

“We have a great exhibit hall for a lot of service providers to feature their wares and services. It looks like it’s an outstanding opportunity for all those involved,” Barnes said.

The conference offers an annual opportunity for networking with customers, peers and suppliers.

“One of the benefits of this is we get to showcase the county to these people and let them know what’s going on here in terms of energy, which is consistent with our brand of the EnergyPlex,” Barnes said. “There are tons of things going on in Lea County with regard to energy projects.”

In addition to the business side, participants also get an opportunity to relax.

“It gives a chance for people to socialize a little bit with the golf outing the previous day, then get down to business of learning and sharing during the seminar. Then, we’ll have a little social function at the end of it,” Barnes said. “They get to meet new friends and strengthen existing acquaintances.”

The conference, including breakfast and lunch, is free to attend and open to the public. Registration for participation in the golf outing on June 24 costs $50.

The schedule for the day begins with registration and breakfast at 7:30 a.m., followed by a transportation challenges panel discussion at 8:30 a.m.

Registration, both for the conference and the golf outing, is available through the conference website www.energyplexconference.org. Sponsorship opportunities and booths also are available, with sponsors asked to register by Friday.

Curtis C. Wynne may be contacted at reporter3@hobbsnews.com .

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