Speaker Bios

Doug Ackerman

President and CEO

New Mexico Oil and Gas Association

As the president and CEO of New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, Doug Ackerman is responsible for leading and growing a coalition of oil and natural gas companies and stakeholders dedicated to promoting the safe and environmentally responsible development of oil and natural gas resources in New Mexico. Doug works with elected officials, community leaders, industry experts, and the general public, to advocate for responsible oil and natural gas policies and increase public understanding of industry operations and contributions to the state. The oil and natural gas industry is the largest economic and fiscal contributor to the state of New Mexico, supporting more than 134,000 jobs and $27 billion in annual economic activity.

Doug brings over 25 years of strategic marketing and transformational leadership in food, retail, and agriculture companies. Prior to joining NMOGA, Doug served as executive vice president of global marketing for EcoGEM, a pre-funded mineral company with verticals in regenerative agriculture, food, pharmaceuticals, and plastics, where he developed a global brand, strategic platform, and market entry for domestic and international agriculture opportunities focused on establishing food security while maintaining compliance with the ‘sustainable development goals’ of the United Nations. As the CEO for the Dairy Alliance and executive director for the Florida Department of Citrus, Doug found a passion for working for farmers and helping to bring strategy and focus to mature organizations that needed transformation to regain relevancy with consumers and balance environmental sustainability with the economics on the farm. Doug also spent eight years with Publix Super Markets where he helped lead initiatives like prepared foods, convenience stores, liquor stores and was responsible for managing the Publix and Publix Premium private label brands across numerous categories. Early in his career, Doug spent 12 years in advertising agencies developing brands, field marketing, and marketing communications for brands like Pizza Hut, Anheuser Busch, Jimmy Dean Foods, Minute Maid and Ruby Tuesdays.

Doug, a decorated combat veteran, is a retired U.S. Army Infantry officer with 23 years of service to include two tours of duty in the Global War on Terror. Doug earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Tampa.

Ben Shepperd


Permian Basin Petroleum Association

Ben Shepperd serves as the President of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association based in Midland, Texas, since 2006. In that role he represents oil and gas interests before legislative and regulatory bodies in Texas, New Mexico and Washington, D.C. He has more than twenty years working on state legislative and regulatory issues. His Austin experience includes staffing several Texas House members, including David Swinford, Harvey Hilderbran, and Buddy West. He served as committee counsel for the House Energy Resources Committee under Chairman West. He also served as Chairman Hilderbran’s water policy advisor in the 79th Legislative Session focusing on issues before the Natural Resources Committee. He also worked for three different state agencies over those years, including the Department of Agriculture, director of Rural Affairs for the Department of Economic Development, and as Legislative and Policy Director for Commissioner Charles Matthews at the Railroad Commission. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from Texas A & M University in College Station. Mr. Shepperd is a board member of the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute Foundation at the University of Texas at the Permian Basin, as well as on the Advisory Council for the UTPB School of Business.

Jim Winchester

Executive Director

Independence Petroleum Associates of New Mexico

Jim Winchester joined IPANM as Executive Director in September 2017, returning to New Mexico after working several years as a Communications Manager in Boulder, Colorado. Prior to working in Boulder, Jim served as the Communications Director for both the New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) from 2011 to 2015 working as an appointee under Governor Martinez.

Prior to his work with the Martinez administration, Jim worked for 15-years as news reporter and anchor with tenures at television stations in Albuquerque, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and several other markets in the Midwest. His diverse educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Sandi S. Guy

Partner, Human Capital

Carr, Riggs & Ingram

With over 20 years experience in professional services, Sandi has extensive knowledge and expertise in; Talent Management, Organizational Development, Workforce Planning and strategic operational management. She has partnered with US and global business leaders to align talent strategies with organization goals for  industries including manufacturing, hospitality, financial services and public accounting. 

As a member of the Carr, Riggs & Ingram leadership team, Sandi drives the firm’s Human Capital strategies encompassing talent management, professional and leadership development, retention, engagement, talent acquisition and total rewards.

Sandi has been recognized for her leadership in diversity by various organizations.  She was identified as a “Woman Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity Journal, named “Influential Woman of the Year” by the American Society of Women Accountants and “Woman Extraordinaire” by Charlotte Business Leader.

Sandi has a proven reputation for; strong leadership, collaboration, business acumen, and most recently was a contributor to the latest in the  “The Oz Principle” series, “fixit” for her best practices in engagement, accountability and communication.

Hanson Yates

Co-founder and President

Santo Petroleum

Hanson Yates is the co-founder and President of Santo Petroleum LLC, a small independent oil and gas exploration and production company with offices in Artesia and Houston. Hanson and his father Peyton Yates founded Santo in 2010 and, since 2016, have been focused on investing in and developing oil and gas assets in southeastern New Mexico, including the company’s Caveman Project in and around the city of Carlsbad.

Prior to becoming President of Santo in 2018, Hanson served as its Vice President of Land and Business Development. Before cofounding Santo, Hanson worked in project management, financial analysis, business development, and land negotiation roles at the following firms: Chevron Technology Ventures in Houston; Comann & Montague, a small market M&A advisory firm in Tiburon, California; and Emerald Trail, an oil and gas project joint venture company in Merced, California. Hanson holds a B.A. in History from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Hanson’s greatest passion is spending time with his four young children, including while losing his voice as coach of their basketball and soccer teams. His other interests include energy policy, international affairs, college basketball, snow skiing, fly fishing, running, and hiking. Hanson, born in Artesia, is an Eddy County native but currently resides in Houston.

Diaco Aviki

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Crestwood Equity Partners LP

Diaco Aviki is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Crestwood Equity Partners LP. In his current role, Diaco is responsible for overseeing Crestwood’s commercial, business development, field operations, engineering and project management functions which primarily support Crestwood’s gathering and processing business.

Diaco joined Crestwood in 2017 as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Commercial Operations for the Gathering and Processing business segment for the Bakken and Rockies before expanding into his most recent role of Senior Vice President of Commercial, Gathering and Processing. He previously worked at BHP Billiton as Senior Manager of Midstream after serving as the Senior Manager of Natural Gas Marketing and Transportation for their Atlantic Basin Region. He began his career at ExxonMobil, holding various positions including U.S. Gas Strategy Lead.

Diaco holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University and an MBA in Energy Finance from the University of Texas. Diaco serves on the Advisory Council for Auburn University’s College of Engineering.

Aaron Hunter

Vice President, 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.

John Raines

Vice President, Delaware Basin

Devon Energy

John Raines is Vice President, Delaware Basin, at Devon Energy, and serves on the Board of Directors for both Cotton Draw Midstream, LLC and Catalyst Midstream Partners, LLC.

Raines leads approximately 450 employees and is responsible for managing operational planning and execution across more than 400,000 acres in the U.S.’s most prolific basin, the Permian.

Raines joined Devon in 2005 as an intern and has held a variety of management roles including Vice President of the Rockies business and Vice President of Land and Regulatory.

Raines has a bachelor’s degree in finance and energy management from the University of Oklahoma, and a juris doctor degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. He is a licensed attorney in the state of Oklahoma and a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and Oklahoma Mineral Lawyers Association.

Brittany Steel

Subsurface Characterization Manager, New Mexico

Occidental Petroleum Corporation

Brittany Steel is Subsurface Characterization Manager, New Mexico of Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY).  In this role, she coordinates subsurface planning and operations, where she is responsible for delineation and optimization of unconventional targets.

Brittany recently moved from Oxy’s international business to Onshore Resources & Carbon Management. She was the Exploration Manager of the UAE, where she coordinated exploration efforts between Oxy & Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Her responsibilities included providing technical subsurface studies, portfolio management, and risking assessments.

Ms. Steel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Science and Master’s in Geoscience from the University of Tennessee.

Brian McGowan

Permian Basin Development Manager

ExxonMobil Corporation

Brian McGowan is the ExxonMobil Permian Basin Development Manager and works to shape the company’s strategy for its Permian business, including helping it to meet its Net Zero (Scope 1 and Scope 2) ambitions there by 2030.

In his current role Brian is responsible for maximizing near term and long term financial value while managing risk and uncertainty. His teams work to rapidly deploy and learn from optimization technology and to then translate those insights into plans perfectly fit to ExxonMobil’s unique acreage position.     

Since joining the company in 2002, Brian’s career has spanned upstream technical and operational roles in the United States, Indonesia and Malaysia.

A native of Florida, Brian holds an MBA from the University of Texas and a B.S in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue. He and his wife Susan currently reside in The Woodlands Texas, where they are raising their two teenage boys.

Robert G. Schwiers Jr.

Chief Economist for Chevron’s Strategy

& Sustainability Department

Robert G. Schwiers Jr. is the Chief Economist for Chevron’s Strategy & Sustainability Department.  He advises senior executives on economic and energy market dynamics to aid in developing business plans and growth strategies for the company.  Mr. Schwiers is currently a member of the American Petroleum Institute’s Economics and Statistics Committee, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Industry Advisory Board, and the IEA’s Energy Business Council.  He has also contributed to several external industry publications including Energy & Security: Strategies for a World in Transition and the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook. 

Previously, Mr. Schwiers was a Senior Energy Analyst in Chevron’s Supply & Trading organization assisting energy traders with short-term energy market analysis.  He also held several positions within Chevron’s strategic planning organization including senior staff analyst, principal consultant, and manager of forecast and business support.  

Mr. Schwiers graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a degree in business administration with a focus on accounting and finance. He joined Chevron in 1998 and has more than 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.

Robert is based at Chevron’s corporate headquarters in San Ramon.

Greg Bloom

Assistant Commissioner for 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-lands policy for nearly two decades.  He lives with his family in Albuquerque and is an avid skier, hiker and cyclist. 

Nicole Nelson-Jean

Associate Principal Deputy Assistance Secretary for Field Operations

U.S. Department of EnergyOffice of Environmental Management

Nicole Nelson-Jean is the Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Field Operations for the Office of Environmental Management (EM). Nelson-Jean has the overriding responsibility to develop strategies, policy, and guidance for the 15 EM field sites in support of the EM mission. She oversees nuclear operations, safeguards and security, and technology development. Nelson-Jean also oversees EM’s efforts under the Justice40 Initiative.

Prior to this position, Nelson-Jean served as the Manager of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Savannah River Field Office providing oversight for the management, quality assurance, nonproliferation, and national security missions for the Savannah River Site.

Nelson-Jean was also the Manager of the Livermore Field Office and the Senior Advisor to the Acting NNSA Administrator at the Los Alamos Site Office. In these roles, she managed a wide variety of tasks related to infrastructure, nuclear safety and security, nonproliferation, business, and contract management.

Nelson-Jean served as Energy Attaché to the U.S. Ambassador of the Mission to International Organizations in Vienna, Austria, where she coordinated and oversaw NNSA support of the International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear security. She also served as the DOE Attaché to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan overseeing NNSA interests in Asia and the Pacific Rim. Other positions held in NNSA include Office Director with the Global Threat Reduction Initiative and Deputy Office Director in Material Protection, Control and Accounting Program. Nelson-Jean began her career at Los Alamos National Laboratory in EM.

She was honored with the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award and the Service to America Medal from the Partnership for Public Service. Nelson-Jean earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Grambling State University, a master’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College, and a master’s degree in strategic security studies from National Defense University. She also completed the Leadership for a Democratic Society Program at the Federal Executive Institute.

Weatherman Steve Stucker

With over 30 years on the morning show, Steve Stucker has been continuously forecasting weather in New Mexico much longer than any other TV personality.

Steve has received many honors in his years as a weatherman, including a Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Rocky Mountain Southwest Region. His induction into the Silver Circle in 2021 highlighted both his broadcast abilities and his long record of outstanding community service over his 45-year career.

Readers of “Albuquerque The Magazine” have voted him Favorite TV Personality and/or Favorite Meteorologist 17 years in a row!

Steve is well known throughout New Mexico for his community involvement, working with dozens of nonprofit groups, schools and churches. Steve’s “celebrity weather dogs” appear on air with him every Friday morning for Parade of Pets – Radar & Koukla. The Weather Pups are rescues from shelters.

He also dresses up in a colorful Balloon Pin outfit during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta each year, where he is fondly known as The Balloonatic! Steve has not missed a single day in 33 years! Steve jokes that he is the Most Photographed Human at Balloon Fiesta.

He has been married to Rose 29 years; they have four adult children and three grandchildren.