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Employees of Mack Energy Corporation pose for a photo at corporate headquarters. (Brienne Green - Daily Press)

Employees of Mack Energy Corporation pose for a photo at corporate headquarters. (Brienne Green – Daily Press)

Company

Gage Simer, mechanic, services a company vehicle at the Mack Energy Machine Shop. (Brienne Green - Daily Press)

Gage Simer, mechanic, services a company vehicle at the Mack Energy Machine Shop. (Brienne Green – Daily Press)

With the oil industry in the midst of a downturn, many corporations have been forced to cut back, creating an atmosphere of instability for employees. And in the Permian Basin, that unease is even more pronounced.

As such, it speaks volumes for an oil and gas business to earn the title of Best Company to Work For not only during a climate of prosperity but during one of uncertainty. As they did in the inaugural Best of Artesia contest in 2010 and for four of the five years since, Mack Energy Corporation has done just that.

“We’re very honored to win this,” said Chance Chase, vice president. “Especially with the hard times the industry’s going through right now, we’re very thankful our employees enjoy being here and that they know we’re invested in them.”

The employees of Mack Energy and its subsidiaries made their voices heard in this year’s contest, determined to show their gratitude to a family that has done much for them and the community of Artesia, as well.

The independent energy company was founded in 1988 by president Mack Chase. Headquartered in Artesia, the corporation also operates offices in Roswell and Midland and Fort Worth, Texas, employing more than 900.

Chase’s sons, Robert and Richard, also serve as vice presidents, along with Johnny Knorr. Chase and his wife, Marilyn, are well known for their philanthropy, a value they instilled in their children and grandchildren, as well. In 2006, the Chases established the Chase Foundation, which – among other charitable endeavors – provides scholarships each year to all eligible Artesia High School graduates that have allowed local youth to pursue their dreams and obtain the tools they need to be competitive in the job market.

That’s something Chance Chase appreciates within the company itself.

“The next generation is coming up through the ranks, and they’re doing a great job of asking the right questions and knowing when to lead,” he said.

Chance himself enjoys the challenges the oil and gas industry presents, as well as watching his employees rise to meet them.

“It’s not the same thing every day,” he said. “There’s always something that comes up that needs to be taken care of, but you know you have the right people to take care of it. My position is ever-evolving, but it’s also fun to see other people grow.

“My dad likes to throw me in the deep end and see if I can swim, and it’s great to see other people do that, too.”

Chance says it’s important to Mack Energy that its employees know they are valued, both for their skills and as people.

“My goal is to make sure people don’t feel like they’re a number,” he said. “I’m proud of everybody here. We all enjoy the people we work with, and everybody works well together.”

MEC’s employees echo that sentiment.

“It’s just like another family out here,” said Lisa Worley, approaching her second year in the accounting department at affiliate Silver Oak Drilling. “Everybody’s been welcoming, and I enjoy what I’m doing.

“There are so many different entities within this building, but everybody just pulls together. We make it work.”

“Everyone I work with is very caring and supportive of each other,” agreed Michelle Madrid, a four-and-a-half-year employee of the scanning department. “We work as a team, and we’re always there to help each other out when it’s needed.

“I look forward to coming to work every single day.”

Since moving into their new 60,000-square-foot office complex in Riverside in 2012, and with 15 subsidiaries in the fold, Chance says the company makes an effort to gather together as often as possible to preserve that close-knit feeling.

“We do a lot to make it fun,” he said. “The dynamics have changed. We used to be in that small office, and now we’re in this big one, so we have to do little mixers and things like that to bring everybody back together.

“We had our big corporate picnic this last weekend, and over 600 people showed up with their families. That was pretty awesome to see.”

And as Mack Energy continues as a leader in oil and gas production, Chance wants its employees to continue to feel at home regardless of the cyclical nature of the industry – just as he does.

“We know a downturn’s going on right now, but we’re here to stay,” he said. “We’re here to make it through, just like the other times. This may be my second one, but my grandfather and my dad have been through a lot of these, and they know how to handle it.

“I grew up running through the halls of this office, so it means a lot to me.”