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NMSU hosts 2012 Re-Energize the Americas Conference in Las Cruces

  • By Janet Perez
  • Sep 28, 2012
Woman in a business suit.
New Mexico State University once again is co-hosting the Re-Energize the Americas Conference, which brings together government, industry and academia from the Paso del Norte region to discuss issues critical to the future of sustainable energy sources.

This year's keynote speaker is NMSU distinguished alumna, Julie Dill, who serves as president and CEO of Houston-based Spectra Energy Partners Group, a $3 billion master limited partnership formed by Spectra Energy. She also serves as group vice president of strategy for Spectra Energy, where she is responsible for leading the company's long-term strategic development efforts.

"We are delighted to have Julie Dill as a keynote speaker," said Jim Peach, Regents Professor in the department of economics and international business at NMSU's College of Business. "She has a distinguished career in the energy industry and is a genuine leader in her field. We are doubly pleased because she is a very successful NMSU graduate."

This is the second year NMSU has co-hosted the Re-Energize the Americas Conference with the El Paso-based economic development organization, The Paso del Norte Group, and the University of Texas at El Paso. The conference takes place Oct. 17 and 18 at the Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave.

At NMSU, Abbas Ghassemi, director of the Institute for Energy and the Environment at the College of Engineering, and Peach have been working to help organize the conference for several months.

"Re-Energize the Americas is an excellent gathering of the thought leaders from throughout the Americas, addressing the current and emerging issues in the area of energy, economic development and how to capitalize on these issues," Ghassemi said.

The 2012 Re-Energize the Americas Conference has its roots in NMSU's Re-Energize America conferences. A series of events and opportunities for partnerships led to the original conference expanding in size and scope last year to include UTEP and The Paso Del Norte Group. Last year's conference took place in El Paso.

The mission of Re-Energize the Americas is to spur economic development of sustainable energy resources and activities within West Texas, Southern New Mexico and Northern Mexico, a region with 2.6 million people, said Britt Porter, chairman of the Re-Energize the Americas Conference planning committee and vice president and wealth manager at True North Advisors in El Paso.

Dill's keynote address will take place Oct. 17 during a dinner reception on the first day of the conference.

Dill received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, summa cum laude, in finance from NMSU in 1981. She was named to NMSU's College of Business Hall of Fame in 2000, and was the 2010 Distinguished Alumni for the College of Business, where she also serves on the college's advisory council. In 2002 she was named one of the top 50 Women in Energy by Commodities Now magazine, and in 2010 was selected as the Ontario Energy Association's Energy Leader of the Year.

Before assuming her current position in January 2012, Dill served as president of Union Gas Limited, Spectra Energy's major Canadian natural gas utility company. Dill also has held positions at Duke Energy, Duke Energy International and Equilon Enterprises, a Royal Dutch Shell company.

"The keynote address by Julie Dill, an internationally renowned expert in this area, will certainly be one of the high points of the conference," Ghassemi said.

The conference will open with remarks from UTEP President Diana Natalicio, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, El Paso Mayor John Cook, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela and Alberto Chretin Castillo, secretary of economy for the Chihuahua state government.

Giving the keynote luncheon address on the first day of the conference will be Richard G. Kidd IV, deputy assistant secretary of the Army (Energy and Sustainability) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army Installations, Energy and Environment.

The conference will hold breakout sessions on such topics as economic development in the oil and gas industry, renewable energy generation projects in the region, cyber security for distributed renewable generation and smart grids, regional energy and water financing investments, security in electric power grids and technology company incubation and entrepreneurship.

For more information on the conference, log onto www.reenergizetheamericas.com.