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SoM_2024(16 x 9 in) (5)

2024 State of Midland

11:00 AM
Doors Open + Lunch Service Begins

11:30 AM
Program Begins

1:00 PM

Presented by

Why attend?

Attending the State of Midland Luncheon presents a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the community's pulse and gain invaluable insights into the region's trajectory. This annual event serves as a nexus for leaders from various sectors and offers a platform for forward-thinking initiatives.

The State of Midland Luncheon serves as a comprehensive briefing on the region's economic, social, and cultural landscapes. From unveiling upcoming development projects to addressing pressing societal issues, the event provides a panoramic view of Midland's current status and prospects.



Whether one seeks to stay abreast of emerging trends, contribute to community advancement, or network with like-minded individuals, attending this luncheon promises a rich and enlightening experience.

In essence, it's an investment in both personal and professional growth, aligning individuals with the heartbeat of Midland's evolution.

Former Chairman Panel

Nadine Craddick

 Nadine Craddick

Midland Chamber of Commerce Board Chair (1993-1994)

Nadine Craddick is Vice President and Secretary of Craddick, Inc. She has an extensive history of community involvement in the Midland area, notably serving on several boards including Midland Memorial Hospital Board of Governors and the Midland / Odessa Transportation Alliance Charter Board, and has been a Member of the MD Anderson Board of Visitors for a number of years. She was a Charter Member of the Caring for Children Foundation, a member of the Leadership Texas Alumnae Association, and a member of the Midland Advisory Board for Chase Bank of Texas.

She and her husband, Texas House of Representatives member Thomas Russell Craddick, Sr., created The Tom and Nadine Craddick Presidential Scholarship Endowment for the Texas Tech University System, the Nadine and Tom Craddick Distinguished Chair in Medical Science Endowment for The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and the Nadine Craddick Endowment Fund for the Midland Memorial Foundation at Midland Memorial Hospital.
Congressman Conaway

Congressman Mike Conaway

Midland Chamber of Commerce Board Chair (2000-2001)

Former U.S. Congressman K. Michael Conaway has had a storied career that spans more than five decades. He was reared in Odessa, Texas and graduated from Odessa Permian High School and played on Permian’s first football State Championship team. He has a BBA degree in Accounting from Texas A&M University – Commerce.

Conaway was a certified public accountant for more than 30 years in both public and private practice. His first elected position was on the Midland School Board in the mid-1980s. Governor George W. Bush tapped him to serve on the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy in 1995, and he served as Chairman for five plus years

He retired from Congress in 2021 after serving eight terms as U.S. Representative from District 11 in West Texas. He was instrumental in passing the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills through Congress as a member of the House Agricultural Committee. He later served as chairman of that key committee and led the effort to develop and enact the 2018 Farm Bill. The 2018 Farm Bill was passed with the largest vote margin for any Farm Bill re-authorization in history and was signed into law by President Trump in late 2018, the first Farm Bill since 1990 to become law the same year it was introduced.

Conaway was also tasked with leading the 2017-18 House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Conaway also served on the House Armed Service Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Ethics Committee, and the House Budget Committee. When he retired from Congress, Conaway and his wife, Suzanne, moved to Fort Worth. Mike and Suzanne have four children and seven grandchildren.

Conaway serves on the boards of the Angelo State Foundation Board and the Texas Agriculture Land Trust.
KW 2024 Headshot

Kate Williamson

Midland Chamber of Commerce Board Chair (2020-2021)

Kate Williamson, Development Manager for Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Midland, boasts a two-decade career spanning political advocacy, fundraising, and communication. Her professional journey includes pivotal roles in federal offices, notably supporting Congressmen Mac Thornberry and Randy Neugebauer, alongside consulting for Thornberry’s campaign until his retirement in 2020. Her passion for public policy ignited during a college internship with Speaker Pete Laney in 2001.

Active in the Midland community, Kate served as Chair of the Midland Chamber of Commerce Board and was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to the Texas OneStar National Service Commission Board. Her philanthropic involvement spans leadership roles in organizations like the Midland Memorial Hospital Board, High Sky Children’s Ranch, Junior League of Midland, and the Minuet Club of Midland. She is also an alumnus of the Texas Lyceum.

Hailing from Vernon, TX, Kate graduated with honors from Texas Tech University, majoring in Spanish with a minor in Political Science. She resides in Midland with her husband, Clint, and their two teenage children.

Meet the Speaker

 Mayor Lori Blong

Lori Blong
Lori Merritt Blong is a proud native of the Permian Basin and Co-Founder/Partner of Octane Energy, as well as the current Mayor of Midland, Texas. She is committed to lead, learn, and serve in the oil and gas industry at a regional, state, and federal level, in addition to her service to the community of Midland.

After spending her early career as a high school teacher in El Paso, TX, Lori co-founded an oilfield service company, Octane Energy, with her husband, Jared, in 2013. They steadily built their company over the years through the ups and downs of commodity and activity cycles, gleaning knowledge and experience in operations and development from all around the Permian Basin. In fact, in 2017 and 2018, Octane was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the Top 5 Fastest Growing private energy companies in Texas.

For a little over 7 years, Octane provided project management and operational oversight for more than 600 wells a year, for more than 30 distinct operators across the Permian Basin and Oklahoma. Lori’s leadership and disciplined fiscal strategy have been critical to Octane’s continued sustainability in this volatile market. She thrives in problem solving and in identifying the best personnel in drilling, completions and production operations to create solutions and efficiencies

In June of 2020, Octane Energy successfully sold a portion of their book of business and Lori stepped into the leadership role of Octane Energy, pivoting strongly into the E&P space to purchase a producing asset in Ector County. Now, the Octane Team is beginning horizontal development of the asset, while participating as investors and technical expertise for various other projects in the Permian. She also serves on the board of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, the board of Habitat for Humanity, as well as on Congressman Pfluger’s Energy Task Force. Lori values the opportunity to maintain relationships forged through the booms and busts of the energy sector, with a constant focus on fiscal discipline and long-term planning. She is leading the Octane team to identify new oil and gas assets for purchase, as well as new opportunities for project management and contract engineering.


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