SANTA FE — The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) honors Oil Conservation Commission Clerk Florene Davidson for 60 years of service to the State of New Mexico.
She officially reached that milestone Saturday, Oct. 1.
Davidson, who is believed to be the longest-tenured New Mexico State Employee, started her career in the Oil Conservation Division’s Hobbs office in 1962. She transferred to Santa Fe in 1975, where she serves as the primary record keeper for the body that holds public reviews of regulatory orders and enforcement actions related to the state’s oil and gas industry.
“I am so grateful to Florene Davidson for her incredible six decades of service to the state and to her fellow New Mexicans,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “Her ongoing commitment to serving her community is truly inspirational. New Mexico is lucky to be served and supported by thousands of dedicated employees across the state just like Florene.”
“Naturally, we want to recognize Florene Davidson for reaching this extraordinary milestone anniversary in public service,” EMNRD Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst said. “I also want to thank her for her tremendous dedication in serving the State of New Mexico, the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, and particularly the Oil Conservation Division, for 60 years. Ms. Davidson continues to be an outstanding employee and an inspiration to her co-workers.”
Davidson’s first job with OCD was as an administrative assistant to the Hobbs OCD District Supervisor.
“When the deputy division director retired, my boss got that job,” Davidson recalls, “and he asked me to come and serve as his assistant.”
As time passed and division directors came and went, Davidson stayed, eventually assuming the position of Oil Conservation Commission Clerk. That job entails organizing commission meetings and hearings, posting agendas and associated records as well as taking minutes during the minutes and ensuring that all associated records—such as formal OCD rules and regulations—are properly archived and readily accessible to the public.
“The job has changed quite a bit over the years,” Davidson said. “There were no computers when I started. It was good that I enjoyed typing because the commissioners would handwrite their orders and I had to type them on a typewriter for the formal record. Of course, the oil industry wasn’t as large as it is now, and the orders were not as complex.”
Today, OCD staff and commissioners type orders on computers, but Davidson still manages the resulting records. She also takes minutes at commission meetings, using a language known as shorthand, which nearly all administrative professionals were required to learn before the widespread use of computers.
“I took a shorthand course in school, and I had to take a shorthand test when I applied for my job with the state,” she said. “I find it easier to take notes during the commission meetings by shorthand than typing them on a computer.”
She later translates the shorthand notes into a computer to create the formal meeting minutes and records.
Even though she has now worked twice the amount of time needed to qualify for a maximum state pension, Davidson has no plans to retire.
“I have considered retirement a time or two,” she said. “But I still enjoy my job and the people I work with. I also have been fortunate to remain healthy. So, I think I will continue working, at least awhile longer.”