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AAPL Announces New Executive Committee Members for 2020-21

The American Association of Professional Landmen announced the election of the 2020-21 AAPL Executive Committee at its 66th Annual Meeting held virtually June 18, 2020. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, AAPL’s board of directors voted to eliminate an in-person event and registration fee to provide the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting Professional Development and Land Conference as a complimentary benefit (a total value of $600-plus) for its members.

Composed of seven oil and gas executives and petroleum land experts from across the United States, the Executive Committee officers hold over 150 years of combined leadership within AAPL, their industry and their communities.

“Associations strengthen America by building a stronger economy, by creating industry standards of quality and safety, and by enhancing skills and creating opportunities for our members,” said Greta Zeimetz, CAE, executive vice president of AAPL. “There are more than 65,000 associations in the United States, and AAPL is proud to make a difference in the communities we interact, live, work and where our members call home.”

President Lester A. Zitkus, CPL, is senior vice president of land for Gulfport Energy Corp. headquartered in Oklahoma City, where he has worked since 2014. He started his professional career in the oil and gas industry in 1987 working as a field contract landman for Equitable Resources and after being hired in-house by Equitable spent the next 19 years in various staff and senior management positions, ultimately serving as senior vice president of land where he oversaw land efforts related to the Utica and Marcellus shales. Active with AAPL for many years, he served three terms on the Executive Committee and has served on various other committees and tasks forces, including as chairman for the Education, Finance and Strategic Planning committees and the Investment Advisory Council. He also served as assistant chairman of the NAPE Operators Committee and as a member of the Membership Committee.

First Vice President James “Jim” T. Devlin, CPL, serves as the CEO of Lincoln Energy Company LLC in Corpus Christi, Texas, which he started in 2018. Very active in the industry, Delvin was chairman of the 2018-19 NAPE Operators Committee and a director of NAPE Management LLC and NAPE Expo Charities Fund. In addition to serving as secretary of the AAPL Executive Committee and as a multiterm director of the AAPL board of directors, he is a past chairman of AAPL’s Ethics, Forms, Annual Meeting and Education committees and a former member of the Strategic Planning, Nominations, Publications and Issues Management committees. He also served as president of the Corpus Christi Association of Professional Landmen.

Second Vice President Nancy C. McCaskell, CPL, has over 35 years of experience managing and leading acquisitions, divestitures and negotiations of minerals, surface and leasehold in the oil and gas industry. She is executive vice president at Pitts Oil Company in Dallas, where she leads the land group managing properties in East Texas, North Texas and the Black Warrior Basin in Mississippi. Active with AAPL and local associations for many years, McCaskell is chair of AAPL’s Accreditation Committee and a member of the Blankenship Task Force. 

Third Vice President Marc S. Tate, CPL, serves as land manager for Chevron U.S.A. Inc. in Bakersfield, California. He began his career in 1982 working as an independent landman in various counties and parishes in Texas and Louisiana. In 2019-20 Tate served as the AAPL Certification Committee chairman and previously served as assistant chairman. An active member of the Bakersfield Association of Professional Landmen, he also has been a member of the Michael Late Benedum Chapter of AAPL, the East Texas Association of Petroleum Landmen and the Permian Basin Landmen’s Association.

Treasurer Kyle B. Reynolds, CPL, is a managing member for RBG Permian, LLC in Midland, Texas. He is an active member of the American Bar Association, Arkansas Bar Association, Oklahoma Bar Association, Permian Basin Landmen’s Association, Black Warrior Association of Professional Landmen, Fort Smith Association of Professional Landmen and Urban Land Institute. He served previously as an AAPL local director for the BWAPL and chairman of the Marketing Committee and is now a member of the Blankenship Student Awareness Initiative.

Secretary C. Andrew Cooper, CPL, is a vice president at Roger A. Soape Inc. in Houston where he has been employed since 2006.  A member of the American Association of Professional Landmen, the North Houston Association of Professional Landmen and the Houston Association of Professional Landmen, Cooper previously served as the NHAPL's AAPL regional director, president, vice president, secretary and member of the board of directors. Cooper also previously served as chairman of the AAPL Field Landman Committee and as a member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation/AAPL Advanced Landman's Institute Program Committee and the HAPL's Permian Basin Social Committee.

Immediate Past President Jay W. Beavers III, CPL, is an independent landman based in Sanger, Texas. With more than 40 years of oil and gas industry experience, Beavers previously worked as a company landman for Enserch Exploration Inc. and UPRC. His commitment to AAPL has been demonstrated by serving on several AAPL committees, chairing the AAPL Certification Committee, the AAPL Awards Committee and the Southwestern Legal Foundation Landman’s Institute as well as serving as AAPL treasurer, first vice president and most recently as president.

“As I begin my role as president of AAPL, I’m encouraged at the opportunities that change brings. Our members are increasingly having to find employment outside of the traditional ‘oil patch’ — in new or emerging industries,” said Lester Zitkus, CPL. “The work of our dedicated AAPL staff and the leadership of our board, committees and task forces all give us the ability as an association to adapt to the changes taking place in the land business, and I am as encouraged as ever for this upcoming year.”

In 1955, AAPL was formed with the purpose of promoting the education, training, interests and performance standards of land professionals everywhere. Through legislative advocacy and collective representation, AAPL works closely with the public to advance oil and gas interests and ensure America’s energy independence.  As the only national organization for land professionals, each of the more than 15,000 AAPL members across the United States and Canada commits to the rigorous ethical standards required in AAPL’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.