ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For years, NAIOP’s Chuck Gara Community Leader Award, one of the highest honors at the commercial real estate group’s annual Awards of Excellence event, was given to an individual from New Mexico’s business community who exemplified the longtime real estate professional’s leadership and generosity.
“It was a recognition of the kind of man Chuck was,” said Lynne Andersen, president of NAIOP.
This year, however, the awards committee took a different approach. Rather than singling out an individual who led the state forward, the award was presented to the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association as an organization. Andersen described the choice as a way of honoring the economic and philanthropic contributions of the state’s entire booming oil and gas industry. She described the industry as sometimes overlooked and denigrated by state and local officials.
“There is this industry that helps New Mexico work,” Andersen said. “And without them, we would be in a world of hurt.”