NAPE Charities Keynote

Thursday, August 19

At NAPE, we believe in giving back. Since 2009, over $4.75 million has been donated through our annual NAPE Charities Keynote to help charities that support U.S. veterans. We lend our wholehearted support by covering all event costs, so 100% of the funds donated go directly to the charities. Each year, this event features a different high-profile speaker and spotlights a group of deserving charities as award recipients.

Lend your support to deserving veterans by participating in the NAPE Charities Keynote. Sponsorships are available at wide-ranging levels and include special perks such as a photo op with the keynote speaker as well as premier reserved seating. Individual tickets are also available for purchase. **NAPE Charities ticket required to attend**

To prioritize your health and safety, NAPE has modified the traditional luncheon event. This year, the NAPE Charities Keynote event will begin at 10:00 a.m. and take place in the General Assembly on the 3rd floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center. The event will feature theater-style seating with social distancing between seats, and lunch will be provided following the event at the Expo Lunch Buffet.

2021 NAPE Expo Charities Fund Recipients


Award selections for 2021 have already been made. If you are a charity interested in applying for a potential grant award from NAPE Expo Charities Fund, please email to receive the annual invitation to apply. Applications for 2022 grant award consideration will be accepted in mid-July of 2021.


General James Mattis

General James Mattis

Former Secretary of Defense and retired Marine General

A dedicated patriot, intellectual, and strategist, former Secretary of Defense and retired Marine General James N. Mattis exemplifies principled leadership in times of turbulence.

One of the preeminent leaders of his generation, Gen James Mattis has spent nearly 50 years in the service of his country. Renowned for his diligent study of war, and his dogged efforts on the battlefield, Gen Mattis is described as a principled commander who isn't afraid to tell it like it is.

A rare combination of thinker and doer, and scholar and strategist, Gen Mattis knows the monumental powers and responsibility of our military forces, and the challenges of our dangerous and complex world. His matchless dedication to his job and country earned him universal respect and reverence – from allies and adversaries alike.

Gen Mattis served as the 26th Secretary of Defense of the United States for nearly two years before resigning with distinction. With his reputation as a sharp analyst and venerable wartime leader, Gen Mattis received nearly unanimous, bipartisan support for his nomination. A living Marine Corps legend, he made history by securing special permission from Congress to lead the Pentagon, sooner than he was eligible.

As Secretary of Defense, Mattis preferred not to play politics – a quality that boosted admiration for the retired general. Instead, he focused on making combat readiness one of his main priorities, and served as the primary author of a new American defense strategy whose central goal was to take on "revisionist" powers that "seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models."

Viewed as the steady hand in tumultuous times, he championed building a network of alliances and strategic partnerships around the world.

"Our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships," then-Secretary Mattis wrote in a letter to President Trump. Without maintaining those alliances, he says, we cannot protect our interests or serve the role of an indispensable nation in the free world.

His resolve to amass and maintain positive relations with key countries served as a premier example of professionalism and stability in a political landscape wrought with unpredictability.

During his 44 years in the Marines, Gen Mattis rose from an 18-year-old reservist to the highest rank of four-star general. He capped off his military career as head of the U.S. Central Command, where he was in charge of all American forces serving in the Middle East and oversaw operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as parts of Syria, Iran, and Yemen. He retired from the post in 2013. It would be just four years later, in 2017, that he would answer the call to serve again, as the first member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet cleared to take office.

A veteran of three wars, Gen Mattis spent much of his career involved in overseas conflict. Described by colleagues and his staff as brave, honest, and humble, Gen Mattis proved to be an exceptional motivator of Marines and developed a leading style that endeared him to his troops.

"Believe so completely in subordinates they have no choice but to believe in themselves; act from integrity and authenticity, let your very goodness put ambition out of context," he counsels.

As part of his "hearts and minds" approach to counterinsurgency operations, Gen Mattis established the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning, which remains active today. The academy for Marine officers and senior enlisted personnel provides cultural awareness and language skills training to ensure units can operate effectively in complex expeditionary environments.

A patriot who always put country above self, Gen Mattis steeped himself in the history and tradition of the military and dedicated himself to the Marine Corps.

Gen Mattis speaks with candor and thoughtful analysis about the threats that face our nation and military. Humorous, compassionate, and strategic, he also offers insightful lessons in leadership, with a deep focus on the art of empowering individuals.

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Michel E. Curry, CPL, JD

Michel E. Curry, CPL, JD


Michel E. Curry is Vice President of Land and Sr. Counsel for Henry Resources LLC. Michel joined Henry Resources in September 2014 and supervises all oil and gas legal work and land functions for the company, and he serves as Treasurer of the Henry Foundation.

Mr. Curry is a former shareholder of Cotton, Bledsoe, Tighe & Dawson, PC, Midland, Texas, where he was engaged in the private practice of oil and gas law for 25 years.  Mr. Curry is admitted to practice in Texas and New Mexico, is Board Certified in Oil, Gas & Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and is also a Certified Professional Landman (“CPL”). He received a B.S. from the University of Texas and a law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law, cum laude.

Prior to law school, Michel worked as an independent petroleum landman and in-house as a contract landman for Texaco Inc. Mr. Curry’s experience and legal practice covers most facets of the petroleum industry, with particular emphasis on producing property transactions, oil and gas contracts, exploration agreements, and title matters. His geographic experience ranges from Alaska's north slope to the Gulf of Mexico, and most producing areas in between, and includes work in coal and lignite mining, wind energy, and natural gas marketing.

Michel served as president of the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) for the 2018-2019 term. He has also served as assistant chair of the NAPE Operator’s Committee, as chair of several AAPL working committees and participated on the task force that drafted the 2015 Model Form Operating Agreement. Michel is a past president of the Permian Basin Landmen’s Association. Michel has served on the State Bar of Texas Council for the Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section, as a Trustee at Large for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and is a frequent lecturer and author on oil and gas subjects, with particular emphasis on operating agreements and title matters.

Michel makes his home in Midland, Texas, with his wife, Audrey L. Curry. Michel and Audrey have two adult children and four grandchildren.

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