Kym Bolado: David, now it’s time to bring on our guest, and I’m very excited because he’s in the studio with us today. We are being joined by the CEO of Howard Energy, Mike Howard. Mike, welcome to our show today. David, we’re so glad to have you back in the studio. You know, I think we’re all trying to put ourselves back together after being in quarantine for a couple of months and it sure is nice to see people again and interact. I think that’s a gift that we’re all kind of born with. And so it’s nice to see you again in the studio, sir.
Mike Howard: Thank you. Nice to see you too. I’ve really missed human interaction.
Kym Bolado: I know. And I’m like, “please don’t make me go back inside the house.” So let’s get started. David and I have talked a lot about how the energy industry reacted to COVID-19, the pandemic. Like everyone else, companies were not prepared. We’ve never been through something like this before. And so you’re literally making things up as you go with the best information you have and things that are going on with the latest data you’re getting from the government. Before we get started with how you guys handled the pandemic and the decisions you were making, briefly tell us a little bit about Howard Energy. How large is it? Where is Howard energy? Give us some background on it.
Mike Howard: Thank you. We’re 340 employees. We operate in four states: Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas. Then we also operate in the country of Mexico.
Kym Bolado: Wow. So, you’re international as well.
Mike Howard: That’s right. So when we’re thinking about COVID, each state that we operate in and each country we operate in, there’s different things going on. And then each municipality, each county that we operate in has different requirements for our employees. So it’s quite a lot to keep up with.
Kym Bolado: So it was more like running five different companies. One company, but five different ways of running that company, I think is what you’re saying because of the different states. And then were there any international implications?
Mike Howard: There was. Each state is handling things just a little bit differently on what they’re requiring from lockdown, or employees not being able to travel. For instance, when the border shut down with Mexico, that was a big deal that never fully shut down for U.S. citizens, but a lot of our employees might hold a passport in Mexico, not the U.S. and are used to traveling back and forth for work. And there were some differences there also, as we didn’t know where this was going in March. And so if this was to be a more serious lockdown, if we had an incident in say, Mexico, how could we respond with our employees in the U.S. to do emergency response plans and that sort of thing. So learning how to communicate with all the different regulatory agencies and things that we were communicating with to make sure that we were doing what we could to run our assets safely.