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Oil and Gas Festival on Tap

By Staff | Sep 16, 2015

Dennis Xander

The City of Sistersville will be alive with fun, food, and festivities Sept. 17-19 as the Oil and Gas Festival takes over for the weekend. General admission to the city park is free for the annual event, which this year honors Dennis Xander as the Oil and Gas Man of the Year.

Xander is honored for his outstanding achievements and leadership in West Virginia’s oil and gas industry. Xander was named by the Oil and Gas Festival Board of Directors as the “2015 West Virginia Oil and Gas Man of the Year.” He will be honored at a special luncheon on Saturday, Sept. 19. Following the luncheon, Xander will serve as parade marshal for the “Grand Oil and Gas Trophy Parade.”

Xander began his career in the oil and gas industry as a contract land-man while attending West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1974. Shortly after graduating with a degree in Economics in 1975, he was hired by Union Drilling, Inc., and was ultimately promoted to Manager of Land, Lease and Right-of-Way, and worked extensively in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York.

In 1981, Dennis joined Stonewall Gas Company, and was named Vice President of Operations. During his tenure at Stonewall, Dennis was elected to his first of several terms as a Director of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of West Virginia (IOGA WV). He was elected its President in 1983, and remains the youngest President in the association’s history.

Xander joined NRM Petroleum Corporation in 1983, and was named Appalachian Basin Land Manager. He was responsible for extensive land operations in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York to support the company’s aggressive drilling and acquisitions program.

Photo Provided Emily Lopez, the 2015 Oil and Gas Festival Queen, was crowned on July 11.

In April 1984, Xander founded Denex Petroleum Corporation, an independent oil and gas development/production company engaged in the drilling, completion and operation of Appalachian Basin oil and gas wells, primarily in the north central West Virginia and south west Pennsylvania. Denex also owns commercial real estate interests in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and has developed residential real estate projects in West Virginia.

Xander has been involved in supporting the oil and gas industry through his active involvement in IOGA WV, serving on the association’s board of directors, chairing its commerce committee and as an active member of the association’s public relations committee. He was awarded the association’s highest honor – The Gunslinger Award – for distinguished service in 2010. He served a second term as president of IOGA WV in 2012-2013, more than 30 years after his first term as president. He remains an outspoken advocate for oil and gas development today as part of IOGA WV’s Energy Speaks Speakers Bureau.

Xander also was a key player in IOGA WV’s 2012 founding of the Tom Dunn Energy Leadership Academy – a free, three-day academy focused on bringing together high school students from public and private institutions across West Virginia to learn about the energy industry, career opportunities and what this important industry means to the state. The Academy just completed its third year this July, and Xander remains an integral part of its success.

In addition to his leadership activities in the oil and gas industry, Xander has been actively involved in his community. He is a director and past president of the Upshur County Development Authority, a director of the Citizens Bank of Weston, a trustee of St. Joseph’s Hospital of Buckhannon, a trustee of the Pallottine Foundation of Buckhannon, West Virginia, a director of the Upshur Ohio County Public Library, a member and past chairman of the Buckhannon-Upshur Young Life Committee, a member and past president of the West Virginia Wesleyan College Greek Alumni Council, and the Chapter Advisor of the Delta-Xi Chapter of Chi Phi Fraternity. Dennis served eight years as a member of the West Virginia Property Valuation Training and Procedures Commission.

Dennis and his wife, Linda, have been married for 40 years and have lived on their farm near Buckhannon for the past 38 years. They have two daughters, and four grandchildren. When he is not working or spending time with his family, Dennis enjoys reading, politics, currents events, computers, snow skiing and traveling with close friends.