by David J. Santistevan Jr.
TRINIDAD — Local Business man, Mark Sexton, CEO/Chairman of Evergreen Natural Resources LLC, is primed and ready for his second go around in the Raton Basin to be bigger and better than his first. In this exclusive interview, his first since Evergreen’s purchase of the Raton Basin assets from Pioneer Natural Resources, Sexton talks about his background, business, and how Evergreen looks to make a difference in the southern Colorado and northern New Mexico area.
Sexton, who comes from very humble beginnings, is excited about coming back to what he considers home. “We wanted to come here and do something that makes sense. This is a great community, with people who care for one another. It is great to be back. We are ready, after 14 years, to help the Raton Basin grow. We need time to understand how and are ready to help the community.”
Sexton says, “Life has been an adventure.” He grew up in Long Beach, California untill he was 12 years old, when the family moved to the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles. They moved to Georgia, then during his 11th and 12th grade years of high school he went to school in Florida were he graduated in 1974. During his high school years, Sexton joined the circus and carnival. Sexton was part of the trapeze artist group, called ‘flyers and catchers,’ in circus lingo.
Sexton graduated from Stanford University in 1978 with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. Later he was registered as a professional engineer in Colorado.
He worked summers at Yosemite, and that’s where he fell in love with mountains and where he started one of his passions, mountain climbing. “I wanted to go to Alaska and climb Denali, the highest peak in North America, so I started interviewing with companies that would send me to Alaska.” He then started working for Amoco Production Company, where he held various technical and other positions. Sexton got his transfer to Colorado from Alaska while climbing Denali.
Sexton worked for Norwest Bank and other energy companies specifically targeting coal bed methane development until he joined Evergreen Resources, Inc. in 1989, where he managed the day-to-day operating activities. Sexton has lived in Colorado since.
In 1994 Sexton had the opportunity to buy leases from Amoco. In 1995 Evergreen started operations in the Raton Basin. He was the chairman, CEO, and president of Evergreen Resources from 1995 to 2004. At Evergreen Resources he grew the market valuation from $30 million to $2.2 billion.
In 2004, Pioneer Natural Resources merged with Evergreen. Sexton continue with PNR until 2009. He started with Inflection Energy in 2008.
Sexton enjoys the good Colorado lifestyle and hobbies, include skiing, kayaking, hiking, and mountain climbing, along with being a flyer and catcher with a flying trapeze club in the Denver area. “We built a full size club, started at the YMCA in Denver, then we build a profession club in Westminster in North Denver.” Sexton says proudly. “This club is one of the best in the country. We put on a show for our friends and family once a year the first Saturday in August. Being a flyer and catcher helps me stay in shape, helps me train for hiking and climbing, and helps with building my core strength. This a great way to stay in shape.”
Sexton has been to India and Tibet. “I have found that people all over the world are far more alike than they are different. We all want what’s best for our children, families and communities. No matter where we are in the world, want to help. We are ready and excited to work with the leaders in and around the Raton Basin once again. We don’t get very many second chances, so we want to do even better than we did the first time. Evergreen Natural Resources is ready to help the community grow and move into the future.”