Farmington, NM—Today, Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) announced the appointment of Vivie Melendez, as the first general manager (GM) of NTEC Helium. Táchii’nii nil, Naashashi yashchiin, Naasht’ézhí dabicheii, Bit’ahnii dabinalí (Red Running into the Water clan, born for the Bear People clan, maternal grandfather’s clan is the Zuni People, paternal grandfather’s clan is Folded Arms People). NTEC Helium is a subsidiary of NTEC.

“NTEC is extremely proud to promote Vivie as she leads this exciting initiative to develop this clean helium reserve and provide long-term benefits and value to NTEC and the Navajo Nation. With her background as an environmental manager, she is a proven leader that will take great care with the resource,” said Vern Lund, NTEC Chief Executive Officer.  

NTEC acquired Tacitus LLC, a helium development company, in October 2021. “Helium has been identified as a key strategic asset for the United States, and the Navajo Nation possesses some of the largest and cleanest known helium reserves in the world. Acquisition of this proven clean asset will provide long-term benefits and value to the Nation,” said Matt Babcock, Vice President of Sales and  Marketing. 

Before being appointed to GM of NTEC Helium, Ms. Melendez served for six years as the  Environmental Manager and Supervisor as well as the Safety Manager at the Navajo Mine, with a  total of 15 years of mining experience in environmental, process improvement, and safety roles. In her managerial work at Navajo Mine, Ms. Melendez managed the budgets for both the  Environmental and Safety Departments, ensured compliance with regulations, policies, and permitting authorities, and led the company to receive numerous awards and recognition for safety and environmental performance at the mine.  

“I’m excited and ready to take on the new role as General Manager of NTEC Helium,” said Ms.  Melendez. “I am blessed to work for a company that shares the same passion as mine, which is to help the Navajo Nation responsibly use and manage its resources. I have a strong background in  environmental permitting, budgeting, and process improvement which I will utilize to manage and  grow the company.” 

Ms. Melendez will work closely with the parent-company NTEC and use her experience to help  NTEC become an industry leader in the realm of helium production. She will focus on safety,  profitability, and sustainability while strengthening relationships with customers, industry partners, and the Navajo Nation.