Ben Jaime, a long-time employee of Xcel Energy who has headed the company’s community relations efforts in Hobbs, N.M., since 2004, is relocating to Lubbock to assume the role of manager of Xcel Energy’s Texas-South community and economic development efforts starting March 1.
Jaime, a Lubbock native, succeeds Steve Deaton, who is retiring March 1 after more than 40 years of service to Xcel Energy and its predecessor, Southwestern Public Service Company.
“Ben has done an outstanding job in southeastern New Mexico, a region that has seen phenomenal economic and community growth over the past decade,” said Brad Baldridge, director of Customer and Community Relations for Xcel Energy in Texas and New Mexico. “We feel good about growth prospects in our South Plains communities, and the skills Ben fine-tuned in New Mexico will be of great value to our partners across the region.”
In his new position, Jaime will be involved in community and economic development efforts in several South Plains communities from his base in Lubbock, where Xcel Energy still operates a major service center and distribution control center.
Jaime began his career with Southwestern Public Service Company in Lubbock in 1983 as a meter reader. He worked in customer accounting before being named a team lead in meter reading in 1998. In 2000, Jaime moved into Lubbock’s new business department, and took the Hobbs community manager role in 2004.
Jaime is a 1976 graduate of Lubbock High School, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in general studies from Texas Tech University in 1993. In New Mexico, Jaime served on the boards of chambers of commerce in Hobbs and Carlsbad, and also sat on the boards of the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County in Hobbs and the Carlsbad Department of Development. Additionally, Jaime served with the Hobbs Hispano Chamber of Commerce and was named business member of the year in 2014.
Deaton, also a native of Lubbock, started his career with the company in 1978 in the warehouse in Lubbock before moving to the substation department. He moved into the company’s marketing group with a job assignment in Roswell, N.M., before returning to Lubbock to serve as personnel manager for the company’s Southern Division. Deaton was named manager of Community and Economic Development in1997, and later regional manager over the company’s community efforts in the South Plains communities.
“Steve is well regarded across the region for his tireless efforts in promoting business and community development. He has served and led numerous boards and committees while giving countless volunteer hours in the service of our company and the communities we serve,” Baldridge said. “We’re grateful for his dedication and his friendship, and wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement.”