LaRae Levy, a dedicated member of the H&P family, celebrated an incredible 40-year career with the company this July. Her journey began long before her official employment, as she lived in three different countries as a child while her father worked. Levy's father, Red Holley, started working for the company in 1961, and she was raised in a world where H&P was more than just a workplace; it was a way of life.
“When I was in Toastmasters, I did a speech titled 'Born into the Helmerich family without the last name Helmerich,' to emphasize how deeply rooted my family was in the company,” she said.
She joined H&P in July 1983 as a receptionist in the H&P production office in Oklahoma City.
“I was a year out of high school, already married, and working for a photographer when my dad told me of a job opening. He said, ‘The production company has an opening for a receptionist. Are you interested?’ I said yes because I had grown up in H&P,” she added.
When she became pregnant with her son, she faced some uncertainty due to the impending closure of the production office, Levy found herself at a crossroads. Fortunately, fate intervened when the regional director of the drilling department offered her a different opportunity.
“I went on maternity leave, and shortly after, they closed down the H&P production office,” Levy said. “They were transferring some people to Tulsa, but not receptionists. I thought I didn't have a job. Then, the operations manager called and said, ‘Do you want to transfer to the drilling department?’ I said absolutely.”
Her early years in the drilling department marked the beginning of a remarkable journey. Over the next two decades, Levy's career saw her rise from a receptionist to a personnel coordinator.
“I didn't envision it as a career at first,” she said. “But in 1988 or 1989, I was promoted to personnel coordinator. That's when I realized it was more than just a job; it was a career.”
Encouraged by mentors like Pete Miller and John Lindsay, she pursued higher education.
“Pete Miller came into my office one day and asked if I had ever thought about going to college,” she added. “He encouraged me to take two classes. I was an average student in high school, but I loved it. Five and a half years later, I graduated with my bachelor's degree in 1994.”
This accomplishment helped her transition to the role of U.S. land bid coordinator. In 2003, her life took another significant turn when she married a friend from her childhood days in Bolivia. Levy’s four-decade journey with H&P serves as an inspiring example of resilience, determination, and the power of mentorship.
“I enjoy mentoring and helping others because I believe everyone can achieve their goals,” Levy said. “I had support from mentors and my family, and that's what got me where I am today.”
As she celebrates this milestone, her legacy and impact on H&P's culture and success continue to inspire those who work alongside her. Levy’s passion for her work shines through her commitment to getting contracts signed, knowing that each contract represents the livelihood of the company's rig crews.
“Getting a contract signed is always exciting because it means we're keeping our rigs running, and those people on the rigs are the heartbeat of this company,” she said. “My dad used to say, ‘We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for those rigs working.’”
Throughout her career, Levy has witnessed H&P evolve from a smaller company with just two district offices to a global industry leader.
“I have watched this company grow and change over the years. It takes every department to support the company's operations,” she said. “Operations are vital, but so are human resources, legal, supply chain—everyone plays a crucial role.”