For more than 40 years, David Preng has helped place energy industry professionals in higher-level positions through Preng & Associates, a retainer-based international executive search firm he founded that specializes solely in the energy industry.

In this interview with Hart Energy’s Jessica Morales, Preng said while 2020 started out well for the team, as the global market changed within weeks, so did the projects Preng & Associates were working on.

“Only one search was cancelled; probably eight or nine have been put on pause,” Preng said. ”A lot of that was done because even though people would do the video [interview], like we are doing right now, they still want to get that person in-person and onboard.”

“We have had some searches close,” he continued before adding: “since mid-March things have slowed.”

Preng, whose firm has long been a supporter of Oil & Gas Investor’s Forty Under 40 program, also noted that he recognizes some young professionals may be unsure of their beginnings in the energy industry or their future in the business.

“I think people, today, if you are concerned about the energy industry, it’s not going away. Stay the course, let’s keep going,” he said. “For people coming into the industry or the younger people or [Oil & Gas Investor’s Forty Under 40] that we have dealt with [Hart Energy] for so many years, again—stay the course, be there, do your job, find ways to create value.”

For more on Oil & Gas Investor’s Forty Under 40 program, check out previous honorees and the 2020 nomination form.