Vice President Compliance & Chief Strategy Officer
Rick has 27 years of refining industry experience. He has served in numerous roles/positions with CITGO, including: General Manager Pricing; General Manager Product Supply, Distribution and Trading; General Manager Crude Supply; Assistant Vice President Supply & Marketing; Vice President Supply & Marketing. Prior to joining CITGO, Rick spent seven years at the UNO-VEN Company before it became part of CITGO with the acquisition of the Lemont Refinery. Esser holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Vice President of Refining
Vice President and General Manager, Lemont Refinery
James Cristman was named Vice President of Refining in November 2017 in addition to Vice President and General Manager Lemont Refinery. Mr. Cristman joined CITGO in 1980, holding various positions at the Lemont Refinery, including Manager of Operations, Area Manager of the Crude Processing Department and Manager of Training and Development. Mr. Cristman is a current member of the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Operating Practices Advisory Group, a position he has held for 8 years, and has also served for 9 years on the Executive Committee of the local Three Rivers Manufacturing Association.
Vice President, Supply & Marketing
Simón Suárez was named Vice President Supply & Marketing in November 2017. Before joining CITGO, Mr. Suarez held several managerial positions in Intevep, the research branch of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), until 2000 when he became Supply Chain Manager and then Manager International Trading for PDVSA. Mr. Suárez was assigned to CITGO in 2006, first as Mid-Office Project Manager and then as General Manager Corporate Planning and Mid-Office. He later served as CEO Executive Advisor until his retirement in 2012 after which time he became an independent consultant. Mr. Suárez rejoined CITGO in 2017. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA), in Lyon, France.
Calixto J. Ortega Sánchez
Vice President Finance
Before joining CITGO, Calixto J. Ortega Sánchez served as Sr. Advisor for Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). Prior to that, Ortega served on diplomatic positions for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as Delegate to the United Nations Budgetary and administrative Committee, as Consul of Venezuela in Houston and as Consul of Venezuela in New York. Prior to that, he spent two years working as consultant on International Projects.
Calixto holds an MBA from the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University, a Master degree on Economic Policy Management (MPA) from Columbia University, and a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from University of Zulia, Venezuela. He also pursued studies on Banking and Finance at University of London, LSE. Calixto is member of a variety of organizations, including The Economic Club of New York.
Vice President Strategic Shareholder Relations, Government & Public Affairs
Rafael Gómez was named Vice President Strategic Shareholder Relations Government & Public Affairs in November 2017. Rafael brings more than 30 years of industry related experience, 23 of which were earned at PDVSA, with previous executive leadership positions in corporate messaging, marketing, advertising, and government and public affairs within both CITGO and other Venezuelan private and public companies. Mr. Gómez holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV).
Vice President Legal Affairs
Alejandro Escarra was named Vice President Legal Affairs in November 2017. Mr. Escarra joined CITGO in 2014 and has served as a member of the CITGO Procurement Committee and in secretarial roles of several CITGO entities. He currently serves as President of the Simón Bolívar Foundation, the non-profit organization of CITGO. Prior to CITGO, he was appointed to lead litigation in international claims for the PDVSA and was also a legal assistant in Venezuela’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice from 2011 to 2014. Mr. Escarra holds a legal degree from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, a Specialist degree in Human Rights from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a Master degree in Constitutional Law from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain.
Vice President Shared Services
Glenn Hilman was named Vice President Shared Services in November 2017. Mr. Hilman joined CITGO in 1983 and has served in various roles, including Assistant Vice President Tax, Risk Management and Financial Planning, Interim General Manager Shared Services, General Manager Procurement, General Manager Terminal Facilities and Pipelines, Manager Budget and Performance Analysis, and Manager New Business Development. He holds a Master’s degree in Finance from the University of Houston and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Arizona and also attended Executive Management programs at Harvard University and Columbia University.
Vice President and General Manager, Corpus Christi Refinery
Randy Flowers was named Vice President & General Manager Corpus Christi Refinery in November 2017. Joining in 1991, Mr. Flowers has held several positions at the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery, including Project Engineer, Economic Analyst, Area Manager – Asset East Plant II, Shift Superintendent and Manager Business Planning and Optimization, with his most recent position serving as the Corporate Manager Supply Chain and Performance. Mr. Flowers holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Kansas State University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
Vice President and General Manager, Lake Charles Refinery
Art Klein joined the Lemont Refinery in 1981 and became Vice President and General Manager, Corpus Christi Refinery, on September 1, 2015. He has held various roles including Project Engineering Manager, Asset Area Manager-Special Projects, and Manager Area Operations-Crude Processing. He transferred to the Corpus Christi Refinery to serve as General Manager Tech and Administrative Services in 2009, and was named General Manager Operations and Maintenance in 2013. Klein has a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois.
Theresa Mitchell has 18 years of industry experience. Prior to joining CITGO in 2004, she worked for Williams Energy Marketing and Trading as an Emissions Trader. She held the positions of Wholesale Gas Analyst and Real Time Power and Natural Gas Scheduling and Trading with Aquila Energy. Theresa holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance from St. Cloud State University.
Eladio Perez was named General Auditor in June 2017. Mr. Perez brings more than 25 years of industry experience, starting his career with PDVSA in 1987 and holding various positions in the areas of engineering, maintenance and internal audit. He joined CITGO in 2001 as Senior Engineering Auditor at the Lyondell–CITGO refinery and later held various roles, including Supply and Marketing Audit Manager, Manager Mid-Office, and General Manager Information Technology. After a short time away, he re-joined CITGO in 2016 serving as Senior Audit Advisor. Mr. Perez holds a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from Venezuela’s Universidad Central, an MBA from Universidad Del Zulia and the following certifications: Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA), and Control Self-Assessment (CCSA).
General Counsel & Assistant Secretary
Judith Colbert was named General Counsel & Assistant Secretary in November 2017. Joining CITGO in 2008, Ms. Colbert provided legal advice and support to numerous departments and committees as Senior Corporate Counsel, Senior Manager Corporate Counsel and most recently as Deputy General Counsel. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law and has more than 25 years of experience in corporate governance, commercial, compliance and complex litigation among other legal areas.
Justino Salazar was named Corporate Treasurer in October 2017. With 36 years of industry experience, Mr. Salazar began his career with INTEVEP, S.A. where he held several managerial positions, including Finance Manager. Concurrently, he was appointed Financial Manager for the Puerto La Cruz Refinery in Anzoátegui, Venezuela and also served as Missions Coordinator for several social development projects in the local community. In June 2006, he was designated the Main and Assistant Treasurer for several PDVSA subsidiaries abroad, and later became General Manager National Refining Finances. In 2013, he was appointed Executive Financial Director of PDVSA followed by Executive Treasury Director, a position that he held concurrently with his responsibilities as PDV Caribe S.A. Director. From PDVSA he moved to the Ministry of the People’s Power of Oil and Mining to his most recent position as General Director before joining CITGO. Mr. Salazar holds a Bachelor degree in Economy from Universidad del Zulia, Venezuela.