Acting President and CEO and Vice President Finance
José Pereira has more than 32 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He began his career in 1985 at CORPOVEN, S.A., a former affiliate of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). Throughout his career, he has held various senior level financial roles, including finance manager for various PDVSA joint ventures, such as Pequiven's Superoctanos, and PDVSA joint ventures with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), and Japan's Teikoku Oil Ltd. He was also downstream and upstream comptroller and treasurer for Petrolera Ameriven (Hamaca Project; an extra-heavy crude upgrader); and finance manager of PDVSA PetroMonagas, PDVSA PetroPiar, and PDVSA Faja Division.
In March 2010, Pereira was appointed corporate finance manager for Corporación Venezolana del Petróleo (CVP), under PDVSA Petróleo, S.A., and was promoted to chief financial officer of PDVSA Petróleo, S.A. in April 2013. He held this role until being appointed to the position of Vice President Finance at CITGO, which he has held since Oct. 15, 2013. In addition to his role as CITGO Acting President and CEO, José will continue to perform his responsibilities as CITGO Vice President Finance.
Pereira holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Universidad de Oriente in Venezuela (1985) and a master's degree from the same university. Additionally, he pursued international taxation studies at Santiago de Compostela University in Spain.
Interim Vice President Refining Operations
Tomeu Vadell has more than 30 years of experience in the refining and petrochemical industry. Prior to his current role, he served as Vice President & General Manager of the Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex. During his 13-year tenure at the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery, Vadell occupied several positions in the technical and operations departments, including Area Operations Manager; Strategic Planning and Capital Projects Manager, Major Projects Manager, and most recently, General Manager of Engineering and Technical Services. Before moving to Lake Charles, Vadell worked for PDVSA in Puerto La Cruz and El Palito refineries in positions related to engineering and capital projects.
Vadell holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela and a Master’s Degree in Industrial and Management Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
Vice President and General Manager, Lemont Refinery
Jim Cristman joined CITGO in 1980 and has held various positions at the Lemont refinery, including operations manager and operations central services manager, before becoming vice president and general manager in 2008. Prior to joining CITGO, he served in various operations positions at UNO-VEN, including training manager and manager of crude processing. He also served as a member of the executive committee for the Needle Coker Company from 1993 to 1999.
Interim 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.
Interim Vice President and General Manager, Corpus Christi Refinery
Alirio joined PDVSA in February 1987, and in April 1999 he transferred to CITGO. He has held various roles including Corpus Christi General Manager Operations and Maintenance, and Corpus Christi General Manager Technical and Administrative Services. Prior to working in Corpus Christi, Alirio worked at the Lake Charles Refinery as Area Manager –Reformers, Business Optimization Sr. Economic Analyst, Logistics Manager, and various other positions.
Alirio received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana State University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from McNeese State University, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Universidad Del Zulia.
Vice President, Supply and Marketing
Rick Esser has more than 24 years of CITGO experience. He has held several positions in Supply and Marketing including: General Manager Pricing, General Manager Product Supply and Trading and General Manager of Crude Supply and Marine Transportation. 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 Legal Affairs
Edoardo Orsoni became Vice President Legal Affairs in August 2016. He joined our parent company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) in 1999, working at the Petrozuata joint venture in the Orinoco Oil Belt, where he initially held positions in the security department and in 2002, he joined the company's legal department.
Subsequently, Orsoni became legal counsel for the Petropiar and Petrocedeño joint ventures in the Orinoco Oil Belt and later became national manager of joint ventures within Corporación Venezolana del Petróleo. He then became legal counsel for the Orinoco Oil Belt as a whole. Before joining CITGO, Orsoni was PDVSA's legal counsel and secretary of the presidential committee for the Guayana region development plan.
Vice President Strategic Shareholder Relations, Government and Public Affairs
Rafael Gómez has worked in a variety of leadership roles in marketing and communications for a number of private domestic and international enterprises in a cross section of industries, including automobile, pharmaceuticals, information and technology, tourism, tobacco, and liquor.
In July 1995, he joined Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) as public relations manager for the South District. He was later appointed public affairs manager for PDVSA's Eastern Division, and in January 2003, he assumed the position of corporate public affairs manager for the entire company. He first came to CITGO in June 2005, holding the position of vice president of strategic shareholder relations, government and public affairs until November 2007. After his first tenure at CITGO, Gomez went back to Venezuela, where he became public affairs director for Corpoelec, the state owned power generation company. He was then appointed president of Palmaven, a PDVSA affiliate fully dedicated to the development of social responsibility programs. Most recently, he was president of PDVSA Asfalto, simultaneously holding the position of general manager of PDVSA's South Division of Exploration and Production. In February 2014, Gomez was appointed again vice president of strategic shareholder relations, government and public affairs for CITGO.
Gomez holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) in Caracas, where he also conducted post-graduate research in the field of social psychology and subsequently became a professor of the university.
Daniel Addison was appointed General Counsel in 2017. Prior to joining CITGO as Assistant General Counsel in 2016, his experience included working as Partner with Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips where he served as Lead Counsel and Chief Lobbyist representing various matters. He also served as Equity Partner from 1995 to 2015 with Patton Boggs LLP, also serving as Lead Counsel and Chief Lobbyist on various matters. Addison has a Doctorate Degree in Jurisprudence from Columbus School of Law, a Master's Degree in Government from Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Claremont McKenna College.
Richard López became CITGO Corporate Treasurer on December 1, 2012. He has extensive refining industry experience, specializing in structuring finance and financial planning. Prior to joining CITGO, López served at Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), where he started his career in the oil industry with Lagoven in 1981. He held several positions in the finance department including an assignment to the Amuay refinery from 1993-1996. López previously held the position of Director of Financial Planning and Joint Venture Coordinator for Hovensa in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. In this role, he was responsible for the planning and coordination of operational and executive committees (PDVSA and Hess Corp.) López holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas, Venezuela, and a Masters in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.
John Butts has more than 34 years of experience working in the energy industry in the areas of accounting and finance. He joined CITGO in 1991, having previously worked for Champlin Refining and Chemicals Inc. and Champlin Petroleum (subsidiaries of Union Pacific Corporation). He has served in numerous capacities within CITGO, including feedstock accounting manager, bank operations manager and manager of general accounting, prior to assuming his present position. Butts holds a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from Phillips University in Enid, Okla., and completed the requirement for CPA certification in the State of Oklahoma in 1981.