Vice President of Refining
Vice President and General Manager, Lemont Refinery
Jim Cristman was named Vice President of Refining in November 2017. Jim has 37 years of oil industry experience. He joined CITGO in 1980 and has served in various positions at the CITGO 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 attended the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
Vice President and General Manager, Corpus Christi Refinery
Art Klein was named Vice President and General Manager of the Corpus Christi Refinery in January 2018. Art has 37 years of experience in the refining industry. He joined CITGO in 1980 and has held various roles at both the Corpus Christi and Lemont refineries, 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. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois.
Vice President and General Manager, Lake Charles Refinery
Jerry Dunn was been named Vice President and General Manager of the Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex in January 2018. Jerry has 29 years of industry related experience. He joined CITGO at the Lake Charles Refinery in 1989, where he has held many positions. Starting as a Project Engineer, Jerry also served as Fixed Equipment Engineer, Operations Engineer, Technical Services Supervisor, Capital Construction Manager, Manager of Projects, Manager Engineering Services, Operations Area Manager and General Manager of Technical Services. Jerry holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University.
Vice President, Supply & Marketing
Simón Suárez was named Vice President of Supply & Marketing in November 2017. Simon has 34 years of industry related experience. He joined CITGO in 2006 and has served as Mid-Office Project Manager and General Manager Corporate Planning and Mid-Office. He later served as CEO Executive Advisor until his retirement in 2012. Prior to joining CITGO, he held several managerial positions at Intevep, the research branch of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), including as Supply Chain Manager and Manager International Trading for PDVSA. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA), in Lyon, France.
Vice President of Strategic Shareholder Relations, Government & Public Affairs
Rafael Gómez was named Vice President of Strategic Shareholder Relations, Government & Public Affairs in November 2017. Rafael has more than 30 years of oil industry related experience. He has served in his current role since April 2014, and prior to that held the same position from 2005 to 2007. His experience includes 23 years at Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), having held executive leadership positions involving corporate messaging development, marketing and advertising. In addition to CITGO and PDVSA, he has served in positions at Venezuelan private and public companies. Gomez holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV).
Vice President of Compliance & Chief Strategy Officer
Rick Esser was named Vice President of Compliance & Chief Strategy Officer in October 2017. Rick has more than 27 years of refining industry experience. He joined CITGO in 1997 and has served in numerous roles, including General Manager Pricing; General Manager Product Supply, Distribution and Trading; General Manager Crude Supply; Assistant Vice President Supply & Marketing; and Vice President of Supply & Marketing. Prior to joining CITGO, he spent seven years at the UNO-VEN Company before it became part of CITGO with the acquisition of the Lemont Refinery. He 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.
Calixto J. Ortega Sánchez
Vice President of Finance
Calixto J. Ortega Sánchez was named Vice President of Finance in November 2017. Calixto previously served as Sr. Advisor for Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). Prior to that, he served in diplomatic positions for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as Delegate to the United Nations Budgetary and Administrative Committee, as well as Consul of Venezuela in Houston and Consul of Venezuela in New York. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Rice University, a master’s degree in Economic Policy Management (MPA) from Columbia University, and a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from University of Zulia, Venezuela. He also pursued studies in banking and finance at the University of London, LSE. He is member of a variety of organizations, including The Economic Club of New York.
Vice President of Legal Affairs
Alejandro Escarrá was named Vice President of Legal Affairs in November 2017. Alejandro joined CITGO in 2014 and has served as a member of the CITGO Procurement Committee, as well as 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 PDVSA and was also a legal assistant at Venezuela’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice from 2011 to 2014. He 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’s degree in Constitutional Law from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain.
Vice President of Shared Services
Glenn Hilman was named Vice President of Shared Services in November 2017. Glenn 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, as well as attended Executive Management programs at Harvard University and Columbia University.
Eladio Perez was named General Auditor in June 2017. Eladio has more than 25 years of oil industry related experience. 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, and Senior Audit Advisor. Prior to CITGO, he held various positions at Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) in the areas of engineering, maintenance and internal audit. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Universidad Central in Venezuela, a master’s degree 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. Judith has more than 25 years of experience in corporate governance, commercial, compliance and complex litigation, among other legal areas. She joined CITGO in 2008 and 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.
Justino Salazar was named Corporate Treasurer in October 2017. Justino has 36 years of experience in the petroleum industry. He started his professional career at INTEVEP, S.A., the research branch of PDVSA. In 2003, he was appointed Financial Manager for the Puerto La Cruz Refinery in Anzoátegui, Venezuela. In 2008 he took the position of General Manager National Refining Finances. In 2013, he was appointed Executive Financial Director of PDVSA. A year after, he was designated Executive Treasury Director for PDVSA. From PDVSA he moved to the Venezuelan Ministry of the People’s Power of Oil and Mining to his most recent position as General Director before joining CITGO. Justino holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Universidad del Zulia, in Venezuela.
Theresa Mitchell was named Corporate Controller in October 2017. Theresa has 18 years of oil industry related experience. She joined CITGO in 2004, and prior to that worked for Williams Energy Marketing and Trading as an Emissions Trader. Additionally, 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.