CITGO Headquarters Fountain

Executive Team

CITGO Officer Profiles

Frank Gygax
Executive Vice President

Frank Gygax was named Executive Vice President of CITGO Petroleum Corporation in July 2018. With more than 45 years of industry experience, Frank first joined CITGO in 2004 as Vice President of Refining, and soon thereafter, was appointed Chief Operating Officer. Frank’s work includes more than 37 years of service at Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), during which he served in numerous executive positions including board of directors assignments focused on the areas of refining, upgrader projects, and crude and product terminals. He holds a degree in chemical engineering from Universidad del Zulia, Venezuela.

 

Art Klein
Vice President of Refining

Art Klein was named Vice President of Refining in July 2018. He has 37 years of refining industry experience. He joined CITGO in 1980 and has held various positions across CITGO refineries. Most recently, he served as Vice President and General Manager of the Corpus Christi Refinery and held the same role at the Lake Charles Refinery prior to that. Art has also worked as Manager of Capital Construction, Project Engineering Manager, and Asset Area Manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois.

 

Trina Martinez
Vice President and General Manager, Corpus Christi Refinery

Trina Martinez was named Vice President and General Manager of the Corpus Christi Refinery in July 2018. She has nearly 20 years industry experience. Trina joined CITGO in 1999 as an Automation Control Engineer at the Lake Charles Refinery; and prior to that worked for Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). At CITGO, Trina has served in numerous positions at both the Lake Charles and Corpus Christi Refineries, including General Manager of Technical & Administrative Services, Manager of Process Design & Strategic Planning, and Manager of Business Planning & Optimization. Trina received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Instituto Politecnico, Venezuela.

 

Jerry Dunn
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.

 

Dennis Willig
Vice President and General Manager, Lemont Refinery

Dennis Willig was named Vice President and General Manager of the Lemont Refinery in July 2018. He has more than 20 years of refining industry experience. He joined CITGO in 1995 and most recently served as General Manager of Operations & Maintenance. Dennis has served in various roles at the Lemont Refinery including Manager of Economics & Logistics, Operations Manager, and Area Manager of Operations over various units, among others. Dennis holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University.

 

Simón Suárez
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.

 

Rafael Gómez
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).

 

Rick Esser
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.

 

Nepmar Escalona
Vice President of Finance

Nepmar Escalona was named Vice President of Finance in November 2018. He has more than 20 years of experience in financial planning, financial investigations, business management analysis, sales, international sales and purchases, and management and administration of Human Resources. He holds an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in business administration, management specialist customs foreign work and finance, from the University Santa Maria, in Caracas, Venezuela.

 

Alejandro Escarrá
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.

 

Glenn Hilman
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
General Auditor

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).

 

Judith Colbert
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.

 

Gina Coon
Corporate Treasurer

Gina Coon was named Corporate Treasurer in July 2018.  She has 25 years of experience and service with CITGO; and most recently served as Assistant Treasurer. Prior to that, Gina was Manager of Cash Operations where she was responsible for cash management and banking operations. Gina’s background includes various levels of responsibility within IT applications support for Hydrocarbons Supply Chain, Risk Management and Marketing/Credit Card business units. She has served as chair of the SAP Global Industry Advisory Council and Downstream Supply Chain focus groups. She holds a master’s of business administration and a bachelor’s of science in management information systems from the University of Tulsa; and is a Certified Treasury Professional.

 

Theresa Mitchell
Corporate Controller

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.