LAKE CHARLES, La. – Oct. 7, 2015 – The CITGO Contractor Safety Association (CSA) held its 4th annual Contractor Safety Summit in September. During this year’s summit, more than 260 contractor foremen and supervisors took part in three separate interactive and video-based workshops focused on team building, communication and accountability. Touching on these themes, retired Air Force fighter pilot and current Delta airline pilot Jeff “Odie” Espenship served as this year’s keynote speaker for the summit. 
“Due to a tragic accident, accountability has impacted my life on a very personal level. I want to encourage those around me to be accountable, not be held accountable, there is a difference,” said Espenship. “I sincerely hope my message, combined with CITGO promoting a positive workplace safety culture, resonated with the summit attendees.”
In addition to the workshops, more than 60 CITGO Lake Charles Refinery contractors were recognized as CSA Safety Star winners for their proactive engagement with workplace safety. The winners, selected for recognizing and addressing unsafe behaviors and demonstrating a willingness to cross company lines, were acknowledged in front of their peers during the Safety Summit. 
“We award six Safety Stars each month and these winners embody the safety and accountability standards that the CITGO CSA and its summit recognize and emphasize,” said Tomeu Vadell, vice president & general manager of the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery. “The summit would not be possible without the diligence and hard work of our sponsors and steering committee members; we look forward to further fostering these standards and partnerships.”
The CITGO CSA was formed in 1992, with the mission to focus on contractor safety performance improvements. Since its founding, more than 400 contract firms have been a part of CSA at the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery. Today, the CSA is completely operated by contractors with guidance from CITGO sponsors who work in the Lake Charles Refinery Health and Safety, Capital Construction and Maintenance Departments. Each year, the group incorporates new activities that promote safety through meetings and special programs.
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit