HOUSTON, Feb. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation confirmed its newly appointed Board of Directors, which held its first official meeting today, Friday, Feb. 22. The Board includes Luisa Palacios as Chairwoman, Rick Esser, Edgar Rincón, Angel Olmeta, Luis Urdaneta and Andres Eloy Padilla. Together with CITGO senior leadership, the Board will work to guarantee the company's financial and operational stability; enhance its corporate governance; and protect its assets.

From left: Andres Eloy Padilla, Angel Olmeta, Luisa Palacios, Rick Esser, Edgar Rincón and Luis Urdaneta

"CITGO is a historic brand that provides enormous value to the American economy and the communities in which it operates," said Luisa Palacios, newly appointed Chairwoman of the CITGO Board. "With highly complex refineries and, more importantly, best-in-class employees that keep this company running smoothly, CITGO is – and will remain – a major player in the energy industry. This Board will be working hard to provide the stability, leadership and protection that ensures it remains so."   

Friday's meeting included an intensive review of the company's business units, which provided ample opportunity for the Board to interact with the internal management team. The meeting included an in-depth discussion of the company's finances, operations and immediate challenges so the Board can quickly develop and implement its vision going forward.

Additionally, the Board nominated and elected several corporate officers, including unanimous approval of Rick Esser as Executive Vice President. With the full support of the Board, Rick will immediately assume responsibility for the day-to-day strategic decisions and operations of CITGO while the company conducts an intensive internal and external search for a chief executive officer. The following corporate officers were also confirmed on Feb. 22:

Vice President of Refining – Art Klein
Vice President and General Manager Lake Charles Refinery – Jerry Dunn
Vice President and General Manager Lemont RefineryDennis Willig
Vice President and General Manager Corpus Christi Refinery – Trina Martinez
Vice President of Supply and Marketing – Karl Schmidt
Vice President of Finance – Curtis Rowe
Vice President of Shared Services – Glenn Hilman
General Counsel and Assistant Secretary – Judith Colbert
Corporate Treasurer – Gina Coon
Corporate Controller – Barry Treas

"These officers were chosen not only for their experience and knowledge, but also because of their demonstrated commitment to the company over the years," continued Palacios. "CITGO is a strong company and, working together as the corporate leaders, we will fortify it even further."

The extraordinary oil and gas industry experiences of the Board and Officers will enhance corporate governance and add significant depth to the Company's strategic decision making and long-term vision. Last year, CITGO achieved one of its strongest earnings results in the last ten years, providing a solid foundation from which the new leadership team will operate.

About the Board of Directors

Luisa Palacios is the newly appointed Chairwoman of the Board of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Palacios was a Senior Managing Director and member of the Management Committee of Medley Global Advisors where, during her career, she also served as head of Emerging Markets Research and Latin America Research.  She previously worked at Barclays Capital, Society Generale and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. She graduated from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and received a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and a Ph.D. in international affairs from The John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She is a non-resident fellow at the Center for Energy Policy at Columbia University and a Visiting Professor at the Energy Center of Caracas-based IESA's School of Management.

Rick Esser is the newly appointed Executive Vice President of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Esser served as Vice President of Compliance  and Chief Strategy Officer. With more than 28 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. Mr. Esser holds a master's degree in business administration from Keller Graduate School of Management and a bachelor's degree in business administration, marketing and management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Edgar Rincón is the Senior Vice President of Operations for the Western Hemisphere for Nabors Drilling. During his career with Nabors, Mr. Rincón also worked as Senior Vice President of Operations for the United States, Chief Procurement Officer and Vice President of Supply Chain. Prior to joining Nabors, Mr. Rincón worked at Pacific Drilling and McKinsey & Company in various leadership positions. He holds a master's in business administration with distinction from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Universidad Simón Bolívar.

Angel Olmeta had a long career in Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), occupying various positions in strategic and corporate planning and corporate acquisitions, where he oversaw the purchase of CITGO by PDVSA. He also served as Executive Vice President of CITGO, Chief Operating Officer and a member of its Board. At the time of his retirement in 1998, he was a member of the Board of Directors of PDVSA. Mr. Olmeta received a bachelor's degree from the United States Military Academy (West Point) and graduate degrees from Columbia University, New York University and the University of Colorado.

Luis Urdaneta is a former Vice President of PDVSA, former President of the CITGO Board and PDV America. He also served as Executive Vice President of an oil exploration and development company in Colombia and Chief Executive Officer of a coal company in Colombia. He spent more than 30 years in the Venezuelan oil industry.  He graduated from the University of Zulia and received master's degrees in petroleum engineering and computer science from Pennsylvania State University.

Andres Eloy Padilla is a Finance and Logistics Control Analyst at INABLO LLC, a full-service food import and export company.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Padilla held finance-related positions in various Venezuelan companies.  He received Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from Florida International University.

About the Board Secretary

Fernando Vera is an attorney and the current Board Secretary of CITGO Petroleum Corporation.  His practice specializes in energy project development and financial and corporate matters, including the restructuring and implementation of infrastructure projects and investments in hydrocarbons projects. Mr. Vera previously served as a member and corporate secretary of the boards of various oil and gas companies in Latin America. He is a retired counsel of Gámez & Vera Abogados and also served as an attorney in an affiliate of The AES Corporation: C.A La Electricidad de Caracas until 2005 and in The Third Party Unit of the Exploration and Production Division of PDVSA until January 2003. Mr. Vera graduated from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in 1997 and holds a Master of Law (LL.M) degree from The Washington College of Law, The American University, and a Master of Business Administration from IE Business School, Madrid, Spain.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 48 terminals, nine pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,400 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 749,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the sixth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 5,000 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets in 30 states and the District of Columbia. CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.


SOURCE CITGO Petroleum Corporation