Top Latinos In Energy

  U.S. energy production has been on the rise for a couple of years. However, the development of talent within the industry has remained steady. For another edition, we have highlighted and profiled successful and brilliant Latinos that continue to lead top energy companies. During our time researching and interviewing, these champions have demonstrated that the hard work, long hours, and tough challenges all come accompanied with rewards.

U.S. energy production has been on the rise for a couple of years. However, the development of talent within the industry has remained steady. For another edition, we have highlighted and profiled successful and brilliant Latinos that continue to lead top energy companies. During our time researching and interviewing, these champions have demonstrated that the hard work, long hours, and tough challenges all come accompanied with rewards.


 

Arcilia Acosta                

CEO                               

Carcon Industries and STL Engineers 

 

Arcilia is the President and CEO of CARCON Industries & Construction, specializing in commercial, institutional and transportation construction, and is also the CEO and controlling principal of STL Engineers. Besides serving on the Board of Directors for her own company, she is also on the Board of Energy Future Holdings Corporation (9 yrs.) where she is on the audit and compensation committees. In March of 2016, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott appointed Ms. Acosta to the board of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In May 2017, Arcilia joined the board of TPG Pace Energy Holdings. She is also a member of the advisory boards of Amegy Bank and on the national advisory boards for BBVA/Compass. Arcilila has also been part of the board of Bank One Texas, N.A., where she spent seven years.

 

 

Frank Almaraz              

SVP of Commercial Operations            

CPS Energy                    

 

Frank first joined CPS in 2011 as Senior Director of Energy Strategy and Planning. During his time in CPS he has led various initiatives essential to the growth and advancement of CPA Energy, Frank is also committed to the Boards of Directors of the American Gas Association, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the DoSeum, San Antonio’s Museum for Kids.
 

 

Dennis Arriola               

EVP of Corporate Strategy and External Affairs        

Sempra Energy              

 

Dennis has spent nearly two decades in a broad range of leadership roles for Sempra Energy. He was named chief operating officer of SoCalGas in 2012 and promoted to CEO in 2014. From 2008 to 2012, he served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of SunPower Corporation, a Silicon Valley-based solar panel manufacturer. Prior to this, Arriola served as senior vice president and chief financial officer for SoCalGas and San Diego Gas & Electric, vice president of communications and investor relations for Sempra Energy and regional vice president and general manager for Sempra’s South American operations. He first joined the company in 1994 as treasurer for Pacific Enterprises, SoCalGas’ former parent company. His experience is key to the growth of Sempra Energy and its companies.

 

 

Jose Bravo                    

President                         

Fractionation Research Inc.

                                      

Jose is President of Fractionation Research Inc. Prior to taking the leadership at FRI, he served for 22 years at Shell as Chief Scientist.  Currently at FRI, he consults and advises in areas that include Research, Development, Process Engineering, Technology Development, Executive Leadership, and New Business Development. He began at FRI as a consultant and in May 2017 he escalated to leadership as President.

 

 

Victor Carrillo                

CEO                                 

Zion Oil and Gas           

 

On June 15, 2015, Zion’s Board of Directors appointed Victor G. Carrillo as Zion’s CEO. Victor was appointed to Zion’s Board in September 2010 and appointed Executive Vice President in January 2011. In October of 2011 he was appointed as the Company President and Chief Operating Officer. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce and the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University. Victor also previously served as commissioner of the Railroad Commission of Texas.

 

 

Joseph E. Casabona      

Senior Financial Advisor to CEO          

FirmGreen Inc.

                                      

Joseph is the Senior Financial Advisor to the CEO. He previously served as President and CEO of Halio Energy, Executive Vice President and chief financial officer of Energy Corporation of America, a leading independent natural gas producer. He has over 30 years in the oil and gas industry with extensive background in Strategic Planning, Capital Structure, Capital Markets,, Business Development, Acquisitions and Divestments.

 

 

David Hernandez          

CEO and Co-Founder     

Liberty Power

                                      

Accomplished leader with a solid track record of performance in building an energy company after the implosion of Enron and subsequent layoffs. A well-respected businessman in the $300 Billion Retail Energy sector and in the Hispanic community, Hernandez founded Liberty Power in 2001. Liberty Power was ranked as the #1 Fastest Growing Hispanic 500 company by Hispanic Business magazine in 2007. The same publication recognized Mr. Hernandez as Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 and Rising Star in 2005. In 2013, he was awarded the award for Businessman of the Year by the USHCC. Liberty Power also created the Bright Horizons Scholarship Program that awards three college students a total of $20,000 to aid their careers in energy.

 

 

Dorene Dominguez      

Chairwoman and CEO   

Vanir Group                  

 

Dorene is the Chairman of the Vanir Group of Companies. Vanir Energy is known for the largest solar thermal energy facility in the world located in North Carolina. She currently serves on the  American River Bank Board of Directors, she's member of the Young Presidents Organization, member of the Latino Studies Board of Notre Dame University in South Bend Indiana, New America Alliance and the National Council of La Raza. Dorence is the founder of “The Dominguez Dream”, a foundation in memory of her late father, which serves elementary schools in underserved communities by empowering children to achieve their full potential in Literacy and S.T.E.A.M.  FORTUNE and ALPFA have named her as one of The 50 Most Powerful Latinas of 2017. She was recently also featured on the 2018 list.

 

 

Joseph Dominguez       

EVP of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy

Exelon Corp.

                                      

Joseph joined Exelon in 2002 as Associate General Counsel, responsible for all litigation matters in the Mid-Atlantic region. Through the years he expanded his knowledge and climbed the ladder through various other positions. In 2012, Dominguez became Senior Vice President, Governmental and Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy for Exelon Corporation, and in 2015, he assumed his current role. Dominguez co-founded the Association of Latino Energy and Environmental Professionals in 2011. This organization focuses on ensuring the Latino voice is heard in the energy and environmental industries. He serves as member of the Corporate Advisory Board for APM, Corporate Advisory Council of Congreso de Latino Unidos.

 

 

Ruben Esquivel               

Director                           

Atmos Energy                

 

Ruben has sat on the board of directors at Atmos Energy for almost 10 years. He currently is the vice presidente for community and corporate relations at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.  A leader in the community of Dallas, he not only serves in the Atmos board. He serves as trustee of Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Research and Education Foundation and director of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Zoological Society, The Senior Source, State Fair of Texas amongst others.

 

 

Eugene Garcia              

President                         

Hurd Enterprises, Ltd.   

 

Eugene is a member of the executive team at Hurd Enterprises, Ltd., a fourth generation family business engaged in oil and gas, ranching, real estate, and investments.  Eugene serves as President of the Hurd Family Entities with direct responsibility over the Oil and Gas exploration and production and Ranching businesses. Garcia serves on various boards, including the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association, Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio, University of Texas McDonalds Observatory, Mission Road Ministries and First Presbyterian Church. His career began in NASA as a payload project engineer. He then became a Business Analyst and a Supervisor at Intel. Later, from 1999-2004, he was a Manager for Dell's Product Development and Procurement organizations. After Dell, he joined Hurd.

 

 

Omar Garcia                 

President and CEO          

STEER                            

 

Omar is the President of South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable (STEER). His role consists of facilitating the communication, education and public advocacy sorrounding the production of energy in South Texas. Garcia is also a former vice president of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. His expertise in the oil and natural gas industry gives him a seat at table for major movements and innovations that ensure that the industry advances for the benefit of all. In 2010, Governor Perry appointed Garcia to the Texas Economic Development Corporation. Garcia is a certified economic development finance professional through the National Development Council.

 

 

Rudy Garza                   

SVP of Distribution Services and Operations 

CPS Energy                    

 

Rudy first joined CPS in 2012. He is responsible for CPS Energy's maintenance and constuction activity as well as the Energy Management Center which operates the distribution system. Before joining the CPS Energy team, Garza served as Assistant City Manager and as Intergovernmental Relations Director in Corpus Christi. He also worked for TXU Corporation in Dallas for 13 years.

 

 

Hugo Gutierrez             

Senior Government & Community Relations Manager         

Marathon Oil                

 

Hugo joined Marathon Oil Corporation in November 1999, after serving as Chief of Staff to two South Texas lawmakers in the Texas House of Representatives. He currently serves as Senior Manager for Government and Community Relations and directs the company's lobbying, political and community engagement in Texas, New Mexico and Washington D.C. He is a McAllen, Tx native in the Rio Grande Valley and is a 1993 graduate of Texas State University in San Marcos. He resides in Houston, Tx.

 

 

Mauricio Gutierrez       

President and CEO          

NRG

                                      

Mauricio first joined NRG in 2004. Prior to becoming President and CEO, Mauricio held the position of Chief Operating Officer. Mauricio began his career as a senior consultant and project manager at Mexico City-based DTP Consultores. He has served on the Boards of the Mexican National Chamber of Consulting Firms and the Electric Power Supply Association in the U.S. His leadership skills came in handy when during his time as COO, he led NRG's engineering and construction activities related to the new generation and repowering projects. NRG not only the nation's largest competitive power generator, but it also a mjor competitive energy retailer that serves 3 million retail customers and is one of the country's largest owners and operators of renewable power facilities.

 

 

John Loiacono               

Director of Commercial Services        

Enbridge Energy Company Inc.

                                      

John  has over 27 years of experience in petroleum production and natural gas gathering, processing, treating and trasmission. He first joined Enbridge in 2000. Before Enbridge, John was an asset optimizer for Midcoast Energy, as well as a senior asset manager for MCNIC Pipeline & Processing Company. He was also a part of Delhi Gas Pipeline Corporation, Santa Fe Minerals and Texas Oil & Gas Corporation. In January 2018, he was elected chairman of the Texas Pipeline Association (TPA). TPA is the largest state trade association in the country that represents the interests of the intrastate pipeline network.

 

 

Roberto Mendez           

President of North America   

Duracell                         

 

Roberto joined Berkshire Hathaway officially on the date the Duracell acquisition was completed: March 1, 2016, and has served as Duracell’s President of Latin America & OEM business since that time. Prior to coming to Berkshire Hathaway, Bobby enjoyed a career with Procter & Gamble that spanned over 23 years. For the last 6 years of his P&G career, Bobby served as Duracell’s CFO. Before Duracell, Bobby held a number of financial roles including CFO for P&G Mexico, LA HQ Corporate Finance Associate Director, and Group Manager for Puerto Rico/Caribbean Finance.

 

 

Sadzi Martha Oliva       

Commissioner                 

Illinois Commerce Commission

                                      

Sadzi is Commissioner of Ilinois Commerce Commission. She is the first Latina to become Commissioner of the ICC. She was appointed by Governor Rauner in January 2017. Her role is to ensure a fair and effective balance between the interests of Illinois consumers and public utilities, energy suppliers, and transportation companies. Before becoming a part of the ICC, she served as general counsel for the Illinois Dept of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

 

 

Gina Orozco-Mejia       

VP of Gas Distribution  

SoCalGas and San Diego Gas & Electric
                                      

Gina is vice president of gas distribution for SoCal Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric. She oversees all aspects of gas distribution operations. She first joined SoCalGas as an engineering intern in 1990. She previously served as director of labor relations and was  responsible for working with the unions that represent approximately 5,000 SoCalGas employees. She currently serves on the board of directors for Adventist Health White Memorial Medical Center Charitable Foundation and the California State Parks Foundation. Gina is also featured in the 2018 list of the Top 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Business.

 

 

Gerard Ortiz                  

VP of Regulatory Affairs and Economic Development            

PNM                              

 

Gerard was employed by PNM on 1981. Before his current position, he has held various roles in Distribution Engineering, Electric Marketing, Business Planning, and Market Services. Actively, he is oversees regulatory policy and case management for PNM, energy efficiency design and economic development.

 

 

Jose L. Perez                 

Chairman and CEO          

Hispanics in Energy Organization      

 

José L. Pérez co-founded  the California Utilities Diversity Council (CUDC) in 2003. Then in 2008, José co-founded the National Utilities Diversity Council (NUDC). He has presented at the National Association of Hispanics Publications in Washington D.C., National Association of Regulated Utility Commissioners (NARUC) in Denver and San Francisco, National Council of La Raza in New Orleans and the Mexican American Engineering Society in San Diego. He is a national speaker on diversity, public policy, community and business partnerships, and finance in energy and utility industries.

 

 

Aleida Rios                    

VP of Operations            

BP Gulf of Mexico         

 

Aleida is currently the VP of Operations at BP. She is in charge of the safe, reliable and compliant operations on BP's four offshore platforms in the deepwater gulf. She is also a major advocate for women in STEM. At BP, she is on the leadership council for the Million Women Mentors programs which works to mobilize 1 million mentors to inspire and instill confidence in girls and young women while empowering them to pursue careers in STEM-based industries. In 2017, she was named one of ALPFA's 50 Most Powerful Latinas.

 

 

John Rosales                 

Commissioner                 

Illinois Commerce Commission          

 

John was first appointed as Commissioner to Illinois Commerce Commission by Governor Rauner in 2015. The ICC regulates  electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water/sewer, and pipeline safety within the state of Illinois. Transportation businesses regulated by the ICC are: railroad safety, intra-state trucking, relocation towing, safety towing, household goods moving and warehousing, and collateral recovery. He is also part of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He is the Vice-Chair of the Electricity Committee. 

 

 

Luis Sierra                     

CEO of BP Aromatics    

BP Petrochemicals

                                      

Luis currently runs BP’s aromatics chemicals business unit, a role he assumed in January 2016. He has about 20 years of experience in an executive role. This global business generates revenue of $4 billion and comprises manufacturing assets in Texas, South Carolina, Belgium, Indonesia and China serving the intermediate chemicals needs of packaging, beverage, textiles and films and industries around the world. Luis also currently serves on the board of directors for a number of entities, including Junior Achievement of Chicago and BP America.

 

 

John Tintera                  

President and Chief of Staff  

Texas Alliance of Energy Producers  

 

John is a very knowledgeable expert and licensed geologist who is very familiar with all facets of upstream oil and gas exploration, production and transportation, including conventional and unconventioanl reservoirs. He is also a 22-year veteran of the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). He founded and ran the pollution cleanup section at the RRC, bringing toxologists, hydrologists and engineers into the agency for the first time to focus solely on complex environmental issues. John retired as the RRX's Executive Director in 2012.

 

 

Juan Trevino                 

VP of Operations- Waterfront           

Spitzer Industries          

 

Juan is the VP of Operations and Heavy Fabrication Division. He joined Spitzer in January 2015. Prior to his current position at Spitzer, he held several roles in GE, including Plant Manager Oilfield Division, Manufacturing Shop Operations Manager,Cell Manufacturing Manager, Lean Manufacturing Engineer, among other position in various energy companies.

 

 

Jamie L. Vazquez          

Board Member                

NOIA                             

 

Jamie serves on the Board of Directors for the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA). She is a Member of the National Petroleum Council (NPC), an Oil and Natural Gas Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Energy.  Jamie is currently serving as a board member for the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council and is a member of their Philanthropy and Board Development Committees.  She serves as an advisory board member for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and is a member of their Facility Master Plan Committee.  In 2011, she was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.

 

 

Randy Velarde              
President and CEO          

The Plaza Group           

 

Randy formerly served on the National Petroleum Council, appointed by former U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson. Velarde currently serves on the Consumer Energy Alliance Board, University of New Mexico, Department of Engineering Board of Advisors, the University of New Mexico Foundation Board, and formerly on the Board of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, and Chairman of the Development Committee at the University of St. Thomas. In 2011, he was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award. He is a Partner of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a Corporate Partner of the Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility.

 

 

Geisha Williams           

President and CEO          

PG&E

                                      

Geisha came to PG&E in 2007 from Florida Power and Light Company (FPL), where she was Vice President of Power Systems, Electric Distribution. Prior to that, she served as FPL’s Vice President of Distribution Operations, and held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in FPL’s customer service, marketing, external affairs and electric operations departments. Geisha is also a director at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). At EEI, she also serves on the Executive Committee and is the CEO co-Chair of the Customer Energy Solutions Policy Committee. In addition, she is on the board of the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD). Geisha is featured in the 2018 Top Most Powerful Latinas in Business where she holds the #1 spot.

 

 

Nancy Zarenda             

Vice President and Treasurer

Hispanics in Energy Organization
                                      

Nancy is co-vice chair of the California Utilities Diversity Council (CUDC) and was a charter member of the National Utilities Diversity Council. In 2014, she was a key contributor to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) first-ever Spanish language energy literacy publication titled Conocimiento de Energía. Nancy is founder and director of the Spanish Language Academy, where her clients include state and national elected and appointed officials, utility and energy companies, law firms, private industry, government agencies and chambers of