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Argus Americas Motor Fuels Summit

2018 Speakers
Nicholas Burns Harvard University
Nicholas Burns
, Former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2005-2008), Former US Ambassador to Greece (1997-2001) and NATO (2001–2005), Former White House Special Assistant

Nicholas Burns is the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project and Faculty Chair for the Programs on the Middle East and on India and South Asia. He serves on the Board of Directors of the School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and is a Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Burns is Director of the Aspen Strategy Group, Senior Counselor at the Cohen Group, and serves on the Board of Directors of Entegris, Inc. He also serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including the Council on Foreign Relations, Special Olympics International, the Diplomacy Center Foundation, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, The Trilateral Commission, the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, the Atlantic Council, America Abroad Media, the Association of Diplomatic Studies and Training, the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, the Boston Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Gennadius Library. From 2014-2017, he was a member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board at the U.S. Department of State. He is Vice Chairman of the American Ditchley Foundation and serves on the Panel of Senior Advisors at Chatham House: the Royal Institute of International Affairs. He is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States

Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Order of Saint John and Red Sox Nation.

Professor Burns served in the United States government for 27 years. As a career Foreign Service Officer, he was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2005 to 2008; the State Department’s third-ranking official when he led negotiations on the U.S.–India Civil Nuclear Agreement; a long-term military assistance agreement with Israel; and was the lead U.S. negotiator on Iran’s nuclear program. He was U.S. Ambassador to NATO (2001–2005), Ambassador to Greece (1997–2001) and State Department Spokesman (1995–1997). He worked for five years (1990–1995) on the National Security Council at the White House where he was Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Affairs and Special Assistant to President Clinton and Director for Soviet Affairs in the Administration of President George H.W. Bush. Burns also served in the American Consulate General in Jerusalem (1985–1987) where he coordinated U.S. economic assistance to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and before that, at the American embassies in Egypt (1983-1985) and Mauritania (1980 as an intern).

Professor Burns has received 12 honorary degrees, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Secretary of State’sDistinguished Service Award, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service from the Johns Hopkins University, the Boston College Alumni Achievement Award, and the Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from Tufts University. He hasa Bachelor of Arts in History from Boston College (1978), a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (1980), and earned a Certificat Pratique de Langue Française at the University of Paris-Sorbonne (1977). He was a visiting Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in summer 2008.
Robert Gates
Robert Gates
, Secretary of Defense (2006-2011); Author, New York Times Best Seller, DUTY: Memoirs of a Secretary at War and A Passion for Leadership

Robert Gates served as the 22nd secretary of defense (2006-2011) and is the only secretary of defense in U.S. history to be asked to remain in that office by a newly elected President. President Barack Obama is the eighth president Gates has served. He previously served under President George W. Bush.

On Gates’ last day in office, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.

Before becoming secretary of defense in 2006, Gates was the president of Texas A&M University, the nation’s seventh largest university. Prior to assuming the Texas A&M presidency on August 1, 2002, he served as interim dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001.

Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional. During that period, he spent nearly nine years at the National Security Council, the White House, serving four presidents of both political parties.

Gates served as director of Central Intelligence from 1991 until 1993. He is the only career officer in CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to director. He served as deputy director of Central Intelligence from 1986 until 1989 and as assistant to the President and deputy national security adviser at the White House from January 20, 1989 until November 6, 1991, for President George H.W. Bush.

Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, has three times received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and has three times received CIA’s highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. In April, 2016, he became the inaugural recipient of the Zbigniew Brzezinski Annual Prize, in recognition of his distinguished record of promoting the importance of geostrategic thinking with a transcending moral purpose.

He has authored three memoirs - Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (2014), a straightforward, vividly written account of his experience serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (1996) which details his career as a CIA officer at the center of power during a time when the threat of global annihilation informed America’s every move, and A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years of Public Service (January 2016), in which Gates draws on years of exceptional experience to offer readers a powerful, informative and pragmatic look at leadership.

Until becoming secretary of defense, Gates served as chairman of the independent trustees of The Fidelity Funds, the nation’s largest mutual fund company, and on the board of directors of NACCO Industries, Inc., Brinker International, Inc. and Parker Drilling Company.

Gates currently serves on the board of directors of Starbucks and is partner in the consulting firm, RHG LLC, with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others. He has also served on the board of directors and executive committee of the American Council on Education, the board of directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land- Grant Colleges. He has also been president of the Boy Scouts of America, and the National Eagle Scout Association.

A native of Kansas, Gates received his bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary, his master’s degree in history from Indiana University and his doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University. Gates was installed as chancellor of the college of William & Mary, beginning in February 2012. He is the first William & Mary alumnus in the modern era to serve as chancellor of the college.

In 1967, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and served as an intelligence officer at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
Dan Romasko
Dan Romasko
, President and CEO, Motiva Enterprises LLC

Dan Romasko was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Motiva Enterprises LLC in February 2014. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Motiva is a leading refiner, distributor and marketer of transportation fuels and lubricant base oils in the Eastern, Southern, and Gulf Coast regions of the United States. Motiva is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. affiliates of Saudi Aramco.

Prior to his current role, Dan was the Executive Vice President of Operations for Tesoro Corporation with accountability for the refining, marketing, logistics and marine organizations. In addition, he served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Tesoro Logistics LP. Before joining Tesoro, Dan held the positions of Vice President, Operations Integrity and Vice President, Technical Operations and Competence at Suncor Energy.

Dan began his career with ConocoPhillips, serving the company through leadership positions in mid-stream, supply and trading, global specialty products, and refining during his 20-year tenure.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Montana State University.
Robert Barnes
Robert Barnes
, SVP Commercial - Crude Oil, Magellan

Robert (Robb) L. Barnes currently serves as SVP, Commercial – Crude Oil and has served in such capacity since 2014. He previously served as VP, Commercial – Crude Oil and Marine Terminals for Magellan from 2011 through 2014. From 2007 through 2011, he served as VP, Terminals and, from 2003 through 2007, as Director, Marine Terminal Services. Prior to joining Magellan, he worked in various staff and management positions within marketing, business and commercial development, operations and environmental since joining The Williams Companies, Inc. (“Williams”) in 1987.
Daniel Gordon, EVP Business Development & Strategy, Delek US Holdings
Dan Gordon
, Executive Vice President, Business Development & Strategy, Delek US Holdings

Dan Gordon is Executive Vice President Business Development & Strategy at Delek US Holdings. Delek operates two refineries in the United States with a combined refining capacity of 140,000 bbls/day, along with a variety of midstream and downstream assets. He has been focused in recent years on expanding Delek’s crude operations and capabilities, in particular by developing its crude by rail initiative, which includes the establishment of DK Canada. Prior to this role, Dan has held several senior level roles within Delek including, Vice President of Crude Supply & Trading and Vice President of Fuel Supply and Transportation for Mapco, a 370+ convenience store chain which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delek, overseeing its refined product supply, pricing and distribution.

Dan has earned an MBA from Georgia Tech and BS from the University of Florida.
Gwen Mitchell
Gwen Mitchell,
Manager, Specialty Products - Reg Fuels, Andeavor

Gwen Mitchell is the Manager, Specialty Products – Reg Fuels, for Andeavor, located in San Antonio, Texas. She manages the strategy, planning and optimization of market based environmental programs within the commercial function. She graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 1995 with a degree in chemical engineering and is currently pursuing an MBA with a concentration in economics at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She began her career as an environmental engineer with TRC Environmental in North Carolina and then transitioned into the refining industry as a process engineer with Bechtel in Houston and then at the Texas City Refinery with Amoco. At Texas City, she held various roles in operations, optimization, and commercial. She has been implementing strategy and planning within Tesoro/Andeavor since 2007.
Fidel Farias
Fidel Farías, Former Energy Market Consultant and Business Strategy Analyst, PDVSA, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., Energy Market Consultant and Business Strategy Analyst, Siemens

Fidel Farias is an Economist from the University of Potsdam in Germany. He holds a post graduate degree in Economics of Financial Markets. Currently, he is an Energy Market Consultant at the Corporate Planning Department of PDVSA. He is responsible for cash flow analysis and oil price forecast, oil market analysis for the Venezuelan OPEC officials, monitoring of Venezuelan crude oil production, market studies for Venezuelan crude oil and products, analyzing development of financial markets and their relationship with the world economic growth amongst others.

Fidel Farias is specialized in the international energy market, providing industry players and new comers with information on Mergers & Acquisition and Joint Ventures opportunities and strategies. He is also focused on Corporate Finance issues such as financing strategies (including Project Finance), economic evaluation of projects and valuation of companies and assets.

His main research areas include: monetary theory and policy, international economics, macroeconomics, interactions between monetary and fiscal policies, financial contagion, crude price formation and volatility, energy markets and economics of financial markets and volatility transmission between oil and financial markets.
Celeste Rebora Mier
Celeste Rebora
, Director, Hydrocarbons Projects, TCM

Celeste started her professional career at Vibosa, a Mexican large-scale precasted concrete elements for infrastructure, where she was in turn, Head of Costumer Service, Operations & Logistics Manager and COO. She joined the head-hunter industry in 2006 in a Mexican firm. In 2009, she became the firm’s Managing Partner and in 2014, her already established firm became a part of the Alexander Hughes Group as a leader in the Industry and Energy practices. Since January 2014 as a result of the Energy Law Reforms, Celeste started to participate in various forums, with her experience, she advised international companies from the Energy sector on how to perform in México. On the electric energy field, she participated in the development of a 30MW photovoltaic farm, in the municipality of Asencion Chihuahua, she was responsible for obtaining the permits and licenses, at this time everything was new in Mexico, therefore she had the opportunity to study and to advance at the same time of how they were giving the reforms and the changes. Since 2015, she became a member of the Energy Commission of the Consejo Cordinador Empresarial were she developed a strong relationship with PEMEX and other regulatory agencies. She holds a degree in architecture given by the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey, a Diploma in Energy Law by the Escuela Libre de Derecho, and a Diploma on Social Well-Being by the USEM. Celeste has been a part of social relationships for a long time, this has allowed her to achieve strong relationships with clients and partners. Her degree on Social Well Being gave her a different perspective on this field, not only on how to treat clients but also on the importance of teamwork and how you should always respect the integrity of her peers and employees.
Esteban Salas
Esteban Salas, SVP, Refined Products, Windstar LPG

Esteban Salas is a Director of Windstar Refine Products Business. Esteban is a Mexican national with 10 years career in USA refine products and natural gas industry in leadership roles in business development, trading and logistics. Esteban received a bachelor degree in Chemical Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey, and MBA in entrepreneurial finance from Babson College. Mr. Salas started the Refine products business for Windstar and now leads a multi-functional team overseeing its sales growth efforts, product supply, pricing and distribution. Recently his team successfully import the first gasoline rail cars into Hermosillo Sonora. Prior to joining Windstar, Esteban founded a company that imported first LNG trailer into Mexico, participate in the development of CNG projects. Before Mexican energy reform, Esteban worked in the alternative fuel industry for Fortune 500 companies in Houston and Philadelphia.
Gene Gebolys
Gene Gebolys
, Founder, President & CEO, World Energy

Mr. Gebolys has championed biodiesel’s development in the U.S. and throughout the world for over twenty years. In 1998, he founded World Energy. A widely recognized industry leader, World Energy has been named Platt’s Global Downstream Energy Company of the Year and The US Department of Energy’s National Stakeholder of the Year.

Mr. Gebolys was the founding Chairman of the National Biodiesel Political Action Committee and was a founding Commissioner of the National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission (BQ-9000). He was Chair of the National Biodiesel Board’s Regulatory Committee for five years during the establishment of the industry’s most critical public policy supports including the establishment of the Blenders Tax Credit and the Federal Renewable Fuels Standard. Mr. Gebolys has Chaired the industry’s RFS Task Force since its inception in 2009 overseeing the US biodiesel industry’s efforts on all issues relating to the industry’s most important public policy issue. He remains active in in the most critical matters impacting biofuel industry growth domestically and around the world.

Prior to founding World Energy, Mr. Gebolys was Vice President for Alternative Fuels for Twin Rivers Technologies Inc., the country’s first stand-alone biodiesel business. He holds degrees from Harvard University and The Ohio State University in Public Administration, Economics, and Business Management.
Mike Davis
Mike Davis
. Director of Market Development, ICE Futures

Mike has over 25 years of experience in the trading and analysis of a wide diversity of global derivatives markets. He is a former proprietary trader of financial futures and options on London’s LIFFE derivatives exchange.

Mike joined ICE in November 2008. He has responsibility for the development of both new and existing futures and OTC markets, clearing services and derivative products for all ICE global oil markets, and is a member of ICE Futures Europe Senior Management team. Prior to his current role, he was at Platts for eight years, in particular leading the development of the suite of Platts forward curve products. He has been closely involved in assessing, analyzing and explaining energy and commodity forward markets for a wide diversity of specialists and non-specialists alike.

In recent years he has guested on Russia’s RBC Business News channel, China’s CCTV News channels, Sky TV News primetime ‘Live at 5’ evening news, Channel News Asia, CNBC Asia’s ‘Squawk box’, BBC TV’s ‘Working Lunch’ and BBC World Service Radio news, as well as numerous speaking engagements across the Americas, Europe and Asia. Mike has led, chaired and presented hedging and risk management forums or seminars in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, Calgary, Dubai, Geneva, Guangzhou, Houston, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Mumbai, New Delhi, Rotterdam, Shanghai and Singapore. He currently leads ICE’s ongoing global program of energy risk and trading events.

Mike Has a BA and Masters in Law from Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, England.
Gregory Broussard
Gregory Broussard
, Senior Director, Energy Derivatives, Cargill Risk Management

Gregory Broussard recently joined Cargill Risk Management, a global leader in providing risk management solutions. He leads a team which provides financial risk management solutions to a wide range of producers and consumers of energy commodities in both North and South America. Having worked as both a trader and an originator over the last 15 years, Greg has developed extensive capital markets experience across multiple asset classes including foreign exchange, interest rates, emerging markets and commodities. Greg is a native Houstonian who received his undergraduate degree in business from Baylor University and his MBA in capital markets from Rice University. Mr. Broussard is based in Cargill's Houston office.
Efrain Tellez
Alvaro Efrain Tellez Rangel, Founding Partner, ENIX

Efrain Tellez holds a degree in Actuarial Science and also a Master Degree in Economics. His main professional career has been developed at the energy sector for more than 19 years. He is a specialist in industrial organization, economic regulation of monopolies, markets and competition promotion in the energy sector. Until April, 2016, he was Head of the Regulation Unit at the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) in Mexico. Among other activities, he was in charge of designing the economic regulatory framework and coordinate the CRE’s participation in the development of public policy in the energy sector; also provided advisory in economic and regulatory matters to the President, Commissioners, and other main Divisions at the CRE. Currently he is independent consultant in infrastructure development, markets and regulation in Mexico.
Neil Earnest
Neil Earnest
, President, Muse, Stancil & Co.

Neil K. Earnest is the President of Muse, Stancil & Co. with over 30 years of industry experience. Muse provides customized consulting services to the downstream energy industry, focusing on offering an integrated combination of technical and business expertise.

As a consultant, he has worked on a broad range of assignments in the downstream sector around the world. Neil has also headed most of Muse’s Canadian engagements related to market analysis and development of business strategy, with a concentration on assisting clients interested in upstream-downstream integration possibilities.

Prior to joining Muse in 1991, Neil was with Phillips Petroleum Company for 11 years in a variety of refinery and headquarters positions. Neil holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Michigan State University and an M.B.A. from University of Houston - Clearlake. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas.
Bernadette Johnson Managing Partner Ponderosa Advisors
Bernadette Johnson
, VP - Market Intelligence, Drilling Info, Inc.

Bernadette Johnson joined Drilling Info through the acquisition of products and services from Ponderosa Energy. She serves as Vice President, Market Intelligence for Drilling Info and is responsible for helping to grow and expand DI’s analytics offerings, building on the work she did at Ponderosa Energy leading consulting engagements and research efforts. With over 10 years’ experience in the energy industry, Bernadette has earned the reputation of industry expert with extensive experience providing crude, natural gas, and NGL fundamentals analysis and advisory services to various players in the North American and Global energy markets. A regular commentator for and speaker to the energy industry, her specific market expertise spans: financial trading, production forecasts, demand forecasts by sector, infrastructure analysis, midstream analysis, storage value analysis, and price forecasts. Prior to joining Ponderosa, and now DI, Bernadette was Senior Research Analyst for Sasco Energy Partners in Westport, CT where she provided analytics and research support for a team of financial traders active in natural gas, power and oil futures markets. Bernadette began her career with BENTEK Energy, LLC as a Senior Energy Analyst, Natural Gas Market Fundamentals and consulting project team lead. Bernadette holds a MS Degree in International Political Economy of Resources and a BS Degree in Economics, from the Colorado School of Mines.
Santiago Zapatero
Santiago Llano Zapatero, Partner, Ritch Mueller

Santiago joined Ritch Mueller as a partner in 2017. Previously, Santiago was based out of the Houston office of Ernst & Young LLP in the international tax practice (Latin American Business Center) for almost three years. Santiago was also member of the team that lead the efforts of Ernst & Young LLP towards investment projects in Mexico derived from the recent Energy Reform.

Before joining Ernst & Young LLP, Santiago worked in two well-known tax and legal advisory firms in Mexico City as senior associate in the tax consulting and transfer pricing practice areas.

Santiago has provided tax advice to local and multinational companies engaged in different sectors, such as energy, real estate, financial services, manufacturing, among others.

Santiago obtained a BS in Accounting from the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City as well as a Master´s in Tax Law from the same university. 
John Demopoulos
John Demopoulos
, Vice President, North American Refined Products, Argus

John Demopoulos is Vice President, North American Refined Products at Argus in New York. As Senior Markets Manager, John is responsible for ensuring methodological rigor across Argus’ Americas operations. He works closely with Argus’ price reporting teams around the world, ensuring that markets are being assessed appropriately, and that methodologies are being clearly communicated to Argus’ customers. John was previously Argus’ Bureau Chief in New York, where he built a small team of price reporters, launched a marine fuels report, and revamped Argus’ coverage of global asphalt markets. Before that, he covered a variety of commodity markets from Argus’ London headquarters, including natural gas and crude oil. John joined Argus after working for several years as a freelance journalist, based in Greece and the Balkans. He has over a decade’s experience in commodities, a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s degree from King’s College London.
Paul Niznik
Paul Niznik
, Manager, Biofuels & Environmental, Argus Consulting Services

Paul has over 27 years of experience in biofuels and alternative fuel development. His broad knowledge of biofuel economics – including RFS, RINs and LCFS – has kept refiners, biofuels producers, automakers and government agencies informed of alternative fuels markets and policies. He pioneered biodiesel sales for major oil companies such as Hess, Gulf and Irving Oil, and has consulted for Chevron, US DOE, USDA, Phillips 66, Nissan, Toyota, Hess, Petrobras, the Government of Zimbabwe and UOP Honeywell. Paul is an alumnus of Yale University where he studied astrophysics.
Kristine Klavers
Kristine Klavers, Senior VP, Consulting - Americas, Argus

Kristine Klavers is Argus’ Senior Vice-President of Consulting for the Americas, based in Houston.

Kristine has more than 23 years of experience in consulting and is an expert on global fuels and refining. Prior to joining Argus, she was in charge of Hart Energy’s research and consulting division, where she built their global presence, established the International Fuel Quality Center, and was publisher of FUEL Magazine. Prior to joining Hart Energy in 1996, Kristine worked in the UK on the business management of oxygenated fuels for LyondellBasell, which acquired Arco Chemical in 1998, as well as a process engineer for Japanese Gasoline in Japan.

A native of Oslo, Norway, Kristine earned her master’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Twente, Netherlands. She also developed a catalyst for methane coupling at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan that was sold to the industry and patented.


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