July 2023, Vol. 250, No. 7


People in the News July 2023


CRC Evans appointed Luis Araujo as chairman. With over 38 years of experience in the energy and oil and gas industries, Araujo has worked on a portfolio of advisory roles, with global experience in project management, engineering and sales, most recently as CEO of Aker Solutions from 2014 to 2020. Before his promotion to CEO, he held regional president and executive vice president roles at Aker Solutions since 2011. Prior to that, Araujo served as CEO of pipeline products company Wellstream Brazil, currently part of Baker Hughes GE.

CRC Evans also appointed Carol Chesney to chair its audit committee. Chesney has over 35 years of experience in finance, audit and company secretary roles and has served on the boards of Renishaw plc, Hunting plc, Biffa plc and IQE plc. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and earned her bachelor of arts in Mathematics from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. 

GTI Energy’s board of directors elected Tina Faraca, president of U.S. Natural Gas Pipelines for TC Energy, to serve a three-year term as an independent director on the board. Faraca has more than two decades of leadership experience in natural gas and crude systems along with deep commercial and operational understanding of natural gas transmission, transportation, and storage. A petroleum engineering graduate of the Colorado School of Mines, Faraca has served on the boards of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), the Texas Pipeline Association, the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma, the Northeast Gas Association and the Engineering Leadership Board for the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering. 

Engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction services provider BCCK appointed Drew Schiller as director of business development-gas processing. Based in The Woodlands, Texas, he will be responsible for managing and developing new business opportunities within the gas processing industry. Prior to joining BCCK, Schiller served as director of Energy Services for Halff Associates. He also worked as oil and gas practice leader for Kimley-Horn and director of business development for Wood Group Mustang. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University. Schiller is also an active member of Houston Gas Processor’s Midstream Association, serving on the board of directors for the last four years, and The Pipeliners Association of Houston. 

CenterPoint Energy Inc. named Christopher Foster executive vice president and chief financial officer, replacing Jason Wells, who continues as president and chief operating officer. In his new role, Foster oversees the company’s Finance organization, including Accounting, Financial Planning and Analysis, Treasury, Tax, Internal Audit and Investor Relations. Prior to CenterPoint Energy, Chris spent 11 years at PG&E Corporation, where he held roles of increasing responsibility, most recently serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University with a focus on political theory and constitutional democracy. 

Spire announced Nick Popielski has been appointed as the company’s first Head of Environmental Commitment. In this new leadership position, Popielski will lead Spire’s environmental efforts, develop new processes and guide the company’s strategy behind its environmental commitment of achieving carbon neutrality. Popielski will take on this added responsibility while continuing to lead business and economic development, positioning Spire to align environmental and business performance goals. A graduate of the University of Rochester, Popielski earned a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from Georgia State University. He has served on the American Gas Association’s Sustainable Growth Committee and Electrification Study Group, and currently serves on its Carbon Neutral Strategies Steering Committee. He also serves on the board of the Gas Technology Institute’s (GTI) Utilization Technology Development Group and oversees Spire’s participation in GTI’s Emerging Technology Program, Carbon Management Information Center, and Center for Methane Research.  

International law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges announced Chris Bennett joined the Firm as a partner in the Corporate Department, based in the Houston office. He previously served as a partner in the Energy and Infrastructure practice at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. At Weil, Bennett advises public and private companies, private equity sponsors and other investors on corporate transactions with a focus on upstream and midstream oil and gas sectors. He also counsels clients on mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and other strategic combinations. 

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation appointed Christopher M. Capone as the company’s new president and CEO and promoted Lora Gescheidle to chief financial officer and treasurer. Capone has spent 23 years at the utility as CFO and, as president of its non-regulated CH Enterprises Corp. business, led the buildout of a significant renewable energy business and one of the largest fuel oil distribution businesses in the country. He previously was with Marist College, Bank of New York Mellon and EF Hutton. In her new role, Gescheidle will have executive oversight of Accounting, Treasury and Finance, and Internal Auditing. Gescheidle joined Central Hudson in 2004 as a member of the Internal Audit department. She had served as the utility’s controller since 2014. Crystal Oakes, who served as senior director of Financial Reporting and Tax, replaces Gescheidle as Controller and Treasurer Stacey Renner transitioned to vice president, Innovation and Sustainability. 

JERA Americas, the Houston-based subsidiary of JERA, appointed James Tinsley as its first chief commercial officer. Tinsley joins JERA Americas from Calpine Energy Services, where he served as vice president, Natural Gas Supply and Trading. In his new role, Tinsley will be responsible for all commercial functions for the Company including overseeing commercial development opportunities for existing assets and for future asset portfolios the company may acquire. During his seven years with Calpine, Tinsley led a natural gas supply and trading team of more than 20 people, responsible for natural gas trading, scheduling, and supply for the largest fleet of natural gas power facilities in the United States. 

At NiSource Inc., Shawn Anderson, senior vice president of risk and chief strategy officer, has been named executive vice president and CFO, replacing Donald Brown. Brown was named executive vice president and chief innovation officer, replacing Melody Birmingham, who was appointed executive vice president at NiSource and group president of NiSource Utilities, leading the company’s six-state gas and electric business segments. The company also appointed Michael Luhrs as executive vice president of strategy and risk and chief commercial officer. Luhrs was most recently senior vice president of customer experience and strategy at Alliant Energy Corp. 

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