Board of Directors
Jack A. Fusco is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Fusco serves as a director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cheniere Energy, Inc. (“Cheniere”). Mr. Fusco is also a manager, President and Chief Executive Officer of the general partner of Sabine Pass LNG, L.P. and Chief Executive Officer of Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC. Mr. Fusco received recognition as Best CEO in the electric industry by Institutional Investor in 2012 as ranked by all industry analysts and for Best Investor Relations by a CEO or Chairman among all mid-cap companies by IR Magazine in 2013.
Mr. Fusco served as Chief Executive Officer of Calpine Corporation (“Calpine”) from August 2008 to May 2014 and as Executive Chairman of Calpine from May 2014 through May 11, 2016. Mr. Fusco served as a member of the board of directors of Calpine from August 2008 until March 2018, when the sale of Calpine to an affiliate of Energy Capital Partners and a consortium of other investors was completed. Mr. Fusco was recruited by Calpine’s key shareholders in 2008, just as that company was emerging from bankruptcy. Calpine grew to become America’s largest generator of electricity from natural gas, safely and reliably meeting the needs of an economy that demands cleaner, more fuel-efficient and dependable sources of electricity. As Chief Executive Officer of Calpine, Mr. Fusco managed a team of approximately 2,300 employees and led one of the largest purchasers of natural gas in America, a successful developer of new gas-fired power generation facilities and a company that prudently managed the inherent commodity trading and balance sheet risks associated with being a merchant power producer.
Mr. Fusco’s career of over 30 years in the energy industry began with his employment at Pacific Gas & Electric Company upon graduation from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1984. He joined Goldman Sachs 13 years later as a Vice President with responsibility for commodity trading and marketing of wholesale electricity, a role that led to the creation of Orion Power Holdings, an independent power producer that Mr. Fusco helped found with backing from Goldman Sachs, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer from 1998-2002. In 2004, he was asked to serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Texas Genco LLC by a group of private institutional investors, and successfully managed the transition of that business from a subsidiary of a regulated utility to a strong and profitable independent company, generating a more than 5-fold return for shareholders upon its merger with NRG in 2006.
James R. Ball is the Chairman of our Executive Committee and a member of our Conflicts Committee. Mr. Ball has served as a senior advisor to Tachebois Limited, an energy and equities advisory firm since 2011. Mr. Ball served as a Non-Executive Director of Gas Strategies Group Ltd, a professional services company providing commercial energy advisory services, from September 2011 to June 2013. From 1988 until August 2011, he also served as an Executive Director of Gas Strategies Group. Mr. Ball is a Fellow of the Energy Institute and Companion of the Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers. Mr. Ball received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado and an M.S. from City University Business School (now Cass Business School).
Eric Bensaude is a Director. Mr. Bensaude joined Cheniere in September 2013 and currently serves as Managing Director, Commercial Operations and Asset Optimization of Cheniere Marketing Ltd., a subsidiary of Cheniere. Mr. Bensaude has more than 20 years of experience in the energy, oil and natural gas trading and marketing business. Prior to joining Cheniere, Mr. Bensaude served as Head of Global LNG at EDF Trading where he set up and ran the LNG trading and marketing department. Previous assignments include: General Manager for natural gas and LNG origination. Prior to EDF Trading, Mr. Bensaude was an Associate at Booz Allen & Hamilton in the Energy Practice, working on a variety of gas & power assignments. Mr. Bensaude started his career in energy as a trader of middle distillates for Total and previously served as the representative for the French bank, Société Générale, in Canton, PR of China. He held the position of Vice-Chairman of the European Federation of Energy Traders Gas Committee while at EDF Trading. He holds an MBA from ESSEC, business school in France, and studied Mandarin at Paris 7 Jussieu.
Jamie Welch is a member of our Executive Committee. Mr. Welch currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of EagleClaw Midstream Ventures LLC and previously served as its President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Welch was the Group Chief Financial Officer and Head of Business Development for the Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (“ETE”) family from June 2013 to February 2016. Mr. Welch also served on the Board of Directors of ETE, Energy Transfer Partners, and Sunoco Logistics from June 2013 to February 2016. Before joining ETE, Mr. Welch was Head of the EMEA Investment Banking Department and Head of the Global Energy Group at Credit Suisse. He was also a member of the Investment Banking Division Global Management Committee and the EMEA Operating Committee. Mr. Welch joined Credit Suisse First Boston in 1997 from Lehman Brothers Inc. in New York, where he was a Senior Vice President in the global utilities & project finance group. Prior to that he was an attorney with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (New York) and a barrister and solicitor with Minter Ellison in Melbourne, Australia.
Lon McCain is the Chairman of our Audit Committee and a member of our Conflicts Committee. Mr. McCain was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ellora Energy Inc., a private, independent exploration and production company from July 2009 to August 2010. Prior to that, he was Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of Westport Resources Corporation, a publicly traded exploration and production company, from 2001 until the sale of that company to Kerr-McGee Corporation in 2004. From 1992 until joining Westport, Mr. McCain was Senior Vice President and Principal of Petrie Parkman & Co., an investment banking firm specializing in the oil and gas industry. From 1978 until joining Petrie Parkman, Mr. McCain held senior financial management positions with Presidio Oil Company, Petro-Lewis Corporation and Ceres Capital. He is currently on the board of directors of Contango Oil and Gas Company, a publicly traded oil and natural gas exploration and production company into which Crimson Exploration, Inc. was merged effective October 2, 2013. Mr. McCain served on the board of Crimson Exploration, Inc. from 2005 until the merger with Contango. Mr. McCain also currently serves on the board of directors of Continental Resources, Inc., a publicly traded oil and natural gas exploration and production company. During the past five years, he served as Director of Transzap, Inc., a privately held provider of digital data and electronic payment solutions. Mr. McCain received a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Denver. Mr. McCain was also an Adjunct Professor of Finance at the University of Denver from 1982 to 2005.
Philip Meier is a member of our Executive Committee. Mr. Meier is President of Meier Consulting LLC and is currently providing technical and project management advice to Blackstone with respect to the Liquefaction Project. From 2007 to 2012 Mr. Meier was Senior Vice President Projects with Woodside Energy (“Woodside”), an oil and gas company in Perth Western Australia, where he was accountable for delivery of all Woodside construction projects (both LNG and offshore). Prior to joining Woodside Energy, he spent 25 years with Bechtel at various levels culminating as Project Manager of Egyptian LNG Train 2. Mr. Meier received a BSCE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. in Finance and International Business from the University of Houston.
John-Paul R. Munfa is a member of our Executive Committee. Mr. Munfa is a Managing Director in the Private Equity Group of The Blackstone Group L.P., an investment and advisory firm. Mr. Munfa joined Blackstone in 2004 and was an employee in its Restructuring & Reorganization and Private Equity Groups from 2004 to 2009. Mr. Munfa re-joined Blackstone in 2011 after receiving an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Mr. Munfa also received an A.B. in Economics from Harvard University.
Vincent Pagano, Jr. is the Chairman of our Conflicts Committee and a member of our Audit Committee. Mr. Pagano served as a senior corporate partner of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, a law firm, with a focus on capital markets transactions and public company advisory matters from 1981 until his retirement at the end of 2012. Mr. Pagano earned a law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School and a B.S. in Engineering, summa cum laude, from Lehigh University and an M.S. in Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Pagano also serves as a director of L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc., a publicly traded defense company, and Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc., a publicly traded homebuilding company.
Oliver G. Richard, III is a member of our Audit Committee and Conflicts Committee. Mr. Richard is the owner and president of Empire of the Seed LLC, a private consulting firm in the energy and management industries. Mr. Richard has served as Chairman of Cleanfuel USA, an alternative vehicular fuel company, since September 2007. Mr. Richard served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Columbia Energy Group, a natural gas company, from 1995 until 2000. Mr. Richard was a Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 1982 until 1985. Mr. Richard received a B.S. in Journalism, a J.D. from Louisiana State University and an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University. Mr. Richard currently, serves as a Director of Buckeye Partners, L.P., publicly traded petroleum product pipeline and terminal company, and American Electric Power Company, Inc., a publicly traded electric utility.
Aaron Stephenson is a Director and Senior Vice President, Operations. Mr. Stephenson joined Cheniere in April 2013 as Director, Production, Sabine Pass Operations, leading the effort to prepare for liquefaction operations. In May 2016, he moved into the position of Vice President and General Manager for Sabine Pass facility. Mr. Stephenson has over 40 years of experience in the energy industry, focusing for the past 17 years on LNG. He has worked in various locations around the world, including Yemen, London, and Peru. Before joining Cheniere, he served as Plant Manager at Peru LNG. His professional experience includes filling the roles of LNG Plant Manager, E&P Manager, Commissioning Manager, Plant Engineering Manager, and Project Engineer. Prior company affiliations include Cities Service Oil Co., Oxy USA, and Hunt Oil Co. Mr. Stephenson has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lamar University.
Michael J. Wortley is a Director and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Wortley currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Cheniere. Mr. Wortley joined Cheniere in February 2005. Mr. Wortley served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from January 2014 to September 2016. He served as Vice President, Strategy and Risk of Cheniere from January 2013 to January 2014 and as Vice President-Business Development of Cheniere and President of Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cheniere, from September 2011 to January 2013. He served as Vice President-Strategic Planning from January 2009 to September 2011 and Manager-Strategic New Business from August 2007 to January 2009. Prior to joining Cheniere in February 2005, Mr. Wortley spent five years in oil and gas corporate development, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (“Anadarko”), a publicly-traded oil and gas exploration and production company. Mr. Wortley began his career with Union Pacific Resources Corporation, a publicly-traded oil and gas exploration and production company subsequently acquired by Anadarko. Mr. Wortley received a B.B.A. in Finance from Southern Methodist University.