John A. Brush
|Mr. John A. Brush is currently serving a two year term as a non-executive independent Director for the Corporation. Mr. Brush brings the experience of a distinguished twenty-two year career in oil and gas law to the Board of Directors.|
Mr. Brush is currently in private practice as an attorney and consultant in the energy business whose clients include CDX Gas International, LLC and Express Drilling Systems, LLC and other large and small oil and gas exploration and production companies, entrepreneurs and foreign government agencies. Earlier, Mr. Brush served as Vice President and General Counsel for Forcenergy, Inc. While serving in this capacity, Mr. Brush managed day to day corporate legal issues, designed and implemented land acquisition and marketing strategies, coordinated an initial public offering, and evaluated government marketing, transportation and royalty regulations.
Mr. Brush has extensive experience in business development activities having worked over nineteen years with several premier independent oil and gas companies including Apache Corporation, Hamilton Brothers Oil Co., The Superior Oil Company and Michigan Wisconsin Pipe Line Company. Areas of experience in this environment include dealing with multinational corporations, various U.S. and foreign government agencies and ministries, opposing counsels, co-venturers, insurers and financial institutions. Mr. Brush’s legal experience during this time include joint operating agreements, oil and gas exploration concessions, natural gas, oil, sulfur and liquids sales royalties, processing plant agreements, joint bidding agreements, farm-out agreements, settlement agreements, public offerings and private financing, risk management including hedging strategies, acquisitions, divestitures and mergers. Mr. Brush also has extensive experience marketing oil, natural gas, liquids and sulfur in the United States, Asia, Canada and Europe.
Mr. Brush’s international experience includes review and negotiation of deals in Albania, Aruba, Australia, Bangladesh, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Cameroon, Chile, Croatia, Dagastan, Ecuador, Egypt, England, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Scotland, Suriname, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela.
John A. Brush graduated from the South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas with a Juris Doctorate Degree. Mr. Brush completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Mr. Brush has been admitted to the State Bar of Texas and is a member of the American Bar Association and the Houston Bar Association. He is also a member of the American Corporate Counsel Association, the American Association of Professional Landmen, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, the Natural Gas Association of Houston and New Orleans and the Houston Producers Forum.
|Mr. Cedoz, a practicing attorney, is currently serving as Vice President for Operations and a Director of GWEST (Global Water & Energy Strategy Team). Mr. Cedoz is a co-founder of GWEST whose principal business is providing energy security policy analysis and business development consulting services to energy companies, financial institutions, and foreign governments. |
In addition to writing on Alberta’s oil sands projects and the importance of U.S.-Canadian energy relations, Mr. Cedoz was recently the keynote speaker at the world’s largest oil and gas trade show, Calgary’s Global Petroleum Show in June of 2006. He was also the keynote speaker for the Independent Power Producers Society of Alberta’s Tenth Annual Conference in Banff in March of 2004. Since then he has made many presentations to prestigious groups on U.S. energy security issues including the New York Society of Security Analysts and the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. In December 2005 he was interviewed on camera by Emmy winner Bob Simon of CBS News 60 Minutes for a story on the Albertan oil sands.
He has also been interviewed on several television and radio programs including Calgary’s Global TV and the CBC, and for many publications including Canada’s National Post and Macleans, and has written for others including the South China Morning Post and Alberta Oil Magazine. In March 2006, Mr. Cedoz’s article “Thinking Beyond OPEC,” which provides recommendations for American energy security and foreign policy strategy, was featured in the prestigious Journal of International Security Affairs. Portions of the article were featured in the 25th Anniversary issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.
Mr. Cedoz is currently working on energy security policy initiatives including development of unconventional resources in the United States.
Prior to founding GWEST in 2002, Mr. Cedoz was with a major Wall Street firm managing individual, corporate, non-profit and high net worth assets. From February 2000 to October 2001, Mr. Cedoz served as Executive Director of a Washington-based public policy institute focusing on U.S. energy security and foreign policy. In 1999 and 2000, Mr. Cedoz was employed by Thompson, O'Donnell, Markham, Norton & Hannon, a Washington law firm specializing in civil defense litigation.
Mr. Cedoz received his Juris Doctor degree from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America, in Washington, DC. His area of specialty was securities and corporate finance. Mr. Cedoz completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) in history and political science.
He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife Jennifer.
Charles R. Close
|Mr. Charles R. Close is currently serving a two year term as a non-executive independent director of the Corporation. Mr. Close brings the experience of a distinguished career in accounting and taxation expertise specific to the energy business to the Board of Directors.|
Mr. Close is the owner of C. R. Close & Associates, PC ("Close & Associates"), a certified public accounting practice located in Houston, Texas specializing in the energy industry. Mr. Close has been continuously employed in that practice for thirteen years. The business activities of Close & Associates focus on tax financial reporting issues, federal and state tax planning and compliance, transaction analysis and support, and federal and state audit support. The client base includes large public independent oil and gas companies, a public multi-national pipeline company and energy related service companies.
Close & Associates also provides full financial support for a privately owned domestic oil and gas company and an energy service company. Duties for the domestic oil and gas company include oversight and preparation of the monthly financials and joint interest billings, cash management, tax planning and compliance and coordination of banking relationships. Duties for the private energy service company include the oversight of daily accounting operations, preparation of the monthly financial package for investors, oversight and coordination of the annual operating budget, interaction and coordination of banking relationships, and management of working capital. Other management duties include business development, compensation planning to include structuring of employee non-qualified compensation plans, contract negotiations, international tax structuring, coordination and management of legal issues, and long term strategic planning.
Prior to starting Close & Associates in 1993, Mr. Close enjoyed a successful twelve year tenure with Price Waterhouse in Texas. During his time at Price Waterhouse, Mr. Close advanced to the position of Senior Tax Manager in the Petroleum Industry Services Group. Responsibilities included tax planning, transactional analysis, consultation and compliance for both multi-national and domestic oil and gas exploration and production companies and for several oil field service companies.
Mr. Close’s international experience includes negotiation and financial structuring to include financial reporting and tax compliance of deals in Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan, Mexico, and Peru.
Mr. Close graduated from the University of Texas in 1980 with a Bachelor's Degree of Business Administration (Accounting) and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Chris A. Dittmar
Director / Chief Executive Officer
|Mr. Chris A. Dittmar is currently serving a three year term as a Director and additionally is serving as Chief Executive Officer for the Corporation.|
Prior to his involvement with the Corporation, Mr. Dittmar served as CEO of Alliance Energy Corporation (“Alliance”), a privately held family corporation organized to acquire and develop vertically integrated energy assets. Alliance currently holds interests onshore Texas and Oklahoma and off shore Louisiana.
In 2006, Mr. Dittmar in his capacity as limited partner and financial advisor to East Cameron Partners, LP. completed the first ever Sharia-compliant securitized market financing of assets (“Sukuk”) based in the United States. The $165.7 million dollar Sukuk securitized Gulf of Mexico leasehold interests and reserves in a producing natural gas and condensate field 20 miles offshore the State of Louisiana. The offering was led by Merrill Lynch as sole book runner, structured by BSEC, a Lebanese based investment bank and rated by Standard & Poor’s. The Sukuk was structured so that Islamic investors effectively received a fixed rate of return while being considered owners of the underlying assets. The transaction attracted Islamic as well as several conventional investors in the United States and Europe.
Mr. Dittmar was the Chairman, President and CEO of Xavier Corporation from 1993-1997. Xavier was an independent exploration and production corporation principally engaged in the acquisition and development of natural resources in the Former Soviet Union. It entered into joint ventures and technical service agreements with Russian entities for the exclusive exploration, development, production, processing and marketing of oil and gas reserves in excess of two billion barrels. While with Xavier, Mr. Dittmar developed the corporate business plan and raised $100 million dollars of equity and debt financing for the Corporation. Mr. Dittmar also has extensive experience recruiting and managing senior management teams required to implement large-scale international operations.
Prior to 1993, Mr. Dittmar managed family oil and gas investments and has held previous positions as Assistant Controller for Occidental Chemical Company and Audit Manager for Occidental Petroleum Corporation as well as Senior Accountant at Aluminum Company of America.
Mr. Dittmar graduated from Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio with a Juris Doctor. Mr. Dittmar completed his undergraduate studies at Iowa State University graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance. He is an active member in the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators and the World Affairs Council of Houston.