Meet the Team

Bobby Vichich serves as Vice President for CruzAlta. He has more than 31 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Bobby earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. He went on to work for ExxonMobil, Lyondell/Equistar, AP-Networks, before joining Refined Technologies and spearheading the launch of the consulting business line, CruzAlta.

Bobby has planned, executed, managed, and consulted more than two hundred turnarounds globally during his career. He is a recognized industry expert in turnaround management practices and has a passion for leading teams and driving operations excellence improvement. Bobby actively leads CruzAlta’s turnaround shutdown and startup consulting business.

Valerie Pompa serves as Vice President for CruzAlta, focusing on Digital Consulting and Leadership Development programs. A chemical engineering major, Valerie started her career as a Process Engineer at Marathon Petroleum before moving on to Citgo Corporation, where she served in a number of roles with increasing responsibility. In 2001, Valerie began working for Flint Hills Resources, where she spent more than 17 years in roles including Vice President, Innovation and Technology.

In 2018, Valerie started her company, VAP Solutions, LLC., where she provides consulting services to oil and gas clients, and other various industries, coaching them to grow through the development of leadership capability, operational efficiency improvement, and execution of innovative ideas. She joined the CruzAlta team in January of 2019 and has been an integral piece of the launch of the company.

Christopher Ridley serves as a Senior Consultant for CruzAlta. He has more than 10 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Christopher earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and started his career at Shell, where he served six years. From 2011 to 2016, Christopher was a Turnaround Operations Coordinator for Motiva, before joining Refined Technologies as a Director of Operations. Christopher has been instrumental in providing data analytics for further research on turnaround best practices.

Bob O’Brien serves as a Senior Consultant for CruzAlta. Bob has more than 40 years of experience in the refining industry and has worked at all levels of the organization.  Bob has led multiple teams and organizations to produce vastly improved performance results in safety, reliability, and yields/energy.  Bob’s focus is on coaching and developing leaders and ensuring processes are clear to ensure sustainable and winning results.  Bob has worked at Shell, HollyFrontier, Marathon/Ashland, and Solomon Associates over his career.

Jeff McGee has 36 years in the oil and gas industry. His experience includes roles in the Shell Turnarounds as the Global Operations Turnaround Advisor for the last 3 years. In this role, Jeff brought Operational best practices to the Shell Downstream sites globally, including advising sites on strategy, operational organizations, and turnaround preparation and execution.

Jeff has a passion for creating value for the client and leveraging opportunities to capture margins. He thrives on bringing innovation to clients that will help them with predictable outcomes and competitive durations.

Walter L. (Rusty) serves as a Senior Consultant for Cruz Alta. He has more than 40 plus years in the Oil & Gas industry, which includes a variety of roles in rotating equipment, maintenance, and projects. For the last 20 years, Rusty has worked specifically in the turnaround aspect of the refinery business. Rusty’s early years of experience in turnaround operations allowed him to see firsthand the transformation of the process from the early stages to now becoming a highly specialized skill with layers of work processes and assurance checks. Rusty was instrumental in the Shell Global Chemical work process, development, and roll-out, which reached significant noteworthy heights. Before leaving Shell, Rusty served as the Site Turnaround Manager at the Motiva Port Arthur Refinery. At this refinery, Rusty overcame a major challenge to lead the integration of the Crude expansion project units into the base plant turnaround strategy, all while managing an average yearly spend of $150MM.

Rusty’s experience and passion drive him to coach and mentor others to achieve better results in leading turnaround strategy, planning, and execution.