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Meet Our Team

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Bobby Vichich | Managing Partner

Bobby Vichich serves as Managing Partner for CruzAlta. He has more than 32 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Bobby’s interest in Turnaround Excellence started back in 1992 during his first turnaround while working at Exxon. Including 15 years as an owner/operator executing several turnarounds and outages, in his career Bobby has planned, executed, managed, and consulted on more than two hundred turnarounds globally. He is a recognized industry expert in turnaround management practices and has a passion for helping build and optimize turnaround teams and enabling turnaround and operational excellence improvement. In 2018, Bobby joined Refined Technologies and spearheaded the launch of the turnaround consulting firm, CruzAlta.

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Bethany Schuttinga, PhD | Senior Partner

Dr. Bethany Schuttinga serves as Senior Partner and Head of ESG practice for CruzAlta. She has served in a variety of global executive administrative leadership positions and has consulted for several for-profit and non-profit organizations over the past 20+ years. She served for a number of years as the Director of Judicial Affairs at Iowa State University and also worked abroad for a large multinational conglomerate in SE Asia. Within her various roles, she has provided expertise and guidance for the C-suite on issues related to board governance, talent acquisition, economic development, strategic planning, marketing, leadership development, finance and human resources. As an academic leader, Dr. Schuttinga is active as a researcher and is proficient in technical writing and policy analysis. Bethany currently maintains a presence in both the public and private sectors where she serves as a Partner and Team Lead for ESG efforts at Anduril Partners and as the President of Avail Academy in Minneapolis, MN. Bethany holds a PhD from Iowa State University, an MS from Minnesota State University and a BA from Dordt University. She is also a graduate of the Harvard Leadership Institute.

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Brian Baca | Senior Operations Consultant

Brian Baca is a Senior Operations Consultant for CruzAlta. He has 40 years of experience in the petrochemical industry, where he served in a variety of roles including operations, projects, safety, training, and turnarounds. During the last 10 years of his career, Brian served as the Corporate Operations Turnaround SME, and frequently filled the role as Turnaround Manager. While serving in this role, Brian provided TA advisory, leadership, execution, and support to Chevron Phillips’s facilities across the globe. During his time in the Middle East, Brian was instrumental in sharing of best practices, executing readiness assessments, gathering lessons learned, challenging and optimizing worklist and schedule, as well as onsite turnaround execution. Brian’s robust operations background enables him to be extremely effective and efficient at challenging and optimizing turnaround shutdown and startup practices and timelines and permitting practices to maximize field productivity. Brian joined CruzAlta after retirement and has provided significant value to clients through  TA Bookend optimization, TA Operations coaching, TA readiness reviews, and TA Execution oversight and advisory.

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Tom Benson | Senior Consultant  

Tom Benson serves as a senior consultant for CruzAlta. He has over 35 years of oil and gas experience. He worked for ExxonMobil focusing in the areas of turnarounds, reliability, and maintenance of fixed and rotating equipment. He worked with all of ExxonMobil’s North American refineries, including multiple management positions at two of the largest refineries in the United States. Tom led some of ExxonMobil's largest refinery turnarounds integrated with large capital projects in the mid-2000s. In the span of five years, he was responsible for almost $700 million of turnaround investment. After a special assignment focused on circuit reliability improvements, Tom spent the next four years leading the turnaround and major maintenance activities for the Baytown complex (~$150-$200M/yr). In 2015 he became the Mechanical Manager at the Esso Canada (Imperial) Strathcona refinery with responsibility for all turnaround, maintenance, and reliability decisions at the refinery. In the final few years of his career, he was the lead reliability and maintenance advisor for eight different North American refineries. His responsibilities included helping sites implement practices to improve turnaround effectiveness and efficiency, eliminate unplanned downtimes, and maximize the profitability of facilities through increasing equipment reliability, implementing equipment strategies and intelligently performing equipment maintenance. He is passionate about mentoring individuals to improve their skills and helping sites achieve better results. Tom is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Iowa State University and received an MBA from University of Houston–Clear Lake.  

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Andrew Frost | Director of Turnaround Consulting

Andrew Frost serves as Director of Turnaround Consulting for CruzAlta. He has 13 years of experience with ExxonMobil in turnaround planning and advising for all Upstream Assets across the globe, both inland and offshore. Andrew has significant experience in turnaround planning, which includes establishing templates and workflows for use to service the Upstream. Andrew provides technical consulting and advisory services for CruzAlta’s work in upstream and offshore markets. He is a graduate of Texas Tech University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA.

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Dan McDonald

Dan McDonald has over 31 years of experience in the petrochemical, refining and power generation industries. He served in operations management, turnaround operations management, maintenance, business planning, logistics, and environmental compliance. Dan held leadership roles in 20+ turnarounds, maintenance outages and major capital projects, several of which were more than 200,000 direct man-hours. His roles in business planning and logistics management have provided Dan a high level of knowledge in vision/premise development, scope development, and project analysis, along with operations execution. Dan joined the CruzAlta team in March 2022.

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Jeff McGee | Senior Consultant

Jeff McGee serves as Senior Consultant for CruzAlta. He 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.

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Bill McNally | Senior Consultant 

Bill McNally serves as a Senior Consultant for CruzAlta. Bill has 33 years of experience in the petrochemical industry with Shell, at locations in California and Alberta, Canada. Bill has held leadership roles in engineering, operations, projects, and turnarounds and has supported over 50 turnarounds in these functions. Bill spent the better part of the last decade on Site Leadership Teams and understands the importance of working across organizational boundaries to achieve top tier turnarounds. Bill believes leadership commitment is key in delivering successful turnarounds, meeting milestones with high-quality deliverables provides a pathway to turnaround readiness, and that honest, timely feedback up and down the organization is a “gift” in achieving any important goal. Bill and his wife Laura have 5 children and reside along the shores of the Puget Sound in Washington. Bill enjoys running, boating, paddle boarding, golfing, and woodworking.

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Bob O’Brien | Senior Consultant

Bob O’Brien 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.

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Walter L. (Rusty) Reed | Senior Consultant

Rusty Reed serves as a Senior Consultant for CruzAlta. He has more than 40 years in the oil and 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.

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Charley Warner | Senior Consultant

Charley Warner serves as a Senior Consultant for CruzAlta. He has more than 30 years in the refining industry, which includes his time at Texaco, Star Enterprise, Shell Oil, and Saudi Aramco. His most recent role was with Refined Technologies, where he served as Director of Mechanical for the Gulf Coast and East Coast regions. Charley has a wide range of experience with multiple units, including Sulfuric Alky, FCCU, Reformer Delayed Coker, and Crude. He is passionate about utilizing the lessons he’s learned throughout his years of experience to implement best practices for process improvement.

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Kendal Williams | Director of Turnaround Consulting

Kendal Williams joined the CruzAlta team in 2020 where he serves as the Director of Turnaround Consulting and leads the Operations Team. Kendal started his career with DuPont and now has over 23 years of experience in the petrochemical industry. He served for the first 16 years in various roles, including operations and providing leadership for numerous turnarounds and capital projects. Kendal's last few years were spent working in the plant as the Operations Turnaround Manager where he led the site’s operations teams through shutdown/startup preparations. In 2016 Kendal joined Refined Technologies, and shortly thereafter, became a Director of Operations where he led many of RTI’s improvement initiatives. Throughout his career, he has planned, executed, and consulted in over 100 different turnarounds across North America. Kendal understands the value of leadership and displays a high passion for helping clients set up their teams for the most predictable outcomes possible.

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