Armen Nahabedian, President & CEO: A fourth generation California oil and gas explorer, Mr. Nahabedian grew up with geology and well logs as dinner table conversation. He joined his family’s oil company, Nahabedian Exploration Group (NEG), at age 22 and was almost immediately successful in his early exploration efforts. He soon became a regional supervisor, managing the drilling operations for some of the deepest exploratory wells in California in the mid 2000s. In 2007, Mr. Nahabedian joined NEG as a partner and supervised land acquisition efforts (over 750,000 acres leased or optioned) and prospect generation. He continued to act as an operational supervisor and took on additional responsibilities in business development and finance until the formation of Citadel. Mr. Nahabedian is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, and served as an infantry corporal and platoon translator in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Philip J. McPherson, CFO, Secretary, Treasurer and Director: Mr. McPherson joined COIL with nearly two decades of experience in the capital markets and financial services sectors. He started his career as a retail stock broker with Mission Capital in 1997 and became partner before it was acquired by oil and gas boutique C. K. Cooper & Company. At C.K. Cooper, Mr. McPherson was a research analyst specializing in small cap exploration & production companies. In 2007, he joined Global Hunter Securities as a partner and managing director of the energy research group. During his Wall Street career, Mr. McPherson was presented the Wall Street Journal “Best on the Street” Award. He was named a Zack’s 5-Star Analyst for three consecutive years. He is a recognized expert on California E&P firms. Mr. McPherson received his Bachelors in Economics from East Carolina University.
James Walesa, Chairman of the Board: Mr. Walesa has more than three decades of experience in financial services with an emphasis on the energy industry. He started in 1982 with First Investors (FIC) as a registered representative in Chicago and became the youngest vice president in firm history at age 26. He left FIC to form Asset Management & Protection Corporation (AMPC) in May 1988. AMPC started from scratch and today manages over $500 million. Mr. Walesa entered the energy industry in 1992 in the Permian Basin. He and some of his clients were original investors in Basic Energy Services (BAS: NYSE) and Southwest Royalties, now part of Clayton Williams Energy (CWE: NYSE). He is also a founding member of the Offshore Energy Center in Galveston, Texas. Mr. Walesa and AMPC clients continue to provide startup capital for energy related companies and was an original investor in Citadel’s first offering. Mr. Walesa previously served on the board of NASDAQ-traded Financial Assurance and several private companies. He was the Chicago Chairman for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and is a member of the Alzheimer’s Alois Society in recognition of his leadership and support of the Alzheimer’s Association to prevent and cure dementia related disease.
Daniel L. Szymanski, Director: Dan Szymanski joined Citadel Exploration Inc. with over 20 years of industry experience, including exploration and production assignments with Tenneco and Chevron, and worldwide exploration with Occidental. He served as Manager of Business Development, then Manager-Financial Planning and Analysis at Oxy’s Headquarters in Los Angeles. Mr. Szymanski’s duties at OXY included Asset Manager for 42 oil and gas fields producing in California’s San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys. Since 2008, he has been a consultant to the oil and gas industry and partner in a seismic data firm, positions he holds contemporaneous to his role with COIL. Mr. Szymanski holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters in Geophysics from Purdue University.
James Borgna, Director: Mr. Borgna is a third-generation oil and gas industry supplier and producer. Mr. Borgna currently owns and operates KVOS, LLC which supplies production facilities and process equipment in California. He specializes in scalable facilities that are fabricated in-house, and has supervised the fabrication of oil and gas facilities for many of the major operators in the San Joaquin Basin. Prior to joining his family’s enterprise, Mr. Borgna served six years in the United States Navy.