World-Class Management Team

World-Class Management Team

Venture Global has assembled a first-in-class management team committed to delivering safe, reliable, and low-cost LNG exports. From senior management, to engineering, regulatory, legal, finance and environmental, Venture Global has market-leading expertise in every aspect of the business.

Robert Pender

Co-CEO, Co-Chairman and Founder

Robert (Bob) Pender is the Co-CEO, Co-Chairman and founder of the Company.  Bob previously served as a partner at Hogan Lovells, a global law firm, where he was Co-Leader of its global Energy and Natural Resources team and the Chair and Practice Group Director of its Project & International Finance Group for a decade.  Bob is internationally recognized for his high profile transactional work, focusing on energy infrastructure projects and international power, including nuclear, hydro, gas, LNG, wind, coal and biomass. Bob Pender

He has worked on more than $25 billion in transactions located throughout North America, Central and South America, and South Asia. Bob represented independent power producers, utility affiliates, lenders, equity investors and nation states, such as the Republic of Ecuador, Republic of Guyana and Peoples Republic of China (through SOEs, Sinosure and China Development Bank). Upon joining Venture Global Partners, he also provided pro bono support to the Republic of Haiti, beginning with legal support to the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, the U. S. State Department and then serving as a counselor to the Minister Delegate for Energy Security, Republic of Haiti. Prior to law school, Bob worked as a staff assistant on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics and then on the White House Staff. During law school, he continued on the White House Staff as a law clerk in the Office of Counsel to the President

 

Michael Sabel

Co-CEO, Co-Chairman and Founder

Michael Sabel is a Co-CEO, Co-Chairman and founder of the Company. Mike has over 24 years of experience in capital markets’ transactions including initial public and secondary offerings, public and private M&A transactions, and private equity and venture capital.Michael Sabel Additionally, Mike has experience in the energy, energy technology and financial service sectors in new company formation, technology licensing, and corporate business development. Mike also advised on private equity and M&A transactions for software, technology and real estate companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Mike was previously Executive Vice President of First Sierra Financial, a publicly traded commercial finance company. He was responsible for leading business and e-commerce strategy, public equity market transactions, the company’s active acquisition program, and acted as President of the commercial finance companies acquired in the U.K. Prior to First Sierra, Mike was a Managing Director with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. in the investment banking group, and Vice President, investment banking, with Sandler O’Neil & Partners.

Mike Eberhardt

Chief Financial Officer

Mike Eberhardt is the Chief Financial Officer.  Mike has 27 years of experience advising and auditing utility and manufacturing companies specifically focused on electric, gas, independent power producers and other energy-related business operations such as energy trading and retail services.  Mike has assisted his clients through mergers and acquisitions, IT systems implementations, operational transformations and business and accounting challenges.

EberhardtMike was previously a partner with PwC in the National Utility Practice providing audit and audit related services to his clients as well as advisory services to a number of the top investor owned utilities in the United States.  Mike led the U.S. regulatory practice for PwC assisting clients with state and FERC filing requirements as well as litigation support for accounting dispute resolutions.  Mike has vast experience assisting SEC registrants with financial statement presentation and reporting requirements.

Keith Larson

General Counsel

LarsonKeith-58659-6438Keith Larson serves as General Counsel.  Prior to joining Venture Global LNG, Keith was a partner at Hogan Lovells, a global law firm, heading its infrastructure, energy, resources and projects practice for the Americas.  His previous experience also includes serving as Senior Legal Counsel for Royal Dutch Shell plc at its headquarters in The Hague. Keith has over twenty years of experience advising major energy companies on LNG matters and strategic transactions in the oil and gas sector.  He has been frequently recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers Global, The Legal 500, IFLR and Law360.  Keith received his B.A. from Lafayette College and his J.D. with honors from Syracuse University.

Tom Earl

Chief Commercial Officer, VG LNG Marketing, LLC

Tom Earl is the Chief Commercial Officer of VG LNG Marketing, LLC. Tom previously served as Vice President at the international oil company Total, focusing on the development of its global LNG business.

Tom EarlAfter graduating from City University in London with a degree in Engineering, Tom joined Total’s newly formed gas marketing and trading team in 1998. After various responsibilities within the trading division of the newly combined Total, Elf and Petrofina operations, he managed the natural gas option desk and gas trading desk. Tom successfully led significant commercial negotiations on long-term gas and LNG contracts in countries such as Russia, Norway and Qatar.

In 2006, Tom was appointed Head of Electricity Trading at Total where he led a significant expansion into newly opened power markets across Europe. In 2011, Tom moved to Houston, where he was appointed as head of Total’s North America commodity trading business, including its LNG, gas, power, coal, petcoke and LPG operations. Tom also represented Total in its US LNG liquefaction transactions from 2012 to 2015.

In 2015, Tom was appointed Vice President of Development for Total’s global LNG activities. Tom led Total’s most recent and highly regarded global expansion into new LNG markets. This work has included innovative new LNG terminal projects and new downstream asset transactions across the world.

Fory Musser

Senior Vice President, Development

Fory Musser serves as the company’s Senior Vice President of Development. He has more than 15 years of experience in a variety of financial, strategic planning and business development roles.

MusserFory-56039-1279-214x300Before joining Venture Global LNG, Inc. in September 2014, Fory was the Vice President, Corporate Development for Tervita Corporation, a privately held, leading provider of environmental services to the oil and gas industry in North America. Fory served at Tervita for 4 years and his primary responsibilities included strategic planning, executing corporate acquisitions and divestitures and special projects. Before joining Tervita, Fory served as the Vice President, Strategy for Covanta Energy, one of the world’s largest owners and operators of energy-from-waste facilities and other renewable energy infrastructure. Fory’s primary responsibilities at Covanta included strategic planning, executing corporate acquisitions, and developing new lines of business that complemented existing operations. Fory was with Covanta for 3 years. Fory also worked at The AES Corporation, a global independent power company, for 5 years in a variety of roles, principally focused on project financing, business development, and subsidiary debt restructuring. Before AES, Fory was a banker in the private placement group at Deutsche Bank Alex Brown for 3 years.

Tom Newton

Senior Vice President, Engineering

Tom serves as the company’s Senior Vice President of Engineering. Tom has 33 years experience in the development, construction, and operations of power plants in over 30 countries.

NewtonTom-56251-8088-214x300He has demonstrated success in turn-around and asset optimization situations as an executive with the AES Corporation, where he was responsible for performance improvement of over 120 plants worldwide. Tom also set up and managed construction management teams for $7 billion of capital projects in the Middle East. He is also an engineer and former plant manager with Southern Company. He earned a MBA from University of Notre Dame (2000) and a BSE in mechanical engineering from University of Alabama at Birmingham (1982). Tom is a registered P.E. in the state of Alabama.

John O’Leary

Senior Vice President, Operations

John O’Leary serves as Senior Vice President of Operations.  John has over 35 years experience in the Oil and Gas industry, predominantly with ExxonMobil in Process Engineering and Operations in both the Refining and LNG sectors.  John’s most recently served as COO of Cameron LNG.
olearyjohn-57935-9018

John has been in the LNG sector for nearly 20 years, beginning with the commissioning, start-up and operation of Rasgas Trains 1-3.  He acted in pre-operations planning roles supporting Qatargas II, as well as Gorgon and Cheniere, and most recently oversaw the Operations development at Cameron LNG.  John has an extensive operations background operating Refineries, Gas Plants and LNG facilities.  John is also an expert in Operations readiness, having lead Operations Readiness Reviews of more than 12 facilities including LNG Trains, LNG Regas Facilities and a 12,000 Tonne/Day sulfur storage and loading facility.  John hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Jim Strohman

Senior Vice President, Project Director for Calcasieu Pass

 Jim Strohman serves as the company’s Senior Vice President – Project Director for Calcasieu Pass. Jim has over 25 years’ experience in the energy and transportation industries and recently directed and delivered Dominion Energy’s Cove Point 5.25 mtpa liquefaction project, on time and budget, with a OSHA recordable incident rate of less than 0.45.  To date, Cove Point is the largest construction project for Dominion Energy and also the State of Maryland, with a budget exceeding $4 billion and the involvement of over 10,000 craft workers and 20 million total work hours.

Jim has held leadership positions in engineering, utility operations, gas infrastructure project teams and LNG vessel operations.  As a retired Commander of the US Navy Reserve, Jim held leadership positions in ship and security operations, shipyard operations and directed major command business process inspections.

Jim earned a BS in engineering from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and a MBA from the College of William & Mary.

Leah Woodward

Managing Director, Investor Relations

WoodwardLeah-58658-6418[1]Leah Woodward leads the company’s investor relations efforts and focuses specifically on capital raising activities.  Leah has over a decade of experience across the capital structure and has worked with many of the world’s largest money managers.

Prior to joining the company, Leah was a Managing Director and Head of Institutional Sales at Height Securities, a Washington, D.C.-based broker-dealer and investment bank focused on regulated industries.  In her 8 years at Height, Leah helped to source and market private capital raising transactions, particularly in the oil and gas and alternative energy sectors, and in that capacity worked on Venture Global LNG’s first four capital raises.  Previously, Leah was an institutional salesperson in the Interest Rate Group at BNP Paribas, one of the world’s largest banks, where she marketed a wide variety of credit products.  Leah holds a B.A. in Economics with honors from the University of Virginia and earned her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter in 2010.

 

 

Robert Pender

Co-CEO, Co-Chairman and Founder

Robert (Bob) Pender is the Co-CEO, Co-Chairman and founder of the Company.  Bob previously served as a partner at Hogan Lovells, a global law firm, where he was Co-Leader of its global Energy and Natural Resources team and the Chair and Practice Group Director of its Project & International Finance Group for a decade.  Bob is internationally recognized for his high profile transactional work, focusing on energy infrastructure projects and international power, including nuclear, hydro, gas, LNG, wind, coal and biomass. Bob Pender

He has worked on more than $25 billion in transactions located throughout North America, Central and South America, and South Asia. Bob represented independent power producers, utility affiliates, lenders, equity investors and nation states, such as the Republic of Ecuador, Republic of Guyana and Peoples Republic of China (through SOEs, Sinosure and China Development Bank). Upon joining Venture Global Partners, he also provided pro bono support to the Republic of Haiti, beginning with legal support to the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, the U. S. State Department and then serving as a counselor to the Minister Delegate for Energy Security, Republic of Haiti. Prior to law school, Bob worked as a staff assistant on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics and then on the White House Staff. During law school, he continued on the White House Staff as a law clerk in the Office of Counsel to the President

 

Michael Sabel

Co-CEO, Co-Chairman and Founder

Michael Sabel is a Co-CEO, Co-Chairman and founder of the Company. Mike has over 24 years of experience in capital markets’ transactions including initial public and secondary offerings, public and private M&A transactions, and private equity and venture capital.Michael Sabel Additionally, Mike has experience in the energy, energy technology and financial service sectors in new company formation, technology licensing, and corporate business development. Mike also advised on private equity and M&A transactions for software, technology and real estate companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Mike was previously Executive Vice President of First Sierra Financial, a publicly traded commercial finance company. He was responsible for leading business and e-commerce strategy, public equity market transactions, the company’s active acquisition program, and acted as President of the commercial finance companies acquired in the U.K. Prior to First Sierra, Mike was a Managing Director with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. in the investment banking group, and Vice President, investment banking, with Sandler O’Neil & Partners.

Daniel Poneman

Board Member

Daniel Poneman served as Deputy Secretary of Energy from May 2009 until October 2014, where his responsibilities spanned the range of US energy policies and programs, including cybersecurity, project management, national security,

PonemanDaniel-56446-4082-214x300and international cooperation. His efforts in incident management and emergency response included the Fukushima accident, the 2011 drawdown from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and Hurricane Sandy.  From 2001 to 2009, Mr. Poneman served as a principal of The Scowcroft Group, providing strategic advice to corporations on a wide variety of international projects and transactions. Earlier he practiced law as a partner at Hogan & Hartson in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Poneman served on the National Security Council as Director of Defense Policy and Arms Control under President George H.W. Bush and as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Nonproliferation and Export Controls under President Bill Clinton. He is the author of two books and coauthor of a third, “Going Critical: The First North Korean Nuclear Crisis,” which received the 2005 Douglas Dillon Award for Distinguished Writing on American Diplomacy.

Gregory Kennedy

Board Member

Mr. Kennedy is a senior vice president with PIMCO in the Newport Beach office. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2010, he was a principal at Redrock Capital Management.

Greg Kinear

Previously, Mr. Kennedy was an associate in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs and a senior consultant with Deloitte Consulting. He has 13 years of investment experience and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida.

John Ruggirello

Board Member

John Ruggirello serves on the company’s Board of Directors. John held various management positions with AES Corporation, a global power company, including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

McKay_JohnR_HS_opt-225x300He was responsible for construction and operation of energy infrastructure and power generating plants in twenty countries and served on the Board of Directors for AES subsidiaries and joint ventures in the U.S., Panama, Chile, Northern Ireland, Oman and Qatar. Prior to joining AES, John was Operations Manager for a division of the Diamond Shamrock Corporation.

Jimmy Staton

Board Member

Jimmy Staton serves on the company’s Board of Directors. Jimmy is a highly accomplished business executive with a proven track record of creating and enabling growth strategies and consistent execution.

StatonJimmy-56039-0894-214x300Jimmy has broad based energy experience having been Chief Executive of one of the largest gas distribution systems in the United States, a Midwest electric and gas utility and a major interstate gas pipeline and midstream business. Jimmy previously served as Executive Vice President and Group CEO for NiSource, Inc. While at NiSource, Jimmy was responsible for developing and executing strategies resulting in a portfolio of $25 billion of long-term investment opportunities. In addition, Jimmy developed industry leading marketing and regulatory initiatives. Prior to his tenure at NiSource, Jimmy held several senior executive level positions at Dominion Resources, Inc. where he helped create one of the lowest cost operations in the industry. Jimmy has also been active in industry organizations having served on the Board of Directors for the Edison Electric Institute, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the American Gas Association, the American Gas Foundation and the Southern Gas Association.

Terry Newendorp

In Memoriam

We are saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend and colleague. Terry Newendorp was the founder of Taylor-DeJongh and has more than 35 years of experience in international and cross-border capital investments, project and structured financing, corporate financing and private placements of capital.  He has negotiated and closed deals in 75 countries, aggregating more than $250 billion, primarily in the oil & gas, petrochemicals, energy, metals & mining and infrastructure sectors.  In addition to extensi28946b6ve experience organizing and structuring commercial bank loans globally, he has strong experience with multilateral financing institutions and the export credit agencies of most of the developed world. He has extensive experience assisting clients in managing the project development process and in closing transactions.  He has been the financial advisor for 27 trains of LNG production, having worked with or advised most of the major IOC sponsors of LNG projects globally since 1994, as well as advisories on numerous LNG receiving terminals for gas utilities or buyers in 10 countries. Terry has also supervised over 240 IPP financial advisories and over 26,000 km of pipelines for project financing.  He has been the overall leader for project finance teams that have won 14 “Deal of the Year” awards since 1999. Under his leadership, Taylor-DeJongh ranked in the top 20 financial institutions in the world for total value of project finance advisories over the 10 year period 2004-2013 (PFI League Tables).  Among Terry’s awards are: “Independent Energy 25-year All-Star Award” for energy finance, Infrastructure Journal’s “Oil and Gas Advisor of the Year, 2003,” Leader of “Superstar Team, Asia/Middle East Oil and Gas,” Infrastructure Journal’s “Latin America Advisor of the Year, 2001,” and numerous other international accolades for success in energy finance globally. He is on the Board of Directors of investment funds and energy companies, and he has advised the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on energy security issues.