Meet the 2019 Judges

  • Chad Burke
    Economic Alliance Houston Port Region
    Chad Burke CEO
    Economic Alliance Houston Port Region
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    As President and CEO of the Economic Alliance since 2009, Mr. Burke is responsible for oversight and direction of operational and financial considerations of the organization. The Economic Alliance is the economic development corporation for the Houston Ship Channel region; home to the nation’s largest petrochemical complex and second largest port. The mission of the Economic Alliance is to grow the regional economy by attracting new businesses and creating an environment where existing businesses can expand.

    There are over 250 members of the Economic Alliance, including 12 cities, Harris County, and the Port of Houston Authority.

    A graduate of Texas A & M University, Mr. Burke earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. He and his wife Shannon (who is an avid barrel racer) have two children, CJ who attended the US Naval Academy and in now serving in the Navy, and Jolie who is a Junior at Texas A&M University.

  • Steve Cabano
    Steve Cabano President
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    Mr. Cabano is President/Chief Operating Officer and has over 30 years direct Project Management experience for Owner, Contractor and government clients in the Petroleum, Petrochemical, Chemical, Environmental, Power, Pharmaceutical, Industrial and Commercial industries.

    Mr. Cabano has been a key project team member on many domestic and international largescale project consulting assignments for Pathfinder. Recently, as part of a team providing comprehensive project management services, Mr. Cabano led the effort in developing and documenting a complete project delivery system for a US-based Owner organization. This effort included facilitating a gap assessment, as well as mapping the project steps from inception to project completion. Also, Mr. Cabano has provided hands-on support to several contracting assignments by preparing bid packages and assisting with contractor evaluation and selection. Further, he has developed and prepared several project execution plans for a variety of projects including a facility expansion and a grassroots project initiative.

    In addition, Mr. Cabano headed up Pathfinder's training division, the International Project Management Academy (IPMA). In his role as Manager of IPMA, Mr. Cabano designed, developed and presented over 500 customized training programs, with total enrollment exceeding 15,000 participants, for both owner and contractor organizations, domestically and internationally. All of these training sessions are tailored to the clients’ particular needs and focus areas, utilizing actual client projects. Either as a lead facilitator or in a support function, Mr. Cabano has successfully presented these sessions in 3 to 5-day workshops as well as 4- week complete full submergence programs.

    Also, as Manager of IPMA, Mr. Cabano had responsibility for the design, development, and rollout of client Project Management Processes and Project Management Manuals. He has been involved in over 40 of these efforts. Mr. Cabano has developed these processes and manuals, as well as reviewed and evaluated existing documents as to their applicability to large and small project environments.

    Mr. Cabano has led a number of Pathfinder Project Control efforts including the development of Project Control Processes and systems. Mr. Cabano assisted in the development of the GlaxoSmithKline and Chevron Project Control Process and training program and co-facilitated the training on an annual basis. Mr. Cabano also co-facilitated the ChevronPhillips Chemical Cost Estimating training program which is presented on a quarterly basis. Mr. Cabano also facilitates a number of Project Control related training sessions for various international societies/organizations.

    Mr. Cabano leads the Pathfinder effort for consolidating industry proven "Best Practices”, and “Value Improving Practices” tools and techniques for utilization in various training and consulting assignments. This information is collected from sources such as the Construction Industry Institute (CII), the Project Management Institute (PMI), Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACEI), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA), Society of American Value Engineers (SAVE), as well as other renowned organizations.

    Prior to joining Pathfinder, Mr. Cabano was a Project Manager for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northern Division. As Project Manager, he was responsible for the timely execution, while strictly adhering to government regulations and guidelines, of new construction and major maintenance projects from conception to mechanical completion. More specifically, his responsibilities included conceptual planning, cost estimating and engineering, scheduling, project execution planning and construction management. Particular project assignments included construction of new institutional and operational facilities, rehabilitation projects involving extensive asbestos remediation, demolition projects with hazardous waste disposal, and construction of an advanced Fire Fighting Training Center.

  • Walter Pinto
    Walter Pinto President
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    Walter Pinto is a highly accomplished, deeply experienced industry executive who has spent his entire career in the downstream industry, having recently retired from LyondellBasell after 25 years with the company. He served as site manager at several locations and at retirement served as Senior Director, Global Projects, Engineering, Turnarounds, Reliability and Maintenance.

    Walter currently serves as President of PennPetChem, a digital solution provider in safety and productivity. He also serves as a Senior Advisor to Hastings Equity Partners and is on the board of Specialty Welding and Turnarounds, LLC (SWAT) and A&L Industries.

    Walter is very active member of Houston area community having served as board member of several trade and community organizations. Walter received a MS in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology in India

  • Mark Baxa
    Mark Baxa President & CEO
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    Mark is the Founder, President & CEO of FerniaCreek LLC, a global supply chain consulting group of professionals and legal affiliates, based in Jefferson City, Missouri. FerniaCreek enables companies of all sizes to lift their international supply chain & delivery capability, strengthen their freedom to operate, accelerate supplier selection and performance, and develop their talent that sustains competitive advantage. Mark is also the CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals) Chairman of the Board, a 7000+ member & 55,000+ affiliate member supply chain organization and is co-lead & instructor for St. Louis University’s Global Supply Chain & Trade Compliance Certificate Program within the Supply Chain Center of Excellence. Mark has over 37 years of leadership experience having worked previously for the Monsanto, Upjohn and ELM companies.

    Mark is a Supply Chain executive passionate about driving sustainable, competitive advantage in a complex global marketplace, creating global synergy and building leaders. He brings a wealth of corporate experience having led multiple global and US based roles focused on Procurement & Supplier Performance, Global Trade Operations, Global Trade Compliance, Logistics & Distribution, Product Management, Marketing and Sales Management. In his last roles at Monsanto Company, now Bayer, Mark led global teams accountable for leading and delivering excellence in Global Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Sustainability and Supplier Diversity, championed the Global Supply Procurement & supply chain collegiate talent pipeline and procurement communications strategy. Mark led and developed the company’s formal global trade and compliance organization, standardized global processes and suppliers worldwide, and created and led the global trade operations & compliance IT digitization optimization project. Mark has led significant process improvement initiatives including establishment of several company firsts: centralized logistics operations, standardized carrier contracts and service operations, 3rd Party Logistics leveraged warehouse & carrier operations, 3rd Party logistics global Forwarding & Customs Brokerage standardization and optimization, centralized production planning & scheduling, continuous carrier movement planning with measurable process improvements that enhanced overall company supply chain performance.

    He has received multiple individual and team-based industry leadership achievements & awards and performed executive education coursework at MIT, Georgia Tech, New York’s Columbia University, Northwestern University and the Strategic Planning Institute of Cambridge. He has published in the CSCMP Quarterly, Logistics Management, Logistics Today periodicals, el Mercanil (Spain), Supply Chain Brain (video interview & commentary) and quoted in the Wall Street Journal. Mark has also appeared before US Federal and EU Government Agencies as a supply chain expert, supporting resolution difficult to solve, pressing supply chain issues. He also established US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and FDA protocols for certain agricultural product entry requirements and successfully mitigated impacts of otherwise burdensome, costly and non-value-added legislation and policy.
    Mark also serves as member of Saint Louis University’s Center of Supply Chain Management Excellence Steering Committee, Charter Member and Incorporator of the St. Louis Trade Compliance Practitioners Roundtable, member of ICPA, the St. Louis Regional FreightWay committees, served on the St. Louis City / Lambert International Shippers Council and the WEConnect International board of directors. He is a frequent motivational keynote and supply chain subject matter speaker, having appeared across the United States, South America and Europe. He is married to Becky, has two married sons, 3 grandchildren and is active in church leadership in Washington, Missouri.

    “If we have learned anything from the capsule of time, is that man’s quest for knowledge and progress is determined and cannot be deterred”
    John F. Kennedy 35th President of the United States
    “Go it alone and you solve a problem for today. Go together and you solve a problem for a lifetime” John Maxwell, Leadership Coach & Author

  • Jeremy Osterberger
    BIC Magazine
    Jeremy Osterberger VP
    BIC Magazine
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    Jeremy Osterberger is Vice President of BIC Alliance and its subsidiaries (BIC Magazine, BIC Recruiting and IVS Investment Banking). Leading companies that provide services and products to the industrial market utilize BIC’s services to access key decision makers in the Downstream and Midstream O & G sectors. BIC Magazine and  are the preferred source for industry news, expansions and project announcements, new products, and management best practices.   Osterberger currently serves on the Workforce Development Communications Committee.  A graduate from the Louisiana State University Manship School of Mass Communication, Osterberger resides in Houston with his wife Alison and three children. He enjoys coaching baseball, shooting sports, and cycling, but not at the same time.

  • Brad Peck
    Gulf Coast Authority
    Brad Peck Health, Safety & PSM Director
    Gulf Coast Authority
    View Bio

    Speaker Bio Coming Soon.

  • Tracey S. Wheeler
    Baytown Chamber of Commerce
    Tracey S. Wheeler President & Chief Executive Officer
    Baytown Chamber of Commerce
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    Tracey S. Wheeler is President & Chief Executive Officer of the Baytown Chamber of Commerce where she has served for forty-seven (47) years (first on staff and in her current position forty years). She is a native Baytonian and active in her community.

    The Baytown Chamber is an organization of some 1,000 businesses in the Baytown and Gulf Coast Region of Texas. The Chamber’s mission is to provide the leadership to enhance the economic growth and quality of life in the Baytown area. As part of the largest petrochemical area, Baytown is home of some of the largest petrochemical companies in the country.

    She is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management at Southern Methodist Universtiy with eight years of post graduate study. She is a past chairman of the Institute Board of Regents at the SMU Institute and has served on the National Board of Regents for the Institute program.

    Tracey is a past president of the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives and has received the Distinguished Service Award and the Marvin Hurley Award for her contribution to the Chamber profession.

    She is a member of numerous community organizations but is most proud of her work in the area of law enforcement and youth programs. Tracey is a longtime past member of the Police Academy Advisory Board and in 1993 was named to the American Police Hall of Fame for her contributions to law enforcement.

    Tracey has facilitated many Board Retreats and training programs for other Chambers of Commerce, has taught Chamber Overview and Creative Membership Selling for the Institute program, and has given many presentations on subjects such as, Non Dues Income, Membership Development & Retention, Getting Ready for Board Meetings and more.

    She is the mother of two adult children (a son employed in Downstream and a daughter also in Chamber work), three step-children and six grandchildren.


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