Christina Sistrunk to Retire as President and CEO of Aera En

|Jun 23|magazine10 min read

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., June 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Aera Energy LLC today announced that President and CEO Christina Sistrunk has elected to retire from the position effective October 1.

Sistrunk joined Aera in June 2015 following a stint as vice president Arctic Capability – Upstream Americas for Shell, where she led development of technology, people and systems to enable responsible Arctic development.

Sistrunk began her career with Amoco Production Company in Louisiana working in a variety of production, facilities, technical and management assignments. She joined Shell in 1998 and remained in the Gulf of Mexico before assuming a global role for worldwide exploration and production in The Netherlands to create and implement process safety improvement programs.

"I joined Aera and instantly knew I had found my work home. I have never worked for a company whose employees are just as passionate about their work as they are about the communities where we operate," said Sistrunk. "It has been a great privilege to lead a company that truly cares about providing energy for California and prosperity for Californians. We continue to lead the way in delivering energy that meets the highest environmental and safety standards in the world. I couldn't be prouder of our team."

During her tenure, Sistrunk led Aera to become one of the most sought-after workplaces in California. Aera was named to the 2019 Forbes America's Best Midsize Employer's list and three Experience Energy Awards in the annual Grit Awards. Sistrunk has been honored as a Safety in Action Icon by DEKRA Insight for her contributions to safety in the workplace and recognized by the National Diversity Council as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Oil and Gas.

In her early years with Aera, she led an organizational redesign which has help Aera continue to be competitive through low oil price environments and the current pandemic. Today she serves on Gov. Gavin Newsom's Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, helping to chart a path forward for the state in the wake of COVID-19.

"The employees of Aera have become family to me," said Sistrunk, reflecting on Aera's accomplishments over the last few years. "My husband and I are fortunate to have spent five wonderful years in Bakersfield and we will cherish our memories always. It's been the hallmark and highlight of my career."

Succeeding Sistrunk will be Erik Bartsch, currently the vice president of Safety and Environment, Integrated Gas and New Energies at Shell. As part of his transition into Aera, Bartsch will initially assume the role of chief operating officer and CEO designee. On October 1, he will become Aera's fourth president and CEO. 

"I'm honored to be joining the Aera family. Aera has a tremendous reputation and rich history of both business excellence and community engagement. I share the company's commitment to safety and responsible production and look forward to taking us to the next level," said Bartsch, a third-generation Californian. "My family and I are looking forward to coming back to California and becoming a part of all the communities where Aera operates."

Bartsch worked initially as a geoscientist in exploration and has held a series of leadership positions. In his most recent role as vice president of Safety and Environment for a division of Shell, he has been responsible for industrial safety performance for over 50,000 workers within 40+ liquified natural gas plants, gas terminals and wind energy sites worldwide. Bartsch also oversaw implementation of the environmental agenda, including improving the business's greenhouse gas intensity.  

Bartsch, his wife and three children will be relocating to Bakersfield from The Netherlands. He holds a bachelor's in geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master's in structural geology from the University of Colorado Boulder.

About Aera Energy

Aera Energy accounts for about 25 percent of the state's oil production. The oil we produce allows millions of Californians to travel to work every day, businesses to grow and thrive and California-grown food to arrive at dinner tables. We live in the communities where we work, which includes Kern, Ventura, Monterey, and Fresno counties. We're proud to support local communities through jobs, partnerships, and investments to build stronger neighborhoods and cities together. For more information, visit www.aeraenergy.com

Contact: Cindy Pollard (661) 665-5602

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SOURCE Aera Energy