Randy Velarde, president and CEO at The Plaza Group, has joined Consumer Energy Alliance’s (CEA) Board of Directors, the organization’s president announced today.

A 30-year veteran of the petrochemical and downstream energy industry, Velarde spent 15 years in commercial management and market development at Shell Chemical and Texaco Chemical prior to forming, in 1994, The Plaza Group, a Houston-based multimillion-dollar international petrochemical marketing firm. He formerly served on the National Petroleum Council, appointed by former U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson.

“His record in the chemical, petrochemical and downstream sector speaks for itself,” CEA President David Holt said. “His expanded leadership through the Board of Directors makes him an extremely valuable asset to CEA and its growing list of members in the pivotal years ahead, especially in advancing CEA’s mission of improving consumer understanding of how energy policy impacts them.  We are very excited to have Randy’s commodity chemicals markets background on the CEA board.”

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to join CEA’s Board of Directors,” Velarde said. “The need for America to increase environmentally sound protection of all domestic energy resources has never been greater, and I look forward to working with my fellow Board members to make sure the policies needed to do this are supported and promoted effectively.”

In addition to previously being named Entrepreneur of the Year by Hispanic Business magazine and the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Velarde, a former director of Hightowers Petroleum Co., Inc., was a partner and board member of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a corporate partner of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility.

Velarde currently serves on the University of New Mexico, Department of Engineering Board of Advisors, the University of New Mexico Foundation Board, and formerly on the Board of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, and Chairman of the Development Committee at the University of St. Thomas. In 2011, he was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Other CEA board members include Wayne Zemke, (Board Chair) Marketing Support Manager of Caterpillar, Inc.; Brett Vassey, (Vice Chair) President and CEO of the Virginia Manufacturers Association;Brian Welch, (Treasurer) Managing Director at Wortham Insurance & Risk Management; Jennifer Diggins, (immediate past Chair) Director of Public Affairs at Nucor Steel; John Heimlich, Vice President and Chief Economist for Airlines for America; Mark Pulliam, Solution Partner with Sabre Airline Solutions;John Eichberger, Vice President of Government Relations for the National Association of Convenience Stores; and David Holt, President of Consumer Energy Alliance.