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About Us 2019-03-01T16:07:35+00:00

Don Strenk

Don has 35 years of experience in the mid and downstream oil industry with ARCO and BP. He has a strong foundation in refinery process engineering, financial analysis and strategic planning for the petroleum businesses. He led commercial trading and distribution operations for ARCO, directing regional crude oil supply and distribution as well as ARCO’s 150 million barrel per year distribution of gasoline, jet and diesel fuels.

As president of BP West Coast Products, LLC and vice president of retail operations, Don was responsible for ARCO gasoline retail sales and ampm operations worldwide, consisting of the convenience store business with 700 franchises, 3,000 convenience stores, and $3 billion in revenue.

Don provides SoCal clients services in the petroleum marketing, franchising, and convenience store businesses. He has worked extensively with supplier/dealer and franchisor/franchisee disputes, providing consulting services and expert witness testimony. Don holds an MBA in Finance from Drexel University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University.

Principal

Mark Murgash

Mark has more than 23 years of experience in the upstream, mid and downstream oil industry with Amoco, BP, Georgia Oil Holdings and his own companies. Mark’s expertise in the retail business is based on positions held within Retail Operations, Construction & Design, Franchise Business Development, and Environmental, Safety & Health.

As BP’s North America Design Implementation Manager, Mark was responsible for developing and maintaining engineering designs for the BP and ARCO Branded Retail Site Projects. He led a worldwide initiative to reduce the cost of new to industry retail construction projects where his group reduced the cost of new builds by 1 million US Dollars.

Since leaving BP in 2009, Mark has completed over $140 million in Real Estate Transactions and currently owns and operates a branded jobbership and c-stores across the States of Georgia and Arizona. Mark holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Hygiene from Texas A & M University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Safety Sciences from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Bobbie Lasan

Bobbie has more than two decades of combined experience in manufacturing management and the downstream oil industry. She joined SoCal in 2006, and her main responsibilities include managing human resources, IT, administrative functions and staff. Her client work includes rollouts of the PDI enterprise management software suite for the convenience retail and petroleum wholesale markets, assisting clients in meeting insurance needs and ensuring tenant and dealer compliance. Bobbie provides operations support to stores as well.

Bobbie has co-managed the jobbership operations in Arizona, Georgia, and Florida. This includes working with the dealer, hauler and maintaining major oil relationships. She has also led the charge on administrative programs, fuel and credit card reconciliations, as well as pricing, billing and settlement functions for more than 100 sites.

Bobbie graduated from UCLA in 1991 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, which landed her a manufacturing management role at Procter and Gamble for more than 10 years. She was in charge of achieving benchmark quality results, leading the successful and on-time start-ups of new equipment and new brand rollouts, and held various roles in process engineering, operations team management, planning and finance, and plant safety leadership.

Principal

Russ Scaramella

Russ has spent more than three decades in the commercial real estate and retail industries. At the age of 19, he opened the first Canadian Price Club, a pioneer in the warehouse store concept that would later be acquired by Costco Wholesale Corporation. By his late 20’s, he had developed a sports bar franchise that would expand to 40 locations in three states.

Russ has become a recognized leader in the gasoline retail and convenience store industry and started his own company, Scaramella Holdings Corporation in 2000. In its first nine years, his company grew to more than 700 employees and produced more than one billion dollars in annual sales.

Russ’s most recent venture is SoCal Refining & Marketing, which he co-founded with Don Strenk, former president of BP West Coast Products, LLC, in 2010. Russ’s portfolio includes a range of businesses in Arizona, Hawaii, and Georgia.

Bob Tamminen

Bob has more than 25 years of experience in the downstream oil industry with ARCO and BP. Bob has a thorough understanding of the marketing of fuel products from the refinery gate to the consumer, having held positions in retail fuel business development and strategic planning, retail and wholesale gasoline and diesel pricing, retail performance analysis, pipeline economics, and fuel logistics engineering.

Bob holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Wisconsin- Platteville. Bob also held a Professional Engineer license for 28 years in Wisconsin.

Doug Harris

Doug is a Senior Executive with 33 years of experience in the Oil & Gas and minerals industries including extensive international leadership experience in refining operations in Russia, Western Europe, Asia, Africa and the US with direct accountability for multiple complex refining operations. Doug’s leadership experience includes pipelines & transportation, mining and various corporate functions.

Doug holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University.

Joe Bookout

Joe has over 37 years of domestic and international downstream oil and gas experience (midstream and downstream), spanning the spectrum of refining, logistics and retail marketing. He held several executive roles in Andeavor/Tesoro and BP, including Vice President of environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S), Vice President of distribution and logistics support, and general manager for BP’s fuels presence in Latin America, operating out of Mexico City and Caracas, Venezuela.

Joe holds an MBA from UC Irvine, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and Industrial Technology from Long Beach State University.

Robert Brasch

Robert has more than 40 years of International Business Experience with a focus on Strategic Alliance and was instrumental in organizing am/pm Japan, a joint venture between Japan Energy and ARCO. Robert served on its Board for 17 years and played a major role when its 1,000 sites were sold to Family Mart.

As a recognized expert on Japanese business, Robert lectured at University of Southern California, served on the Boards of several Japanese companies’ US subsidiaries and was an advisor to a Japanese Governmental Organization. He worked with several US companies such as Costco on their entry into Japan and helped solve a multimillion-dollar Japanese problem for Jacobs Engineering Group.

TESTIMONIALS

“We worked with SoCal as part of our acquisition of Retail assets from a large corporation. We tasked SoCal with communicating with the retail operators, performing due diligence on the businesses and helping improve the operations post-closing. We sought SoCal’s advice on everything from IT integration to marketing strategy and were always impressed with the team’s insights and thoughtfulness. In addition, the team is available at all hours.”

Mike

“Our firm was seeking an operational expert witness for a severe injury that occurred on the forecourt of a gas station.  Don Strenk of SoCal as our expert witness provided us with extensive support in the area of gas station operations and industry standards of care for safe operations of fueling facilities.”

Lance

“Don Strenk of SoCal was able to opine and testify through deposition in all areas associated with standard operational care, spills, fuel pump mechanics, fuel energy content and autoignition temperatures. SoCal’s consulting services are thorough, efficient and professionally executed.”

Lance

“SoCal provided our firm with leading industry expert in the field of Gas Station and C-Store Operations with a specialty in Industry Standard of Care.  Don Strenk’s extensive knowledge, industry procedures database, and highly professional handling of affidavits and depositions provided us with everything we needed from an expert witness and consultant to pursue our case.”

CW

“SoCal assisted our company in its strategic review of Back Office and Cash Handling hardware and software in the Gas Station and C-Store industry.  Their knowledge of the technology, competitive structure  and customer segments within this industry in the United States was extensive and provided a solid foundation for the development and fine-tuning of our participation strategy.”

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(714) 644-9350