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Our Team

Gary Patena

Managing Partner

An accomplished businessman from the Cleveland Ohio area, Gary attended Kent State University and majored in business and transportation. Gary started his career in transportation in 1980 working for various large LTL transportation companies, Consolidated Freightways out of Palo Alto Ca, and Pacific Intermountain Express out of Walnut Creek Ca. Gary rose to the position of terminal manager for Pacific Intermountain Express in Chicago IL which was the largest terminal in the Pacific Intermountain Express network. Gary started up his business, a transportation brokerage company named Transamerica Transportation in 1990 and subsequently sold it to Matson Navigation a public $1.5 billion dollar company (MATX) in 2004, at the time of the sale Transamerica was doing $110 million dollars annually in revenue and was profitable with approximately $4 to $5 million dollars a year in EBITDA and had over 75 offices nationwide.

Gary stayed with Matson for 5 years until 2009 when he went to work for HCI Equity, a private equity firm based out of Washington DC. Gary was a hybrid operating partner/managing director, he did mergers and acquisitions, along with operation initiatives for one of their portfolio companies Roadrunner Transportation, which was taken public during his tenure at HCI Equity, (RRTS). HCI Equity was looking for entry into the energy sector and was going to buy a business out of Williamsport Pa, which at the time was the epicenter of the Marcellus shale fracking boom. Gary was asked to go out to PA to do due diligence on the company (Infinity Oil Field Services) and was named COO by the President of the company. Subsequently Gary merged this company with Quality Distribution, a $1 billion dollar company out of Tampa FL which was a public company at the time (QLTY), which had an energy division named QC Energy Resources, Gary was named VP of Business Development for the company where he managed 8 sales people nationwide and grew revenue for the energy division where it was annualizing $200 million dollars of annual revenue.

Quality distribution was bought out by Apax Capital Partners, a private equity firm in April of 2015 and Gary was offered a buyout, as Apax decided they were going to bring in their own management team. In June of 2015 Gary started up Black Rock Crude Partners with one of his colleagues who also took a buyout from Quality Distribution and since then they have been trading crude oil and other refined products, having leveraged all of their prior energy contacts which includes many Fortune 500 companies and also blue chip Fortune 1000 companies along with contacts from there prior general business experience. In December of 2016 Gary aligned Black Rock Crude Partners with various refiners and suppliers that transact domestically and internationally.

Jonathan Hoffman

Managing Partner

Jonathan Hoffmann is an experienced and proficient businessman from Orange County California where he studied business and communications at Cal State University Fullerton followed by Trinity Law School. During and following his education, Jonathan started his work in both the banking and mortgage industries which created the initial platform for his success. Immediately following the mortgage and economic crash in 2008, Jonathan was hired by Optimum First Mortgage Inc. where he was able to quickly expand and procure new key business relationships which helped the company fund north of 100 million dollars in mortgage transactions per month.

Anticipating changes in the mortgage marketplace, and an overall movement into a more purchase driven environment he was then hired by numerous mortgage companies where he managed varies branches as a managing partner and did so very successfully for the next four years.

Seeking greater control and having established extensive relationships in the private money sector, Jonathan Hoffmann started KGH Capital Group to service the growing opportunities in the industry. The company specialized in high end mortgage financing for residential properties and projects with the largest single transaction being over 28 million dollars which pushed Jonathan’s total involved lifetime funding to over one billion dollars.

Concurrent to opening KGH Capital Group, Jonathan began to focus heavily on the commodities industry in late 2015. He specialized on new business development in both refined and crude products which spawned the DBA Crowned Energy. After establishing an extensive list of major energy contacts, Jonathan became a Managing Partner with BlackRock Crude Partners in 2017. Since then he has been an integral part in the company’s growth by securing new major suppliers, buyers and finance opportunities. During this time Jonathan was made a Director of the International oil company United Petro Group as they sought to increase their business activities and enter into the North and South American Energy Markets. This was closely followed by a partnership position with 5D Financials, as well as a seat on the board of Texcon Trading as a result of efforts regarding a large capital raise. Texcon is a very successful oil and commodities trading firm with other powerful people in the oil industry sharing board seats such as Henk Vietor (founder of Vitol) and the firms CEO Bruce Pridgen who individually maintains a book of business that has passed 15 billion in revenue.

Mathieu Descat

Managing Partner

Managing Partner of Black Rock Crude, Mr. Descat's central responsibility within the firm focuses as being responsible for the European market day-to-day management decisions and for implementing the Company's long and short term plans with the other Managing Partners.

Mathieu started his career actively involved in trading large pools of firm capital within the Private Equity Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. He then worked at Alcatel-Lucent in Strategic Business Management and Global Treasury where he managed separate pools of capital in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East and Africa. He also presides 5d Financials, an investment capital firm with a specialization in High Return in Fuel Energy Commodities, Precious & Industrial Metals Commodities, Real Estate Investment and Private Equity.

Mathieu graduated from Fordham University Business School in New York City, holds a Masters in Hypnotherapy from the Hypnosis Motivational Institute and studied entrepreneurship at Babson's F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business. Mathieu also produced events with his Holiness the Dalai Lama in Los Angeles in order to discuss Leadership in the 21st Century and Child’s Education.

Frank Luca

Managing Director

Frank Luca is an experienced commodities broker/trader since 2007. Frank’s current focus is on the sales and marketing of refined fuel products and crude oil.

Frank is knowledgeable in the sale of refined fuels including; Diesel, ULSD, EN 590, Gasoline, Aviation Kerosene, Marine Fuels as well as Mazut and various grades of Crude Oil. He has established relationships with several Hedge Funds, including some of the largest in the US and Europe. Through his current partnership, he enjoys direct relationships with several large refineries.

Frank is also well-versed in banking protocols as well as logistics.

Prior to entering the Commodity Business, Frank spent several years in the Advertising and Marketing fields, where he was employed at some of the world’s largest advertising firms, including Young and Rubicam, BBDO where he held senior management positions.

Prior to this position, Frank was Chief Operating Officer for Medestea USA (formerly Santica USA), an importer of high-end Italian Cosmetics and Health & Beauty supplements. Before joining Santica USA, Frank held a senior management position at Cossette Post, New York, a division of Cossette Communications, the largest Advertising & and Marketing Communications network in Canada.

Frank has created and implemented advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications programs as well as consulted for a diverse group of blue-chip clients including; American Express, Polaroid Corporation, ADT Security Systems, Bayer, (Alka Seltzer), ITT Sheraton Hotels, The US Postal Service, The Financial Times, The Grand Hyatt Hotel New York, Parents magazine, Worth magazine, Travel & Leisure magazine, Food & Wine magazine, JP Morgan Chase, Beneficial National Bank USA, Izusu, Taj International Hotel Group, COMEX, SwissAir, Hercules, Degussa Huls, Hershey Pasta Group (San Giorgio Pasta), Dassault/Falcon Jet, The Franklin Library and PR Newswire.

He attended the School of Visual Arts in New York where he majored in Art, Advertising and Marketing Communications

Joseph Tsai

Managing Director - Special Products

Joseph Tsai completed undergraduate work in Natural Gas & Petroleum Engineering and graduate Business Administration from BCIT. Mr. Tsai has completed a wide range of additional courses and programs ranging from Urban Land Economics from UVIC/UBC/SFU to Computer Networks from RRU. Early in Mr. Tsai’s career, he applied his knowledge to a number of challenging assignments with organizations such as Amoco Petroleum, Pacific Geoscience Centre, Canadian Tire, Woolco, Central Guaranty Trust, Metropolitan Trust, Montreal Trust, and Western Inventory and RGIS.

Over the past 18 years has focused his energies on establishing a number of successful companies. These included a software development company, a computer sales and support organization, as well a home renovation and painting company, and a property management company. His clients were significant players and noted regional and global players: SAPA, Con Agra, First Citizens Fund (BC Government), Handheld Products (now part of Honeywell), Dynamic Systems, Source Northwest, PSAC, and many others.

In addition, Mr. Tsai has spent the last three years putting together high-level strategic projects ranging from high technology, real estate, to power generation. Mr. Tsai’s specialty is sourcing unique, quality strategic investments projects for his clients.

Richard P. Sommerfield, Jr.

Managing Director - Metals Division

With 40 years of domestic and international experience, Mr. Sommerfeld focuses on delivering the perfect arbitrage model for our investor partners.

Previously, he was Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for Sekurus, an asset protection, tracking and management company. Formerly, he had been SVP and CFO of Airbee Wireless, a public software company. With operations on three continents, Mr. Sommerfeld served as CEO of Hong Kong’s Dransfield Food & Beverage Holdings and was the first brewer of Chinese lager outside of China. He was a partner in The Meridian Partnership, a European private equity firm, VP-Finance & Investments of Resort Properties Group, and CFO of the Levant Group. Mr. Sommerfeld held senior positions in international investment banking with Continental Bank (acquired by Bank of America) and Citicorp Investment Bank. He pioneered the concept of hedging gold for the central bank and mining houses of South Africa. Mr. Sommerfeld has extensive experience in the metals and gold markets from mining to custodial services, finance, and trading.

Mr. Sommerfeld holds a Masters of Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA (International Studies) from Virginia Tech.