Blue Tip Energy’s senior team has broad interdisciplinary expertise and an extensive network of energy industry relationships that span over 30 years.  The founding partners have been working directly together as a team since 1998.  Collectively, the entire senior management team has extensive experience in all phases of energy investing and operations.

In addition to the professionals listed below, we have a highly dedicated group of field personnel that are vital to the successful implementation of our investment strategy.





Rich DiClaudio
Chief Executive Officer, Managing Partner, and Co-Founder

Rich has 26 years of private equity investing experience focused primarily in the energy industry.  Prior to co-founding Blue Tip Energy in 2006, he was Chief Operating Officer and board member of the Hillman Energy Group, a wholly owned investing and operating subsidiary of The Hillman Company, a privately-owned investment company located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  As the senior investment officer Rich managed a large diversified energy portfolio, including investments with strategies similar to the Fund.  While there he mastered all phases of private equity investing, portfolio management, and operations, including: extensive due diligence, structuring, financing, work-outs, deal-sourcing and divestitures, general investment management, energy asset operations management and development, and effective board leadership.  Additionally, he has developed a strong operations background throughout his career.  

Rich has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance from Saint Vincent College, of which he is a Trustee, and pursued graduate business studies at both Duquesne and Baldwin Wallace Universities.  Rich has been married 30 years, and he and his wife Carole have two adult children.

Bruce Taylor
Executive Vice President, Managing Partner, and Co-Founder

Bruce has over 35 years of energy industry experience, with a focus in operations management, land and legal management, including contract compliance and environmental work.  Bruce also has extensive asset turn-around and work-out experience, with a focus on organizing and developing startups and underperforming assets.

Prior to co-founding Blue Tip Energy, Bruce was the General Manager and Vice President of Broughton Operating Corp., a 74 person operating company for an energy-focused private equity investment portfolio reporting directly to Rich DiClaudio. While in that position, Bruce was responsible for all phases of the portfolio acquisition due diligence, asset operations and development, including; well drilling and completions, the building of gathering and pipeline infrastructure, and central and treatment facilities, directing the shooting of 3-D seismic surveys, and all phases of land, environmental, accounting and back office management for a dynamic multi-asset private equity portfolio. Prior to joining that group, Bruce was a key member of Chevron’s Acquisition and Divesture Group in Houston, Texas. Earlier in his career he served as the Vice President of Land for Nornew Energy.

Bruce holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from New Haven University and an MBA from Houston Baptist University. Bruce has one son, two daughters and 6 grandchildren.

Mike Cerelli
Vice President of Operations

Mike is a registered professional petroleum engineer with 35 years experience in the energy industry. Mike manages all operations for Blue Tip Energy. Prior to joining Blue Tip Energy Mike had directed facility development and operations of Quest Energy's Marcellus Shale assets. He has prior experience, and considerable expertise, in drilling, production operations, reservoir completion and facilities design in the oil and gas industry and for various engineering and design companies. He has spent a large portion of his career in Alaska’s North Slope and in the Rocky Mountain Region. A few highlights of his career include, completion and startup of the initial wells for BP - Prudhoe Bay, redesign of the Milne Point Field for BP Alaska and supervising field operations in Wyoming and California. Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Tulsa (with honors) and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Wyoming (Petroleum), Washington (Chemical), and Alaska (Petroleum). Mike is happily married to his wife Carole. They have three children.

Gary Green
Field Supervisor

Gary started with Blue Tip Energy in 2007, and he is now Field Supervisor for all of Blue Tip Energy’s portfolio assets.  He is responsible for the field-level activities surrounding day-to-day operations, well drilling, completing, fracing, and production.  Prior to his promotion to Field Supervisor of all portfolio assets Gary managed the Rocky Mountain assets for Blue Tip Energy.  Prior to working for Blue Tip Energy, Gary worked at several coal mines in the Price Utah area.  His last position was as Mine Superintendent for Andalex Resources, where he managed over 200 employees. Gary is married to his wife Julie and has 2 children and 4 grandchildren.

Galen Verhulst

Galen is a Senior Geologist at Blue Tip Energy, with the focus being overall geologic studies and documentation of Blue Tip Energy’s portfolio assets. He assists in identifying upside value and data room presentations as well as coordinating the geologic interface on development activities for several of the Funds assets.  Galen has a BS in Geology and Master of Science,  Geology, from University of Missouri. His prior work experience includes Texaco, Total, S.A., and Millennium Technologies. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, is married and has four children.


Rick Hudspeth

Rick joined Blue Tip Energy as our landman and is responsible for managing all leases and land issues. Rick has 12 years experience in the energy industry as a landman. Prior to joining the team at Blue Tip, Rick fostered his career in the industry working in the land departments of El Paso E&P Company, LP and BP America Production Company from 2001 to 2008. A graduate of the University of Phoenix, Rick holds a Bachelor of Science in Business/Information Systems. Rick has been married to his wife, Johanna,  for 13 years and together they have two children.

Dana Boughal
Lease Records Supervisor

Dana joined Blue Tip Operating as the Lease Records Supervisor. She coordinates the input and management of all of Blue Tip’s leasehold interest and land related obligations. She has been in the energy industry for 30 years working in the Land Department for various companies. Prior to joining Blue Tip Energy Dana worked as a Contract Land Administrator for the last 10 years and as co-owner of DayStar Land Administration, LLP. Dana has been happily married for 25 years and is the proud mother of 3 grown children.

Cory Thomas
Accounting Supervisor

Cory has been with Blue Tip Operating for 5 years, currently serving in the capacity of Accounts Payable Supervisor.  As part of the accounting group, Cory has experience with and day-to-day responsibilities for oil and gas account and joint interest billing activities with the portfolio assets.  Before joining Blue Tip Operating, he worked for Applied Materials, a leading capital equipment producer serving the semiconductor industry. Cory is married and has two wonderful children, a daughter Marrissa, 16; and a son Johnny, 14. Cory is active in his church and loves sports.


Bali Bukenya

Accounting Supervisor

Bali is a Revenue Accountant, with the responsibility of coordinating Blue Tip Energy's production revenue processing and reporting of all portfolio properties . Bali's previous revenue management work experience includes CCI, Rosetta Resources, Yates Petroleum, Quantum Energy Resources and Limerock Resources. He earned a BBA (Cum Laude) and an MBA from Texas Southern University. Bali lives in Houston, Texas, is married and has three children.


DeLisa Bunkley
Office Administrator