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Executive Committee and Officers
Executive Committee and Officers

NEVILLE FERNANDES - Chairman

Mr. Fernandes is Head of Sales and Marketing and a Board Member at Neste US, Inc. Neville pioneered the commercial launch of renewable diesel in USA and Canada, and is passionate in his belief that sustainable, low-carbon, biofuels are an important contributor to the responsible management of greenhouse gases. Neville was a founding member of ABFA in 2007 and over the years has presented and given testimony at dozens of conferences and proceedings. Neville has a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering (Princeton University) and an MBA in Marketing (Schullich School of Business).

Neste is a pioneer in oil refining and renewable solutions. Neste is the world's leading producer of renewable diesel with annual production capacity of ​2.4 million tons (approximately ​800 million gallons). Its operations have received recognition in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Global 100 list of the world's most sustainable companies, among others. Net sales for 2015 were approximately EUR 11 billion. Neste shares are listed on NASDAQ Helsinki. For more information on Neste, please visit  www.neste.us.


LEE EDWARDS

Mr. Edwards joined Virent Energy Systems in January 2009 and is a member of its Board of Directors. In 2010 he served as Chairman of the Advanced Biofuels Association which is based in Washington, DC and represents 32 member companies. 

Prior to joining Virent, Lee had 25 years global energy experience at BP, including CEO of BP Solar, President of BP Pipelines, North America, Chief Information Officer for Downstream, and Vice President, BP Global Brand. 

He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering, an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and is a graduate of the Stanford Business School Executive Program.


MICHAEL WHITNEY

Mr. Whitney is the General Manager Renewable Fuels for Musket Corporation.  


LEN FEDERICO

Mr. Federico serves as the Commercial Manager of Oils and Biodiesel for Louis Dreyfus Company LLC.  In this capacity, he oversees LDC’s marketing and trading of biodiesel and related products within North America, including the production of LDC’s integrated soybean processor and biodiesel refinery in Claypool, IN.  Mr. Federico has been active within the biodiesel industry since LDC’s launch of its North American biodiesel business in 2007.

 Mr. Federico’s career began at LDC’s Kansas City regional trading office in 1992.  Since then, he has held a variety of merchandising and management positions within the Company, including heading its North American rice processing operations and managing its domestic US sugar activities.  From 2005-onwards, Mr. Federico was instrumental in the development of LDC’s biofuels business, culminating in the commissioning of two U.S. ethanol plants as well as the Claypool biodiesel refinery.  Cumulatively, he has amassed over two decades of experience in commodity procurement, marketing, and supply-chain- and risk management.  In each of his roles, Mr. Federico has represented LDC before the US Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Commerce, Members of Congress, and their staffs.

In addition to his activities within ABFA, Mr. Federico serves on the Soybean Oils Trading Committee of the National Association of Oilseed Processors.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Government from Georgetown University in 1992.  


JEFFREY JACOBS 

Mr. Jacobs is President and Chief Executive Officer of Ensyn Corporation, as appointed in November 2015. Founded in 1984, Ensyn is a leader in the production of renewable, low-carbon chemicals and fuels. Ensyn maintains direct operations in New York and Canada and has joint venture interests in the U.S., Brazil, Canada and Malaysia. Previously, Mr. Jacobs was vice president of Chevron Technology Ventures. In this capacity he identified, sponsored and demonstrated emerging technology and championed its integration into Chevron. Mr. Jacobs led strategic collaborations for developing advanced biofuels and acquiring primary carbon emission offset credits that allowed the enterprise to reliably meet its compliance obligations. In this capacity Mr. Jacobs led the formation of Catchlight Energy LLC and served as its Chairman. The joint venture was launched by Weyerhaeuser and Chevron in 2008 to develop advanced biofuels from forest-based biomass. Mr. Jacobs was previously responsible for the development of Chevron’s hydrogen business and evaluated technologies and business models that enabled its use as a transportation fuel. Earlier, he led a team responsible for the design, sale and delivery of integrated power quality, reliability and distributed generation systems throughout the United States.

Mr. Jacobs experience in the unregulated energy industry has also included management and executive roles within Pennzoil, PG&E and other companies. In these positions he directed teams in all aspects of the energy value chain, analyzing and opening new markets, developing business models while leading new ventures and directing energy and financial operations. Mr. Jacobs began his professional career as a geologist with Texaco, working in the Gulf of Mexico and later on Alaska’s North Slope.

Mr. Jacobs is currently Chairman of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy
Laboratory’s BioEnergy Technical Review Panel. In addition, he serves as the Chairman of the Commercial Advisory Board for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership centered at Arizona State University. Until his retirement from Chevron, Jacobs was a member of the Executive Steering Group for the Department of Energy’s U.S. Drive Initiative. Mr. Jacobs was previously a member of the Board of Directors of the National Hydrogen Association and Fuel Cells Canada.

Mr. Jacobs holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology/geology from Amherst College, a master of science in marine studies/geology from the University of Delaware, and an MBA in finance and economics from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. 


PAOLO CAROLLO 

Mr. Carollo is Executive Vice President of Beta Renewables/Biochemtex. Paolo joined Beta Renewables’ parent Company Mossi & Ghisolfi Group in year 2000 and since then he has been working on various assignments including strategic planning, leading project development of flagship facilities, business development for the engineering business and specialty chemicals, finance & control. He has extensive experience in various markets including International technology licensing, engineering procurement construction services, specialty chemicals, consumer markets.

Paolo holds a B.S. in Economics and Business, from the University of Torino, and in 2014 he was appointed as member of the Energy Policy Council of North Carolina Beta Renewables, a JV between Mossi & Ghisolfi Group, global biotech leader Novozymes and Private Equity TPG focused on commercializing its industry-leading PROESA technology for the conversion of lignocellulosic non-food biomass to low carbon intensity, petroleum replacements such as biofuels and bio-based chemicals.


JOHN CUMMINGS 

Mr. Cummings is Vice President of Wilmar North America.


DAVE CEPLA  

Mr. Cepla is the Senior Director of the Renewable Energy and Chemicals business at Honeywell UOP. In this role, Mr. Cepla serves as the business leader for technology development, engineering, sales and marketing of the UOP portfolio of technologies for the production of renewable transportation fuels as well as fuels for the generation of renewable heat and power.

Mr. Cepla brings more than 30 years of experience in technology and clean energy industries. He most recently served the Managing Director of Envergent Technologies, a joint venture between UOP and Ensyn Technologies, commercializing the RTP technology for the conversion of cellulosic biomass to a renewable fuel for the production of heat and power. Prior to that Mr. Cepla served as president and CEO of HyRadix, Inc., a provider of hydrogen generation solutions overseeing all aspects of business operations including the development of funding sources, marketing and global sales. During his time with UOP, Mr. Cepla served in various development, marketing and technical roles, supporting product development, integrated technology lines and sales.

Mr. Cepla holds a Masters in Business Administration from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from University of Colorado. 


WAYNE SIMMONS - Ex-Officio Member

Dr. Simmons is the Chief Executive Officer of Sundrop Fuels. Dr. Simmons is responsible for Sundrop Fuels' strategic direction and drives the company's financing, partnership formation and commercialization activities. He brings to Sundrop Fuels nearly 30 years of experience in the energy, chemical and environmental industries including 10 years in chief executive roles.

Prior to joining the company, Dr. Simmons was founding CEO of Velocys, Inc., a microchannel chemical process technology company that merged with a publicly traded UK company in 2008. Dr. Simmons spent much of his early career in various management and engineering positions at Exxon.

Dr. Simmons received his B.S. in Engineering from Texas A&M, an M.S. in Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. He also completed the Executive Management Program at the University of Michigan Business School.