The 13th Annual RFS, RINs & Biofuels Forum has assembled a world-class roster of speakers and panelists. Click on a speaker’s name to learn more about their background and expertise.
Paul Argyropoulos’ career has spanned close to 4 decades in the Transportation Policy sector. Twenty-five years in the regulatory, compliance and policy areas with the Environmental Protection Agency, and 10 years in the private sector working on both domestic and international related issues. After retiring in 2018 Paul started Policy Nexus Advisors, which intends to provide strategic advice on federal fuel and transportation program policies and the interface between the environmental, energy and agricultural related sector business interests.
Steve Csonka is the Executive Director of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), which fosters the development and commercialization of sustainable aviation fuels by bringing together the private and public participants needed to stand up an entirely new industrial sector.
Since October 2018, Geoff Cooper has been President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), the leading trade association for America’s ethanol industry. Previously he served as RFA Executive Vice President, where in addition to overseeing market analysis and policy research, he provided regulatory support and strategic planning for the association and its members.
Sandra has more than 30 years of experience working with energy companies in North and South America, Europe and Asia and is nationally recognized as a RIN expert within the United States renewable fuels industry. The U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee invited Sandra to speak as an expert witness at their hearing on RINs in August 2018. She has also provided expert witness testimony before the U.S. International Trade Commission and worked with the both the U.S. EPA and U.S. Department of Justice on fuel compliance issues. Sandra is a member of the Advanced Biofuels Association and the Renewable Natural Gas Coalition. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in civil engineering.
As Vice President of Federal Affairs, Kurt Kovarik led the National Biodiesel Board’s members in securing a long-term extension of the biodiesel tax incentive through 2022 and in preserving effective fair trade protections for U.S. biodiesel producers. Kurt joined NBB after more than 20 years working for Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
Ms. King is the Refining Sustainability Director for Marathon Petroleum Company (MPC). MPC is a leading, integrated, downstream energy company headquartered in Findlay, Ohio. Previously, Ms. King was the Environmental, Safety, and Security Assistant General Counsel, specializing in environmental justice and the Clean Air Act. She has a Chemical Engineering degree and Law degree from the University of Toledo. She is a patent attorney and has worked in the petroleum industry for over 30 years.
Susan Lafferty, partner Eversheds-Sutherland, advises clients on an array of energy and environmental issues related to the petroleum, biofuels and energy trading industries. Susan’s practice includes regulatory, commercial and policy issues related to the Renewable Fuel Standard, RINs, state low-carbon fuel standard programs, gasoline, ultra-low sulfur diesel requirements and shipping of commodities by rail, vessel or truck.
Ron Lamberty, Senior Vice President, American Coalition for Ethanol, joined the ethanol industry group after more than 20 years of experience in the petroleum wholesale and convenience store business to help petroleum marketers increase their business and profit by selling ethanol. At ACE, Ron has spent much of time working to expand the market for E15 blends at the retail level.
Andrew Lipow is the President of Lipow Oil Associates, a consulting firm which he founded in May 2004. Lipow Oil Associates specializes in refinery operations, bulk liquid storage terminals and provides expertise in crude oil and petroleum product trading opportunities. Mr. Lipow gained refining and trading experience during his career at Vitol, Basis Petroleum, J. Aron and Amoco. He is a frequent guest on Fox Business News and CNBC, has appeared on the nightly newscasts of the major networks as well as local Houston TV and is frequently cited by The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and Reuters for comments regarding recent news events.
Frank J. Macchiarola is senior vice president of Policy, Economics, and Regulatory Affairs at the American Petroleum Institute (API). In this role, Frank leads API’s public policy departments, oversees the organization’s economics and research analysis functions, and serves as a member of API’s management team. He previously served as the Staff Director of the US Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources and Minority Staff Director of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. Frank earned his JD from New York University School of Law and his BA from the College of the Holy Cross.
Over the last six years, Michael McAdams has been engaged in the formation of the Advanced Biofuels Association, representing more than 40 advanced biofuels production and feedstock companies. Mr. McAdams has more than 30 years of experience in government and public affairs in both the public and private sectors. He has also worked in both the federal legislative and regulatory areas with specific focuses on energy, fuels policy, climate change, air policy and tax.
David McCullough, partner Evershed-Sutherland, David counsels producers, refiners, commodity traders and distributors on the production, trade and movement of energy commodities, particularly crude oil, petroleum products and renewable fuels. He has a particular focus on the RFS, RIN trading, state low carbon fuel standard programs, import and export controls and shipment by rail and truck.
Ashley Player, P.E., has over a decade of chemical engineering experience, including consulting for the petroleum and renewable fuel industries and preparing independent engineering reviews. She joined Weaver to help lead and grow our Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) presence, as well as focus on business development. She is an accredited Lead Verifier under the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Verification and Validation Program. A professional engineer, she is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).
John Reese is Downstream & New Energies Policy & Advocacy Manager, Americas with Shell Oil Products US, based in Houston. In that role, he manages Shell’s participation in policy debates that affect Shell’s downstream and new energies businesses in North America. Prior to joining Shell in 2002, he spent ten years as an attorney with the American Petroleum Institute in Washington, DC. While at API, Mr. Reese engaged in legislative and regulatory debates and litigation concerning a wide array of fuels issues and other downstream related issues. Mr. Reese has a law degree from Catholic University, a Masters of Arts degree from William & Mary, and a Bachelor of Science degree from George Mason University.
Jimmy Samartzis is the CEO of LanzaJet, Inc., a leader in renewable fuels technology and the production of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel with refineries planned in the U.S., EU, U.K., Japan, Canada, and elsewhere.
Greg Staiti, JD, has more than 15 years of experience working with petroleum and renewable fuel companies. Greg specializes in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) compliance. In addition, he has experience in assessing liability risks associated with regulatory non-compliance, advising clients on elective disclosure, negotiation of contracts for physical oil and renewable fuel commodities, as well as renewable and alternative fuels credits. Greg’s specialized and technical industry knowledge allows him to provide exceptional consulting services to his clients.
James Stock, the Harold Hitching Burbank professor of political economy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, is a leading expert on carbon markets and the market for Renewable Identification Number (RIN) credits. He served as chair of Harvard’s economics department from 2007-2009 and was a member of The White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2013-2014 during the Obama administration.
Rob Underwood, president Energy Marketers of America. Rob joined EMA in July 2007 as director of government relations to represent energy marketers on Capitol Hill. Some of Rob’s accomplishments include securing one of the most bipartisan Congressional letters sent to the EPA in recent years to address EMA’s concerns with a costly Underground Storage Tank (UST) proposed rule. Rob also played a key role in reauthorizing the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) which was successfully signed into law in February 2014 and again in 2018.
Dr. Whistance is a Research Scientist at the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri (FAPRI-MU) where his work focuses primarily on U.S. biofuel markets and policies. Jarrett joined FAPRI-MU as a graduate student in 2007 and has since earned both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri.