RFA elects new board leadership, first woman chairperson

By Renewable Fuels Association | October 06, 2020

The Renewable Fuels Association today elected Jeanne McCaherty, CEO of Guardian Energy Management LLC, as its new chairperson. McCaherty becomes the first female chairperson in the RFA’s history, and first among any national ethanol trade association. The election occurred at RFA’s annual membership meeting, held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As CEO of Guardian Energy Management, McCaherty, of Prior Lake, Minn, provides executive management for Guardian Energy LLC, Guardian Energy Holdings LLC, and Hankinson Renewable Energy LLC, three leading ethanol biorefining businesses. She has a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Missouri and serves on the Board of Directors for the Renewable Product Marketing Group LLC, and the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Biofuels Association.  McCaherty, a longtime proponent and advocate for low-carbon renewable fuels, also serves on the Minnesota Governor’s Biofuels Council to develop recommendations to increase the incorporation of biofuels in transportation fuels in Minnesota. She succeeds Neil Koehler, co-founder and co-CEO of Pacific Ethanol, in chairing the RFA Board.

“Renewable fuels have a critically important role to play in improving liquid transportation fuels,” McCaherty said. “I am excited to work with the members and staff of the RFA to continue to position renewable fuels and co-products to support rural economies, improve air quality, and provide better options for consumers.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Jeanne as our new board chairperson,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “She is a thoughtful leader who takes a pragmatic and analytical approach to solving problems and making decisions, and she is passionate about ensuring consumers gain a better understanding of the benefits of using renewable fuels. As RFA prepares to enter its 40th year in operation, Jeanne continues the association’s long tradition of exceptional leadership. She will play an instrumental role in charting the future course of the organization and the industry.”

RFA also elected Erik Huschitt, CEO of Badger State Ethanol, as the board’s Vice Chairman. Huschitt, of Monroe, Wisc., has been with Badger State since January 2002 and currently serves as president of the Wisconsin Biofuels Association. He also has spent years on the board of the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association, which plays a vital role in Wisconsin’s feed and grain industries.

The RFA board also re-elected Treasurer Charlie Wilson, Trenton Agri Products; Secretary Rick Schwarck, Absolute Energy; and President Geoff Cooper, RFA’s Chief Executive Officer.