McKinstray to lead RFA as new chair, other officers named

By Susanne Retka Schill | October 01, 2012

Neill McKinstray is the new chairman of the Renewable Fuels Association’s board of directors. He is president of the ethanol group at The Andersons Inc., which operates four ethanol plants in Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio. The RFA chose new officers at its annual membership meeting last week in Omaha, Neb.

McKinstray previously served as vice chairman for two terms, and will be succeeding Chuck Woodside, general manager of KAAPA Ethanol, Minden, Neb., who served for two one-year terms. Stepping up into the vice chairman role is Randall Doyal, CEO of Al-Corn Clean Fuel in Claremont, Minn. Walter Wendland, CEO of Golden Grain Energy LLC, Mason City, Iowa, has been named treasurer. Mick Henderson, general manager of Commonwealth Agri-Energy, Hopkinsville, Ky., is secretary. Longtime CEO Bob Dinneen was also reelected.   

McKinstray became president of the ethanol group at The Andersons in 2011, serving as vice president of the grain and ethanol group since 2005. “Today, ethanol is presenting the U.S. with a critical opportunity to expand domestic energy production and reduce foreign oil imports by millions of barrels. The future of energy independence and a stronger America is being realized right here, right now, every day, in ethanol plants across the country,” McKinstray said. “It is important that the industry continues to drive forward, ensuring that we maintain critical policies like the renewable fuel standard (RFS), extend key tax policies for new fuel commercialization and investment in renewable fuel infrastructure so that we can continue to provide American consumers with more clean fuel options.”

Doyal is a 30-year veteran of the fuel ethanol industry, beginning his career in ethanol in 1982 with Mountain Development Corp. as a cooker and continuing on to his current position at Al-Corn Clean Fuel. “The ethanol industry has grown exponentially over the past few years, and it will continue to do so thanks in large part to RFA and its members,” Doyal said. “Over the past 31 years, the RFA has been at the center of every successful policy fight and market initiative that has helped increase production, expand the marketplace for ethanol blended fuels, and encourage new technologies and advanced biofuels.”

Wendland is president and CEO of both Golden Grain Energy and Homeland Energy Solutions, Lawler, Iowa. “As the number one ethanol producing state, Iowa has witnessed the benefits that ethanol brings to rural communities,” Wendland said. “The ethanol industry is saving consumer’s money at the pump, putting Americans to work in jobs that can’t be outsourced, and reducing our dependency on foreign oil. I am honored to be elected as a leader of this organization dedicated to showing the benefits of domestic, home-grown fuel.”

Henderson got his start in the ethanol industry in 1981 and has been with Commmonwealth Agri-Energy since 2003. “This is an industry that has grown so much in the past decade. Domestically produced ethanol is now blended into 97 percent of our nation’s fuel supply and has helped reduce the need for imported oil by 485 million barrels per year, or roughly 13 percent of U.S. crude oil imports,” Henderson said. “There are so many great opportunities ahead for the ethanol industry, providing consumers with more fuel options, continuing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and producing advanced and cellulosic ethanol with new technologies from different feedstocks.”

All of the terms for RFA board officers are for one term. With 200 members, RFA is governed by a board of directors comprised of 47 ethanol-producing companies. All board members get a vote in setting association policy.