Conference Central Expo and 30-Year Anniversary Breakfast – Plus a Look to the Next 30!

Jan 20 — 8:00 AM-10:00 AM PST

Thirty years after visionary soybean farmers founded what was originally known as the National Soy Diesel Development Board, a lot has changed – and our evolution is just beginning. Come celebrate the 30thanniversary of your trade association in this special anniversary breakfast with past leaders who “bet the farm” on biodiesel. Then, hear from current industry leaders on their vision for the next 30 years. Also, as you’re leaving Las Vegas, grab NBB’s new book authored by Ron Kotrba chronicling this intriguing history! Get your complimentary signed copy at this closing session.


Ron Kotrba

Biobased Diesel Daily

Ron Kotrba is founder of RonKo Media Productions and its flagship publication, Biobased Diesel™ Daily. He’s also the author of the new book, The Birth of American Biodiesel: Biographical Accounts Celebrate 30 Years of Pioneers, Leaders, and the Bold Vision of the National Biodiesel Board. For 16 years, he served as editor in chief of Biodiesel Magazine and senior editor with Biomass Magazine. A graduate of Michigan State University, Kotrba went on to become an advanced engineering laboratory technician for an OEM exhaust supplier, where he performed developmental, analytical work on diesel aftertreatment systems including diesel oxidation catalysts, diesel particulate filters, selective catalytic reduction systems and lean NOx traps. In 2019, Kotrba was honored by the National Biodiesel Board for his years of trusted work as editor of Biodiesel Magazine, receiving the distinguished Eye on Biodiesel-Influence Award.

Gary Ellington

Missouri Soybean

Bob Metz

Soybean Producer
South Dakota Soybean

Bob Metz, a soybean producer from Peever, South Dakota, is past president of the American Soybean Association. The South Dakota Soybean Association honored him for his dedication, leadership and service with the 2020 Dedicated and Distinguished Award. He served as chairman of the National Biodiesel Board from 2001 – 2004.

Ed Hegland

Soybean Producer
Minnesota Soybean

Ed Hegland produces soybeans, corn and wheat in Western Minnesota, near Appleton. Representing the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, he served as chairman of the National Biodiesel Board from 2007 – 2010.

Gary Haer

Retired Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Vice President of Special Projects
Renewable Energy Group

Gary Haer recently retired as Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Vice President of Special Projects for Renewable Energy Group. For more than 20 years, he stood at the forefront of this growing company, its biodiesel expansion, and later, renewable diesel advancement. As the biodiesel industry began to take shape in early 2000, Haer served as the National Sales and Marketing Manager for biodiesel at West Central Cooperative. In 2006, Renewable Energy Group emerged from the business and Gary took the helm of the Sales and Marketing department. Elected to the National Biodiesel Board’s Governing Board in 2004, he worked his way up the leadership chain to become Chairman of the Board from 2010 – 2013 – the first producer to serve in that role. He received NBB’s 2021 Inspiration Award.

Kent Engelbrecht

Biodiesel Trade Manager

Kent Engelbrecht serves as Biodiesel Trade Manager at Archer Daniels Midland. He served as chairman of the National Biodiesel Board from 2016 – 2019.

Mike Devine

Vice President of Sales & Business Development
World Energy

Michael Devine is the Vice President of Sales and is a key member of World Energy’s senior management team. Michael play’s a key role in establishing a low carbon renewable fuels downstream distribution platform, for marketing blends of 80% renewable diesel blended with 20% biodiesel in the state of California. Mike’s commercial success in creating new sales markets and distribution opportunities have helped further World Energy’s leadership position in the renewable fuels industry. Through his deep understanding and experience of the biofuels supply-chain and the petroleum fuels market, Mike brings practical business solutions to organizations that want to implement low carbon fuel solutions.

John Jansen

VP, Strategic Partnerships
United Soybean Board

John Jansen serves as Vice President, Oil Strategy at United Soybean Board. He provides strategic leadership and responsibility for implementing and providing vision and direction to deploy USB’s soybean oil strategy. John spearheads new business opportunities and business consolidation efforts across the edible oil portfolio. He also coordinates with R&D and Marketing to align product strategy with market trends. He develops operational efficiencies, manages pricing and replaces existing products as indicated to improve competitive positions, creates optimal value for customers and maximizes product line profitability. John develops compelling messaging and appropriate tools to drive solutions for targeted food customers within distribution areas.

Antoine Thompson

Executive Director
Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition

Antoine M. Thompson is a nationally recognized leader for environmental justice, green business, housing, diversity and urban policy. He serves as the Executive Director of the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCC), a public-private partnership that promotes the use of clean, American transportation fuels for homeland security, improved air quality, environment justice, diversity and inclusion. He is a partner with Creative PMO Solutions, a consulting firm that focuses on diversity, inclusion, workforce development, project management and public affairs.

In his hometown of Buffalo, New York, Antoine was elected to Buffalo Common Council where he authored the Buffalo’s Fair Housing Law, the Minority and Women Business Enterprise Inclusion Law and secured over $75 million for community development projects. He was elected to the New York State Senate in 2006 and 2008 and served as the Senate Deputy Majority Whip and Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conversation and Co-Chair of the Senate Minority and Woman Business Enterprise Task Force. Antoine is also a licensed real estate agent and the former Executive Director of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the oldest organization of African-American real estate professionals in the U.S. He led efforts to increase advocacy on Capitol Hill on closing the racial wealth gap through increasing the rate of Black homeownership. In 2021, Antoine was recognized on the Swanepoel Power 200 list ranking of the most influential and powerful leaders and executives in the residential real estate brokerage industry.

Harry Simpson

President and CEO
Crimson Renewable Energy Holdings

Harry Simpson is the President and CEO of Crimson Renewable Energy Holdings and its subsidiaries. As CEO of both Crimson and SeQuential, Harry leads their combined operations. He founded Crimson based on his desire to have a greater impact on the world at large and his belief that the many benefits of producing biodiesel – enhanced energy security, local and regional economic development, and significant reductions in harmful emissions – would be a meaningful way to be more impactful.

Harry has over 25 years of senior management, entrepreneurial, and public and private funding experience. Prior to founding Crimson, he began his career in interbank foreign exchange derivatives trading, including managing the New York foreign exchange options trading group at a major broker. Subsequently, he served in a variety of senior executive capacities at venture capital backed technology companies. He is a Chicago native and a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington.


Doug Whitehead

Chief Operating Officer
National Biodiesel Board

Doug Whitehead serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the National Biodiesel Board, responsible for ensuring that the association’s strategic plan, fund development, programs, and procedures support the needs of the biodiesel industry. As the association’s COO, Doug continuously strives to improve operations for the company and works diligently to ensure NBB’s team of dedicated staff has the resources and tools they need to execute materials for our valued members. Doug often takes the pulse of the association by assessing performance at NBB and utilizing each team member’s strengths to aid in building a stronger biodiesel and renewable diesel industry.

Doug has decades of experience in business development, government relations, and consulting, with more than 18 years in the biodiesel space and 15 years in local elected office. In addition to serving as NBB’s Chief Operating Officer, Doug spent time managing NBB’s work in Washington D.C. supporting the reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit, defending the Renewable Fuel Standard program, and fighting against several trade cases on illegally traded biodiesel imports.

In 2002, Doug became NBB’s first in-house State Regulatory Director. From 2008-2017 he served as Director of Operations & Membership before assuming the role of Chief Operating Officer in 2017. A graduate of Kansas State University, Doug was born in Missouri and lives in Jefferson City, Missouri, where NBB is headquartered.

Donnell Rehagen

Chief Executive Officer
National Biodiesel Board

Donnell Rehagen serves as the Chief Executive Officer for biomass-based diesel’s preeminent trade association. With more than 115 member companies, the National Biodiesel Board is the leading U.S. organization representing the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry. Donnell works closely with NBB’s board of directors to ensure the industry has a clear, sharp vision of the future – full of growth and opportunity for the members it serves. Donnell provides leadership to NBB’s highly competent and passionate staff and team of advocacy, technical, environmental science, and communications professionals in a dedicated drive to see the industry reach its vision of six billion gallons of demand by 2030. Leveraging America’s growing demand for cleaner and better transportation and home heating fuels, the industry is poised to deliver on that demand today.

Donnell joined NBB in 2004 as its Chief Operating Officer and assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2016. Donnell has Masters in Public Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems from Missouri State University.

Room: South Seas Ballroom