PRE-CONFERENCE: From Sea to Shining Sea: Federal Funding Opportunities 

Feb 5, 4:00 — 5:15 PM CST

Fostering the success of clean fuels is a national priority. Everyone in the supply chain can benefit from federal funding – with a little know-how. USDA will discuss the prized Higher Blend Infrastructure Incentive Program and other grant and loan programs. Hear from the Department of Energy on how you may benefit from its low interest loan program – an attractive option for high-dollar projects. You’ll also get an overview on other land, air and sea funding opportunities, from rail to planes to ports! 


Jeff Carpenter

Business Loan and Grant Analyst Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) Manager Rural Development
United States Department of Agriculture

Jeff Carpenter has been the Program Manager for the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) since May 2021 and has been part of the team since the program started in 2020. Carpenter graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration and Psychology, and with an MBA. Carpenter started with USDA Rural Development in Nebraska in 2008. Since 2015, Carpenter’s work has focused on the various Energy Programs offered through USDA Rural Development, including those centered around advanced biofuels.

Jill Hamilton

Sustainable Energy Strategies, Inc.

Jill Hamilton is President of Sustainable Energy Strategies, Inc. (SESI). She has more than 30 years of providing fundraising and business development consulting for the alternative transportations fuels industry. Over the past 26 years, Jill and her team have raised more than a billion dollars to expand the biofuels industry. She is a key consultant to Clean Fuels Alliance America and her team helps support the Clean Fuels Foundation. She is also a trusted advisor to the National Clean Cities Program and Chair of the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition. She will discuss funding opportunities that could benefit your company.

Dr. Valerie Sarisky-Reed

Director of the Bioenergy Technologies Office
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

Dr. Valerie Sarisky-Reed is the Director of the Bioenergy Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). In this role, she manages efforts to improve performance, lower costs and accelerate market entry of bioenergy technologies. She oversees the BETO R&D budget of approximately $280M annually, working with DOE’s national laboratories, academia, and industry to meet aggressive goals that will grow the US bioeconomy.. She has more than 30 years of experience in addressing energy and environmental issues faced by the United States and globally. Most recently she is a lead for the Sustainable Aviation Grand Challenge Team. The efforts of this team have already increased the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in this country and has the potential to reduce carbon emissions from aviation travel by 80-90% by 2050. Valerie holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Georgetown University and is a graduate of the Department of Commerce’s Senior Executive Service Career Development Program.


Kate Shenk

Director of Regulatory Affairs
Clean Fuels Alliance America

Kate Shenk serves as Director of Regulatory Affairs for Clean Fuels Alliance America, leading members in navigating federal regulatory policies. In this role, Shenk helps the industry advocate for growth in annual Renewable Fuel Standard rules, eligibility for grants in USDA infrastructure incentive program, and addressing the climate crisis. She leads the industry’s efforts to secure equitable treatment of biodiesel and renewable diesel and their diverse feedstocks in EPA, DOE and USDA programs. Shenk brings an extensive knowledge of the Clean Air Act and related regulatory policies and earned a Master of Science from Bard College.

Room: Fort Worth Ballroom 1-4