Bullish on Biodiesel, Soaring with SAF 

Feb 6, 1:15 — 2:45 PM CST

A year of overall policy wins, plus aggressive corporate decarbonization efforts has set the table for clean fuels to flourish – and at the center sits biodiesel! We’ll hear from top biodiesel company leaders on why the future has never looked brighter. Then, please stow your belongings and fasten your seatbelts for a lively discussion on sustainable aviation fuel! Is it ready for takeoff? Join top airline executives and an SAF company as they discuss their commitments to ESG, and what role SAF is sure to play.


Kurt Kovarik

VP, Federal Affairs
Clean Fuels

Kurt Kovarik serves as Vice President, Federal Affairs for Clean Fuels Alliance America, leading members in advocating federal policies that support the industry’s growth. Kovarik has helped the industry secure a long-term extension of the biodiesel tax incentive; preserve important protections against unfair international trade; ensure the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard program; and organize the industry’s advocacy for equitable tax, infrastructure, and environmental policies. Kovarik formerly worked more than 20 years in the office of Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), leading efforts on the Renewable Fuel Standard, the biodiesel tax incentive, and increased use of biofuels. An Iowa native, Kovarik graduated from Luther College with a degree in political science.

Gary Louis

President & CEO
Seaboard Energy

Gary Louis is the President/CEO of Seaboard Energy. He started Seaboard Energy (formally High Plains Energy) while serving as the Executive Vice President of Seaboard Foods. Gary has led Seaboard Energy from a single Biodiesel plant in Guymon, Oklahoma that started producing in 2008 to a company that has two biodiesel plants, a renewable diesel plant in Kansas, a liquid renewable fuels unit train distribution center in California, solar fields and biogas production.

Prior to Seaboard Energy, Gary was active in integrated pork production and involved in rendering and supplying feedstock to the renewable fuels industry. He is currently an active soybean and beef producer in Mound City, Kansas, along with serving on the Clean Fuels Alliance America Governing Board.

Gary is an Iowa native and a graduate of Iowa State University (BS) and the University of Nebraska (MS & PhD). Gary is married with 6 children and resides in Overland Park, Kansas.

Brad Wilson

President & General Manager
Western Iowa Energy/Agron Bioenergy

Brad Wilson joined the Western Iowa team in 2011 as the Chief Financial Officer and was named Western Iowa Energy’s Vice President in early 2012 and Executive Vice President in late 2014. He was voted to the Iowa Biodiesel Board in 2013 and served as the organization’s chair from 2019 – 2022. He serves as the director and in leadership positions for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

Wilson began his career in the Agribusiness industry with Gardiner & Company, CPAs as a financial auditor, auditing farmer-owned cooperatives across the central U.S. Since then, he’s worked as an Internal Auditor and Business Analyst with West Central Cooperative in Ralston, Iowa. While at WCC, he spearheaded accounting and finance functions for the company’s network of biodiesel plants.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Business Administration degree from Iowa State University. He and his wife, Brandy, have seven children and two grandchildren.

Kerry Fogarty

Quality Control Manager
Incobrasa Industries, Ltd.

Kerry Fogarty serves as Quality Control Manager for Incobrasa Industries, Ltd. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Illinois State University, Kerry began his career in the soybean crushing industry as a laboratory technician for Central Soya.  In 1997,  he joined the team at Incobrasa Industries in Gilman, Illinois as the Laboratory Manager. Shortly thereafter, the plant began crushing soybeans.

Since then, Kerry has been part of the seemingly continuous expansion of the operations.  In 2001, he was placed in charge of the refinery. In 2003, he was an integral part of the construction and operation of the packaging facility. In 2006, biodiesel became part of the operations, with Kerry playing a role.  Throughout the years, Kerry has undertaken the responsibility to obtain and maintain the various EPA permits required for construction and operations. He also developed and maintains the BQ-9000 and food safety programs. When not working, Kerry enjoys golfing, bowling and playing guitar.

Jill Blickstein

Vice President of Sustainability
American Airlines

Jill Blickstein is Vice President of Sustainability at American Airlines. With her deep experience in corporate responsibility and public policy, Jill works within American and across the aviation industry to find solutions to lower the climate impact of air travel.

Previously, Jill served as American’s Managing Director and Head of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG). Under her leadership, American became the first airline in the world to receive validation from the Science Based Targets initiative of its intermediate climate change goals and for the first time was added to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America. Jill is Vice Chair of the International Air Transport Association’s Sustainability and Environment Advisory Council and serves on the Business Environmental Leadership Council of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

Prior to joining American in 2019, she held several roles at JPMorgan Chase and Fannie Mae in the areas of philanthropy, corporate responsibility and public policy. She began her career at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and returned to OMB in 2009 to serve as chief of staff.

Jill earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Nancy Young

Chief Sustainability Officer

Nancy Young is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Gevo, leading the company’s sustainability, environmental, and scientific affairs as Gevo commercializes the next generation of bio-based renewable fuels, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Prior to joining Gevo, Nancy was CSO for Alder Fuels.

A globally recognized aviation, alternative fuels, environment, and sustainability leader, Nancy served for over fourteen years as the Vice President of Environmental Affairs at Airlines for America® (A4A). In addition to directing A4A’s environmental sustainability programs, she served on the steering group and as sustainability co-lead of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative®, participated in working groups under ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, and served on the Board of the Air Transport Action Group and the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Group for Sustainable Transport.

Nancy previously was a partner at the law firm of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., where she was co-chair of the firm’s climate change and waste management and recycling practices. Nancy holds a BA from The College of William & Mary and a JD cum laude from Harvard Law School.

John Briere

Dir. of Fuel Supply & Trading
Southwest Airlines

John Briere heads up Fuel Supply & Trading at Southwest Airlines. He leads a talented group of fuel supply and logistics professionals that drive the global supply, trading, scheduling, and transport of over 2 billion gallons of jet fuel a year to wherever Southwest flies. In addition to managing the second largest company expense, also reporting to John is the Fuel Admin and System Support Team responsible for supporting the scheduling, reconciliation of all fuel movements and transactions, system support for the company’s fuel management system, automation efforts, data analytics and continuous improvement initiatives.

On the SAF front, John led recent offtake negotiations with USA BioEnergy resulting in a 20-year deal for SAF and spearheads SAF logistics and blending strategies for the Fuel Strategy & Management Team.

Prior to joining Southwest, John spent 18 years at American Airlines in various supply chain roles including managing director of fuel & energy and led the merger strategy and integration efforts for American and US Airways procurement and supply chains. Prior to American, John held various roles in sales, logistics and product management in the automotive aftermarket industry with GKN Parts Industries and APS.


Doug Whitehead

Clean Fuels

Doug Whitehead serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Clean Fuels Alliance America, 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, he continuously strives to improve operations for the company and works diligently to ensure the team has the resources and tools they need to execute materials for valued members. Whitehead 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. He spent time managing Clean Fuels Alliance America’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. He is a graduate of Kansas State University.

Veronica Bradley

Director, Environmental Science
Clean Fuels

As Clean Fuel’s Environmental Science Director, Veronica Bradley leads the advancement of education and research on the climate benefits of bio-based diesel and sustainable aviation fuels. In this role, Veronica educates relevant stakeholders on the environmental benefits of clean fuels and works with industry to identify and execute on relevant research needs. Her combined scientific and legal backgrounds make her a dynamic problem-solver who finds practical solutions to nudge our current systems toward decarbonization and long-term, triple-bottom line sustainability.

Room: Conference Central-Omni Texas Ballroom