• Clean Fuels Alliance America

Clean Fuels Alliance America honors those who pushed biodiesel boundaries

Clean Fuels Alliance America, formerly known as the National Biodiesel Board, took time during its annual Biodiesel Conference & Expo to honor those who made significant gains for the industry. The Eye on Industry Awards, presented to those who bet on biodiesel’s success, were distributed to a range of individuals representing progress of the clean-burning transportation and heating fuel industry thus far.

“These groups and individuals have really upped the ante when it comes to our industry’s success,” said Donnell Rehagen, CEO of Clean Fuels. “The leadership and dedication demonstrated by each of these honorees shaped our industry into what is today and positioned us well in the future. We thank each and every one of them for their great work.”

The honorees, recognized on the mainstage throughout the weeklong conference and expo, are:


NBB Past Chairs—Kenlon Johannes Pioneer Award

During the first 30 years of the industry’s organization, the range of leaders who served as chair of National Biodiesel Board helped shape the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry into what it is today. Pioneering a path forward, the past chairs laid the groundwork from technical and legislative efforts to education and awareness. They overcame some of the industry’s biggest hurdles and delivered on many successes.

Past NBB chairs (Photo: Ron Kotrba, Biobased Diesel Daily)

Their backgrounds are varied—some farmed and others produced biodiesel—but they all shared one thing: a passion for the industry and its success. Chad Stone, current chairman of Clean Fuels, honored these past chairs with the Kenlon Johannes Pioneer Award:

  • Gary Ellington, 1992-1995


  • Jim Gay, 1995-1999


  • Roger Peterson, 1999


  • Jack Hartman, 1999-2001


  • Bob Metz, 2001-2004


  • Darryl Brinkmann, 2004-2007


  • Ed Hegland, 2007-2010


  • Gary Haer, 2010-2013


  • Steven Levy, 2013-2015


  • Ron Marr, 2015-2016


  • Kent Engelbrecht, 2016-2019

Mike Adams, Adams on Agriculture—Impact Award

Farm Broadcasters have played an instrumental role in building awareness of the biodiesel industry among farmers. From the very beginning, Mike Adams has helped build grassroots advocates by sharing the story of clean fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel on his national radio shows and covering the latest in production, demand and policy development news. Adams’ reputation as a trusted, reliable voice in farm broadcasting—built over his 48-year career in radio—helped build acceptance for a new, clean fuel and maintain support as the industry grew.

Adams (Photo: Ron Kotrba, Biobased Diesel Daily)

Adams’ impact on the industry came from his willingness to share the stories that needed to be told, his awareness of the industry’s value to his audience—namely farmers—and his expertise regarding the policies that impact the industry’s future.

Mahanth Joishy, City of Madison—Inspiration Award

Mahanth Joishy’s mission is inspiring in itself. He wants to help the thriving city of Madison, Wisconsin, become one of the most sustainable cities in the world—with biodiesel at the heart of the effort. When Joishy became the city’s fleet manager in 2017, one of his first acts was to switch the city’s heavy-duty fleet of about 500 vehicles to blends of biodiesel fuel.

Joishy (Photo: Ron Kotrba, Biobased Diesel Daily)

Under his leadership, diesel vehicles, from fire trucks to parks department mowers to the all-important snowplows, now run on up to a 20 percent biodiesel blend (B20) most of the year. The city is even retrofitting 17 fleet service vehicles to run on 100 percent biodiesel fuel (B100) year-round. Joishy’s leadership and passion will continue to inspire other cities and fleets to expand their use of biodiesel fuel.

Nancy Foster, North American Renderers Association—Influence Award

Biodiesel and renewable diesel have built a reputation on a diverse blend of feedstocks. As president and CEO of the North American Renderers Association, Nancy Foster has been a significant influence in feedstock expansion. Her leadership within NARA has helped continue to grow and solidify biodiesel’s sustainability messaging throughout the country.

Foster (via video call)

The industry would not have been the same without her voice in Washington, D.C. Foster also worked for the American Soybean Association as its chief lobbyist and director of ASA’s Washington, D.C., office—where she successfully gained congressional passage of landmark legislation to establish the national soybean checkoff for research and promotion.

Clean Fuels Alliance America hosts this annual must-attend event to facilitate business, education and networking. The conference and expo are made possible by generous support of industry sponsors.

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