Neal departs NBB for Darling, Vergara takes over state policy team
The National Biodiesel Board announced transition in its state governmental affairs leadership in early October with longtime director Shelby Neal departing the organization and Floyd Vergara assuming the leadership role in directing NBB's nationwide program.
"While we are sad to see Shelby go after 12 tremendous years leading NBB's state policy team, we could not be more thrilled to have someone of Floyd's caliber on deck to take over this critical leadership role," said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. "Floyd's passion, work ethic and vast regulatory experience will be a tremendous value to our membership as climate programs take center stage driving the market for low-carbon fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel now and into the future."
Vergara opened NBB's West Coast office in November 2019 after more than 32 years at the California Air Resources Board in various top-leadership positions. Most recently, he served as chief of the industrial strategies division and assistant chief of the research division. Over the years, Vergara oversaw a number of CARB's key climate and air quality programs, including the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Cap-and-Trade program, among others.
"While our West Coast presence will continue to be key in growing biodiesel and renewable diesel markets, the carbon markets blossoming on the East Eoast are a tremendous opportunity for our industry moving forward," Vergara said. "I'm excited to help lead continued growth at the state level by applying our successes and lessons learned on the West Coast into all other parts of the country through this new leadership role. The environmental benefits of biodiesel and renewable diesel are backed by sound science and must be included in carbon-reduction policies moving forward if regulators are serious about making real change."
NBB's expansion last year to add a West Coast office bolstered the industry's presence in one of the hottest markets for biodiesel and renewable diesel growth, and the organization is exploring opportunities to reinforce East Coast program efforts as part of the transition.
"The industry is in great hands with Floyd whom I believe will lead NBB's state regulatory efforts to a new level," said Neal. "Regulations to reduce emissions that started in California are spreading across the country, and his experience will be critical to biodiesel and renewable diesel successfully claiming their space within these programs. Floyd's leadership, in addition to an already robust state team strategically positioned across the country as well as an active and engaged membership, is a sure recipe for success."
Vergara received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and his law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He is licensed to practice in California as a professional engineer and lawyer.
Neal will be departing NBB Oct. 16 to take a position at Darling Ingredients as the company's vice president for renewables and energy policy in its global headquarters office located in Irving, Texas. Vergara will assume Neal's leadership position within NBB immediately following his departure.