Corporate Leadership

World-class Executives

USA BioEnergy (USABE) is a dependable market leader in the world of synthetic fuels and renewable energy because we have a world-class team experienced in synthetic fuel technology, global energy, and carbon-credit markets.

Our dedicated executive team has decades of combined experience with great depth of knowledge in our rapidly developing niche within the renewable energy market. Each highly qualified member of the team brings unique and important skills that uphold USA BioEnergy’s continued commitment to the bio-economy.

Founders

Nick Andrews, CEO & Co-Founder

Nick leads and delivers the performance of the company. Prior to founding USA BioEnergy, he spent nearly 30 years as a senior executive in commercial real estate including 20 years as a project developer and founder/owner of a brokerage firm in Scottsdale, AZ. His experience in managing corporate growth, implementing complex multi-tiered financial strategies, for his own organization and those of others has enabled USABE to achieve an enviable record of achievement in the industry in a short period of time. Nick is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) which combined with his entrepreneurial acumen and creative instinct has been invaluable to the company’s ambitious growth trajectory.

David Prom, Chairman & Co-Founder

As a co-founder of USABE, David has provided strategic direction and corporate oversight during its growth. He is directly involved with investor relations and project funding. He has 30 years of executive leadership experience including more than 20 years in engineering processes and the development of high impact technology ventures. David helped found one of the country’s first intrastate crowdfunding portals through which he has raised capital for new ventures in the expanding renewable energy space. He has a background in law, science and technology and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University. Prior to his involvement with USABE David held leadership roles at Chevrolet, TRW Safety Systems, and Goodyear Tire.

Team

Ellen Wesley, Chief Financial Officer

As an early member of the USABE team, Ellen has provided guidance and assurance in the company’s financial matters. Prior to joining USABE she owned and managed her own consultancy specializing in capital raises for utility-scale renewable energy production facilities, including first generation biofuels, solar, wind, geothermal and waste-to-energy (W2E). Ellen was CFO and board member of Blue Northern Energy, a 30 million gallon per year biodiesel facility in Illinois, and was a managing director at NexGen Power LLC, a private equity firm making investments in ethanol and biodiesel facilities. Prior to her entry into the energy space, Ellen spent 19 years with Citibank. Ellen has a BS in Finance from Arizona State University.

Tony Wedell, Vice President of Operations

As VP of Operations for USABE, Tony is responsible for overseeing engineering and construction of new facilities as well as our ongoing plant performance. He brings 28 years of experience from a diversified background in power, transmission/distribution, chemicals, forest industries, food/beverage and renewables. During his tenure in the industry, he established a track record of building extraordinary executive teams. Prior to joining USABE he worked for Wood (including Amec and Amec Foster Wheeler) for over 20 years as an operations leader for North and South America, managing a team responsible for over $3 Billion in EPC and EPCM project volume. Tony has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from North Dakota State University and an Advanced Certificate in Project Management from Penn State University.

Paul Oesterreich, Vice President of Fuel Strategies

As VP of Fuel Strategies for USABE, Paul negotiates and secures our offtake agreements with our high-level customer base including fuel distributors and retailers, airlines and chemical industries. He coordinates the outbound supply chain, product transportation and trading and valuation of federal and state tax credits. Paul’s experience in renewable credits trading, marketing and risk management was established during his years with World Fuel Services, Western Petroleum Company, and before those, Mercuria Energy Trading. Prior to those engagements he was with British Petroleum for over 17 years where he was trading refined fuels and liquified petroleum gas (LPG). Paul has a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technical University.

Dr. Robert Freerks, Vice President of Product Development

As VP of Product Development, Robert oversees, coordinates and ensures the efficacy USABE’s state of the art technologies. He has over 30 years of experience in the formulation and development of oil-based and synthetic fuels, lubricants and biofuels, including their production using Fischer-Tropsch (FT) processes. He has held leadership roles with Velocys, Rentech and Syntroleum Corporation, where he developed synthetic jet fuels using FT synthesis and hydro processing technology. He worked closely with the US Departments of Defense and Energy to qualify the FT fuels for use in military aircraft as well as in diesel engines. Prior to his work on renewable and synthetic fuels, Robert was employed by Chevron Research and Technology where he developed and formulated diesel products, base oils, additives and lubricants. Dr. Freerks has a BS degree in Chemistry from California State University (Long Beach) and his PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of California (Irvine). He is also the author of 21 publications and an inventor listed on 6 US patents.

Timothy La Sota, Legal Counsel

Tim provides general counsel on all USABE’s governmental affairs, regulatory issues, licensing, procurement and land use. In Arizona, he served as General Counsel for the Arizona Corporation Commission, Deputy Maricopa County attorney, and was Chief of Staff for the mayor of Scottsdale. and has also represented governors and members of congress.  Most recently he has managed his own firm specializing in government practice, including lobbying, election law, regulatory, administrative and licensing law, land use, and specialized litigation involving governmental entities. Tim has argued successfully in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Arizona Supreme Court, and the Arizona Court of Appeals.  He has also handled numerous matters at the Superior Court level. Tim is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a BS in finance and Arizona State University College of Law.

Advisory Board

Dr. Burton C. English,
PhD, MS, Agricultural Economics & BS Forestry

Burton is a professor of Agriculture and Resource Economics at the University of Tennessee. He is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and research. He has published 140 journal articles, 7 books and over 500 Abstracts, papers and other articles. His specialties include agricultural and trade policy, economics of renewable energy, bio systems engineering, mathematical programming, advanced quantitative methods and agricultural supply analysis, and managerial economics. His research includes development and analysis of biomass for bioenergy and the environmental impacts of switching from fossil fuels to biomass and dedicated fuel crops. He was directly involved with the US DOE’s Billion-Ton Study determining the country’s ability to harness biomass to substitute for fossil fuel.

 

Dr. Stephen C. LeViness, PhD, MS, BS Chemical Engineering

Steve’s broad area of expertise over 30 years is in FT technologies synthesizing liquid fuels, at laboratory and commercial scales. He advises on plant engineering, economic optimization, business development, and intellectual property & patents. His areas of expertise include catalysis, reaction engineering, reaction kinetics, reactor modeling, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, methanol synthesis, conventional and compact multi-tubular fixed bed reactors, slurry bubble column reactors, microchannel reactors, FT catalysts, slurry reactor and trickle bed reactor hydrodynamics, synthesis gas generation and clean-up, small/modular GTL, process economics, FT product and upgrading, short path distillation, and batch hydrogenation. Steve has worked for Greyrock, SCGE, Velocys, Schlumberger, Syntroleum, Mobil and Exxon. He has a PhD from Rice University, and his MS and BS from Worcester Polytechnic Institue, all in chemical engineering. His name appears on over 2 dozen patents and 30+ publications and presentations.

Chris Tindal, Assistant Director of CAAFI

The Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) goal is promote the development and commercialization of sustainable aviation fuel. Chris helps to manage the coalition of CAAFI stakeholders and provide leadership and strategic guidance to CAAFI’s State and Regional programs, Federal government initiatives, airport authorities, and international initiatives. He is an advisor on biofuels to the State of Queensland (AU), and is on the board of Advanced Biofuels USA. As a Navy officer he was director of operational energy developing programs to launch he advanced biofuels industry. He helped oversee the Great Green Fleet deployment in which the navy used 77 million gallons of F-76 alternative fuel blends in their ships. He was peer-selected as one of the top 100 people in the bio-economy by Biofuels Digest. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.