President & CEO
President & CEO
Since October 2018, Geoff Cooper is President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), the leading trade association for America’s ethanol industry. Collectively representing the majority of U.S. ethanol industry leaders and supporters, RFA is working to drive expanded demand for American-made renewable fuels and bio-products worldwide.
Previously he served as RFA Executive Vice President, where in addition to overseeing market analysis and policy research, he provided regulatory support and strategic planning for the association and its members. Geoff has also focused on issues related to lifecycle analysis, sustainability and ethanol co-products.
He has served as an appointed member of the California Air Resources Board’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program Advisory Panel, as well as the Oregon Clean Fuels Program Rulemaking Advisory Committee. Geoff was also appointed to the Midwest Governors Association’s (MGA) Advanced Transportation Fuels Advisory Group, as well as MGA’s Low Carbon Fuels Policy Advisory Group. He also serves on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Agricultural Advisory Committee and was named to the U.N. Expert Roundtable on Biofuels & Food by the Commissioner for Human Rights. He has testified on behalf of RFA before state and federal legislative and regulatory bodies.
Geoff has discussed ethanol, energy, and agricultural issues on CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business News, and National Public Radio, and has been quoted by the Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and numerous other print and online media outlets. He received the ethanol industry’s prestigious “High Octane Award” in 2017, and has twice been selected as one of “Top 100 People in the Bioeconomy” by the readers of Biofuels Digest.
Prior to joining RFA, Geoff served as Director of Ethanol Programs for the National Corn Growers Association. In this role, he led research and promotional efforts to increase the production and use of corn-based ethanol. Previously, Geoff served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, specializing in bulk petroleum supply and logistics.
A Wyoming native, Geoff graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He earned his master’s degree at Webster University in St. Louis.
Senior Strategic Advisor
As of October 2018, Bob Dinneen is RFA’s Senior Strategic Advisor. Previously, he served as President and CEO. Bob has been instrumental in advancing policies that protect the environment, strengthen the U.S. economy, and promote energy independence. Since 2008, Bob has repeatedly been recognized as a “top lobbyist” by Capitol Hill’s must-read newspaper, The Hill.
A noted expert on energy and environmental policy and issues affecting the U.S. ethanol industry, Bob regularly testifies before federal agencies and congressional committees. His views and expertise have been solicited by top policymakers in the Bush (41), Clinton, Bush (43), and Obama Administrations, including Secretaries of Energy, Agriculture, Treasury, and Commerce, and the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency. Bob has represented the U.S. ethanol industry at state, national, and international forums and addressed major gatherings of international leaders in Europe and South America.
In 1988, he joined RFA as Legislative Director and assumed the role of President in 2001. Bob’s successful coalition-building efforts paved the way for industry growth and directly resulted in public policy achievements such as the expansion of the historic Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to 36 billion gallons by 2022.
A frequent speaker on ethanol-related issues, Bob has been featured in top print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, Reuters, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, FOX, and a wide variety of regional and trade publications. Additionally, Bob is a featured contributor on “The Huffington Post,” the web’s most widely read blog for political news.
Prior to joining RFA, Bob worked in the U.S. Congress for various Representatives and congressional committees.
Bob graduated from the Catholic University of America with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Vice President, Government & External Affairs
Since October 2018, Jessica Bennett has served as RFA Vice President, Government & External Affairs. Jessica joined RFA in January 2018 as vice president of external affairs. She manages the RFA government affairs practice and focuses on building stakeholder support through policy and messaging. Additionally, Jessica provides strategic counsel on RFA’s internal and external communications, builds stronger relationships with industry stakeholders and partners, and assists with legislative and regulatory efforts as needed.
Jessica was most recently director of renewable fuels for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), where she also previously served as director of public policy, handling ethanol issues. Prior to her time at NCGA, she worked at Bunge North America as director of government relations and was responsible for representing the company’s interests on issues related to agriculture at the federal level. She has previously worked as the federal affairs representative for various trade associations representing agriculture and small businesses over the past several years, and served as a staff person in the offices of two members of Congress from Arkansas.
Ken Colombini became the communications director of the Renewable Fuels Association in May 2019. He also had served in that position with the National Corn Growers Association, where he led NCGA’s multiple-award winning communications team and helped create and lead the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, serving on USFRA’s communications committee.
Ken’s experience in agriculture communications was preceded by similar experience at Anheuser-Busch, where his responsibilities included directing governmental and environmental communications. Before moving to St. Louis in 2000, Ken worked in California state government, as a governor’s speechwriter and as chief communications officer for the California State Parks system. He has an earlier background in journalism, and he holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Thomas Aquinas College in California.
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Kelly brings 30 years experience in the grain processing industry with emphasis in ethanol production for fuel, industrial and beverage purposes. As such, she offers producer members value-added experience, providing updated information and support relative to domestic and export marketplace specifications, regulations and directives. She is a recognized authority on ethanol.
Past experiences include a similar position with Hawkeye Gold, LLC, also former Vice President Marketing & Business Development for Glacial Grain Spirits, LLC and Quality Manager for Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company. Kelly is an active member with the ASTM Committee for Petroleum Products and a past Chair of the Technical Committee for the Renewable Fuels Association. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Marshall University in Huntington, WV.
Director of Special Projects and Events
Mary has worked at the RFA in various capacities starting in 1996, including Director of Legislative Affairs and Communications Director. As Director of Special Projects and Events, she oversees the annual National Ethanol Conference and RFA board of directors meetings, among other projects.
Prior, she worked as a legislative assistant for a Wisconsin congressional office and for the Wisconsin Alternative Fuels Task Force. She holds Bachelor of Art degrees in history and political science from the University of Wisconsin.
Director of Government Affairs
Connor Hamburg is RFA Director of Government Affairs as of October 2018. Hamburg got his start in Washington, D.C., as an intern for former Vice President Joe Biden, and served most recently as a Manager of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs at the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).
Prior to his tenure at NCGA, Hamburg worked on Capitol Hill for Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.). He has also previously worked for former Congressman and current Delaware Gov. John Carney (D), as well as Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). Hamburg hails from Smyrna, Del., where members of his family have been growing corn, soybeans, and wheat for generations.
Marylou Hoffman is Office Manager for the RFA Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. She is responsible for operations support, including human resources management and back-end accounting functions. Marylou also serves as executive assistant to RFA’s President & CEO and facilitates with the association’s overall executive team. She has honed her operations and client-facing expertise with various technical industries for nearly thirty years.
Edward Hubbard is RFA’s General Counsel, a role he has filled since July 2011. In addition to general counsel duties, he leads RFA’s efforts in advancing its tax and international trade public policy agenda. As part of his lobbying and government relations outreach, he works to promote a policy framework that encourages greater production and use of ethanol.
Prior to joining RFA, Edward served as Legislative Director and Counsel in the office of U.S. Representative Albert Wynn. He advised former Congressman Wynn, who was a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, on legislative activities and helped manage the office and its staff. He also oversaw the Congressman’s regional whip duties, Maryland Delegation leadership responsibilities, and Chair activities for the CBC Small Business Task Force, Hydrogen Caucus, and Wireless Caucus.
Before his service on Capitol Hill, Edward worked in Culver City, California, as an associate at the law offices of Willoughby & Associates. While there, he litigated business, real estate, labor, employment, general tort, and civil rights disputes before state and federal courts. Previously, he worked as an associate in the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, where he advised corporate clients on securities and regulatory compliance issues.
Edward’s first job in Washington was working as a legislative correspondent in the office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Before this, he served as Special Assistant to the Chairman for the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Water Rates in Los Angeles.
Edward is a member of the California State Bar. He earned a J.D. from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and holds a B.A. in political science from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Ann has supported the research, regulatory, and technical needs of the association as RFA’s Senior Analyst since 2010. She provides a wide range of services, from data management and analysis to member communications and training.
Prior, Ann conducted competitive intelligence research and strategic planning and evaluation in support of agricultural commodity/value-added product export development. She attended the University of Missouri–Columbia master’s program in Agricultural Economics (International Trade Policy Concentration), and received a BA in International Studies and BS in Agricultural Economics at Virginia Tech.
Director Of Market Development
Cassie Mullen began her career with St. Louis-based petroleum equipment company Neumayer Equipment. Over eight years she learned every aspect of the business and rose to Director of Sales and Marketing. She then became an owner/operator of a retail convenience store in Kansas City, eventually growing that portfolio to include four branded retail units.
She also served as the Business Development manager for PB Hoidale and created the Petroleum Safety Council in response to the ABC UST Operator Training required by the federal energy bill of 2005. Her curriculum was ultimately adopted and approved by Colorado, Utah and Iowa. It was during this time that she developed a passion for renewable energy. She has lobbied state and local officials on behalf of the industry and worked with Dresser Wayne on the design and manufacturing of the first ever blender dispenser brought to market.
Most recently, Cassie was a Strategic Account Manager with Seneca Companies, a provider of petroleum storage and dispensing systems, vehicle service equipment, fuel site construction, environmental services and remediation systems. She was responsible for a territory of more than 13 states.
She has extensive experience with fuel infrastructure design build, service, construction, liquid handling environmental requirements, and local and federal liquid handling regulations. Importantly, her knowledge of major oil branding is a critical component of her success. She has been involved in the Petroleum Equipment Institute serving as a past board member, longtime member of the PEI Young Executives, and more recently the Women of PEI.
Manager of Member Relations
Jackie is RFA Manager of Member Relations and works with RFA’s dynamic membership base to meet their needs and grow RFA’s footprint. Jackie began her career in ethanol at the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) in 2016 and managed all of their client relations and business development activities.
Prior to her start at NCERC, Jackie worked in marketing and public relations in the Greater St. Louis area and has a BA in Public Relations from Quincy University and an MBA from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Jackie is from the Metro east side of the St. Louis area and is proudly from Southern Illinois.
Scott Richman joined RFA as Chief Economist in August 2018. He oversees the development and execution of research and analysis initiatives to support the Association’s public policy, regulatory, and public relations objectives.
Most recently, Scott served as Senior Vice President and Co-head of North America Consulting for Informa Agribusiness Consulting. In this role, he developed the ethanol and agricultural biotechnology practice areas and co-managed the 15-person consulting group. Scott has provided agribusiness research and intelligence to Informa’s clients for over 25 years, including RFA and other private and public bioenergy stakeholders.
Scott earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University and his master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, where he specialized in international business and was an Honorary International Fellow.
Director of Safety and Technical Programs
Missy leads RFA’s award-winning safety initiatives and assists with numerous technical and regulatory initiatives, including rail issues.
She helps facilitate RFA’s Technical, Environmental and Safety Committees, and leads RFA’s involvement in TRANSCAER. She has a vital role in implementing safe practices regarding the production, storage, handling, transportation and use of ethanol. Missy monitors and shares information on hazardous materials, safety standards, and federal and state safety regulations.
Missy has successfully applied for and secured grant funding for industry safety initiatives, and has planned and executed hundreds of Ethanol Safety Seminars and workshops across the country training thousands of attendees. She works with, state and federal agencies, industry partners, emergency responders, consumers, petroleum marketers and retailers among others.
Vice President of Industry Relations
As Vice President of Industry Relations, Robert White leads RFA’s various consumer education and marketing efforts. In addition to strengthening RFA’s visibility and managing its active market development team, Robert works with petroleum marketers and retailers, state and federal agencies, commercial fleets, and individual consumers to increase awareness about the benefits of ethanol and encourage greater development and use of renewable fuels.
Widely recognized as an expert on ethanol-related issues and the variations between ethanol-blended fuels, Robert frequently provides guidance and technical information to ethanol industry leaders.
Previously, Robert was Deputy Director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) and the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC). A veteran of the agriculture industry, he has also worked as Director of Value-Added Programs for the Kansas Corn Growers and Grain Sorghum Producers Associations.
An active member in ethanol and agricultural communities, Robert has served on various boards of directors and advisory committees, including the U.S. Grains Council, Kansas Ag Innovation Center, National Corn Growers Association, National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, and National Sorghum Producers.
Robert is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He holds two degrees, one in foreign languages and another in agricultural economics. Robert is also an official member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion.