Pacific Ethanol, Inc. has drawn together a management team rich in experience, knowledge, and relationships. Our managers and directors have decades of experience in every aspect of Pacific Ethanol's business. In addition to ethanol production, sales, and marketing, these areas of expertise include: public policy and government relations; farm management; feed production and commodities pricing; transportation logistics; finance; and mergers and acquisitions. We have also supplemented our own expertise with a deep base of advisors and contractors who are experts in related fields.
Neil Koehler has over 30 years of experience in ethanol production, sales, and marketing in the western United States. He was co-founder and general manager of Parallel Products, a California's first ethanol production company, which he sold in 1998. He also founded Kinergy Marketing, an ethanol sales and distribution firm that was acquired by Pacific Ethanol in May 2004. Mr. Koehler is a Renewable Fuels Association board member and the Director of the California Renewable Fuels Partnership. He is a sought-after speaker on the issue of renewable fuels. Mr. Koehler has a BA degree in Government from Pomona College.
Mike Kandris has served as a Director of the company since June 2008 and as our Chief Operating Officer since January 2013. He previously served as an independent contractor to the company with a primary focus on plant operations. Mr. Kandris has over 30 years of general management experience in the transportation and logistics industry. He was formerly President and Chief Operating Officer of Ruan Transportation Management Systems (RTMS) where he had responsibility for all operations, sales, finance, and administrative functions. He also served as President of the Western Division of RTMS, which was heavily involved in the dairy industry. Mr. Kandris served on the Executive Committee of the American Trucking Association and as a board member for the National Tank Truck Organization. Mr. Kandris has a BS degree in Business from California State University, Hayward.
Bryon McGregor has over 25 years of treasury and finance experience. Prior to joining Pacific Ethanol in 2008, Mr. McGregor served as Senior Director of Treasury for E*TRADE Financial, where his responsibilities included international and U.S. brokerage treasury operations, corporate finance, and investor relations. Prior to E*TRADE, he was a project finance head for BP (formerly ARCO) and a Director at Credit Suisse. Bryon has a BS degree in business management from Brigham Young University.
Christopher Wright has over 30 years of experience in managing the legal affairs of growth companies. Prior to joining Pacific Ethanol in 2006, his law practice encompassed advice to company executives and boards of directors on governance, securities matters, and strategic transactions, with a particular focus on guiding the development of venture-backed companies. He has acted as general counsel for numerous technology enterprises in all aspects of corporate development, including fundraising, business and technology acquisitions, mergers, and strategic alliances. Mr. Wright formerly served as Partner-in-Charge of the Pacific Northwest office of Cooley Godward, a leading Silicon Valley-based firm. He has degrees from Yale College and the University of Chicago Law School.
Paul Koehler has over 25 years of experience in business development and marketing in the energy industry. Prior to joining Pacific Ethanol in 2005, he served as Director of Business Development for PPM Energy, Inc., leading PPM's efforts to develop and acquire several wind power projects. Mr. Koehler was also a co-founder of ReEnergy, one of the companies acquired by Pacific Ethanol. During the 1990s he worked for Portland General Electric and Enron in marketing and origination of long-term transactions, risk management, and energy trading. Mr. Koehler has a BA from the Honors College at the University of Oregon.
Jim Sneed has worked for over 20 years in various senior management and executive positions in the ethanol industry. Prior to joining Pacific Ethanol in 2012, Mr. Sneed was Vice President – Ethanol Marketing & Trading for Hawkeye Gold, LLC. Prior to that he was Vice President, Marketing & Logistics of Aventine Renewable Energy, an ethanol production and marketing company, where he helped build its operations from two ethanol plants in two states to marketing for fifteen production facilities in eight states. Mr. Sneed is a Certified Public Accountant, has a BS degree in Accounting from Olivet Nazarene University, and has an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management.