Board of Directors
Founder and Chairman of the Board
Bill Jones is a second-generation farmer and cattle rancher who also has over twenty years of policy and political experience in the state of California. First elected to the California Assembly in 1982, he served twelve consecutive years, including two as Republican Leader. In 1994, he was elected Secretary of State of California as the first Central Valley politician to hold a statewide office; he served until January 2003. As both a farmer and public official, Mr. Jones followed the development of the ethanol industry for years, perceiving it as a solution for a number of problems, including environmental and economic issues. In January 2003, after state legislation led to a surge in demand for ethanol in California, he co-founded Pacific Ethanol, Inc. Mr. Jones has a B.A. degree in Agribusiness and Plant Sciences from California State University, Fresno.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Neil Koehler has over twenty years experience in ethanol production, sales, and marketing in the western United States. He was co-founder and general manager of Parallel Products, a California-based ethanol production company, which he sold to a public company in 1998. He also founded Kinergy Marketing, an ethanol sales and distribution firm that was acquired by PEI in May 2004. Neil is a Renewable Fuels Association board member and the director of the California Renewable Fuels Partnership. He is also a sought-after speaker on the issue of renewable fuels. He has a B.A. degree in Government from Pomona College.
Mr. Stone has served as a director since March 2005. He is a Certified Public Accountant with over thirty years of experience in accounting and taxation. As the owner of his own accountancy firm, he provides accounting and taxation services to a wide range of industries including agriculture, manufacturing, retail, equipment leasing, professionals and not-for-profit organizations. Mr. Stone has served as a part-time instructor at California State University, Fresno, teaching classes in taxation, auditing, and financial and management accounting. He is also a financial advisor and franchisee of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Mr. Stone has a B.S. degree in Accounting from California State University, Fresno.
Mr. Kieta is currently VP - Power for BE&K, Inc., a large international engineering and construction firm headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. From 1999 to April 2006, Mr. Kieta was employed at Calpine Corporation as Senior Vice President of Construction and Engineering. Calpine is a major North American power company providing electricity to customers and communities in 21 states and three Canadian provinces. Prior to joining Calpine, Mr. Kieta served for over 10 years as President & CEO of Century Contractors West, Inc. He has more than 40 years of profit center and project operations experience in the domestic and international power industries. He has a B.S. degree in civil engineering from Clarkson University and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Cornell University.
Mr. Prince served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Dairyman’s Cooperative Creamery Association with nearly $1 billion in annual sales until its merger with Ruan Transport in 1998. After the merger he held the position of Executive Vice President with Land O’ Lakes until his retirement in March of 2004. Mr. Prince currently acts as a consultant to Land O’ Lakes and other companies. He has served on the Wisconsin State Board of Agriculture and the Wisconsin Rural Economic Development Board. Mr. Prince has a B.A. degree in Business Administration from the University of Northern Iowa.
Mr. Layne is the retired Vice Chairman of Sanwa Bank in California. His 37-year tenure at Sanwa Bank and its predecessor, Lloyds Bank California, included heading the Commercial Banking Group and serving as Chairman of the Board of The Eureka Funds, a family of investment funds with total assets of $900 million. Mr. Layne serves as Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee for the Agricultural Foundation at California State University, Fresno. He is also Director and Budget Committee member for CSUF’s Athletic Corporation as well as a Trustee for CSUF’s Bulldog Foundation. Mr. Layne has a B.S. degree in Dairy Husbandry from CSUF.
Mr. Kandris, currently serving as President, Western Division of Ruan Transportation Management Systems (RTMS), has 30 years of experience in all modes of transportation and logistics. As President of RTMS for seven years, Mr. Kandris held responsibilities in all operational and administrative functions. He serves as a board member for the American Trucking Association and the National Tank Truck Organization. Mr. Kandris has a B.S. degree in Business from California State University, Hayward.