Board of Directors
Tom Ryley has a 35 year background in the North American energy industry, and was formerly an Executive Vice President of Suncor Energy. His career with Suncor spanned 25 years, including 10 years as a member of the executive committee reporting to the CEO. Tom's time at Suncor included executive responsibilites for all operational and commercial matters relating to crude oil trading, refining, and petroleum product supply and marketing. He led the development of Suncor's biofuels business beginning with the blending of ethanol into gasoline in 1992, and including the construction of Canada's larget ethanol plant in 2006.
Since his retirement from Suncor in 2008, Tom has become a board member of publicly traded Newalta Corporation (NAL-TSX) and U.S. Silver and Gold (USA-TSX). Tom was nominated to the Benefuel Board of Directors and appointed Chair, concurrent with his investment in Benefuel in 2009. He has been very active in the company's strategy and business development, commercial negotiations, and fund raising. His extensive relationships and indepth knowledge of the petroleum and biofuel industries across Canada and the U.S. provides Benefuel with significant experience in planning and managing a rapid growth of the company's production and business.
Robert Tripp is President and CEO of Benefuel Inc., and has been involved in the biodiesel industry for the last five years, building and installing facilities in the United States. Robert co-founded Benefuel in 2007 to capitalize on the acquisition of global patents on advanced biodiesel and glycerin refining technology. He began his career in Management Consulting with Deloitte & Touche and a year later he joined the newly formed Internet start-up, iSTAR where he helped take it public (iSTAR was the first Internet company to go public in Canada) and grow it from 15 people to over 350 within three years. Rob started Clarity, a software development company that was based in Calgary, Alberta, and grew it into a leading provider of back office applications and custom developed software. Rob has used his background in business process improvements and systems to provide a much-needed update to the biodiesel industry’s business methods with automated quality assurance and condensed distribution supply chains.
Mr. Jeremy Bezdek serves as the Managing Director for Innovation at Flint Hills Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc. Mr. Bezdek has been with Koch companies for 17 years and has held a variety of financial and commercial roles within the petroleum refining industry, including the management of the fixed price derivatives trading business, unbranded and branded fuels marketing, and most recently as general manager of the external supply and exchange group. Since the inception of the Innovation team at FHR in 2010, Mr. Bezdek has led the team into major acquisitions in the Renewables industry, including both dry mill ethanol and biodiesel asset acquisitions. Additionally, FHR has made investments in multiple renewable start-up companies and has consummated several joint development agreements and joint ventures to advance the maturation of new technologies. Mr. Bezdek serves on the board of directors of three companies in which FHR has made investments. Mr. Bezdek graduated from the University of Kansas in 1996 with a honors degree in Finance, and he previously served as a member of the Finance Advisory Board at The University of Kansas School of Business.
Stanley A. Gembicki retired in 2007 as Chief Technology Officer of for UOP LLC, a leader in developing and commercializing technology for license to the oil refining, petrochemical and gas processing industries. He received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 1964 and a Doctorate in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College in 1969. Following graduation from Dartmouth, Stan held the position of Vice President of Engineering for Digital Systems Corporation. In this position he applied emerging computer tools to the simulation and economic optimization of industrial chemical processes. In 1972 he joined UOP and has held a number of positions within the Research & Development organization and commercialized a broad range of catalytic and separation process applications for the refining and petrochemical industries. Throughout a career that evolved from hands-on development to Chief Technology Officer of a billion-dollar chemical research oriented company, Stan has been a consistent champion for innovative solutions.
He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Chemical Society and the Council for Chemical Research (CCR). He represented UOP as a member of the Industrial Research Institute (IRI). He served as Chairman of the Committee on Catalytic Process Technology for the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council. He was awarded the Distinguished Engineer Award from Purdue University. He is currently a consultant in the fields of energy and process innovation and serves on the Board of Directors for a high technology start-up.
Jim Provias is Vice President, Renewable Energy at Suncor. In this role, Jim has responsibility for Suncor’s renewable electricity and fuels businesses, including both operations and new growth opportunities. Since joining Suncor in 1990, Jim has held leadership positions in the areas of reservoir development, business development, strategic planning, power generation, CO2 solution management and renewable energy. Prior to joining Suncor, Jim worked in the Oil and Gas industry in Canada as well as overseas in Australia and the United Kingdom. Jim currently sits as Treasurer on the Executive Board of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association. Jim is also a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). Jim is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where he holds a Geological Engineering degree.