The IPREFER Advisory Board provides guidance and suggestions to our PI’s for improving program effectiveness and impact with producers and end users. Board members are strong advocates for the project and provide critical and astute observations.
Steve Csonka is the Executive Director of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) where he leads this public/private consortium working toward the development, introduction and wide-spread commercialization of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) for the entire aviation enterprise. With over 27 years of broad airline and aviation OEM experience prior to taking the helm of CAAFI in 2012, Csonka is a strong industry advocate who seeks pragmatic solutions to the challenges of aviation growth – resulting in his current focus on SAF as the leading technology to allow for the near-term decoupling of carbon growth from operational growth.
Mike DeCamp Mike DeCamp serves as Chief Executive Officer of CoverCress, Inc. He joined the company as Chief Operating Officer in 2020. Mike has over 30 years of diversified experience in agribusiness, corporate finance, law, corporate strategy, and M&A. Mr. DeCamp began his career as a CPA with Ernst & Young; practiced corporate and securities law with Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale in St. Louis; worked for Monsanto Company in legal, strategy and operational executive roles; founded an agricultural focused strategic advisory and transaction services firm; and lead the corporate finance, capital management, M&A and strategy functions as CFO and CIO for a production agriculture focused private equity firm in Indianapolis. Mr. DeCamp earned his law degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and a BA in business administration from the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
Neville Fernandes Neville Fernandes has more than 30 years of experience in the renewable fuels, petroleum and chemical industries in a variety of roles including business development, sales, marketing, EHS and process engineering. He currently serves as Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Development for Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REG). Mr. Fernandes is a co-founder and past Chairman of the Advanced Biofuels Association based in Washington, D.C. Mr. Fernandes holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University as well as an MBA in Marketing from the Schulich School of Business in Canada. He is also a licensed engineer with Professional Engineers Ontario.
Lauren Lurkins serves as the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Director of Environmental Policy in the Governmental Affairs and Commodities Division a position she has since May 2013. Lurkins is responsible for advocating on behalf of the IFB in the promulgation, implementation and enforcement of environmental regulation impacting Illinois agriculture. Ms. Lurkins has experience in in all areas of environmental law, including both enforcement defense and legislative/regulatory activity. Ms. Lurkins holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Saint Louis University and a law degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law, with a focus on environmental law.
Alan Weber is a founding partner of MARC-IV, a consulting company that fosters the development of biobased innovations that benefit agricultural and enhance our environment. Active with biodiesel commercialization since 1991, Weber assisted with the establishment of the National Biodiesel Board’s (NBB) Washington, DC office (2006-07) and continues to provide economic and technical support to their efforts. He was appointed by the U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture and Energy to serve on the Biomass Research & Development Initiative Technical Advisory Committee in 2012. Mr. Weber also operates and manages his family’s farm in central Missouri.