The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) completed the final steps of the succession plan it announced in July, as Geoff Cooper formally began his tenure as RFA’s new President and CEO, and Bob Dinneen began his new role as Senior Strategic Advisor. The leadership change was made official during RFA’s annual membership meeting in Kansas City.

“I am grateful to the RFA board of directors for this exciting opportunity, and I consider it an extraordinary privilege to serve such a dynamic and innovative industry in this capacity,” Cooper said. “I look forward to working with our diverse membership, the entire ethanol industry, and other key stakeholders to expand and create opportunities for American-made renewable fuels.”

Cooper joined RFA in 2008 as the organization’s Director of Research and Analysis. He previously worked on ethanol issues for the National Corn Growers Association and served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, specializing in bulk petroleum product logistics. In recent years, Cooper has led RFA’s regulatory activities, while also overseeing the association’s research and technical initiatives, supporting public and media relations efforts, assisting with legislative initiatives, and managing the Renewable Fuels Foundation.

As part of RFA’s restructuring, the association also announced the following additional staffing changes today:

Jessica Bennett, who joined the RFA staff in January 2018, has been promoted to lead Government Affairs, with the new title, Vice President of Government & External Affairs.

Connor Hamburg will join RFA later this month as the new Director of Government Affairs. After working for several members of Congress, Hamburg was most recently Manager of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs for the National Corn Growers Association.

Jackie Pohlman has been hired as RFA’s new Manager of Member Relations. Pohlman comes to the RFA from the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, where she led client relations.

Hamburg and Pohlman officially join the RFA in mid-October and early November, respectively. The newest members of the team join Scott Richman, who began as RFA’s Chief Economist in August.

Commenting on the restructuring announcements, Dinneen said, “As I contemplated transitioning to a new role in the Association, my overriding objective was to make sure the RFA would continue to evolve into an even better organization. I care deeply about the ethanol industry and the RFA, and I am proud of what we have built over the past 30 years. But with Geoff at the helm, a man for whom I have the highest personal and professional respect, and with the other changes being announced today, it is clear to me that my objective will be realized.”