Board of Directors
For more than 35 years, Cynthia (CJ) Warner, has held executive positions in the energy sector in operations, business development, strategy, environment, health and safety. Currently, Ms. Warner serves as President & Chief Executive Officer for Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REG) and as a member of the Board of Directors.
Prior to REG, Ms. Warner served as Executive Vice President, Operations for Andeavor. She oversaw Andeavor’s Refining; Logistics; and Environment, Health, Safety & Security groups, providing leadership that promoted safe, reliable execution and drove operating efficiency and effectiveness. Prior to that role, Ms. Warner served as Andeavor’s Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, where she led the company’s strategic growth initiatives. She joined the company in 2014, bringing more than 30 years of experience in energy, oil refining and marketing, and related technology development.
Prior to Andeavor, Ms. Warner held executive leadership roles at several global energy companies. She was Chairman and CEO of Sapphire Energy from 2012 to 2014, after joining as President in 2009, where she led the emerging biofuels company’s ongoing technology development and transition to commercial-scale algae biomass and renewable crude oil production.
Prior to Sapphire Energy, Ms. Warner served as Group Vice President of Global Refining and Group Vice President of Health, Safety, Security, Environmental and Technology for British Petroleum (BP). During her 10-year tenure, she oversaw refining operations in five continents and led a ground-breaking cooperative effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to shape an industry-wide framework for clean air improvements.
Ms. Warner began her career as a chemical engineer at UOP, followed by several years in operational leadership roles at Amoco. She is a featured leader in the 2008 book Becoming a Resonant Leader: Develop Your Emotional Intelligence (Harvard Business Press) and was named one of Fast Company’s 100 most creative people in business in 2010.
Ms. Warner serves as a member of the Board of Directors for IDEX Corporation. She is also a member of the National Petroleum Council and the Board of Visitors of the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering.
Ms. Warner earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Illinois Institute of Technology.
Jeffrey Stroburg has served as a member of our Board since June 2006. Mr. Stroburg has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Southern States Cooperative since May 2015. Mr. Stroburg served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Company from June 2006 to September 2011. Mr. Stroburg concurrently served as Chief Executive Officer of West Central Cooperative ("West Central", now known as Landus Cooperative from October 1999 until January 2015. He also held the position of President of West Central from July 2003 until January 2015. Prior to joining West Central, Mr. Stroburg was Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Eastern Ag Region of Land O’ Lakes, an agricultural cooperative, from 1998 to 1999. From 1997 to 1998, Mr. Stroburg was President and Chief Executive Officer of Countrymark Cooperative, a refiner and distributor of diesel, gasoline and other petroleum products. From 1987 to 1997, Mr. Stroburg was President and Chief Executive Officer of Hamilton Farm Bureau Cooperative and held positions within the Missouri Farmers Association. From 1997 to 1998, Mr. Stroburg also served as a director for A.C. Toepfer International, a Hamburg, Germany trading company for agricultural products, and as a director for CF Industries, a fertilizer manufacturing company. Mr. Stroburg served on the board of directors for the Associated Benefits Corporation and the Cooperative Business International. Currently, Mr. Stroburg serves on the board of directors of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. Mr. Stroburg holds a B.S. from Iowa State University.
James C. Borel has served as a member of our Board since March 2018. Mr. Borel has served as a Director of Farmers Edge from May 2016 to present, Director of Neogen Corporation from October 2016 to present and Director of Just, Inc., from October 2017 to present. Mr. Borel retired from his position as Executive Vice President at DuPont in 2016, having served the company since 1978. During his tenure at DuPont, Mr. Borel held various positions in sales management, human resources, agricultural products manufacturing and business leadership. Mr. Borel also brings extensive international business experience with three assignments abroad and responsibilities extending beyond the US for over 25 years. Mr. Borel holds a BS in Agricultural Business from Iowa State University.
Delbert Christensen has served as a member of our Board since August 2006. Mr. Christensen was a director of West Central, from 1993 to 2014. Mr. Christensen was the Chairman of the Board of West Central from June 2010 to June 2012. Since January 2004, he has served as the President of CHMD Pork, a hog producer. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Iowa Soybean Association from October 2009 to October 2010 and was on the Board of Directors of the Iowa Soybean Association from 2003 through 2014. He was on the executive board of the U.S. Meat Export Federation from January 2017 to January 2018. Mr. Christensen serves on the Soybean Promotion and Research Board and the United Soybean Board. Mr. Christensen holds a B.S. in Agricultural Business from Iowa State University.
Peter J. M. Harding has served as a member of our Board since December 2014. Most recently, he was the Chief Executive Officer and a director of Westway Group, Inc. (“Westway”), a liquid storage and liquid animal feed business, from May 2009 until his retirement in June 2010. Prior to joining Westway, Mr. Harding served in various roles at ED&F Man Holdings Limited, including as member of the board of directors and as Managing Director, molasses and palm oil trading, feed products, third party storage and biofuels division. He also served as Chief Executive Officer of Westway Holdings Corporation from 1997 to 2006. Concurrent with his service as Chief Executive Officer, he served as President of Westway Terminal Company, Inc. from 2001 to 2004. From 1995 to 1997, Mr. Harding was Chief Executive Officer of ED&F Man’s North American Cocoa Processing Group and prior to that was Chief Executive Officer of Savannah Cocoa, Inc. from 1992 to 1995. Mr. Harding served as Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Refined Sugars, Inc. from 1985 to 1989. Additionally, Mr. Harding owned and managed an asset management firm and commodity fund during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
For more than 35 years, Mr. Howard has held leadership positions in all aspects of a complex energy business, including international experience. Most recently, Mr. Howard served as Interim President & Chief Executive Officer from July 2017 to January 2019. Currently, Mr. Howard serves as a member of the REG Board of Directors, a position he has held since February 2007.
Prior to REG, Mr. Howard was as a senior executive with Unocal Corporation for 33 years, including time as President of its large North Asian Energy business, Vice President of Refining and Vice President of Supply, Trading and Transportation. Those positions included responsibility for crude, product and natural gas trading, as well as oversight of the Pipelines, Terminals, and Marine Shipping functions.
Mr. Howard is a graduate of the advanced executive program at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern and a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mr. Howard has served as a member of REG’s Board of Directors since February 2007, serving on both the Company’s Audit Committee and Nominating and Governance Committee and as chair of the Board’s Risk Management Committee.
Michael M. Scharf has served as a member of our Board since January 2012 and previously served as a member of our Board from August 2006 until December 2009. Mr. Scharf served as a director of Patriot Coal Corporation from November 2007 to December 2013 and previously served as a director of Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, LLC from 2007 to 2009. Mr. Scharf served as Executive Director, Global Financial Services from January 2010 until his retirement in July 2011 and served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Bunge North America, Inc., the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited an agribusiness and food company, from 1989 to 2009. Prior to joining Bunge North America, Mr. Scharf served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Peabody Holding Company, Inc. from 1978 to 1989 and as a Tax Manager at Arthur Andersen & Co. from 1969 to 1978. Mr. Scharf holds a B.S. in Accounting from Wheeling Jesuit University and is a certified public accountant.
Christopher D. Sorrells has served as a member of our Board since November 2008. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of GSE Systems, a publicly traded simulation and technical engineering company for the power and process industries (NYSE AMEX: GVP). From 2005 to 2015, he served as Managing Director at NGP Energy Technology Partners, L.P., a private equity firm investing in companies that provide products and services to the energy, power and environmental industries. From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Sorrells worked at Clarity Partners, a private equity firm, focused on growth and LBO transactions. Mr. Sorrells served as a principal with Banc of America Securities from 1998 to 2002 and as an associate with Salomon Smith Barney from 1996 to 1998. Mr. Sorrells holds an M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary, a Master of Accounting degree from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. from Washington and Lee University.