Ron Sabia, former president of Gulf Oil in Wellesley Hill, Massachusetts, was elected 2018-19 chairman of the Fuels Institute, a nonprofit research-oriented think tank that evaluates market issues related to vehicles and their fuels. It was founded by NACS in 2013.
Sabia succeeds Jay Ricker, chairman of Ricker’s in Anderson, Indiana, who stepped down as chairman of the Fuels Institute after four years at the helm.
Robert Wimmer, director of energy and environmental research for Toyota Motors North America in Washington, D.C., was elected to his fourth term as treasurer, and John Eichberger, executive director of the Fuels Institute, based in Alexandria, Virginia, was re-elected secretary. Ricker will continue to serve on the organization’s 11-person board of directors.
“Ron’s experience and reputation in the fuels industry has been a tremendous asset to the Fuels Institute. He has served on our board since our founding in 2013, and we look forward to working with him as chairman to further grow the organization and deliver ever-increasing value to the transportation energy market,” said Eichberger.
“We thank Jay for his leadership in nurturing the Fuels Institute’s growth to a respected, objective voice in the field of transportation research and for creating a collaborative environment where the perspectives of all stakeholders are welcome and valued,” Sabia said. “I am humbled to lead this organization that has gone from just a concept to the most diverse set of engaged partners in the market in just five years.”
In addition to its board, the Fuels Institute is guided by a Board of Advisors, which currently has 32 members and sets the institute’s research priorities. Three new members were announced at its annual conference, FUELS2018, which took place May 22-24 in Chicago.
The new advisors are: Jeff Cole, VP, Costco Wholesale, Issaquah, Washington; Joaquim “Jo” Portela, VP-refining and gasification, Lummus Technology, The Woodlands, Texas; and Steve Przesmitzki, strategic transport analysis, Aramco Research Center, Novi, Michigan. A full list of Fuels Institute leaders can be found on the website.
A record 170 attendees were present at FUELS2018, which featured sessions and keynote presentations focused on issues affecting vehicles, transportation energy, mobility and retailing.
More than 25 speakers covered topics including diesel fuel quality, high-octane fuels, biofuels infrastructure compatibility, fuels and vehicles regulations, environmental impacts of transportation, electric vehicle recharging infrastructure, the future of fuel retailing and the emergence of advanced mobility solutions.
The Fuels Institute will convene its next annual conference, FUELS2019, May 21-23, 2019, at a location to be announced.
The Fuels Institute incorporates the perspective of diverse stakeholders to develop and publish peer-reviewed, comprehensive, fact-based research projects, according to NACS.