Randy Olson to leave leadership post at Iowa Biodiesel Board
Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board since its inception in 2007, has resigned to take a position with the U.S. Soybean Export Council.
IBB’s mission is to promote the commercial success of biodiesel in Iowa. During Olson’s tenure, he helped lead efforts to write and implement significant legislation that contained multiyear extensions of tax credits for the retail fuel industry in Iowa.
His efforts leave the biodiesel industry in Iowa stronger, according to Mark Cobb, a biodiesel producer and petroleum distributor who serves as IBB chair.
“The Iowa biodiesel industry will miss Randy’s leadership,” Cobb said. “He commanded the respect of the industry, becoming the voice for biodiesel in Iowa. Randy’s professionalism has paved the way for this next chapter in his career and we wish him all the best.”
In addition, Olson and his team fostered valuable industry relationships, helped develop a biodiesel training program for diesel mechanics now implemented nationwide, and served on the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Board, a program that has funded 206 biodiesel pump and terminal projects since 2006.
Ron Heck, IBB vice chair and a soybean leader who serves for the Iowa Soybean Association, said creating IBB had some risk, but Olson pulled it through.
“We didn’t know what would happen, if people would come together and support the Iowa Biodiesel Board,” Heck said. “After seven years, we have a successful board. Now we have opportunities to move forward that we wouldn’t have had without Randy’s leadership. While we’re sad to lose him at IBB, the soybean community is thrilled and very fortunate to have him in this new role.”
Olson will represent USSEC as the marketing manager lead on the United Soybean Board’s “Freedom to Operate” action team and lead the industry relations development efforts. Through a global network of international offices, USSEC helps create and sustain demand for U.S. soy in more than 70 international markets.
“Randy’s outreach experience and background makes him a natural to further USSEC’s efforts to engage our industry in helping us deliver higher quality technical and trade servicing programs internationally,” said Ed Beaman, director of international program management for USSEC.
USSEC is based in the St. Louis area. Olson plans to keep his family's Century Farm in Story City, Iowa.