David Hackett has been a participant in all the recent developments in the transportation fuels industry. Leveraging a Supply and Trading background at Mobil, Dave started Stillwater Associates in 1998. Since then, Stillwater’s work on issues like the MTBE phase out, gasoline price controls, corn ethanol distribution, biodiesel production, next generation renewable fuels implementation, price gouging, fuels infrastructure constraints, mergers and acquisitions, interstate commerce, petroleum logistics, and refining technology have helped to make the firm a leading force in the transportation fuels space.
With more than 30 years of experience in the downstream oil business, Dave has built a team of industry professionals who are skilled at creating value for our clients.
A frequent speaker, Dave has made presentations for American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the California Energy Commission, the Pacific Oil Conference, the California Independent Oil Marketers Association, the Society of Gasoline Marketers of America, and the Ohio Oil & Convenience Store Marketers Association.
Valued for his downstream transportation fuel business expertise, Dave is often asked to share his knowledge with policy groups. Dave is an Executive Fellow at the University of Calgary School of Public Policy. He is also a member of the California Energy Commission’s Petroleum Market Advisory Committee (PMAC).
Policy makers and legal firms regularly seek out Dave’s expertise on supply and logistics issues. He has testified before the U.S. Congress regarding gasoline pricing. Dave has also advised on and provided expert testimony for litigation in this space.
Dave is often asked to comment on current energy issues to the press. He has been interviewed by American Public Media, NBC, CBS, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register, the San Diego Union Tribune, the Sacramento Bee, and the Honolulu Advertiser, among others.
Dave received his BS in Oceanography from the US Naval Academy in 1971. He earned a Masters in Education from California Lutheran University in 1975 and an MBA from the University of California, Irvine in 1997.
David Bulfin has dealt with energy issues from various perspectives during a 40-year career working for international oil companies, including 29 years with Mobil Oil Corporation. His experience encompasses refining, marketing, and product distribution logistics involving tankers, barges, pipelines, railcars, and trucks.
He has been Vice President of Operations Research at Stillwater for ten years. His main focus is developing and executing strategic operating plans to create value, including substantial bottom line profit impact for clients.
Strong analytical and organizations skills make Dave particularly adept at tackling unstructured problems and aligning tactical activities with long-term strategic objectives. His expertise in resolving operational problems and inefficiencies has been brought to bear in several high profile lawsuits with considerable benefit to clients.
In addition to private sector clients, Dave has worked with governmental agencies, including DOE, reviewing compliance with renewable fuel mandates and with NGOs including NRDC and NESCAUM.
Dave earned his MBA in Industrial Management from Purdue University in 1971. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University. He resides in Charleston, South Carolina.
As Stillwater’s Vice President of Operations, Megan Boutwell is responsible for promoting Stillwater Associates as the leading experts on transportation fuels issues. Megan directs business operations and implements growth management within the company. Megan manages human resources and in this role has developed a unique work environment that encourages flexibility for employees while providing ample opportunities for growth and success. As editor of the Stillwater publications and Stillwater’s LCFS Newsletter, Megan is responsible for developing and editing content on a wide range of transportation energy issues including policy, logistics, mergers & acquisitions, and renewable energy markets. Megan oversees online marketing efforts and social media campaigns.
Megan has a BA in French and English Literature from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and three children.
As Stillwater’s Director of Project Management, Kimberly Barrett is responsible for shepherding client projects from their inception to their successful completion. Kim oversees our project management process using cloud-based software to develop new projects, manage contracts, and organize project teams. Setting up a client project properly ensures it’s success. Kim uses her impeccable organizational skills to oversee new project development by setting up efficiencies tailored to the individual project. Kim is responsible for tracking project costs and schedules to ensure their completion is on time and on budget.
Kim received her Chemical Engineering degree from Colorado State University in 1997. She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and two sons.
James Ahrens is an economics and planning professional with over 36 years of experience in optimizing petroleum refinery operations and the associated supply/distribution logistics. Since 2002, he has been engaged as a consultant to develop refinery economic models and studies for various clients. He is highly skilled in the use of linear programs (AspenTech PIMS and Chevron’s PETRO). James’ unique blend of refinery technical and economics expertise, along with a practical knowledge of refinery operations, brings a detailed and sophisticated understanding to refinery analysis.
As a consultant, James has participated in the development, validation, and maintenance of numerous refinery operating models. These models, both linear programs and spreadsheet estimation models, have been instrumental in performing project evaluations, capital budget planning, cash flow analyses, due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, and litigation support for insurance and ad valorem tax cases with considerable benefits for clients. He also participated in the development of regional refining models that were used in numerous multi-client studies to assess the state of future refining capacity, product supply/demand balances, and impact of fuel specification and renewable fuel trends.
James’ 22-year industrial career began at Mobil Oil where he had numerous assignments in refinery economics, planning, and engineering activities for two U.S. Gulf Coast refineries (Beaumont and Chalmette) and the West Coast Torrance refinery. At Torrance, he was the primary resource for coordinating all aspects of refinery economics, inventory management, product blending, and rail/truck traffic. He also acted as the liaison between refinery operations and West Coast Supply departments. After his tenure at Torrance, James joined the Crude Supply, Trading, and Transportation department at Mobil corporate headquarters where he optimized the selection purchase, and transportation of 120 million barrels of crude oil annually for the two Gulf Coast refineries. He managed three million barrels of in-tank physical inventory and the associated financial exposure.
James earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas Tech University in 1977.
Samantha Aluise is an Administrative Assistant at Stillwater Associates. She helps with editing, research, and general administrative duties. Formerly a television producer, Samantha loves the flexibility of administrative work at Stillwater that allows her to earn a living while caring for her two young daughters and stepdaughter.
Samantha has a BA from San Francisco State University & lives in Marina Del Rey with her family.
Michael W. Bloch is a highly experienced commercial operations and planning advisor with more than 37-years experience at Mobil Oil and Exxon Mobil. Michael has led diverse teams of professionals to new levels of success in a variety of highly competitive markets within the oil industry. He possesses strong technical and business qualifications with an impressive track record in operations, crude and product trading, risk management, strategic planning and business development. Michael is able to successfully analyze critical business requirements, identify opportunities and deficiencies, and maximize general interest realization from equity crude exploration, development, production, marketing and transportation.
Most recently as Senior Planning Advisor for Refining & Supply Global Planning, Upstream & Marketing Logistics Support, Michael developed the initial commercial marketing plans and contractual arrangements for the Kara Sea, Black Sea and West Siberia tight oil developments in Russia. In addition, he provided commercial, economic, and technical upstream support for the negotiation of new transparent fiscal prices in Nigeria, pipeline transportation agreements for new production in U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and new transportation and transshipment arrangements for East Coast Canada. He also negotiated crude lifting agreements for the following projects; Angola Blocks 15 and 17; Chad Doba; Nigeria Bonga, Erha, and Usan; Australia Gorgon Field Condensate; and East Coast Canada Hebron. Michael leads Stillwater’s Upstream Commercial and Logistical Support business line. To find out more about Upstream Commercial and Logistical Support, please click
Michael earned a BA in Economics and an MBA in Marketing, Transportation and Logistics from Michigan State University. He resides in Fairfax, Virginia.
Mr. Daniel’s 35-year career is comprised of 15 years consulting to the energy industry and 20 years of operations, business development, and strategic planning in the refining and power generation sector. As a consultant, he has provided commercial and operational expertise specializing in facility operations, commercial strategy development and negotiation, and strategic planning. Tom’s corporate career included working for ARCO, BP, and small independent refining companies. Work experience included operations, commercial development, strategic planning, and technical management.
Mr. Daniels has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Lafayette College.
John F. Faulstich has over 31 years experience with Mobil and ExxonMobil Refining and Supply. He has considerable experience in Refining Economics, Product Trading, and Crude Oil & Product Supply particularly in the West Coast Region. His final assignment was in Strategic Planning for the Torrance Refinery.
John is a graduate of Northeastern University in Chemical Engineering, and also earned a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Villanova University.
Ralph Grimmer is a senior executive with 38 years of experience in the U.S. downstream and midstream oil sectors. He has a wealth of operational and commercial experience with Texaco, Motiva Enterprises, and Tesoro plus consulting experience with Baker & O’Brien. Ralph has a strong background in crude oil and refined products logistics (pipelines, terminals, rail, trucking), downstream optimization, supply & trading, business development (both line operations and M&A), refining, and rack marketing of petroleum products.
Ralph’s experience base includes refining, supply & trading, and regional optimization over 24 years with Texaco. For seven years starting with the formation of Motiva Enterprises, he was the executive responsible for 46 proprietary refined products terminals, 600 thousand barrels per day (bpd) truck supply of gasoline to Shell and Texaco retail outlets, and rack marketing of 250 mbd of home heating oil and other unbranded refined products. He championed development of an industry-first rack pricing optimization tool. Over the six years Ralph was with Tesoro, his executive leadership transformed Tesoro’s logistics function from a low visibility cost center into a robust, rapidly growing master limited partnership. Expansion of Tesoro Logistics’ Bakken-focused assets (pipelines & gathering) and throughput volumes in North Dakota and significant increases in proprietary product terminals throughput volumes were among the highlights of this transformation.
Ralph received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas Tech University.
Vaughn has over 20 years’ experience resolving strategic issues and improving organizational capabilities for the world’s leading resource organizations.
Vaughn’s career began in oil exploration and corporate planning for Exxon Mobil. He then began a professional management consulting career with PwC/IBM and Accenture.
As a management consultant, Vaughn has worked in strategy, advisory and business transformation practices. His experience covers the project lifecycle from issue analysis, business case development, solution development, and project / program management. This diverse background allows him to excel ambiguous projects and complex business requirements.
Vaughn has a BSc Geophysics, Masters of Economics and holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Mr. Langley is an independent energy consultant focusing on business analysis related to refining, transportation, and other facets of the downstream industry. He is typically consulted by executives of operating companies or professional service providers to the executives. Jim holds a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering and a Masters degree in Business with emphasis in marketing and finance. He has worked extensively on the international scene, traveling to over 35 countries, and possesses reading and speaking skills in Spanish.
Enoch J. (E.J.) Ledet specializes in Ensuring Product Quality in both laboratory and field operations management and in the design and use of laboratory quality assurance (QA) systems based on ISO Laboratory Guide 17025, including testing Statistical Quality/Process Control (SQC/SPC). E.J. draws on more than 40 years of experience including analytical support and management for oil refinery process chemistry, fuels and lubricants support, environmental/toxicology analytical support, detergent chemistry formulations, antifreeze research, enhanced oil recovery detergents discovery, managing refinery laboratory quality assurance, and development and management of ISO-based refinery QA systems. His responsibilities included Product Quality support to Manufacturing, Transportation, Supply/Distribution, and Retail/Wholesale Marketing.
Mike Leister spent more than 35 years with Marathon Oil Company and then Marathon Petroleum Company. He has been an industry leader in dealing with clean fuels regulations and legislation. He helped to develop industry consensus positions on ULSD, Tier 3 gasoline, MSAT 1 & 2 and in dealing with the fraudulent RIN problem. Mike understands U.S. refinery operations and economics, along with the U.S. transportation fuel distribution infrastructure. Optimization and strategic planning are two of his key interests. He has worked closely with EPA, DOE and the auto industry on many projects and issues.
Mike has an MBA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s Pamplin School of Business, which compliments his BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Through his work on API’s Economics work group, he has been the driver for many industry economic analyses covering everything from the national impact of changing the ozone NAAQS to the intricacies of the RFS2 RIN markets.
In addition to understanding refining industry operations and economics, Mike is very knowledgeable of research into transportation fuels and engines. During his 13 years on the Coordinating Research Council Board, including two years as president, he helped oversee a vast number of CRC research projects that dealt with both current and future engines and fuels.
Mike has lent his expertise to four National Petroleum Council studies. He is a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel and spends his time restoring a Victorian home, playing tennis and hiking in Colorado.
Jessica Loomis helps with data entry, copy editing, event planning, human resources, and other administrative duties at Stillwater. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Technical Journalism from Colorado State University in 2000 after which she spent several years as a stay-at-home mom to her two sons, Kurt and Bradley. Jessica joined Stillwater and Associates in 2015 and lives in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado with her two growing boys.
After 33 years with ARCO and BP, Jim Mladenik joined Stillwater Associates in January 2016. Recent projects have included consultation on mergers, litigation support, comments to the EPA on the role of E85 in meeting the Renewable Fuel Standard, and aiding in the launch of Stillwater’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard newsletter.
Jim’s 16 years of experience with BP covered all parts of the West Coast fuel value chain. He was instrumental in developing product placement, production, and marketing strategies; setting up the distillate trading book; and establishing wholesale diesel offers and military contract bids. Jim also developed BP’s compliance strategies for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Carbon Cap & Trade program and the federal Renewable Fuels Standard.
During his time at ARCO, Jim served as a technical specialist supporting the company’s two West Coast refineries. In this capacity, he created one of the world’s first comprehensive mathematical models of the delayed coking process. He later led the technical support team in the coking area which supplied a large calcined coke marketing business.
Jim received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1981 and 1982, respectively. He earned an MBA from the University of California, Irvine in 1997.
Michael Myers has an extensive maritime background – including sailing experience under a Masters License – and cargo master experience. His executive experience covers full profit and loss responsibilities for a large fleet of tank vessels, operating expenditure, capital expenditure, and revenue budget management, safety management system oversight, marketing, and business development, and contracts management. With many years working and living in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, Mike has unique insight into West Coast and coastal Alaska petroleum products supply and distribution, and marine terminal and tank farm operations. His professional experience has afforded Mike the opportunity to accomplish a successful barge salvage as the on-scene incident commander, develop a simplified customer relations management system, and help develop a skills development program, all while maintaining high standards for safe operations and environmental protection.
Leigh Noda has a very broad based experience in the petroleum refining, petroleum products and alternate fuels arenas. His experience covers refinery operations, technology, business planning and strategy, business and project development, finance and EH&S (environmental, health and safety). He has a Masters in Business Administration from the UCLA Anderson School and a Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Davis. His experience and education are the basis for strong analytical skills, and an ability to address complex challenges and opportunities.
With Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) for 28 years, Leigh held numerous positions including key positions during the period when many critical decisions and investments were made to the two west coast refineries to address new stationary source environmental and fuel standards. While he was manager of technology and business at Carson Refinery, ARCO developed the first environmentally reformulated fuel (EC-1) that was introduced to the market in 1989. The fuel was developed in collaboration with fuels and central technology groups to demonstrate that gasoline can be cleaner burning and can be part of the future fuels mix of the country. In support of the merger with BP, he prepared interrogatories to the FTC demonstrating the neutral impact of the $36 billion BP Amoco-ARCO merger on the cost of petroleum products from West Coast petroleum refineries.
After ARCO, Leigh has consulted on a wide variety of projects ranging from development of investment opportunities for a private equity firm, to evaluation of the potential of innovative new technologies, to development of an innovative project for GTL plant in Trinidad. He performed various analyses ifor GTL including market analysis to support financing of projects, and as advisor to the Country Manager, served a number of functions including: organization development, management systems, commercial and regulatory issues, technical coordination, investor and lender presentations, and partner relations. In support of the US Agency for International Development he authored a white paper of US laws and regulations for use by Kazakhstan in development of their regulatory and environmental laws.
He has extensive experience in international business having been part of projects and business initiatives in China, Indonesia, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico and Trinidad. As part of his role in China, he delivered lectures to visiting executives from Sinopec on the US oil industry, the petrochemical industry, the strategic planning process, and the importance of corporate governance.
Ron spent his undergraduate years at UCLA during which time he interned at Dow Chemical in Long Beach working in the Quality Control Laboratory at the Long Beach Terminal. After receiving his Chemistry degree in 1982 he went to work at Redken Laboratories in Canoga Park, California where he worked as a Quality Control Chemist, then as a Process Engineer, then as a Product Development Chemist. During his time at Redken Laboratories, Ron made improvements to production processes and significant changes to the composition of products to improve their stability and performance.
In 1986 Ron began his career at Mobil working at the Torrance Refinery. He worked as a chemist in the refinery laboratory for two years before becoming the laboratory supervisor. This experience familiarized him with the testing of crude, intermediates, gasoline, jet, diesel, and LPG. He was also responsible for setting up new equipment and new tests including basic testing such as distillation and flash point as well as more analytical testing such as trace sulfur and trace fluorides.
A decade after joining Mobil’s team Ron moved to the position of gasoline blender. He later expanded the role to include blending of all clean products produced at the Torrance Refinery. This position made Ron very familiar with running blending LPs. He coordinated many changes to blending LPs to accommodate changes in regulations and other constraints. Ron gained notoriety for being the only person to successfully blend around all Unocal gasoline patents. In 1999, the Torrance Refinery became part of ExxonMobil. With the merger of Exxon and Mobil, Ron gained the responsibility for Refinery Product Quality. This position offered Ron the opportunity to visit, examine and improve product quality in refineries throughout the world.
Ron retired from ExxonMobil after 30 years working in Refining and Supply.
Barry Schaps is a senior executive with 34 years experience in the petroleum products, advanced biofuels and ethanol industries with areas of expertise in strategic planning, business development (M&A and divestitures), transportation and logistics (marine, pipeline and trucks), retail marketing, supply and trading, risk management, pricing and operations, and project management. He has developed programs to optimize operational costs, drive business growth, increase strategic market share, maximize asset utilization and enhance sustained efficiencies and effectiveness. Most recently, he has provided consulting services to renewable biofuels startup companies ranging from solar, biotechnology, cellulosic and corn and sugar based ethanol. These firms were looking to develop supply chain expertise for feedstocks and finished products while strategically aligning with traditional oil and gas companies.
Barry received his MBA in Finance from Long Island University in 1980 and a BBA degree from Bernard M. Baruch College, City University of New York in 1975.
Kendra Seymour is an Administrative Assistant at Stillwater Associates. She assists with scheduling, research, copy editing, process management, and other assorted administrative tasks.
Kendra received her BA in International Relations from Northwest Nazarene University in 2007. In addition to her work at Stillwater, she also operates a portrait photography business – Kendra Joy Photography. Kendra lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter, and their red heeler.
Michael L. Soares has over 27 years with ExxonMobil in downstream marketing operations. He has held various assignments in light products terminals both marine and pipeline supplied. He also has experience in lube plant operations. His final assignment was as manager of operations, Fuels Marketing, Western United States. In this position, he was responsible for supply of light products to over 1,000 retail and commercial sites in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Texas.
Michael is a retired Captain, USNR. Among his many assignments, he served as Military Assistant to the NAVSEA Inspector General. During his tour, he served as a certified Malcolm Baldrige examiner for IG audits.
Currently he serves on the adjunct faculty at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI in the area of Industrial and Labor Relations.
He is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and holds a Master of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from the University of Rhode Island.
Terry Virus is a Project Manager. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971, Terry became a Naval Aviator in 1973 and flew Patrol Aircraft. During his Navy career he qualified as an Aviation Safety Officer and instructed in the P3 until leaving the Navy in 1978.
After his time in the Navy Terry joined Delta Airlines and flew throughout North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. During his 26 years at Delta, Terry served as a Line Check Airman on the B-727, B-737, B-757, and B-767. He was also the Lead Line Check Airman for the Los Angeles base. After retiring from Delta, Terry flew B-747 aircraft, acting as an instructor pilot and Line Check Airman for 2 years for a startup Cargo operation under contract with Korean Air.
In recent years, Terry has co-chaired a golf group in Southern California, organizing monthly outings and tournaments. Terry Joined Stillwater Associates early in 2017.
Sid White has over 40 years of experience in engineering, procurement, and construction operations in the oil and gas industry. He has served in multiple engineering and management functions including as a plant manager, project manager, process engineering department manager, and project engineer. Sid has been responsible for the design, specification, scheduling, cost control, and start-up of facilities such as centrifugal and reciprocating compressor stations, gas processing plant modifications, and gas storage fields. He also provides engineering and project management consulting services to the construction industry. Sid is skilled in the assessment of technical issues and project management performance of owners and construction contractors on engineering, procurement, and construction contracts for process plant and industrial projects.
David Wilshin has been an attorney for more than four decades and General Counsel for Stillwater Associates since the early days of the company in the late 1990s. Dave’s experience includes transactions and litigation. His practice areas have spanned business, corporate, and commercial real estate matters. Early in his career he spent seven years as a prosecutor for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in California.
Dave graduated in 1964 from the United States Naval Academy. After four years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, Dave entered UCLA Law School in 1968 and received his Juris Doctorate there in 1971. For decades he has enjoyed Martindale-Hubbell’s highest attorney peer rating of 5.0/AV Preeminent.