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Transportation Energy Institute Elects Ron Sabia as Chairman, Appoints Three to Board of Advisors

Transportation Energy Institute Press Release |
June 04, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, VA  – The Transportation Energy Institute announced that Ron Sabia, former president of Gulf Oil (Wellesley Hills, MA), has been elected its 2018-19 chairman. Sabia succeeds Jay Ricker, chairman of Ricker’s (Anderson, IN) who stepped down as chairman of the Transportation Energy Institute after four years at the helm of the organization. Robert Wimmer, director of energy and environmental research for Toyota Motors North America (Washington, DC), was elected to his fourth term as treasurer and John Eichberger, executive director of the Transportation Energy Institute (Alexandria, VA), was re-elected secretary.

The Transportation Energy Institute named its new leadership following its annual conference, FUELS2018, which took place May 22-24 in Chicago. A record 170 attendees were at this year’s event, 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.

“Ron’s experience and reputation in the fuels industry has been a tremendous asset to the Transportation Energy 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.

Ricker will continue to serve on the organization’s 11-person Board of Directors.

“We thank Jay for his leadership in nurturing the Transportation Energy 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 of Directors, the Transportation Energy Institute is guided a by diverse Board of Advisors, which currently has 32 members and sets the research priorities for the organization. Three new members were announced following FUELS2018:

  • Jeff Cole, vice president, Costco Wholesale (Issaquah, WA)
  • Joaquim (Jo) Portela, vice president refining and gasification, Lummus Technology LLC (The Woodlands, TX)
  • Steve Przesmitzki, strategic transport analysis, Aramco Research Center (Novi, MI)

“The addition of these three individuals provides the Transportation Energy Institute with expanded expertise and global perspective to help guide the development of our research agenda,” Eichberger said.

“Representing one of the leading fuel retailing companies in the world, Jeff brings his experience guiding Costco’s high-volume fuel business and its approach to critically analyzing business opportunities. As part of the one of the world’s largest technology companies in the energy sector, Jo immediately improves our ability to evaluate the impact of market developments on global energy markets. And Steve brings more than 20 years of experience conducting research on fuels and engines, most recently for Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, with additional experience with the U.S. Department of Energy and Ford Motor Company.”

The Transportation Energy Institute will convene its next annual conference, FUELS2019, May 21-23, 2019, at a location to be announced. A complete list of members of the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors is available at

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