Meet the 2023 TOBI Award Winners

This year’s TOBI Award Winners, from L to R: Neil Anderson of POET, Autumn Bates of POET, Brian Renaud of Sheetz, Emily Skor of Growth Energy, Hagan Rose of Eco-Energy, Savannah Block of Novozymes, Cathy Woodliff of the Andersons, and Allison Prestegaard of Marquis Energy

Each year, the TOBI awards recognize Growth Energy members for their innovation, fortitude, perseverance, and leadership in the biofuels industry. From communication professionals and political advocates to technical experts and corporate leaders, the TOBI awards acknowledge the achievements of members who go the extra mile to drive progress within their organizations and the industry. Growth Energy proudly announced the winners of the 2023 TOBI awards at the 2023 Executive Leadership Conference. Learn more about them below.



Winner, Public Affairs – Allison Prestegaard, Communications Coordinator at Marquis Energy

While relatively new to the biofuels sector, Allison Prestegaard, the winner of the 2023 TOBI award for Public Affairs, has artfully combined her farm-family background and a knack for storytelling to become a key partner in communicating our industry’s latest innovations and initiatives aimed at building a greener future. She has taken command of some of our most complicated policy communications challenges and helped position the biofuels industry as a strong leader before local, national, and international audiences.


Winner, Technical Excellence – Cathy Woodliff, Quality Assurance and Laboratory Manager at The Andersons

Cathy Woodliff, the 2023 TOBI awardee for Technical Excellence, has made tremendous contributions to biofuels through her expertise and leadership on Growth Energy’s Fuel Ethanol Technical Advisory Group, as well as through her support on technical issues at ASTM. As a pioneer on E85 fuel quality, she has led industry conversations on volatility, blendstock options, and quality plant programs. She also continues to be an instrumental voice on improving the industry’s efficiency and compliance on fuel quality.


Winner, Advocacy – Savannah Block, Government Relations Associate at Novozymes

In an industry with many high-performing advocates, selecting an awardee who goes above and beyond to ensure representation of our industry in Washington is no easy task. But Savannah Block, this year’s winner for Advocacy, sets herself apart as a trusted advocate for the bioeconomy, and as a reliable resource on biofuels for her colleagues and policymakers alike.



Winner, Global Market Development – Hagan Rose, Accounts Manager for U.S. and Canada at Eco-Energy

Hagan Rose, the 2023 TOBI awardee for Global Market Development, works around-the-clock finding new opportunities to move more bioethanol into the global marketplace. His expertise, positive attitude, and collaborative spirit make him a key player across the industry when it comes to developing critical market insights. With this award, we recognize his leadership, relentless resolve, and invaluable contributions to growing bioethanol demand worldwide.



Winner, Market Development – Brian Renaud, Director of Retail Fuel Pricing and Analytics at Sheetz

Removing barriers and expanding the market for higher blends of biofuels in the marketplace has been a primary focus for Growth Energy since its inception. In alignment with our mission, Brian Renaud, this year’s TOBI award winner for Market Development, has been a staunch ally for increasing consumer access to biofuel blends. Through innovative marketing and pricing strategies, he is expanding the market for biofuels like bioethanol. Thanks to his vision and leadership, Sheetz is an E15 success story and is paving the way for other retailers.


Winner, Get Biofuel – Autumn Bates, Vice President of Communications for POET

Autumn Bates, the 2023 Get Biofuel TOBI awardee, has been instrumental in the successful launch of Get Biofuel’s new consumer campaign—the Green American Road Trip. From storyboards to social media to final products, she has been with Growth Energy every step of the way. Autumn is a collaborative partner who offers effective strategies that communicate and amplify the benefits of biofuels, helping to ensure the success of this initiative.



Winner, Membership – Neil Anderson, Vice President of Strategic Development at POET

Our association continues to get stronger because of the many individuals who put their heart into the success of our industry. Neil Anderson, the recipient of this year’s TOBI award for Membership, has demonstrated unwavering support for Growth Energy and its mission over the past year. Holding fast to the principle that a rising tide lifts all boats, Neil brings new prospects into the fold and a new perspective to the industry—embodying an inclusive spirit that has never been more important as we embark on new frontiers in the bioeconomy.


Congratulations to all of our TOBI award winners! Thank you for making such dynamic contributions to Growth Energy and to the biofuels industry as a whole.