Nebraska Ethanol Board exec seeks transition plan

Source: Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Ethanol Board has agreed to discuss planning for the eventual replacement of its top administrator.

Administrator Todd Sneller urged the board at its Monday meeting to prepare for a transition that should be accomplished over years, not months, The Grand Island Independent said ( ).

The 61-year-old Sneller said he’s set no timetable for his retirement, but thinks it’s best to hire someone whom he would mentor for a year or even two before taking over the job.

The process should include recruiting a person with the specific qualifications needed to fill the leadership post. Among them, Sneller said, are an understanding of agriculture and thorough knowledge of ethanol’s history.

Sneller said term limits in the Nebraska Legislature, combined with potential turnover in leadership of state government and organizations that cooperate with the Ethanol Board, could lead to a huge loss of institutional memory of what the industry means to Nebraska.

The Nebraska Ethanol Board is a state agency created by the Legislature in 1971 to work with policymakers, economic development officials, utilities, regulatory agencies and others to develop the ethanol industry. The board is composed of seven members appointed by the governor and one nonvoting technical adviser.

Nebraska has 24 active ethanol production plants, with a combined production capacity of more than 2 billion gallons of ethanol a year, requiring more than 700 million bushels of grain in the process, the board website says

Board members agreed Monday that they should hold a special meeting or retreat early next year to discuss a long-range plan for replacing Sneller.