Building a Winning SAF Super Bowl Team – Quarterback
Featuring Dave Smoot-NWABF Manager and “Quarterback”
At Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, our Team is staffed by seasoned entrepreneurs with amazing talent in their respective roles. We liken our team structure to that of a successful NFL football team, where each player is in a critical role for the good of the whole Team. In this case, the SAF Industry or (“League”).
In blog posts in recent weeks, we highlighted some of the committed star players on our SAF Super Bowl team. You can read about the team players at their respective links below:
- Steven Brown, Defensive Back: https://nwabiofuels.com/building-the-winning-saf-super-bowl-team-defensive-back/
- Stefan Unnasch, Offensive Coordinator: https://nwabiofuels.com/building-the-winning-saf-super-bowl-team-offensive-coordinator/
- Nasher Khan, Defensive Coordinator: https://nwabiofuels.com/building-the-winning-saf-super-bowl-team-our-defensive-coordinator/
- Bernie Asher, Chief Financial Officer: https://nwabiofuels.com/building-the-win…ncial-operations/
- Chris Whitworth, Running Back: https://nwabiofuels.com/building-the-winning-saf-super-bowl-team-running-back/
- Developing a Championship SAF Team: https://nwabiofuels.com/developing-a-championship-saf-team/
This week, we look at Dave Smoot, our team’s Founder and Quarterback. He’s the one making plays and handing them off to his teammates to advance the ball down the field. In other words, negotiate and sign the best of the best for Project Partners, Land, Feedstock Suppliers, Technology, and Engineering Services. The Touchdown or “big score” comes in the form of funding. Dave is responsible for bringing the right players together to move toward winning the Super Bowl of Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
Dave Smoot: Quarterback (Manager, Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels LLC)
Dave Smoot is the right guy to lead this team of industry professionals. Dave has years of experience developing projects and leading development teams in the infrastructure and alternative energy fields.
Through his past knowledge and work with multiple technology providers and engineering companies, Dave has successfully assembled the winning team elements required to get a positive nod by some of the industry-leading investment banks to finance his biofuels-to-liquids project.
Background in Energy
After a long career in the global computer software and hardware industry and infrastructure development, Dave started developing wind and solar projects in southern California in the 2010s. His focus then was to use alternative wind and solar energy to generate electricity. The project progressed when he received an exclusive right to use South Korea’s giant conglomerate, Daewoo’s vertical access wind turbine technology. Unfortunately, this 2,000-acre project came to a halt due to the inability to gain full access to electricity transmission lines. These lines were being protected by CA utility companies that owned them, and in many developer’s opinions, to prevent competition from independent producers.
In 1995, Dave moved his family to Arizona to supposedly ‘retire.’ But it didn’t really work out that way. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to start a real estate infrastructure development company. After the 2008 financial debacle shelved many developer’s projects, Dave turned his sights to renewable energy, starting Arizona Renewable Fuels, LLC in 2012. This initial foray into alternative energy led Dave to renewable fuel Projects with Hawaii Renewable fuels in 2015, before launching Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, LLC in 2017. The focus on the timber-rich Northwest USA was the right strategic move leading to the formation of Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, LLC.
“As a former athlete with dreams of playing pro basketball, interrupted by the Vietnam War, my many friends and associates who realized their dreams and played pro sports (Football, Basketball, and Baseball), naturally led me to develop a kinship with sports,” Dave says. “Plus, I did play myself. I dreamed of building a great team, of leading players to a goal while enjoying the fruits of my journey along the way.”
“Being involved in the sustainable aviation fuel arena right now is so exciting. It feels like my earlier team situations I was fortunate enough to have experienced. When you play hard at your sport, slowly, the team gets perfect, and the crowds (supporters) start showing up to watch you win. Comparatively, like in business, the backer or investment money starts to flow into the Team or the project. I feel our team is prepared and ready, and we’re heading toward the end zone and on the cusp of winning our own definition of the Super Bowl.”
Sustainable aviation fuel is the leading renewable energy source for major airlines to fuel their fleets for decades to come. Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, LLC initially received a $2 million partnership with Delta Air Lines in 2019 to complete a feasibility study to create sustainable aviation fuel from the wood slash on forest floors (woody biomass).
That feasibility study has now progressed into the later stages of the “game,” with the FEL2 and FEED Studies beginning shortly. Now Dave is working with some of the largest most successful companies in the SAF Industry to build his SAF Super Bowl-winning Team.
“We need a good League and more successful Projects or Teams to be developed, with more WINS than Losses. There haven’t been many wins in this League or industry, but we are certain there will be. The industry needs NWABF, and we need them! Project Wins help our Industry. We are pulling for our competition, so our League survives.”
Finally, Dave states, “We represent something very positive for Grays Harbor, WA, where jobs are scarce, but labor is plentiful. We need over 700 workers to build the project, which will take close to 3 years, including testing. We need approximately 150 full-time workers once we begin shipping fuel. We can help local Charities, and all the while, our Team is benefitting the State of WA, Grays Harbor County, and Port Authority.
NWABF continues forward to the goal line with its plans to produce millions of gallons of renewable biofuel. Stay tuned to this blog for exciting developments in the months ahead!