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COLUMBIA, Mo. -- This summer will mark the end of Jerry Taylor's tenure as president and CEO of MFA Oil.
Taylor revealed this week he will retire from the Columbia-based company effective Aug. 31. He will remain with the company to lead MFA Oil's investments in MFA Oil Biomass, AgFuel Energy Systems and WasteWater Logic.
Upon Taylor's recommendation, MFA Oil's board of directors elected Mark Fenner, currently chief operating officer, will assume the role of president and chief executive officer as of Sept. 1. Taylor ascended to the role of president and CEO on Jan. 1, 2003. He started his relationship with MFA Oil in 1982 as a consultant, having developed a chain of convenience stores. In 1988, Taylor joined as an employee and was named the director of marketing. Three years later, Taylor was named vice president of sales and in 1992 transitioned to vice president of supply and distribution.
In 1995, he was named vice president of retail and in 1998 was further promoted to senior vice president of retail and supply before being named president in 2003. In addition to leading the company, Taylor serves on the boards of the MFA and MFA Oil Foundations. He also serves on the board of the National Cooperative Refinery Association and Mid America Biodiesel, in which MFA Oil has an ownership stake.
Outside of work, Taylor is currently serving on the board of Landmark Bank, Veterans United and is serving on the City of Columbia Mayor's Task Force on Crime.
"I believe that 2014 is the right time for me to retire for a number of reasons," Taylor said. First, the company has performed well over the past couple of years, exceeding our expectations. As a result, the company is operationally very sound and positioned for continued success. Secondly, the senior leadership team and the board have laid out a vision for the company that will guide MFA Oil for many years to come and this gives me great confidence about MFA Oil's future success. And third, Mark is the right guy and this is the right time for him to become the next leader of the company."
Fenner joined MFA Oil in 2012 as a COO and has been responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the refined fuel, propane, Petro-Card 24, American Petroleum Marketers, Break Time convenience stores and Jiffy Lube operations. Since Fenner joined the company, part of his focus has been on the growth of company operations. During the last 18 months, MFA Oil has added more than $100 million in sales through acquisitions and has expanded its footprint into Nebraska, North Carolina, Wyoming and Virginia.
Fenner brought 26 years of energy sales, marketing and cooperative experience to MFA Oil. Prior to joining MFA Oil, he served as the national account director for the south region for Cenex Harvest States (CHS), which generated more than $8 billion in revenue. Before that, he worked for Country Energy LLC and Farmland Industries in various leadership and sales capacities.
"Mark has a long history of building sales for cooperatives in the energy field," Taylor said. "His knowledge, industry experience and leadership will continue to be a great asset to MFA Oil. His decisive leadership, personal style and experience uniquely qualify him to step in to this role in September. He is well-respected across the industry, brings a high level of energy and embodies the company's core values."
Fenner earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1985.
"I am humbled and excited by this opportunity to lead MFA Oil Company, particularly during a time of unprecedented opportunity," Fenner said. "We will stand firm on the timeless values of MFA Oil, yet act decisively to maintain our strong competitive position. We will be guided by an exciting vision for our future that will allow us to bring value to our customers and grow our footprint.
MFA Oil Co., formed in 1929, is a farmer-owned cooperative with more than 40,000 members. In 2013 MFA Oil had sales of $1.3 billion. Through a subsidiary, MFA Oil operates Break Time convenience stores in Missouri and Arkansas.