Leadership Team

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Pat Black


With a vision to help revitalize Erie’s rich manufacturing heritage, CEO Pat Black III founded HERO BX in 2006. It was his ideology to build a company that would create meaningful jobs, spur technological innovation, and produce eco-friendly products. With manufacturing plants in Erie, PA and Moundville, AL, today HERO BX is one of the United States leading biodiesel refiners, creating innovative jobs and manufacturing fuels that help satisfy the country’s thirst for alternative energy.


Soomi James

Soomi James

Chief Operating Officer

With over twenty-five years of experience, as a consultant, a corporate leader, and for her highly regarded management style, Ms. Soomi James is the current Chief Operating Officer for Erie Management Group such as HERO BX Pennsylvania, HERO BX Alabama, and other entities. Ms. James leads the strategic initiatives encompassing business development, acquisitions, leadership management, and company culture.

Ms. James joined Erie Management Group in July 2015. Her prior global experience and achievements as a key leader at The Empowerment Partnership, a leading development and training company with headquarters in Kona, Hawaii, resulted in double-digit growth, while also improving employee and customer satisfaction.

Ms. James's key competencies are strategic management, talent development, sales and marketing, with a strong commitment to client and employee satisfaction.



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Chris Peterson

Vice President, Finance
and Commodity Risk

With more than two decades of experience, Mr. Peterson is responsible for the day-to-day financial and regulatory management of the company. Manages the regulatory requirements mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Internal Revenue Service and PA Departments of Transportation and Revenue. He is also responsible for feedstock procurement and all commodity hedging activities for the company. Mr. Peterson, was a former Finance Manager for Rent-Way, Inc., a publicly-held specialty retail firm, and STERIS Corporation, a global manufacturer of medical equipment.


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Tim Keaveney

Vice President of Sales

Tim Keaveney serves as The Vice President of Sales, for Erie, PA based biodiesel producer HERO BX. With over 20 years in the energy business, Tim’s experience uniquely qualifies him to help link HERO BX with traditional petroleum market segments. Tim began his career in 1991 in Boston, MA at Coastal Refining and Marketing, Inc. specializing in petroleum wholesale sales to the heating oil and gasoline markets throughout New England. Since then, he has held management positions at some of North America’s leading energy firms including Sprague Operating Resources, Irving Oil, and Baker Hughes. Over his career, Tim has served as a member of The New England Fuel Institute, PMAA, Massachusetts OilHeat Council, The New York Oil Heating Association, Pennsylvania Petroleum Association, and as a Commissioner for the BQ 9000 National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission. Tim currently serves on The National Biodiesel Board Governing Board. In addition, he serves as NBB’s Chairman of the Regulatory Committee and sits on both the Finance and Political Action Committees. Over the past year, he has also served as an active participant on the National Biodiesel Board’s RVO Working Group, lobbying EPA for increased biomass based diesel in the Renewable Fuel Standard. Born in Boston, MA, he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Suffolk University, Boston, MA in 1990.



John Nies

Vice President of Operations

Mr. Nies is currently the Vice President of Operations overseeing all operations for Hero BX Pennsylvania and Hero BX Alabama. Mr. Nies was previously our Director of Procurement and Logistics at Hero BX 2012 whereas he led all sourcing for feedstock and chemicals utilized in the production of biodiesel. Prior to this, Mr. Nies also served as an Operations Engineer for Hero BX in 2007.



Scott Newell

Director of Environmental
Health and Safety

With over twenty years of experience, Mr. Newell oversees Hero BX Pennsylvania and Alabama plants environmental compliance. Mr. Newell is an experienced, long-time contributor to the environmental and safety programs with International Paper Corporation and HERO BX. He has been working as the Environmental, Health & Safety Manager at the Erie, PA plant since 2006.Mr. Newell is an Erie, PA native who in 1980, received his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Edinboro University of PA. He also holds certifications in DOT Hazardous Materials, RCRA, and 40 hour HAZWOPER.



Holly Koziorowski

Technical Director

As the Technical Director at HERO BX, Holly Koziorowski is responsible for the laboratory, quality, and research and development. She is also a member of the ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants. Mrs. Koziorowski began her employment with HERO BX in 2008 as a laboratory technician, performing quality testing on incoming feedstock and outgoing products. Shortly thereafter, she was promoted to Lead Laboratory Technician where she supervised the laboratory and performed internal BQ-9000 audits.