40 Under 40 Class of 2017: Jenna Long
by A. Kam Napier (Pacific Business News) Jenna Long, 31, Director of operations, Pacific Biodiesel The state’s only commercial biofuel producer is humming along in Keaau, on the Big Island, a family-run business that pioneered that form of renewable energy in Hawaii, where Jenna Long, 31, is director of operations.
Pacific Biodiesel got its start in 1995 when Jenna’s parents, Bob and Kelly King, first proposed converting the generators powering Central Maui Landfill to use waste grease from restaurants.
The company now has plants on three islands and has built 12 on the Mainland and in Japan. Its Keaau plant opened in 2012 and produces annually 5.5 million gallons of biodiesel.
What Long is most excited about right now for the Maui-based business is that its Big Island plant has been at the full capacity this year, the first time it’s operated at that level. Since she’s in charge of operations, it’s a good feeling and she credits her team for making it happen. That and the business is expanding.
“We’re going beyond fuel oil from waste products to produce cosmetic-grade oil from mac nuts that were rejected to be sold whole,” she said. “And we’re growing our own sunflowers on Maui to make food-grade sunflower oil.”
In addition to plant operations, Long works on business development, growing the company’s customer base among the state’s fuel distributors, utilities and the military, as well as with county governments and businesses with fleets, to get their vehicles on biodiesel.
Long-term, she sees herself staying in the industry and with the company. READ MORE