4 minutes with… Phillip D. McFarran, President, McFarran Group

December 15, 2014 |

McFarren_Phil[1]Tell us about your organization and it’s role in the advanced bioeconomy.

My company spent several years evaluating bioenergy projects for a passive investment group from Australia as well as projects for other private groups. We developed a sophisticated model for evaluating global projects which we now use in developing similar logistics analysis for the oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

I have been the CEO and General Manager with various projects. We are now focused on largest multi tenant trans load facility in Ohio for the oil and gas industry. The logistics analysis is almost identical as that used for bio fuels. We firmly believe that biofuels combined with the unconventional drilling techniques now being utilized will give the U. S. the option to be totally energy independent. However, when one analyzes the international market both industries will thrive better with an international marketing program where the U. S. producers are lowest cost or most competitively priced. The Commodity market world wide offers tremendous options for both industries.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?

Must retain competitive world market position and convince policy makers that being world competitive is more important than pursuing domestic competition. The latter is often a juvenile contest on who can influence most the political party policies with little recognition of a national energy goal.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change?

Reluctance of investors and reluctance of government policy officials to measure success on a global competitive standard versus the self serving rhetoric of various parties.

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you.

Being an informed party on advanced technology so that I can accurately evaluate various business and policy actions which I express in a weekly market/newsletter where I often reference the goals and objectives of biofuels with those of the oil and gas industry.

Where are you from? 

Native of Indiana—Raised on large farm very active in many forms of agriculture–Educated in Indiana–was Editor College news paper which led to being an investigative news reporter which led to the front gate of U. S. Steel.

What was your undergraduate major in college, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway? 

Mathematics/physics major with a Journalism minor–Ball State University. Chose Ball State because of its reputation as a quality institution with tremendous support from a wealthy Indiana family.

Who do you consider your mentors. What have you learned from them?

Had many noted mentors at U. S. Steel for 25 years–current mentor is probably Warren Buffett because of his very accurate business acumen.

What’s the biggest lesson you ever learned during a period of adversity?

You must be determined with very high standards of integrity–must be willing to face opposition in a very forth right professional manner and you must be able to develop a team of allies often not readily identifiable. I spent about 15 years at U. S. Steel in crisis management and then learned all of the challenges of running your own business including determining the goals of clients as part of convincing them that you were one of the best in your particular field.

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry? 

Travel extensively with my wife around the world–quite active in her arts and cultural affairs activities. Partisan sports fan with 20 grandchildren who all seek attention from time to time.

What 3 books would you take to read, if stranded on a desert island?

The three latest from Jack Welch.

What books or articles are on your reading list right now, or you just completed and really enjoyed?

Read probably 100 research articles a day from various sources.

What’s your favorite city or place to visit, for a holiday?

Anywhere in Australia.

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Category: Million Minds

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