East Tennessee Clean Fuels history

David Pelton is shown in the center, and former West TN coor. Andrew Miller is at far right. Photo taken in 2006 at the Nashville Superspeedway during the Pepsi 300 where ethanol was beginning use in racing fuels.

east tennessee clean fuelsIn 2000, David Pelton began efforts to establish a “Middle Tennessee Clean Fuels” with some assistance provided by the Tennessee State Energy Office. Pelton pulled together numerous partners and entities to develop the MTCF Program Plan that was submitted to the DOE Clean Cities Program in 2004, and that was approved later that year. MTCF held it’s designation ceremony on consecutive days alongside the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (ETCF) and was designated on October 13, 2004.

David managed the program until the late 00’s when Atha and Bart Comiskey took over the reigns of managing the coalition. The wife-and-husband combo helped further develop programs like the establishment of a more earnest biofuels development system whereby more fleets used E85 ethanol and B20 biodiesel and more public stations were developed for both fuels in the greater Nashville (7-8 county) area. Bart Comiskey had significant experience with biodiesel and having produced his own biodiesel and taught many regional individuals and companies who to do so, which helped fleets assuage concerns over biodiesel and put the fuel in use. Atha Comiskey worked with numerous fleets and took the lead in developing a stronger board of directors for the coalition, including bringing many high-profile fleets on-board including UPS and Waste Management, who are now the top two alt-fuel-using fleets in Tennessee – UPS through the use of LNG and some LNG as RNG in almost 400 class 8 tractors across the state, and WM through the use of CNG in over 150 trucks in various locations across the state.

The Comiskeys served until around 2016 and it was during the ensuing two years where collectively the coalitions decided to redraw our regions and for that coalition to become the “Middle-West Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition” (MWTCF). In 2017 with the assistance of ETCF, the Board of Directors for MTCF reviewed several candidates and selected Alexa Voytek out of the state energy office to become the new coordinator. MWTCF contracts with the TDEC Office of Energy Programs (OEP) for the staff that work for MWTCF, and over the last three years Shauna Basques and Mark Finlay have come on-board as staff at OEP that also spend part of their time assisting with initiatives and work that MWTCF tackles.

Atha Comiskey is joined by (left) Paul Rice, the West TN coalition coordinator for a few years, and (right) Jonathan Overly of East TN Clean Fuels. The photo is from an NGV Expo that was held in Nashville in 2012.

Atha and Bart Comiskey are shown speaking with an individual during a large NGV Expo that was held at Nissan Stadium in April 2013.

Region Served

Counties served in MWT:  Bedford, Benton, Carroll, Cheatham, Chester, Crockett, Davidson, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Giles, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Marshall, Maury, McNairy, Montgomery, Moore, Obion, Perry, Robertson, Rutherford, Shelby, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Tipton, Trousdale, Wayne, Weakley, Williamson, Wilson.

Note that MWTCF staff help on projects and initiatives that are statewide – we work as a collaborative team.

Coalition territories in TN
East Tennessee Clean Fuels Board of Directors
President Rob Cheney
Robert CheneyPresident

Industry recognized Environmental Services Executive with over 20 years of experience leading teams in business development, strategic planning, operations and sales development, implementation and leadership. My professional focus of inception-through-realization includes: Market Strategy, Goal Development, Tactics, Sales Management and Roll-out, Asset Development, Employee Development and KPI’s in support of company objectives. Happy to serve on the MWTCF Coalition board; are you engaged with your local Clean Cities coalition?

Debbie HenryVice President & Secretary

With over 29 years’ experience in non-profit management, communications and marketing, Henry serves as the chief organizational liaison with area businesses, governmental entities community organizations and key constituent groups to build support for better transportation planning and services. Henry is responsible for the executive leadership and management of The TMA Group, ensuring that optimum results are achieved for existing programs and services while conceptualizing and developing new programs and funding opportunities. Henry is a 2011 Graduate of the Transit Citizens Leadership Academy Inaugural Class, and serves as volunteer Associate Executive Director of Leadership Franklin; and is a 2011 graduate of the program. Henry holds a graduate degree in Non-Profit Management, as well as an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Physics. She is a long-time Williamson County resident. Henry has a daughter, who is a local veterinarian.

Rick WarrenTreasurer

Rick is a propane sales and marketing veteran with more than 4 decades experience in the industry. Beginning in the mid 1970’s he has been involved in the sales of propane and the installation of propane autogas conversions. In 1997 Warren moved to Nashville to help open a new office and develop a sales and service territory that has led to his current position as Account Manager. Since the early 2000’s Warren has served on the MWTCF advisory board and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Middle-West TN Clean Fuels and is an active member in the Tennessee Autogas Council. He is an advocate on behalf of Propane Autogas as an alternative fuel in our efforts to promote a cleaner environment and advance the use of domestically produced Propane as an engine fuel to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Chip Gifford photo
Chip GiffordAdvisor
Chip Gifford is the Manager of CNG Business Development for Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. His primary responsibility is promoting the use of compressed natural as a transportation fuel both through Piedmont Natural Gas public station network and the development of private stations within its service territory. Chip has over 28 years transportation experience and has served on the board of the Middle Western TN Clean fuels coalition for 3 years.
Mick Henderson
Mick HendersonAdvisor

Mick Henderson has been the General Manager at Commonwealth Agri-Energy, LLC since 2003.  CAE is a corn to fuel ethanol plant with 34 employees in Hopkinsville, KY. Reporting to a Board of Directors, Mick is in charge of all functions including plant engineering and construction, negotiating vender contracts, hiring and training all personnel including processing, engineering, maintenance, lab, and administration.  Other affiliations include the Renewable Fuels Association (Board of Directors – 2 years as Chairman); Middle West TN Clean Fuels Coalition (Board Member – 6 years as President); KY Clean Fuels Coalition (Member); Christian County Ag Advisory Committee (Member); Hopkinsville Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee (Member).  Previously, Mick worked for the Archer, Daniels, Midland Co., (ADM) from 1981 to 2003. Mick’s education includes an MBA from Bradley University in 1989 and a BS in Industrial Technology from Eastern Illinois University in 1981.  Mick is married with 3 lovely daughters, all college graduates!

Tim Rayburn, UPS
Tim RayburnAdvisor

Tim is currently the UPS ‘Vice President of Automotive Maintenance and Engineering – East Region’ and is responsible for Automotive Operations encompassing 22 Eastern U.S. states.  Throughout Tim’s 33-year career at UPS, he has had the opportunity to work with multiple conventional and alternative fuel platforms and has been instrumental in implementation and development within the UPS fleet. Tim has been directly involved with emerging technologies including the deployment, integration and maintenance of: Class-8 LNG and CNG, Class-6 CNG, Propane, Electric, HEV (hybrid electric) and HHV (hydraulic hybrid). Prior to joining MWTCF in 2017, Tim had the opportunity to work with Clean Cities initiatives (in St. Louis and Louisiana) and has also had the opportunity to spend time in Washington DCs “a day on the hill”, showcasing Capitol Hill procedures in 2019.  

Tim currently lives in the Nashville area with his wife; they have a daughter who is a graduate of Lipscomb University and a son who is a graduate of Trevecca University. 

East Tennessee Clean Fuels staff
Alexa VoytekDirector

Alexa Voytek is the Director for the Middle-West Tennessee Clean Cities Coalition as well as a Deputy Director for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) Office of Energy Programs. Alexa leads various grant programs, energy efficiency and sustainable transportation initiatives, and oversees external communications efforts. In her role as Clean Cities Director, she seeks to encourage local fleets to adopt alternative fuel vehicles and advanced vehicle technologies in order to reduce petroleum dependence and improve air quality. Prior to joining TDEC, Voytek interned with the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development and the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia. Most recently, she served as Assistant Account Executive for New York City-based public relations firm Ketchum, Inc., where she was assigned to energy and technology-related projects. She holds an M.A. from Columbia University in Russian, Eastern European, Balkan, and Eurasian Studies and graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in History and Russian Language/Area Studies.


  • Learning new things

  • Brazilian choro music, Appalachian old-time music, bluegrass

  • Chekhov

  • Australian and Argentinian merlots

  • Traveling the world


  • Cold showers

  • Yogurt

  • Sharks

  • Pollution

  • Sunburns

Mark FinlayProgram Partner

Mark is a staff member of the Middle-West Tennessee Clean Cities Coalition as well as a Senior Energy Analyst for TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs. He works to advance sustainable transportation programming and assists MWTCF coordinator Alexa Voytek in the various programs and initiatives she takes the lead on, in both his roles in MWTCF and TDEC. Mark joined TDEC in 2019 after earning an M.P.A. with a focus on Environmental Policy and Administration from Syracuse University and an M.P.S. in Sustainable Energy from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. In Syracuse, Mark worked with the Central New York Clean Cities Coalition to promote the use of alternative fuels in the region. Mark graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences.


  • Sports of all kinds and getting super analytical about them

  • Discussing and reviewing music

  • Rocket League

  • When a dog looks in my general direction

  • Nice smelling lotion


  • Grapefruit

  • Overpriced coffee (it’s just bean water, c’mon)

  • NOx

  • Ohio

  • Misinformation

Lizzy GaviriaProgram Partner

Lizzy is a Nashville native and a graduate of Rice University in Houston, Texas where she studied Environmental Science and Energy & Water Sustainability. She is super excited to be working with the Middle-West Tennessee Clean Cities Coalition, assisting them with their various projects, and exchanging ideas with stakeholders throughout the community. She is a Grants Analyst at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, within the Office of Energy Programs. She enjoys finding new places to hike, making granola, and picnicking with friends.


  • In-depth movie analyses

  • Animals being goofy

  • Water (in a reusable bottle, of course)

  • Discovering new music

  • Farmers Markets


  • Pie, the inferior dessert

  • Fungus gnats living in my plants

  • Misunderstandings that could’ve been avoided with better communication

  • Touching something gross and not knowing what it is

  • Littering

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Karina RoveyIntern

Karina is a lifelong Tennessean and senior at Vanderbilt University, where she focuses on Human and Organizational Development and Political Science. Prior to joining the Middle-West TN Clean Fuels Coalition, she interned for Clearloop, an innovative startup that expands access to clean energy through corporate sustainability commitments. She is excited to assist MWTCF with various projects and learn more about the expansion of clean fuels, particularly electric vehicle infrastructure across the state.


  • Road trips

  • Hot tubs

  • Documentaries

  • Long walks

  • Bright colors


  • Seafood

  • Being indoors for too long

  • Cold weather

  • Virtual reality

  • Horror movies