Executive Leadership

Meet our executive leadership team. Their diverse and accomplished backgrounds in policy, energy tech and research, business, advocacy and communications advance our mission of Fuel Freedom for America.

Founders

Joseph “Yossie” Hollander

Joseph “Yossie” Hollander

Co-founder

Yossie Hollander is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist with more than 40 years of experience building successful software companies. In addition to co-founding the Fuel Freedom Foundation, he is the founder and chairman of Our Energy Policy Foundation, which is dedicated to creating an open dialogue and consensus on U.S. energy policy. Yossie serves on the executive board and management committee of the Weizmann Institute of Science. He is a member of the Board of Councilors of USC’s College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and a member of the advisory board of the Cornell University Center for a Sustainable Future.

Eyal Aronoff

Eyal Aronoff

Co-founder

Before helping launch Fuel Freedom Foundation, Eyal Aronoff co-founded Quest Software, which was sold to Dell in 2012 for $2.4 billion. Eyal traces his commitment to breaking America’s oil addiction to his Israeli roots. As a young boy, he lost his father in the 1967 Six Day War. Then, on Sept. 11, 2001, his step-brother and his step-brother’s wife were killed in the World Trade Center attack. In the wake of 9/11, Eyal began to focus on how to free the U.S. economy from its dependence on imported oil, which he believes will, in turn, help ensure America’s geopolitical security. In addition to his work with Fuel Freedom, the Aronoff family is one of the largest donors to clinical trials for autism treatments for children.

Leadership

Joe Cannon

Joe Cannon

President & chief executive officer

Joe Cannon brings a wide array of leadership experience in government, law, business and journalism to the building of fuel freedom for America. He served as editor of the Deseret News, the leading newspaper in Utah. Prior to Deseret, he was a partner and co-leader of the Public Practice & Political Law practice team at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. Joe played a pivotal role in the purchase of Geneva Steel (a steel mill in Vineyard, Utah) and the reopening of the plant in 1987. He served as chief executive officer and chairman until 2001. From 1981 to 1985, he served in the Reagan administration as an assistant administrator in the Environmental Protection Agency, first for policy and resource management and later for air and radiation. Joe received his undergraduate and law degree from Brigham Young University.

Ilana Meirovitch

Ilana Meirovitch

Chief operating officer

Ilana Meirovitch brings more than 20 years of operational leadership experience with Deloitte, one of the leading consulting organizations in the world. Ilana’s experience with Deloitte spanned all disciplines of the organization, from finance to HR to communications and strategic development. She began her career as a tax professional in the Orange County practice and over the years supported firm leadership in various roles such as chief of staff to the managing partner and director of finance. Ultimately she became director of operations in the firm’s talent (HR) organization, where she led teams both in the U.S. and India, overseeing the organization’s budget, all technology solutions and the development of its offshoring activities. Ilana has an MBA degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Robin Vercruse

Robin Vercruse

Vice president of policy and environment

Robin Vercruse‘s professional background spans a variety of roles and responsibilities, primarily in entrepreneurial organizations. Her diverse experience in both commercial and non-profit enterprises includes administration, marketing, event management, product and program management, and analytics. Robin also has a master’s degree from UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, with a specialty in energy and climate change policy. After helping to establish and grow Fuel Freedom Foundation’s operating structure and procedures, Robin is now managing the Foundation’s policy and research programs to promote a major shift to non-petroleum-based transportation fuels.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Director of research

Mike Jackson is the recently retired senior director of transportation technology at TIAX LLC, and has worked on studies and demonstrations of alternative fuels and energy systems for the past 40 years. Mike worked with California agencies to reduce the state’s dependence on oil and helped develop the California Hydrogen Highway Network and Alternative Fuels Plan. His recent work includes a natural-gas vehicle market assessment for the American Natural Gas Alliance and an assessment of truck-fuel economy technologies for the National Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Air and Waste Management Association.

Nazli "Naz" Ekim

Nazli "Naz" Ekim

Communications manager

Naz Ekim is an award-winning public relations specialist with a decade of experience providing strategic media guidance for companies ranging from small startups to the Fortune 500. Naz is responsible for orchestrating campaigns in major print, broadcast and digital media that help achieve the foundation‘s objectives, while promoting it to the widest possible audience. Naz holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College and an MBA from Northpark University in Chicago. She was named one of the top 20 publicists in North America by PR Source Code, as determined by editorial staff from more than 300 publications.

Melissa Blaustein

Melissa Blaustein

Digital director

Melissa Blaustein brings several years of digital policy and advocacy experience to Fuel Freedom. She’s had roles at the local, national and international level, including the White House, UN Women, the UNEP, the G20 Research Group, with former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and with many San Francisco politicians. She advised the French government on a taxation structure for the digital economy and founded Allied for Startups, a global network whose goal is to make the voice of startups heard in government. She holds a Masters Degree Cum Laude from Sciences Po in Paris, and an undergraduate degree with honors from UC Berkeley.