Mr. McAfee is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and philanthropist. Mr. McAfee has founded and funded more than thirty companies in renewable energy, oil & gas, networking equipment, enterprise software, medical devices and agriculture through McAfee Capital, Cagan McAfee Capital Partners and Berg McAfee Companies. He has founded seven companies that were taken public, including Aemetis (Nasdaq: $170 million revenues), Pacific Ethanol (Nasdaq: $1.5 billion revenues), Evolution Petroleum (NYSE) and Procera Networks (Nasdaq – sold).
Mr. McAfee was appointed in 2012 as a GlobalScot by the First Minister of Scotland, advising Scotland on renewable energy and economic growth. In 2013, he was appointed to the University of California Merced School of Engineering advisory board. Mr. McAfee has served since 1993 as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the California Manufacturers & Technology Association, one of the oldest and most influential business organizations in California, representing more than 500 technology, petrochemical, automobile, aerospace, food and other manufacturing companies.
In 2017, Mr. McAfee was ranked #36 of the “Top 100 People in the Advanced BioEconomy” and has been ranked in the top 100 globally for the past five years. He is a regular speaker at advanced bioeconomy and startup company events worldwide, including the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Summit, the Global Startup Summit (Edinburgh) and the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference (San Francisco and Washington DC). In 2015, Mr. McAfee was appointed to the Editorial Board of Ethanol Producer Magazine and is one of the three panelist experts on the BioChannel.TV television show “The New Voices”. In 2019, he was selected as an independent merit reviewer for the Technology Commercialization Fund of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Mr. McAfee is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis (Nasdaq: AMTX), a $170 million revenues (2018) Silicon Valley-based bioproducts company that developed and is commercializing technologies to produce advanced fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks. With several granted patents and 150 employees, Aemetis owns and operates a 60 million gallon ethanol plant near Modesto, California; built/owns/operates a 50 million gallon biodiesel and glycerin refinery plant in India; is building a $30 million renewable natural gas digester, pipeline and gas cleanup/compression project; and is building a $175 million plant to convert orchard waste wood into cellulosic ethanol. The Aemetis advanced biofuels plant was selected as the “#1 Waste-to-Value Project in the World” in 2018 by Biofuels Digest.
Aemetis has been funded with more than $200 million of debt and equity funding at an average equity valuation of more than $200 million. In 2019, Aemetis received a $125 million loan guarantee from the USDA, and has been awarded $25 million of grant funding from California agencies to support Aemetis projects.
In 2016, Aemetis obtained certain exclusive California rights to the patented Lanzatech syngas-to-ethanol production process. Lanzatech has invested more than $300 million and ten years in technology development, including the operation of six demo plants and a full-scale commercial plant in China.
Founded in 2006 and taken public via merger in early 2009, Solargen Energy is a vertically integrated large-scale solar farm company that successfully earned the county environmental and development permits for a 400 megawatt, $1.2 billion solar project on 26,000 acres of project and mitigation land in the Panoche Valley of Central California at an initial permitting cost of $12 million. Mr. McAfee founded Solargen, served as founding Chairman/CEO and serves on the board of directors. Solargen sold a controlling stake in the Panoche Valley project to a private equity firm in 2011, which received project funding from Duke Energy and ConEdison, while retaining an ongoing financial interest in the project. The first phase of the solar project has been completed and is producing low carbon energy for the California grid.
In late 2006, Mr. McAfee co-founded Pacific Asia Petroleum (NYSE: CAK), subsequently acquiring Inner Mongolia Production Company and its producing wells in Central China. Led by the former head of Texaco International, Pacific Asia went public via merger in May 2007 and grew to a $500 million market value in 2009. Pacific Asia also acquired and developed offshore oil fields in Africa in cooperation with the Nigerian national oil company.
Co-founded by Mr. McAfee in early 2003 and taken public in March 2005, Pacific Ethanol (Nasdaq: PEIX) is now a $1.5 billion revenues biofuels supplier that raised $21 million in an institutional private placement prior to going public. In 2005, Pacific Ethanol raised an $84 million investment at a $260 million valuation from Bill Gates through his $50 billion investment firm, Cascade Investments. In April 2006, Pacific Ethanol raised $145 million at a $1.1 billion valuation from institutional investors. Pacific Ethanol invested $520 million and constructed four ethanol plants with total capacity of 200 million gallons per year and became the largest biofuels producer in the Western United States. After acquiring Aventine, Pacific Ethanol now owns and operates nine ethanol plants in the US. Pacific Ethanol was co-founded by Mr. McAfee with Bill Jones, the former Secretary of State of California and 2004 U.S. Republican Senate nominee.
In 2003, Mr. McAfee founded Evolution Petroleum (NYSE: EPM $300 million market value), an acquirer and developer of natural gas and oil fields. In 2004, Evolution completed the $3 million acquisition of the 13,000 acre Delhi Field in Louisiana, which had previously produced about 190 million barrels of oil. Evolution was taken public via merger in June 2004. In May 2005, Evolution earned about a $50 million cash gain from the sale of approximately a 70% interest in the Delhi Field to Denbury Resources, including an investment of more than $170 million by Denbury to construct a 78-mile CO2 pipeline and conduct a large-scale CO2 flood oil production project in the Delhi field. This CO2 flood project is expected to produce an additional 60 million barrels of oil from the Delhi field, with projected future oil revenues of more than $4 billion, of which Evolution has retained about a 30% interest. After three years of pipeline and field development, oil production at the Delhi Field started in 2010 and the capital investment was fully repaid by 2012. The company has been generating dividends from operating positive cash flow since 2013.
In mid 2003, Mr. McAfee co-founded Procera Networks (Nasdaq: PKT $250 million market value – sold in 2015), a deep packet inspection network device company that provides Intelligent Policy Enforcement (IPE) solutions for cable networks, educational institutions and other broadband network operators. In 1998, Mr. McAfee co-founded NetStream and built one of the first MPLS-based phone networks in the world, using digital soft-switch technology rather than analog switches. NetStream received $24 million of financing from Cisco Systems and $31 million of funding from UBS Capital.
In 1992, Mr. McAfee co-founded PC-card manufacturer New Media Corporation, which grew to $48 million revenues and 150 employees within three years. New Media received $15 million of financing from AMP, Inc., a Fortune 50 company. Beginning in 1986, Mr. McAfee was an Associate with Western Mercantile, a Los Angeles leveraged buyout firm. The principals of Western Mercantile were former White House Counsel John Dean and former Congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr.
In 1978 while attending high school, Mr. McAfee and his three brothers founded McAfee Farms, now a 480-acre organic almond producer located in the California Central Valley. In 1999, Mr. McAfee co-founded and funded Organic Pastures Dairy Company with his brothers, now the largest raw milk dairy and processor in the United States. Organic Pastures Dairy is located on 400 acres near Fresno, California; manages more than 1,200 cows with 105 employees; and operates bottling, creamery, cheese plant and branded distribution operations. Customers include national grocery chains and more than 40,000 customers supplied each week. Organic Pastures has more than a 95% market share in its core products.
In 2004, Mr. McAfee and his wife funded a significant portion of the $10 million Dr. Lapsley McAfee Fieldhouse and meadow at Mount Hermon. Mount Hermon is a 100-year-old, 400-acre Christian conference center located in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California that serves about 120,000 families and attendees per year. The McAfee Fieldhouse is named after Mr. McAfee’s great grandfather, a founding trustee of Mount Hermon in 1906 and a noted pastor and missionary who served for 35 years as the senior pastor of Berkeley First Presbyterian Church. Completed in January 2006, the McAfee Fieldhouse is an Ahwahnee Hotel-style facility that seats 750 people and contains a full basketball court, weight facility, junior high and high school rooms, and family games facility on five acres of grass fields and redwood trees.
In 2005, Mr. McAfee and his wife funded, along with state and community support, the $8 million McAfee Performing Arts and Lecture Center in Saratoga, California. This facility is a state-of-the-art community performing arts center with 560 seats, serving Saratoga and nearby Silicon Valley cities.
In 1985, Mr. McAfee was a Congressional Award medal recipient for his volunteer work, including the development of a farm for troubled youth (Valley Teen Ranch). In 1980, Mr. McAfee travelled for one year as the lead trumpet player and performer with a 120-member cast of Up With People, a cast representing 32 countries that performed and lived with host families in 30 cities in Mexico and 80 cities throughout the U.S. In 2007, Mr. McAfee and his wife were awarded the first Opportunity International Al Whittaker Founder’s Award for their charitable work. Opportunity International is one of the largest microfinance institutions in the world with about 1 million loan clients per year in more than 35 countries and annual loans of about $350 million.
In 1986, Mr. McAfee graduated as the Dean’s Medalist from the Fresno State University business school. He lectured as the 2001 Entrepreneur in Residence at FSU and earned the business school Alumni of the Year Award in 2002. Mr. McAfee served as a 2007 Entrepreneur in Residence at The Wharton School MBA Program. Mr. McAfee is an alumni of the Stanford Graduate School of Business (1993 Executive Program) and is a 2004 graduate of the Harvard Business School Private Equity and Venture Capital Program.