Saying Thank You to a Great Leader and Co-Founder of The Missouri Energy Initiative

Gary Stacey was an original founding board member of the Missouri Energy Initiative. As with many things and many facets of our lives people move on, goals change and projectscome to an end and new ones are formed. In 2012 Gary recognized that MEI had moved beyond the volunteer run startup nonprofit he helped start in 2010 and had begun operating like a full-fledged seasoned organization. With this thought in mind, Gary began the process of moving away from the board and finding a suitable replacement.


Gary’s mission as a board member of the Missouri Energy Initiative was to do what was best for the organization and he once again put the organization first. On his own, Gary worked diligently with his partners at the University, specifically Dean Thomas Payne (Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri), to find a replacement from the University of Missouri-Columbia that could provide MEI the level of expertise, input, and campus reach MEI needed to better support the University assets and for those assets to better collaborate with MEI.


It is without a doubt, as you can tell from the quotes below from MEI Board of Directors, that this organization would not have existed had Gary not provided the initiative to bring together such a unique group of university, political, and business leaders to find better ways to increase energy related economic development, support for energy innovation, research, and most of all, a way to find answers to tough questions we can all agree on.


Gary has provided many hours of support to the organization and there is no doubt that his presence, and advice will be missed. I am sure that his commitment to Missouri and science will bring him around when needed, and I for one am thankful for that.


Key Successes of Gary Stacey tenure:

  • First Volunteer Executive Director of Missouri Energy Initiative
  • Organization and launch of MEI’s first Energy Summit in 2010
  • Creation of the MEI Website
  • Smooth transition from a volunteer run organization to a professionally staffed organizations
  • Growth of the MEI Board of Directors from its original few to more than 15
  • Creation of MEI Mission and Goals

What Gary means to MEI according to MEI Board of Directors


Rob Duncan – I remember when Gary first approached me four years ago about the possibility of establishing a non-profit to advance state energy policy and research, which would later become MEI. I was inspired by his leadership, and I quickly offered my full support and my willingness to assist throughout the non-profit’s formation. At this first meeting, which took place in at a restaurant near the MU campus, we discussed the importance of this effort leaving a leadership legacy for the State of Missouri, which clearly MEI is on track to deliver. I am very impressed regarding how MEI has progressed, and I am very grateful to Gary for his determined leadership as MEI was initiated.


Steve Kidwell – MEI would never have gotten off the ground without Gary’s support and leadership. In so many ways, I am grateful to him for seeing the potential in our vision and applying his talents and resources to setting a firm foundation for the organization.


Roger Walker – Gary Stacey doggedly and successfully pursued a shared vision that we could engage in a smarter discussion of energy issues at every level – an “honest-brokered” discussion within the safe harbors of MEI that would bring together divergent interests and talents, establish a purpose and mission for MEI, and create the opportunity to fulfill our mission for the benefit of the entire State.


Jim Fischer – Gary is an internationally recognized successful plant scientist and biochemistry professor and holds the Endowed Professor of Soybean Biotechnology Chair at the University of Missouri. Gary is not only a very distinguished scientists but also he is a visionary. He understood that energy is critical to the future success of Missouri and these United States. Perhaps energy is not in the forefront of Gary’s academic pursuits however he forged forward to assist in creating MEI because he is an individual who has the ability to vision key issues impacting our state AND the leadership abilities to turn a vision into reality.


Alan Marble – Most successful organizations lay claim to a founding father… and in my view, Gary Stacey served selflessly and tirelessly in that role for MEI. We will forever be indebted to him for the vision, energy, and organizational skill he contributed to the establishment of MEI.

(Original story)