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Making a Difference – PMCI member Charlie Good Meets with President Trump at the White House

 

The phone rang at Good and Quick in Nevada, Iowa last Wednesday and when Charlie Good answered he was surprised to hear it was from Senator Joni Ernst’s office.

The call was an invite to come to The White House the next day to meet with President Trump to represent small c-store operators regarding E15 and RIN prices.

“I told them no. I can’t drop everything at the last minute, I need to run the store”, said Charlie. After he hung up, Charlie’s puzzled team asked him “did you just turn down a meeting with the President?”.

“I quickly realized I was making a big mistake”. So, Charlie called back, and, in a whirlwind, he began the process to be cleared by the Secret Service, and then off to DC for the big meeting.

Senator Grassley and Senator Ernst had put together a group to brief the President on Ethanol’s impact and to engage with Senator Ted Cruz and his coalition on the impact of RIN prices on refiners.

“I was just so honored to get the call, and what an opportunity to meet with this group”, said Charlie. Charlie’s job was to speak as a small, rural retailer so the President could hear firsthand from people on the front lines.

“Just tell your story and don’t be intimidated”, was the advice given Charlie for his turn to speak.

So, for an hour, Charlie was in the room with President Trump, EPA Secretary Pruitt, Chief of Staff Kelly, Senators from Iowa and Texas, CEO’s of POET, GREENPLAINS and Valero, among others.

When it was Charlie’s turn to talk he told the story of a small operator who invested in E15 in order to compete and took many questions directly from President Trump and Chief of Staff Kelly. Charlie also got to mention that he had already met with Secretary Pruitt earlier in Iowa. The President was impressed.

“The meeting was intense”, noted Charlie. “There was heated debated from both sides”. “In the end, President Trump wants to reach a deal - so both sides will be meeting again in the coming days to discuss the impact of summer E15 sales and potential caps on RIN prices, among other things.”

The next day, Charlie was back at his store. “Where were you yesterday”, some of his customers asked, “we were here but you weren’t”. “I was in DC meeting with President Trump at The White House”, Charlie said with a grin. “Right, they said”.

“I knew nobody would believe me, chuckled Charlie, “so I took my name badge with the presidential seal to prove it”.

So, Charlie waits to hear if he will be heading back to DC in the coming days. “Five years ago, I was just trying to renovate my store. Since that time, I’ve been to DC five times, and just this year met with Secretary Pruitt and now President Trump. What a year! “A great example of the power of grass roots and the little guy making a difference.

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