Sapphire Energy Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

             Sapphire Energy Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

Leading Green Crude Oil Producer Recruits Seasoned Energy Industry Executive,
Thomas Willardson, to Drive Company's Financial Initiatives

PR Newswire

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 8, 2013

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Sapphire Energy, Inc., one of the
world leaders in algae-based green crude oil production, today announced
Thomas 'Tom' Willardson has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer.In
this role, Willardson brings more than 30 years of experience in leading
financial initiatives for public and privately held companies, including
serving as CFO for Aurora Algae, Inc.; Energy Recovery, Inc.; and Cost Plus,
Inc.; among others.At Sapphire Energy, he'll oversee financial planning,
accounting, insurance, legal, and investor relations.


"Sapphire Energy is continuously looking to grow its team of highly regarded
experts, and we're very pleased to welcome Tom on-board," said Cynthia 'CJ'
Warner, CEO and chairman of Sapphire Energy."His vast experience in
successfully defining financial roadmaps for companies – from private,
investor-funded startups to large public companies – makes him distinctly
qualified to serve as our CFO. We look forward to leveraging his expertise
for both day-to-day financial operations and long-term strategic planning as
we continue on our path to bring algae-to-energy production to commercial

Most recently, Willardson served as CFO at Aurora Algae, Inc., a producer of
high-performance, premium algae-based products for the pharmaceutical,
nutrition, aquaculture and fuels markets. Before that, he was CFO at Energy
Recovery, Inc., a global leader in the design and development of energy
recovery devices for desalination and other industrial processes, where he led
the company's successful IPO initiative. At Cost Plus, Inc., the specialty
retail store chain, he served as executive vice president and CFO, overseeing
all companywide financial initiatives, including a significant restructuring
of the company's bank credit lines. As CFO at Visual Sciences, formerly
WebSideStory, a software company that pioneered what is today SaaS and the
Cloud, he helped lead the company through an aggressive growth period of more
than 40 percentannually and oversaw its subsequent IPO. As CFO at Archimedes
Technology Group, a privately funded nuclear waste remediation technology
company, he led a successful series D funding round and helped design an
ESCO-similar plan to share in cost savings created by the company's own

Willardson previously held senior finance roles with Leap Wireless
International, Bechtel Corporation, The Fremont Group, and Fluor Daniel.He
holds a B.S. in Finance from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the
University of Southern California.

About Sapphire Energy
San Diego-based Sapphire Energy is pioneering an entirely new industry – Green
Crude production – with the potential to profoundly change America's energy
and petrochemical landscape for the better. Sapphire's products and processes
in this category differ significantly from other forms of biofuel because they
are made solely from photosynthetic microorganisms (algae and cyanobacteria),
using sunlight and CO[2] as their feedstock; are not dependent on food crops
or valuable farmland; do not use potable water; do not result in biodiesel or
ethanol; enhance and replace petroleum-based products; are compatible with
existing infrastructure; and are low carbon, renewable and scalable. Sapphire
has an R&D facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and is currently operating the
first Integrated Algal BioRefinery in Columbus, New Mexico. For more
information, visit or

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SOURCE Sapphire Energy, Inc.

Contact: Sapphire Energy: Beth Llewelyn, +1-206-406-5027,, or Andrea Piotraszewski, +1-206-910-7606,
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