As President & CEO, she has secured international partnerships with Fortune 100/500 corporations. In 2016 Next Generation Fuel was recognized by MBDA as the Top Female and Minority-owned Energy Firm, 2018 recognized by Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council as the Emerging Company of the Year, 2019 ranked #24 by Cincinnati Business Courier Largest Women-Owned Businesses in Cincinnati, 2020 Ohio Success Award, and now The Dayton Business Journal 40under40 Class of 2020!
Bernita has completed various executive leadership programs: Dartmouth Tuck School of Business, Procter and Gamble Business Development Program, Shell Oil & Gas Energy Executive Program, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, and OMSDC Middle Market Executive Program at The Fisher College of Business.
From humble beginnings in Mississippi and a craving for success, Bernita followed her passion and desire as an entrepreneur. Raised with the value of “hard work” as the universal language, Bernita embarked on a journey beyond her imagination. After exploring various industries of interest such as Real Estate and Theater production investments, Bernita became interested in the Energy Industry. She became a Business Developer and quickly earned her way to ownership.
Bernita is passionate about fueling energy for the next generation of women and creating opportunities to develop their skills in the industry. She continues to drive the vision necessary to successfully impact our leaders of tomorrow by sharpening their social skills and inspiring innovation through business development.
Bernita is married to Steve Hightower, Founder & President of Hightowers Petroleum and is a member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), International Black Women Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI), Odyssey Media, The Dream Walker Academy, and Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). In her spare time, she mentors young women, enjoys cooking and traveling.