Business Briefs

By Erin Voegele | May 24, 2016

Pathogen control specialist Anitox has expanded its fermentation division with the addition of Nick Braden and Matt Wilson. Braden has been appointed to the newly created commercial director position and will lead OptimOH operations, heading up the sales, marketing and technical teams. He was previously employed by Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland Co., where he served in various sales and commercial leadership roles. Wilson is joining Anitox’s fermentation division in the new role of technical services manager. He most recently was employed by Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits.  
Norfolk Southern has announced the 2015 winners of its Thoroughbred Chemical Safety Award. The award recognizes customers for their safe handling of chemical shipments. It goes to chemical manufacturers and plants that ship at least 1,000 carloads of hazardous products over the railroad without a single incident for the year. Ethanol companies recognized with a 2015 award include Abengoa Bioenergy, Flint Hill Resources LP, Granite Falls Energy LLC, Green Plains Inc., Louis Dreyfus Commodities, One Earth Energy LLC, Pacific Ethanol Pekin, Poet Ethanol Products, Renewable Products Marketing Group, Siouxland Energy & Livestock Cooperative, Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy LLC and Valero Energy Corp.  

CSX Corp. has announced the recipients of its 22nd annual Chemical Safety Excellence Award, recognizing 78 customers for their commitment to the safe transportation of hazardous materials by rail. The award recognizes customers who ship more than 600 carloads of hazardous materials during the year without a release due to controllable factors, such as not securing valves or closures properly. Ethanol companies recognized include Aventine, Cardinal Energy LLC, Green Plains Renewable Energy, Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC, Poet Ethanol Products, Cargill and CHS.  

Comet Biorefining Inc. has appointed Rich Troyer as CEO. Troyer most recently served as chief business officer at Coskata, where he oversaw business development, strategic planning, project development and external relations. He also served as managing director of the Blackstone Group, where he was responsible for investments in biofuel and biochemical companies. Earlier in his career, Troyer was an equity research analysis at AllianceBernstein, Credit Suisse First Boston and Piper Jaffray, where he focused on the clean technology and biotechnology sectors. Andrew Richard, Comet founder, has been appointed chairman of the board and chief technology officer. In addition, Bruce Jamerson has joined the company’s board of directors. He previously served as chairman and CEO of Mascoma Corp. and was president and a board member of VeraSun Energy Corp. Jamerson currently serves as president of Conifer Investments LLC and holds a board position with Ensyn Corp.      

Green Plains Partners LP has announced Green Plains Inc. appointed Brett C. Riley as an independent member of the board of its general partner, Green Plains Holdings LLC. He will also serve as chairman of the board’s conflicts committee and member of the board’s audit committee. Riley led the strategy and mergers and acquisitions activities for Magellan Midstream Partners L.P. from June 2003 until April 2016. From 2007 to April 2016, Riley served as senior vice president, business development for Magellan GP LLC, the general partner of Magellan Midstream Partners. Prior to joining Magellan GP, Riley served as director of mergers and acquisitions and director of financial planning and analysis for a subsidiary of The Williams Companies Inc.

The U.S. Grains Council has promoted Ryan LeGrand as to the position of director in Mexico. As director in Mexico, LeGrand will be responsible for identifying and addressing trade, technical and policy-related factors that impact the market for U.S. grains and coproducts in Mexico. He replaces Julio Hernandez, who stepped down from his post on March 31. LeGrand previously held positions with Gavilon and Hawkeye Gold. Approximately a decade ago he also served as manager of international operations for distillers dried grains with solubles at the USGC.  

Growth Energy has announced Emily Skor as its next CEO. She succeeds Tom Buis, who assumed a new role as co-chairman of Growth Energy’s board of directors in July 2015. Skor most recently served as the vice president for communications of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and the executive director of the CHPA Educational Foundation. At CHPA, a member-based trade association advocating for consumer healthcare products and serving as leader on regulatory and scientific issues for the industry, Skor oversaw public affairs campaigns, integrating strategic communications into legislative campaigns and coordinating ally development. Before joining CHPA in February 2011, Skor served as senior vice president at Dezenhall Resources, a nationally recognized crisis communications and issues management firm. For more than a decade, she helped Fortune 500 companies and industry associations manage issues affecting brand confidence and corporate reputation through media, advocacy, coalition building and consumer education campaigns.

Greg Hibner, president of J.D. Heiskell & Co.’s Hawkeye Gold division, has been selected to represent the agribusiness sector on the U.S. Grains Council’s board of directors. Hibner has nearly 30 years of commodity processing, international trading and ethanol experience. In his current role, he oversees the operations of J.D. Heiskell & Co.’s Hawkeye Gold division, which markets and trades distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) domestically and internationally.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. recently announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its sugarcane ethanol operations in Limeira do Oeste, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, to JFLim Participações S.A. The transaction includes a sugarcane plantation and an ethanol distillery, which is capable of crushing up to 1.5 million tons of sugarcane and producing 37,000 gallons of ethanol per year. About 650 employees work in the plantation and plant. The sale, which is subject to regulatory review, is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

The Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy have joined the U.S. Grains Council. The formal addition of these two critical stakeholders will benefit council programs in myriad ways as the three organizations, the USDA and others in the ethanol industry build a global ethanol export promotion program. Among other things, Growth and RFA are adding their extensive expertise to the council’s ethanol Advisory Team (A-Team) and continuing to participate on a steering committee that charts the course for ethanol exports.