Tested. Proven. Driven.

FROM THE JULY ISSUE: The American Coalition for Ethanol's annual conference is coming up Aug. 15 to 17 in Omaha.
By Brian Jennings | June 19, 2017

There’s still time to register for the American Coalition for Ethanol’s 30th anniversary conference Aug. 15 to 17 in Omaha, Nebraska. The agenda is focused on what is being done to grow demand for ethanol here at home—through E15 and flex fuels—and around the world, based on ethanol’s octane and carbon-reduction value.

Our conference theme is Tested. Proven. Driven. It describes not just our molecule, but also the people of the ethanol industry. Time and time again, our industry (and our product) rises above the many tests and hurdles in its path. We’re committed to the success of farmers, rural communities and to making ethanol the consumer fuel of choice.

I want to draw your attention to a few of our general session topics of significant interest.
Back by popular demand, Ron Lamberty will moderate a discussion with fuel marketers who have made the switch to E15 and flex fuels. This year, the discussion will feature Bob O’Connor, owner of JETZ Convenience Stores, and Charlie Bosselman, owner of Bosselman Enterprises. JETZ is a large retailer that has begun selling E15 in Milwaukee, and Bosselman dominates the Nebraska scene with 44 Pump & Pantry convenience stores, as well as 43 auto maintenance shops across the nation. O’Connor and Bosselman will share why their companies decided to offer customers higher ethanol blends and how it has affected their bottom lines.

In a panel titled “Shifting to High-Octane Fuel,” we’ll showcase how ACE and others in the industry are helping automakers accelerate the transition of motor fuel to high-octane ethanol blends. Scott Negley from Wayne Fueling Systems will explain why Wayne differentiated itself as the first equipment manufacturer to exclusively offer dispensers UL-listed for E25 to gasoline retailers. Brian West from the U.S. DOE will discuss testing underway at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to demonstrate the benefits of high-octane fuel to automakers. Finally, Adam Gustafson, partner of Boyden Gray & Associates, will give an update on the regulatory pathways to get U.S. EPA approval of high-octane fuel.

Given how vital export markets have become to the industry, we will have a presentation called “Global Tailwinds and Headwinds” featuring Jim Galvin, CEO and director of Lakeview Energy, who will discuss the factors driving (and restricting) global demand for ethanol and coproducts, and the implications of President Donald Trump’s administration’s trade policy reform on the U.S. ethanol industry. Galvin is the appointed leader of the U.S. Grains Council advisory team for ethanol.

Talk of tax reform is heating up in Washington, D.C., so Donna Funk, principal with KCoe Isom, will explain how looming changes to the tax code could affect the profitability and competitiveness of ethanol producers. We also expect to hear from members of Congress, Trump administration officials, and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts on public policies at the federal and state levels to increase demand for biofuels.

Our breakout sessions will take a more in-depth look at certain subjects, and we are featuring two retail-focused sessions on supplying ethanol direct-to-retail and how to execute a successful retail promotion for E15 and E30. ACE also has created a breakout track specifically for ethanol plant boards of directors: “Roles and Responsibilities, Succession Planning and Retention, and Risk Management.” Finally, we will have breakout speakers showcase technologies that enable ethanol plants to truly diversify into new products and coproducts, as well as a discussion on trends in production efficiencies.

To register for the ACE conference, or for more information about the speakers and topics, please visit www.ethanol.org/events/conference.

I strongly encourage ACE’s ethanol producers and voting members to join us in Omaha on Aug. 15 for our annual business meeting and review of strategic priorities for the year. We will kick things off with our annual meeting, followed by lunch and a member-level review of our strategic priorities on government relations and market development.

I hope to see you in Omaha.

Author: Brian Jennings
Executive Vice President
American Coalition for Ethanol