Business Briefs

FROM THE JULY ISSUE: Grains Council hires new communications director, Growth taps industry veteran to head global markets, Seneca Cos. names vice president of safety and more
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | June 25, 2018

US Grains Council hires new director of communications 
Bryan Jernigan is the new director of communications for the U.S. Grains Council in Washington, D.C. Jernigan replaces Melissa Kessler, who was promoted to director of strategic relations in January 2018.
Jernigan will design and execute USGC’s internal and external communications strategies.

“We are thrilled to have Bryan joining our Washington staff and are excited about the perspectives he can bring to our work, having experience both inside and outside of agriculture,” said Kessler, who oversees USGC’s communications department. “I look forward to Bryan integrating into the talented group of communications professionals working on our staff and in our membership.”

Jernigan previously worked for more than 17 years in a dual role as communications director for the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools and activities director for the Federally Impacted Schools Educational Foundation. In these roles, Jernigan was responsible for daily communications operations, including website content management, annual report and brochure production.
Jernigan also previously worked as communications director for the Sugar Association as well as varied positions with the National Pest Management Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National 4-H Council.

Jernigan graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in radio, television, film, news and public affairs before attending Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he received a master’s degree in mass communications.

Growth Energy taps industry veteran to head global markets 
Growth Energy appointed Craig Willis to senior vice president of global markets. Willis will oversee the organization’s market development efforts to increase ethanol’s footprint both at home and abroad. Willis previously served as president of ethanol for Archer Daniels Midland.

“As we continue to lead in expanding market access and growing demand for American biofuels, Craig will take our efforts to new heights,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “Craig is an ethanol all-star. He has an exceptional track record of building meaningful business and stakeholder partnerships that deliver desired outcomes. Growth Energy will benefit from his experience and leadership in every aspect of the business. This new position ensures that our leadership and success in domestic market development via Prime the Pump is matched in the global markets.”

Willis joins Growth Energy after more than 25 years at ADM. Willis’ successes in spearheading commercial development, opening new markets abroad, and helping to lead Prime the Pump as a board member give him a head start in building out an aggressive strategy for further growth for the entire ethanol sector.

“I am looking forward to knocking down barriers and building on the success of Growth Energy’s work both in facilitating the advancement of E15 with Prime the Pump and increasing ethanol’s global footprint,” Willis said. “I grew up on a farm in the midst of the ag crisis, so I understand that ethanol is the only true way to grow demand for corn and I’m excited to join an exceptional team at Growth Energy to continue providing pathways for even greater market expansion for American ethanol and its coproducts.”

Willis has a degree in agricultural economy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Seneca Cos. names vice president of safety
Loyd Phillips is the new vice president of safety for Seneca Cos.

Phillips joined the Seneca team in 2017 as a strategic account manager for the Waste Solutions division. Before Seneca, he spent 12 years working in safety with the world’s largest oil refineries and natural gas companies, including serving as the safety director at Willbros Group, an industry leader in the midstream and downstream oil and gas markets.

“Seneca performs work in very dangerous environments, which is why we feel it is critical to put as much effort forth as possible to keep our people safe in the field, especially as we expand into new geographies and industries,” said JC Risewick, Seneca Cos. president and chief operations officer. “Loyd is the perfect fit for this role as he has a lengthy and accomplished career in safety in some of the harshest and most dangerous environments in our industry.”

Phillips said, “I have spent years in safety and focusing on reducing incident and injury rates. In the last three years with my prior employer, we were OSHA-recordable free. Due to Seneca’s commitment to the safety of their employees, I have no doubt that the same safety success will be achieved in this organization as well.”

Phillips has experience in creating safety programs, root-cause analysis reports, tracking and trending systems, risk matrix analysis and training. He is a past member of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, Petroleum Education Council and is an OSHA-authorized trainer for construction. Phillips will utilize this experience to implement new and expand on current Seneca safety programs and systems. Additionally, he will work closely with managers and field staff to keep job sites safe with zero recordable incidents.

Edeniq renames corn fiber-to-ethanol technology
Edeniq Inc. has renamed its Pathway technology Intellulose. The rebranding effort includes a new Intellulose logo.

“Our mission is to help our customers lead in cellulosic ethanol production,” said Brian Thome, president and CEO of Edeniq. “Our vision is for Intellulose to be implemented into every existing ethanol production facility, and for this technology to evolve alongside plants as they become more advanced and create more value. This rebranding effort is a more accurate portrayal of our technology and the value it can offer to the more than 200 ethanol plants operating in the U.S.”

Intellulose enables the coproduction of starch ethanol and cellulosic ethanol at existing corn ethanol production facilities. The technology uses enzymes that maximize conversion of corn kernel fiber into fermentable sugar with a protocol to measure the output of cellulosic ethanol production. Intellulose has been approved by the U.S. EPA and a number of ethanol plants have been approved by the EPA to use Intellulose to generate cellulosic ethanol credits under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Edeniq’s customers are using Intellulose to deliver cellulosic ethanol gallons to fuel markets across the country.