Business Briefs

People, Partnerships and Deals
By Ethanol Producer Magazine Staff | February 15, 2011

1. Robert Streblow has joined The Merrick Consultancy, where he will work on the consulting team focusing on renewable energy projects for clients located throughout the Americas. His work will include consulting services in program and project development, construction management, equipment and operations trouble shooting, energy audits and problem solving, and contract management. Streblow’s 37-year career has focused on the energy industry, including work with Horizon Wind Energy, The Industrial Company, MechTech Consultants, Stone & Webster Engineering, and the James River Corp..

2. Roger D. Stark has joined Ballard Spahr as a partner. He will handle energy-related project development and financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, public-private partnerships, and infrastructure development matters. He has advised numerous investors and sponsors in the renewable energy industry, including acting as program counsel to the U.S. DOE Loan Guarantee Program. He also advises on cross-border matters, particularly in Latin America, and has energy regulatory and litigation experience, including representing clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state utility commissions.

3. Carl Miller has joined the business and scientific advisory board at iDiverse Inc. With more than 40 years in the industry, Miller has held positions at Novozymes, Gist-brocades (now DSM), Diversa (now Verenium), Innovase and Syngenta, and is currently the president of Enventek, a biotechnology consulting company.  His work has ranged from the development of cost-effective biofuel production process designs to the commercialization of novel industrial enzymes. “The iDiverse technologies represent breakthroughs in the conventional paradigm of biofuel production from any feedstock but its greatest impact will be realized in the biomass-to-biofuels sector,” Miller said.

4. John Atanasio was named president and CEO of Alfa Laval Inc. in January, charged with leveraging the company’s key technologies of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling to drive profitable growth in its markets in the U.S. Joining the company in 1983, he began in the food and dairy group and joined Alfa Laval Separation in 1990, where he held several positions. In 2001, Atanasio was named president of Alfa Laval USA’s parts and service division, and in 2004, became president of the equipment division. Most recently, he served as president of the hygienic and marine group of Alfa Laval Inc.

5. Paul Kamp has joined the Inbicon A/S North American team as its business development representative. Based in Chicago, he works with grain-ethanol producers adding commercial cellulosic production to their operations and is responsible for accelerating the licensing of Inbicon Biomass Refinery technology in the U.S. and Canada. Kamp was previously an independent consultant under contract with Accenture as well as leading chemical and biofuels companies. At Delta-T Corp., he held key roles in first- generation ethanol projects totaling over $1 billion and is currently working with many of those same producers to increase overall efficiencies and profitability and expand into the next generation. He has an extensive background in energy, chemicals, biofuels, renewable resources, legislative affairs, and technology commercialization.

6. Wayne Mitchell has joined Merrill, Wis.-based Agra Industries Inc., in a business development role. He will be responsible for developing a long-term strategy for Agra to maximize opportunities within the renewable energy sector, indentifying and analyzing key market trends and establishing strategic goals and business development opportunities for Agra.

7. Qteros Inc. appointed Christopher Dale to the newly created position of vice president, research and development. A bacterial microbiologist, he brings close to three decades of commercially oriented research and development experience for novel, industrial-scale biological applications to the development of the Qteros consolidated bioprocessing platform. Most recently, he served as head of microbial technology for Switzerland-based Lonza where he led U.S. R&D efforts with a focus on bioprocess design, scale-up and technology transfer. He has also held senior positions at Cambrex Biopharma, Covance Biotechnology Services, SmithKline Beecham Biologicals and the Centre for Biochemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham.

8. Scott Switzer has been named industrial sales manager for CPM Roskamp Champion. He has more than 20 years of experience in the process equipment and size reduction industries. CPM Roskamp Champion is a manufacturer and designer of pelleting and particle-size-reduction equipment and automation systems for the animal feed milling and oilseed processing industries.

9. Eric Marcotte has been appointed the southern U.S. regional sales manager for Stedman and Innovative Processing Solutions. Marcotte’s responsibilities will include selling crushing equipment and systems to Stedman customers. The Aurora, Ind.-based company offers various size reduction equipment including cage mills, size reduction hammer mills, pulverizer machines and rock crushers, as well as customed designed solutions.

10. Willem P.C. Stemmer and Frances Arnold are corecipients of the Charles Stark Draper prize, one of the engineering profession’s highest honors given by the National Academy of Engineering. They were recognized for contributions to “directed evolution,” the process of engineering novel enzymes and biocatalytic processes for creating new drugs and chemical products. At the heart of Stemmer’s contribution is a process called DNA shuffling, which became the core technology platform at Silicon Valley-based clean technology company Codexis Inc. Founded in 2002, Codexis has built a nearly $100 million company over nine years of commercializing this technology, including its use in the advanced biofuel development supported by Royal Dutch Shell plc.

11. Ceres Inc. appointed William Burnquist general manager of its operations in Brazil. With 33 years in Brazil’s sugarcane and ethanol sector, Burnquist will administer the day-to-day activities of the company's subsidiary, Ceres Sementes do Brasil Ltda., including local seed production and sweet sorghum trials. Ceres traits such as drought and aluminum tolerance are being planned for sweet sorghum. Burnquist joins the company as the first large-scale trials are getting underway with ethanol mills, and as Ceres is gearing up for commercial-scale activities in Brazil.

12. Michael Hancock has assumed the position of training manager for U.S. Water Services, developing training programs and materials both internally and for customers. Previously a member of the sales force, he has more than 33 years of water treatment experience in several industries. “I am excited to begin this new role for the company,” Hancock said. “This type of position will enable me to take the experience I’ve acquired through my years of service and use it to train the next generation of water treatment representatives.”

13. Lallemand Ethanol Technology appointed Graeme Walker scientific director of the Ethanol Technology Institute, replacing the retiring Mike Ingledew. Walker is currently a professor of zymology and director of the Abertay Yeast Research Group in Dundee, Scotland, and will continue in those positions. In making the announcement, Lallemand General Manager Bill Nankervis described Graeme as one able to bridge the gap between academia and practical application of the theory in industrial situations. The Ethanol Technology Institute is the educational arm of Lallemand Ethanol Technology and is responsible for the production of both the Alcohol School held in Montreal and Toulouse, France, and the Operator’s School held in Omaha, Neb., as well as the publication, “The Alcohol Textbook.” Lallemand Inc. is a privately held Canadian company specializing in the research, development, production, marketing and distribution of yeast and bacteria.

14. Gamajet Cleaning Systems appointed Tadd Wolff vice president of distributor relations, responsible for growing its U.S. and international distribution network and working with existing distributors to streamline and further develop their sales and service efforts. In his previous position as sanitary division manager, Wolff was responsible for the significant growth within the pharmaceutical and personal care industries.

15. Enerkem appointed Philippe Burton vice president, human resources. CEO Vincent Chornet said Burton will play a prominent role in building the company’s management team and guiding talent development as it deploys its growth strategy. Burton has more than 16 years of experience, most recently as managing director, human resources at AVEOS Fleet Performance, and General Electric, Energy group, in Montreal prior to that..

16. Poet LLC CEO Jeff Broin received the 2010 Paul Dana Excellence in Bioenergy Leadership award during the Greater Indiana Clean Cities awards ceremony in Indianapolis. The award honors the memory of Indy Racing League driver Paul Dana, a strong supporter of Indiana’s growing biofuels industry who was killed in a racing accident in 2006. In January 2005, Indiana had only one ethanol plant, even though it was the fifth largest corn-producing state. Indiana currently has 11 ethanol plants and two more under construction. The combined production of the plants in production and under construction will exceed 1.1 billion gallons of ethanol annually and will use approximately 423 million bushels of corn.

17. Protec Fuel announced Mr. Pete's in Brunswick, Ga., is the first station to have Protec Fuel's new E85 dispenser imaging, and the first offering E85 in the area south of Savannah, Ga. Three new stations were also added in the Atlanta area, installed by Protec for Indore Oil Co. Indore was the first to offer E85 to the public in the Atlanta area and now has 15 outlets operating. The newest are located at the Chevron stations in Sandy Springs, Lithia Springs and Newnan, Ga.

18. DN Tanks Inc. is the new company formed after the merger of Natgun Corp., Wakefield, MA, and DYK Inc., El Cajon, Calif. The merger of the two companies, with more than 130 years of combined experience, creates the largest producer of wire and strand-wound prestressed concrete tanks in the world. Initially, Natgun and DYK will operate under their existing names, as divisions of DN Tanks. As the integration process takes place, they will evolve into a single operating company.

19. Rockwell Automation has reconfigured TechConnect, streamlining its remote support offerings and adding several new capabilities. Subscribers can choose one of four levels of service: Self-Assist Support, Product Support, System Support and Application Support. Users also can customize a support package by adding a la carte options to a standard support level. Subscribers can receive support via email, online chat and interactive user forums, plus a smartphone solution will soon be deployed, allowing access to support offerings and chat via the mobile Web.
20. Weaver, the largest regional independent certified public accounting firm in the Southwest, announces an expansion of the services offered to the petroleum and renewable fuels industries through a merger with L.T. Hawthorne & Associates Inc.  “With the growing regulatory burden facing the petroleum and renewable fuels industries, the addition of Hawthorne staff gives us the much-needed ability to expand the scope of our consulting services,” said Wade Watson, leader of the renewable and energy compliance practice at Weaver.

21. Last  year’s ethanol advertising splash took honors from the National Agri-Marketing Association. Poet LLC’s national television advertising campaign won first place honors for Television Ad Series and Best in Show. The campaign ran on Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC, CNN and HLN. The series of three ads featured a farmer, a scientist and a plant manager reciting free-verse poetry explaining their role in helping solve the nation’s fuel crisis. Growth Energy’s $3 million national advertising campaign, dubbed “Facts,” began last April and ran through the fall, incorporating national TV, online, print and outdoor ads. It won a first place for Outdoor Creative from the NAMA judges for the displays at the closest subway stop to the U.S. Capitol. The campaign also won a Merit award in the multi-media category, for how the campaign was used on national TV, on-line, and in traditional print and broadcast, as well as outdoors. Both ad series were developed by 3 Advertising, Albuquerque, N.M.

22. Tapco Inc. added IFI Grade 5 No. 1 Norway flat countersunk head elevator bolts to its existing product line. The Grade 5 bolts have greater proof load and minimum yield and tensile strength than Grades 1 or 2, allowing them to better withstand the additional forces exerted on belt lap splices. Tapco also supplies Grade 2 bolts in six styles. Tapco is a major importer and distributor of elevator bolts and manufacturer of a full line of elevator buckets.

23. Anhydro Inc. is once again Dedert Corp. Over the past several years, the company has built a successful dryer division in its Chicago office. Dedert built the world’s largest DDGS ring dryer, and supplied a number of closed circuit rotary dryers (technology license from Swiss Combi), and ring  and flash dryers for various industries. Dedert also specializes in evaporator technology. The company is preparing to develop and market its dryer and evaporator technology worldwide.

24. New Orleans-based Tulane University is targeting the energy industry with a new degree program at its A.B. Freeman School of Business. The master of management in energy program begins in July and will include customized courses on energy fundamentals, finance, modeling, data analysis, economics, trading, accounting, risk management, strategy and portfolio management. The curriculum also prepares students to take the Energy Risk Professional examination and other industry certification exams.

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