Business Briefs

People, Partnerships & Deals
By Ethanol Producer Magazine Staff | July 22, 2011

1. Ron Lamberty and Chuck Beck recently were promoted by the American Coalition for Ethanol. Lamberty, who previously served as ACE’s vice president for market development, is now senior vice president.  Beck was promoted from communications and membership assistant to public affairs director. Lamberty will continue to manage ACE’s market development program, which has focused in recent years on midlevel ethanol blends and the installation of blender pumps, including the ongoing Blend Your Own Ethanol Campaign in partnership with the Renewable Fuels Association and several state corn grower organizations. The promotion will enable him to direct a planned expansion of ACE’s market development efforts and prioritize key markets and marketers poised to switch to midlevel blends and blender pumps. Beck, who has six years of experience working in television and radio media, takes on new duties developing and executing ACE communications and public affairs strategies to support ACE’s mission and goals.  “Chuck is a passionate advocate for ethanol and the epitome of a team player.  He will enable ACE to rapidly communicate our positions to the media and help pitch story ideas about the ethanol industry,”  said ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings.

2. Douglas Cameron joined the board of directors of Proterro Inc., developers of a sugar-producing microbe. Cameron is founder and managing director of Plymouth, Minn.-based Alberti Advisors LLC. Prior to establishing the venture advisory firm, he was managing director and chief science advisor at Piper Jaffrey where he helped build the firm’s clean technology and renewable sector, including the ethanol biofuels subsector. He also previously served as chief scientific officer at Khosla Ventures. Proterro has developed a unique photobioreactor based on the structure of a leaf to grow sugar-excreting microbes that can be used as a fermentation-ready sugar feedstock. Founded in 2008, the company is backed by Battelle Ventures and Braemer Energy Ventures.

3. Leah Hurtgen Ziemba and Mary Ann Christopher have joined Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, and will work with the firm’s energy and sustainability team. Now a partner in Michael Best, Christopher worked as a partner with the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP, where she chaired the Offshore Wind Energy Team and was vice chair of the project and infrascture team.   Ziemba, now an associate in the firm’s Madison office, will focus her practice on the siting and permitting of new development projects and counseling clients on environmental matters. She has experience in environmental/natural resource law involving water, solid and hazardous waste. Prior to joining Michael Best, she was an associate at Nixon Peabody LLP in New York. 

4. Mascoma Corp. named David Arkowitz its new chief financial officer (CFO), responsible for the company’s finance and investor relations. For the past seven years he served as CFO of two public bio-pharmaceutical companies, transitioning both organizations from development state to commercial entities. He last worked at AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc. where he served as executive vice president , CFO and chief business officer.  
5. Duane Parkinson has rejoined Ashland Hercules Water Technologies as corporate sales manager, food and beverage, North America. Parkinson’s responsibilities will include corporate accounts sales to the food and beverage markets, focusing on grain processing and ethanol production companies.  Ashland Hercules Water Technologies is a global producer of papermaking and specialty chemicals for the commercial and institutional food and beverage, chemical, mining and municipal markets. Its process, utility and functional chemistries are used to improve operational efficiencies, enhance product quality, protect plant assets and ensure environmental compliance. 

6. David Nothmann, vice president of business and product development for ArborGen, has been named to the U.S. DOE and USDA Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee.  The committee of 31 volunteers offers expertise on strategic planning and the technical aspects of the Biomass Research and Development Initiative.  The initiative is legislatively directed to address feedstock development; biofuels and biobased product development; and biofuels development analysis.  The committee’s work will aid the DOE and USDA in building a sustainable biomass energy industry. ArborGen’s scientists are developing new feedstock sources  through purpose-grown trees to meet the growing demand for wood, fiber and energy.

7. Wes Bolsen, chief marketing officer of Coskata Inc., was recently named Chief Marketing Officer of the Year by Chief Marketing Officer Institute.  He received the award for small to midsize companies with revenue less than $250 million, while his counterpart at Zurich Financial won the award for large companies.  “I am truly humbled by this recognition,” Bolsen said. ”At the same time, I must recognize the entire Coskata team for the success of our marketing programs in 2010. Everyone here understands the vision for what is possible and helps the company communicate that to our various stakeholders.” The award will help generate new interest in ethanol and advanced biofuels, he added.

8. Florida-based Protec Fuel named Amber Thurlo Pearson its director of marketing and publications. Pearson’s background in alternative and renewable fuels lends itself to Protec’s mission of helping meet the renewable fuel standard through retail ethanol blending and sales in the South, Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions. She worked in public relations for the National Biodiesel Board as well as for the U.S. DOE Clean Cities program. Protec offeres turnkey ethanol programs for retailers, fleets and fuel distributors for E85, E15 and midlevel blends. It currently supplies, either directly, or through distribution partners, approximately 250 E85 stations.

9. Craig Shealy has launched an investment banking advisory business to serve the biofuels and biomass marketplace in partnership with Cary Street Partners, a Richmond, Va.- based investment banking and wealth management firm. Shealy served as chairman and managing partner of BlackCreek Group, an energy-focused investment, development and advisory firm, and as president and CEO of Osage Bio Energy, where he led the development of a $200 million ethanol plant in Hopewell, Va. Prior to Osage Bio Energy, he managed a $1.5 billion revenue business unit for Nextel Partners and was a member of the senior management team that positioned the company for its sale to Sprint for just under $10 billion. Before joining Nextel Partners, Shealy worked in Microsoft’s corporate development and strategy group.

10. Sweden-based Perten Instruments has released its second-generation grain moisture meter, improving upon the AM 5100. The AM 5200 meets the speed and connectivity requirements of today’s grain industry, the company said. Flow-through analysis allows its use in automatic sampling systems, and the larger sample size improves repeatability. The moisture meter includes a color touch screen and RF-electronics.

11. Gamajet Cleaning Systems released the PowerFLEX tank cleaning machine, which offers 400 times the cleaning force of a standard sprayball at the same pressure and flow. The added power reduces cost in time, water and chemicals, often up to an 85 percent savings, according to the company. The average operating conditions are from 50 to 100 psi and 20 to 80 gallons per minute, under which the PowerFLEX will maintin 8 to 15 pounds of force at a 10-foot distance. The PowerFLEX uses Gamajet’s rotary impingement technology. The jets of the fluid-driven machines scour an entire tank interior in a reliable 360-degree pattern.

12. Global supplier of fuel dispensers and technologies, Dresser Wayne will now operate under the brand name, Wayne—A GE Energy Business. GE acquired Dresser Inc., including its Dresser Wayne business segment, in February. GE and Dresser Wayne worked with an international brand research firm and concluded that maintaining the Wayne name was critical to preserving the strong brand. The company introduced the first oil pump in 1891, and been responsible since for many industry innovations such as the blending pump and pay-at-the-pump self-service. 

13. Duluth-based company, Save Our Steam, was awarded the Minnesota Governor’s Safety award for superior performance in workplace safety and health. SOS routinely works in hazardous conditions, fixing high-pressure leaks in industrial steam, gas and acid lines, without interrupting production.  Customers include refineries, steam, ethanol, power and paper plants. In his 30-plus years, SOS has never had a reportable injury, said Jim Carter, president and owner. The company started doing business in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Nebraska, and now serves clients all over the continental U.S.

14. Spraying Systems Co. announced two new TankJet models for use in cleaning applications that can be mounted permanently or moved from tank to tank. The new TankJet 75 fluid-driven tank cleaner from Spraying Systems Co. provides thorough impingement cleaning of small tanks without the expense of high impact tank cleaners. The unit uses external gears to reduce nozzle speed for better impact and cleaning efficiency. Ideal for medium-impact cleaning of tanks, totes and intermediate bulk containers, the unit cleans tanks up to 30 feet in diameter using rotating solid stream nozzles that complete a 360 degree indexing pattern.

The TankJet 190D motor-driven tank cleaner provides powerful 180 degree downward coverage and outperforms other units especially when removing sticky residues/skim lines and cleaning heavy sludge from the bottom and shadow areas of tanks, the company says. It operates at pressures up to 1000 psi and uses high-impact solid stream nozzles to clean tanks up to 34 feet in diameter.

15. Canadian cleantech company, NIM-Tech Inc., (short for noninvasive measurement technologies), is currently demonstrating its SonicGauge technology at a Canadian ethanol plant with the aim of increasing operational efficiencies and quality control.  The trademarked SonicGauge system simultaneously measures multiple properties of a substance, noninvasively through a pipeline, utilizing dispersive ultrasound, nonlinear measurement methods and proprietary algorithms, to determine precise product and process quality, online and realtime. It can be used for quality assurance or process control in multiple industries. The Prince Edward Island-based company is seeking further demonstration opportunities and investors as it readies the technology for commercialization.

16. Indianapolis-based Xylogenics won the TechPoint Mira Award for its clean energy innovations. The bioengineering firm won the 2011 award for its work in genetically modifiying yeast strains to improve the conversion of sugar to ethanol. The proprietary yeast strains can potentially boost fermentation yields by 30 to 50 percent in cellulosic ethanol production facilities, according to the company.

17. Industrial Scientific Corp. announced the availability of iNet InSite, a plug-and-play docking station solution for its portable gas detectors that provides critical functionality and information for safer work environments. Subscribers of iNet InSite receive unlimited user access to iNet Control—a Web-based application—along with docking stations. With iNet Control software users can manage the performance of their entire gas detector fleet, scheduling automated events such as calibrations, as well as set up alarm thresholds.

18. Rockwell Automation Inc. acquired U.K.-based Letronix, an independent industrial automation repairs and service provider in Europe and Asia, accelerating the growth of Rockwell’s service business abroad. Lektronix provides automation repairs, spares and other maintenance services for most industrial automation products, including programmable logic controllers, electric motor drives, industrial computers, and computerized numerical control equipment.  Lektronix’s management team will join the Rockwell Automation Control Products and Solutions operating segment.

19. The Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Co. and Archer Daniels Midland Co. received the Win-Win award from international energy reporting agency Argus, receiving the reward at the North American Rail Shippers Association conference earlier this summer. The award recognizes how both parties developed an innovative solution that allows the railroad to handle 35 percent more carloads from ADM while giving the shipper more control over its railcar maintenance processes. The nearly $1 million invested by both parties included improving two miles of rail line to handle unit trains of more than 100 railcars plus new mother-and-slug locomotive combinations add force to the switching fleet. ADM is on pace to load 30,000 carloads through the facility this year after starting production in the middle of 2010 on an expanded dry mill ethanol facility next to its wet mill at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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