Business Briefs

People, Partnerships & Deals
By Ethanol Producer Magazine Staff | January 11, 2012

1. Greenville, S.C.,-based Lincoln Energy Solutions recently hired three new managers to bring industry expertise to the growing biofuels solutions supplier. Larry Breeding joins Lincoln as a fuel specialist/product manager with experience in biodiesel production and engineering. Ralph Roberts has oversight for safety procedures, policies, customer reviews, staff management and fleet maintenance in the company’s truck fleet. Tommy Rose is responsible for bulk ethanol and biodiesel sales, serves as renewable identification number coordinator and manages the hedge desk.   

2. John Castle has been appointed president and CEO of Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc., having served as the interim CEO since August. He joined the company as chief financial officer in April and on July 20 was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer. The company also appointed Calvin Stewart as chief financial officer, having served as interim CFO since August.

3. ZeaChem Inc. added Nancy Buese as the third independent member and audit chair on its board of directors. She brings 20 years of financial leadership to the board and currently serves as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Denver-based MarkWest Energy Partners LP.

4. Chase Lane has joined the technical optimization team at Ferm Solutions Inc. He will serve in the Southwest, including Texas, southwest Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. He joins the ethanol industry service provider with several years experience at the former Hockley County Ethanol plant in Levelland, Texas.

5. John Harangody has been promoted to chief operating officer of Houston-based Atlas Commodity Markets. He most recently held the same position with Atlas Grain in Chicago and previously served as director of commodity products for CME Group. “Coming changes in the regulatory environment for OTC derivatives present challenges, but also significant opportunities,” Harangody said. “Atlas is in a strong position to assist our customers to successfully adapt to new market structures.”

6. Marquis Management Services Inc. has tapped Beth Steinhour to become its director of environmental affairs. With her 21 years of experience, Jason Marquis, company president, said Steinhour  will bring a new level of expertise to the regulatory and environmental compliance issues that biorefineries face. “We believe with our plan for continued growth in the biorefining industry, Beth is a strategic addition to the Marquis Management team,” he said.

7. Mark Beemer is the new president of R3Fusion Inc.’s ethanol division, responsible for the development and deployment of the ethanol water separation business for North America. He will oversee the manufacturing partnerships, installation arrangements and operation startup of R3Fusions’ patented SPaCeR, water separation and purification technology. Most recently Beemer served as chief commercial officer for Osage Bio Products and as a board member at Hawkeye Renewables LLC. 
   
8. Speedling Inc., specialists in feedstock propagation, named four to its biomass feedstock advisory committee. Iowa State University assistant professor of agronomy Emily Heaton focuses on best management practices for perennial energy crops, with particular emphasis on miscanthus and switchgrass. Tom Voigt, associate professor and extension specialist in crop sciences at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, leads the Energy Biosciences Institute feedstock program and North Central Sun Grant feedstock partnership in miscanthus. Lynn Sollenberger, professor of grassland science, University of Florida, specializes in the ecology and management of tall grasses for bioenergy applications. John Caveny, president of Environmentally Correct Concepts Inc., partnered with the University of Illinois in planting an on-farm miscanthus research plot in 2002, now the oldest research plot in the U.S. Speedling propagates and sells plugs of the sterile Illinois clone of miscanthus from Caveny Farm. 

9. Poet LLC is more than 75 percent of the way to achieving its water reduction goal set in its environmental initiative dubbed “Ingreenuity.” With startup of the proprietary Total Water Recovery system at its 18th ethanol production facility, Poet Biorefining – Chancellor (S.D.), the company has now reduced water use by more than 770 million gallons per year from 2009 use. The goal is to reduce water use by 1 billion gallons annually by 2015. Chancellor’s Total Water Recovery System saves the plant 131 million gallons of water per year. That savings means Chancellor uses 2.6 gallons of water for each gallon of ethanol produced, down from 3.5.

10. Interstates Companies has earned the Safety Training and Evaluation Process Diamond status, the highest safety designation awarded by Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., for its safety performance. It is the only company to achieve this designation in each of the four chapters it belongs to, Iowa, Rocky Mountain, Cornhusker and Arizona.  Headquartered in Sioux Center, Iowa, Interstates Companies specializes in turnkey electrical systems for industrial, hazardous and value-added agriculture facilities, including ethanol plants.

11. In 2012, Lee Enterprises Consulting Inc. of Little Rock, Ark., intends to expand its services now concentrated on the biodiesel sector into the ethanol, biomass, wind, solar and geothermal sectors. “We are currently the world’s largest biodiesel consulting group, and most of our consultants and strategic partners are already very involved in the other alternative fuels,” said Wayne Lee, principal owner. The group’s current appraiser, environmental expert, QA experts and grant writers have backgrounds and experience in these areas, and each of the group’s larger strategic partners—Stoel Rives (legal), Christianson & Associates (accounting), IMA of Kansas (insurance), FCStone Merchant Services (feedstock financing), and Executive Leadership Solutions (staffing) —already has a very significant presence in these other alternative fuels sectors.