Business Briefs

By Staff | December 19, 2014

The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association board of directors has appointed Andrea Kent as its president. Kent previously held several senior roles in communications, media relations and issues management, including vice president of communications at the CRFA. She has nearly a decade of leadership experience in numerous federal departments and crown corporations. Kent’s appointment follows the departure of W. Scott Thurlow.  

Kelly Davis, director of regulatory affairs at the Renewable Fuels Association, and Jim Miller,  vice president and chief economist at Growth Energy, were  appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee. The committee provides advice on the development and administration of programs and policies to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency exports.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. has named Juan R. Luciano as its next CEO, effective Jan. 1. He was also elected to the company’s board of directors in November. Prior to taking over the role of CEO, Luciano served as president and chief operating officer (COO) responsible for leading and running ADM’s global operations. Luciano will succeed Patricia Woertz, who will continue in the role of ADM’s chairman of the board and is expected to retire in May 2016. Luciano joined ADM in 2011 as executive vice president and COO, and was named president in February 2014. He will be the ninth chief executive in the company’s 112-year history.

Mascoma Corp. has completed the sale of its yeast business to Lallemand Inc. As part of the transaction, Lallemand has acquired the Mascoma company name and trademarks, all of its proprietary and patented yeast strains and associated technologies, as well as its entire research and development team located at its facility in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Lallemand and Mascoma have been partners in the successful commercialization of the TransFerm line of products, including TransFerm and TransFerm Yield-plus.

Valero Energy Corp. has announced that Bill Klesse will step down as chairman of the board, effective Dec. 31. Klesse became CEO at the end of 2005 and was named chairman of the board in 2007. He stepped down as CEO on May 1, 2014. He spent his entire 45-year career with Valero and its predecessor companies. 

Growth Energy has announced a multi-year commitment and new partnership with the National Future Farmers of America Organization to build on critical projects that prepare today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders in American agriculture. 

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad  will serve as chairman of the 2015 Governors’ Biofuel Coalition, while Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has been announced as vice chairman. In 2016, Nixon will transition to the role of chairman. The 33-state bipartisan organization was founded more than 20 years ago to increase the use of ethanol-based fuels, decrease the nation’s dependence on imported energy resources, improve the environment and stimulate the national economy. 

The National Association of Professional Woman has honored Darlene Gonzalez as 2014 Professional Woman of the Year for her leadership in sales. Gonzalez currently serves as regional sales manager at Lallemand Biofuels and Distilled Spirits.
Jeff Render has been named utilities manager for Aventine Renewable Energy Inc. He is responsible for overseeing efficient operation of the new natural gas boilers, cogeneration electricity turbine systems and water treatment system at the company’s 100 MMgy wet mill plant in Pekin, Illinois. He has returned to Pekin after serving as maintenance manager for the past year to support the restart of Aventine’s two dry mill facilities in Aurora, Nebraska.

Joule has named Serge Tchuruk as president and CEO. He will lead the company in its next phase of development aimed at commercialization. Tchuruk was appointed to the company’s board of directors in July and previously served as chairman and CEO of Alcatel and Total SA. He succeeds Paul Smith, who resigned after holding the position of president and CEO since early 2014. 

Sloenis, formerly Ashland Water Technologies, has received U.S. Patent No. 8,841,469 B2 for the use of chemical additives to improve the separation of corn oil in the ethanol production process. The company first filed a provisional U.S. patent in March 2011. The patent was issued in September. In addition to yielding more corn oil, Solenis’ additives, marketed as Dimension corn oil extraction aids, also reduce solids in the oil.

Tom Erickson has been named director of the Energy & Environmental Research Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Erickson has been serving as interim director since July. He previously served as associate director for business, operations and intellectual property at the EERC.  

U.S. Water Services Inc. has launched the rst in a new series of products developed for corn oil recovery. COR NS is a new nonsorbitol-based product line designed to aid in the extraction of corn oil
as a coproduct for biofuels plants.