ACE honors ethanol industry contributors with 2019 awards

By American Coalition for Ethanol | August 28, 2019

The American Coalition for Ethanol honored a select group of advocates for their contributions to the ethanol industry during its 32nd annual conference this month in Omaha.

The most prestigious award, the Merle Anderson Award, named after the organization’s founder, is given to individuals who have made distinguished contributions to the advancement of the U.S. ethanol industry. This year’s award winner is Randy Ives, a longtime agribusiness delegate to the U.S. Grains Council and a key figure in the organization’s development of distillers dried grain with solubles (DDGs) and ethanol market development programs, who was diagnosed with ALS last year. Duane Kristensen, ACE board president, presented Ives with this honor, along with comments from friends and colleagues of Ives, including USGC CEO Ryan LeGrand and Greg Krissek, ACE board member representing the Kansas Corn Growers Association. “Randy is a fierce defender of this industry,” LeGrand said. “He’s not getting this award because of his condition, but because of his commitment to the industry.”  

“Merle was a great leader, the founder of this great organization, and I’ve been blessed to know people like him,” Ives said. “I’ve had a great career—over 35 years with value-added agriculture. In the end, we need the ability to sell our products to the world because there is a need for clean air and that’s what ethanol brings to the table.”

ACE presented the Policy and Legislative Leadership Award to Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, which is given to a policymaker for championing public policies that promote the U.S. ethanol industry and strengthen rural America.

ACE also gives out the Grassroots Award to individuals who often perform “behind the scenes” to advance the cause of ethanol. Mike Finarty received this year’s award for promoting ethanol around the country via the Biofuels Mobile Education Center, funded by the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and ACE producer members Absolute Energy, Big River Resources, Golden Grain Energy and Homeland Energy Solutions. The trailer serves as an advocacy tool for the industry at events to educate people wanting to know more about biofuels.

ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty presented Mike Lewis, co-founder of California-based Pearson Fuels, one of the largest E85 suppliers, with the Paul Dana Marketing Vision award. The award is presented to an individual or company that has exhibited leadership in ethanol marketing. “Thank you to ACE for bringing me here to speak and for the award,” Lewis told the conference crowd. “This is the first award I’ve received from the industry, and it’s nice to be recognized for what we’re doing on the East Coast to sell the fuel from the people who actually make it.”

The rural television network RFD-TV was also recognized as the recipient of the Media Excellence Award. RFD-TV founder Patrick Gottsch accepted the award on behalf of the television network’s coverage of the news and issues important to the U.S. ethanol industry.

FOR PHOTOS AND INTERVIEWS FROM THE 2019 ACE CONFERENCE, CLICK HERE.