Business Briefs

People, Partnerships & Deals
By Staff | March 13, 2014

The board of directors of the Neb-raska Corn Board has selected Kelly Brunkhorst to serve as the organization’s new executive director, effective July 30. He will replace Don Hutchens, who will retire after holding the position for 27 years. Brunkhorst currently serves as the director of research for the Nebraska Corn Board. He began working for the organization in 2004 after serving as the vice president of operations and education for the Nebraska Grain & Feed Association. During his employment with the Nebraska Corn Board, Brunkhorst's work included research, grant writing, seed industry and first purchaser relations, and leadership on issues related to transportation, industrial uses for corn, domestic and international markets. He has also represented the board on national research, production and stewardship committees, in addition to being chosen to participate in two national strategic planning initiatives.

Vecoplan Integrated Controls has added Henry Gilliland to its electrical engineering team. Gilliland graduated from North Carolina State University in 2012 and brings three years of practical experience to his new position. He worked on a co-op basis at Highland Industries while earning his degree and later worked as a full-time engineer with the company. His responsibilities include working with senior engineers to coordinate the design and development of individual machine control panels and turnkey integrated control systems for industrial processing lines and manufacturing plants.

Aventine Renewable Energy Inc. has named Pam Cooksey as purchasing manager of its 165 MMgy wet mill and dry mill ethanol plants in Pekin, Ill. Prior to joining Aventine, Cooksey spent 20 years with Tate & Lyle in Lafayette, Ind. Her responsibilities included purchasing capital expenditures equipment and negotiating contracts and contractor labor rates on a national and global level. She also spent 13 years at Archer Daniels Midland Co., where she worked in purchasing for the corn sweetener division.

Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits, a global provider of fermentation ingredients to the fuel and beverage alcohol industries, has appointed Angus Ballard as its new general manager. Ballard joined Lallemand in 2002 as director of operations for the North America Baker’s Yeast division and then transitioned into the role of corporate director of procurement and supply chain for Lallemand Inc. in 2007. He has 18 years of experience in the yeast industry and has most recently been responsible for Lallemand’s Global Dry Yeast export business.

DuPont has joined the Advanced Ethanol Council. The company’s commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility is currently under construction in Nevada, Iowa. Once complete, the 33 MMgy facility will utilize a fully integrated end-to-end production system that will be available to license globally. DuPont also operates a demonstration facility in Vonore, Tenn., that has confirmed the economics of its biomass procurement strategy and demonstrated the value proposition of its technology.

Garner Industries, manufacturer of BinMaster inventory management systems and bin level indicators, has promoted Jenny Christensen to vice president of marketing for both the Garner and BinMaster divisions. She is responsible for driving the company’s brand strategy and revenue growth through new products and the use of innovative marketing platforms to expand the company’s diverse customer base. Christensen joined Garner in 2008 as director of marketing.

Rail Safe Training Inc. has hired John Licht has market director. The      organization provides training for a variety of professions, including those involved in transload operations, unit train operations, and agricultural rail terminals. Licht’s experience includes transload terminal site development, industrial and military railway training and safety programs.

The NCERC at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has expanded its research team with the addition of Arun Athmanathan, a postdoctoral fellow specializing in cellulosic and advanced biofuels research. He has experience in the characterization and fermentation of many cellulosic and advanced feedstocks, including corn stover and sweet sorghum bagasse.