Business Briefs

By Staff | July 25, 2014

Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc. has announced the promotion of Mark Beemer to president and CEO. He joined the company as acting president in 2012. His responsibilities include corporate turnaround and leadership, strategic planning, capital expenditures, and implementing revenue initiatives through commodity risk management and disciplined financial management. He previously served as chief commercial officer at Osage Bio Energy and served on the board of Hawkeye Renewables. In 2006, he founded Alternative Energy Sources Inc., completing development of two 100 MMgy ethanol plant sites. Aventine also recently promoted Brian Steenhard to the position of chief financial officer. He joined the company in January 2013, with responsibility for financial reporting, budget and forecast modeling, strategic turnaround business initiatives, and providing commodity-hedging strategies for risk management. He previously worked at Hawkeye Energy Holdings LLC. In addition, Aventine has announced the promotion of John Valenti. He will now serve as vice president of operation and is responsible for overseeing the company’s four ethanol plants and the development and execution of capital investments. Valenti joined Aventine in 2011 and previously worked at B&G Foods in Portland, Maine. 

The Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association have entered a cooperative agreement that will allow the two organizations to share office space and staff. KGSC will be the administrator of the two organizations. 

Norfolk Southern Corp. has announced recipients of its Thoroughbred Chemical Safety Award, which recognizes safe business practices in 2013. Among the 60 recipients are Abengoa Bioenergy, The Andersons Inc., Cargill Inc., Green Plains Inc., Poet Ethanol Products, and Valero Marketing & Supply. 

Phibro Ethanol Performance Group has hired Larry “Cam” Fowler as senior director technical affairs at EPG, a division of Phibro Animal Health Corp. Fowler will be responsible for the operation and strategic direction of EPG’s technical resources. He most recently served as a staff scientist and technical services manager with Novozymes North America. 

St1 Biofuels Oy announced it will deliver an Etanolix plant producing waste-based ethanol to North European Oil Trade Oy in Gothenburg, Sweden. The 5 MMly (1.32 MMgy) facility will take in food waste as feedstock. It is expected to be operational early next year.

Syngenta has announced an agreement with Cellulosic Ethanol Technologies LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Quad County Corn Processors, to license its Adding Cellulosic Ethanol technology.

John Campbell, a former Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture, has joined Ocean Park Advisors, a corporate finance advisory firm. His duties will be to broaden the company’s relationships, develop new business and help execute transactions. Campbell is credited as being one of the driving forces behind the creation of the U.S. biodiesel industry. He was also engaged in the ethanol industry starting in the 1990s, and served as president of the Nebraska Association of Ethanol Producers.

Addax Bioenergy recently announced its facility in Makeni, Sierra Leone, has begun production of sugarcane ethanol and electricity. The company is expected to produce 85,000 cubic meters (22.45 million gallons) per year by the end of 2016. Addax Bioenergy is certified under the Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials and complies with the most stringent global sustainability standards.

Dyadic International Inc. has appointed Michael Tarnok to its board of directors. He will also serve on the company’s audit and compensation committees. Tarnok has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry across many key areas including finance, operations and marketing. He is the current chairman and former interim CEO of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. and spent the majority of his career at Pfizer Inc.

Strategic Environmental & Energy Resources Inc. has announced that its subsidiary, MV Technologies, has been awarded a contract to supply one of its H2SPlus systems for removal of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) at the Pixley Biogas anaerobic digestion facility in California. The facility will be constructed adjacent to the existing Calgren Renewable Fuels Biorefinery. Biogas generated by the digester will be used to reduce natural gas consumption at the ethanol production facility.

The U.S. Grains Council has promoted Katelyn Parsons to manager of communications. She will be responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of the USGC’s social media, publications and online communications strategies.

Monsanto Co. has appointed Marcos Lutz to its board of directors. Lutz is the CEO of Cosan SA and a director of Cosan Ltd. He joined Cosan in 2007 and has served as CEO of Cosan SA and a director of Cosan Ltd. since 2009. Prior to joining Cosan, Lutz held senior leadership roles at Companhia Siderurgica Nacional SA. His appointment is effective immediately, and he will stand for election to the board at the 2015 annual meeting of shareholders. Lutz will serve on the science and technology committee and the sustainability and corporate responsibility committee.