Business Briefs

News and announcements from the November issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine, including new appointments at Green Plains, the KAAPA-Aurora Coop joint venture, the RFA's new officers and more.
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | October 18, 2022

Green Plains announces executive leadership appointments
Green Plains Inc. recently announced changes to its executive leadership team.
Patrich Simpkins has transitioned from chief financial officer to chief transformation officer; Jim Stark has transitioned from executive vice president to chief financial officer of both Green Plains and Green Plains Partners LP; Jamie Herbert joins the company as chief human resources officer; and Grant Kadavy joins Green Plains as executive vice president of commercial operations.

Simpkins will execute on the company’s roadmap to accomplish “the most comprehensive organizational transformation in the history of Green Plains Inc.” Stark will lead all aspects of finance and accounting, including IT and investor relations. Herbert will lead all human resource activities and Kadavy will lead all commercial activities, including sales, trading and distribution, across all platforms.

Aurora Coop announces joint venture with KAAPA Ethanol
Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company and KAAPA Ethanol Holdings LLC have announced a joint venture involving Aurora Cooperative’s ethanol and grain facilities located west of Aurora, Nebraska. The joint venture plans to make significant investments with the goal of increasing production and efficiency at the ethanol facilities, so that both plants  remain top destinations for area corn.
Aurora Cooperative Board Chair Bill Schuster said, “We are looking forward to a partnership with KAAPA Ethanol at our ethanol and grain facilities. KAAPA has a track record of operational expertise and strong financial performance. We believe this partnership will strengthen the future of the ethanol plant for our farmer-owners.”

MN Bio-Fuels appoints Werner as executive director 
The Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association has appointed Brian Werner as its new executive director.
Prior to joining MN Bio-Fuels, Werner was the deputy legislative director and senior legislative assistant for renewable energy and agriculture for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. During that time, he supported Klobuchar’s work to protect mandatory funding for Farm Bill energy title programs, maintain stability in the implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard, provide economic relief for biofuel producers negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic and secure federal investment in biofuel infrastructure.

“We are excited Brian has joined our team. With his leadership, we will continue to advance renewable ethanol and renewable energy,” said Brian Kletscher, president of MN Bio-Fuels’ board of directors.

RFA elects new board leadership at annual meeting
The Renewable Fuels Association elected officers and its board of directors at its annual membership meeting in September. Erik Huschitt, CEO of Badger State Ethanol, was elected chairman of the organization, replacing Jeanne McCaherty of Guardian Energy Management.

“I am humbled and honored to become chairman of the Renewable Fuels Association, which continues to lead our ethanol industry with an amazing [CEO], a fabulous staff, and members who are tremendous Americans representing their plants, businesses and communities,” Huschitt said.

RFA’s board also elected Jeff Oestmann, CEO of Granite Falls Energy, as vice chairman. Retaining their current positions in board leadership for 2023 are Rick Schwarck, president of Absolute Energy, as board secretary, and Mike Jerke, CEO of Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, as treasurer.