Agenda & Speakers

The agenda from the 2013 conference is below. If permission to share the speaker's presentation was granted, that speaker's name is linked to their presentation.



Tuesday, August 27

General Session - "Innovation & Policy"

"Unite & Ignite" Policy Q&A with ACE Leadership
ACE President Ron Alverson, Executive Vice President, Brian Jennings, and Senior Vice President of Market Development, Ron Lamberty, will provide remarks and take questions from the audience.

Opportunities for Ethanol Producers to Reduce Carbon Intensity
Instead of fighting state and federal policies that encourage corn ethanol producers to reduce carbon intensity, discover what others are doing based on corn yields, farming practices, and ethanol plant efficiencies to improve corn ethanol's lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions calculations, and how you can capitalize on these opportunities to reduce the carbon intensity of your ethanol plant.
-Ron Alverson, President, Dakota Ethanol
-John Sheehan, Science Director, Initiative for Renewable Energy & the Environment, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota
-Matt Rudolf, Regional Director, Americas, Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) Services Foundation

RFS Pathways to Innovation
RFS provisions calling for significant gallons of advanced and cellulosic biofuel in the future requires EPA to certify biofuel production "pathways" that meet required greenhouse gas emission reduction levels set in statute.  While EPA set a number of pathways when implementing the RFS in 2008, they also understood that new feedstocks and pathways would likely be developed over time.  This panel will help ethanol producers understand when it is necessary to submit a formal pathway petition as well as steps required to petition EPA for approval of a new pathway for advanced and cellulosic biofuels.  In addition to hearing from EPA, other companies that have worked through the process to innovate and generate advanced and cellulosic RINs will share their experiences.
-Delayne Johnson, Quad County Corn Processors

Luncheon Keynote: Adam Gustafson, Boyden Gray & Associates
"EPA's Tier 3 Rulemaking: Tearing Down the Blendwall or Reinforcing it?"


Breakout Sessions

Overview of State and EPA Ethanol Air Enforcement Activities
Regulators and environmental groups have been pursuing Clean Air Act enforcement actions against ethanol producers.  This session will provide an overview of state, federal and citizen suit enforcement processes, including EPA's investigatory authority under Section 114 of the Clean Air Act.  This session will describe recent Clean Air Act enforcement theories against the ethanol industry and provide practical advice to minimize exposure in these areas.
-Todd Palmer, Partner, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

Does Your Board "Unite & Ignite"?
Your board is working harder than ever.  But is all that hard work getting the desired results?  How can your board best invest it's time and efforts to better govern and ultimately add value to the business?  In this session, we'll discuss tools and ideas that can ignite your board and make it function at a high level.
-Ty Inglis, Partner, Eide Bailly LLP

The Impact Employees Have on Your Plant's Success
Labor costs account for only a tiny fraction of the cost of operating an ethanol plant; good hiring practices and employee accountability are the key to putting together successful teams that work together to achieve your plant's productivity and profitability goals. This session will explore data gathered from ethanol plants across the country, as part of Christianson & Associates' special labor survey, to provide insight into current standard practices, and to discover how administrative and production labor can impact your plant's financial opportunities today and in the future. Charts and graphs will be used to clearly illustrate information ranging from average salary data, to percentages of plants offering a variety of common benefits and other types of compensation such as performance bonuses.
-Paula Emberland, Benchmarking Business Analyst, Christianson & Associates, PLLP
-Jeff Painter, General Manager, Cardinal Ethanol, LLC

Dollars and Cents - RIN Pricing and Opportunities in the Current Market

Volatile RIN prices have created a set of risks unique to fuel credit trading. Nevertheless, where there is risk, there is also opportunity. A panel of traders and brokers will discuss strategies and opportunities in current RIN markets. In addition to standard trading, they will also discuss hedges and swap strategies based on available indices and how they can be used in conducting RIN trades.
-Jeff Hove, Vice President, RIN Alliance

Building Your Board: Election Management
Choosing the right people to lead your company is essential to your company's success, and it's important to handle your board of director elections sensitively and constructively.
-Doug Roozeboom, Partner, McGladrey, LLP
-David Gardels, Partner, Husch Blackwell LLP


Wednesday, August 28

General Session - "Marketing & Profitability"

Taking Advantage of RINs in the Marketplace
With RFS renewable fuels volumes soon exceeding the 10% blend level, oil companies have to decide whether they will meet their RFS obligations by offering higher ethanol blends to their customers or by purchasing RINs from other fuel distributors. Oil companies have taken a hard line against higher blends, saying retailers  don't want to sell higher ethanol blends and consumers won't buy them. Fuel wholesalers and retailers who are already selling E15, E85, and other blends to their customers have not only proven Big Oil wrong, they have added profits to their bottom line by knowing the value of RINs.
-Moderator: Ron Lamberty, American Coalition for Ethanol
-Bruce Vollan, Vollan Oil
-Rick Schwarck, Absolute Energy, LLC

Automaker Perspective: Outlook for Higher Ethanol Blends and Octane
Dominic DiCicco with Ford Motor Company will discuss the use of ethanol in today's automobiles and FFVs, technology innovations being developed for engines, and the role higher ethanol blends and octane can play in powering vehicles in the future.
-Dominic DiCicco, Ford Motor Company

Co-Product Power: Diversification and the Financial Health of Today's Ethanol Plant
Many people outside the renewable fuels industry point to "average" negative margins as an indicator that the industry as a whole is unsustainable in the face of a continued negative-margin environment, and it is certainly true that some plants have struggled or temporarily shut down over the past eighteen months. However, many plants continue to operate at capacity and turn a profit; an increasing chunk of ethanol plant revenue is derived from an ever-diversifying mix of co-products, which lessens the impact of a negative ethanol margin. Using statistics from nearly ten years of data gathered from the Biofuels Benchmarking program, John will use graphs and charts to illustrate historical trends in plant revenue, EBITDA, net income and other indicators of financial health. He'll also explore the impact of co-product trends in depth, with a focus not merely on revenues generated from co-product sales, but on how the right mix of co-product can ultimately result in higher (and more consistent) earnings on each bushel of feedstock purchased.
-John Christianson, Principal Partner, Christianson & Associates, PLLP

Trade Policy and the U.S. Ethanol Industry
An overview of how trade policy in the U.S., European Union, Canada, and other major markets is affecting the U.S. ethanol industry.
-Doug Newman, International Trade Analyst, U.S. International Trade Commission

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