Skip to content
Bill DarttMay 17, 20242 min read

My Ethanol Story - Bill Dartt

By: Bill Dartt, Chief Financial Officer, Cardinal Ethanol, LLC Bill Dartt Picture

Looking back on my experience with the ethanol industry, I perceive it as being brief, but it has been about 16 years. The first notice I took of the industry was as I drove from Bucyrus, Ohio, my home, to Marion, Ohio, where I worked. As I neared Marion, I began seeing huge metal grain bins being erected. Their shine in the morning sun brought my attention to other work going on at the site. This activity turned out to be the construction of an ethanol plant by Poet Biorefining.

Several months later, my tenure at a small manufacturing company in Marion was coming to an end. I found myself interviewing for the controllership position at the ethanol plant and got hired. It was quite a good training ground for me to learn about the ethanol industry, the agriculture industry and the people involved with them. After my time at that plant, I began working at Cardinal Ethanol and became their CFO. It has been a gratifying part of my career, and I hope to end it within the ethanol industry.

The combined agricultural and ethanol industries have some of the most interesting, talented, down-to-earth people I have met in my career. First of all, the entire group of employees at Cardinal Ethanol are good people. Our board, as well as bankers, lawyers, insurance representatives and countless individuals have been superb to work with as well. That is what has made the experience so gratifying, the people. I can’t mention them all without missing someone.

At Cardinal, we interact with a great number of our local producers, farmers and other stakeholders on a regular basis. They are Indiana- friendly and down-to-earth, as are most in our rural communities. The whole county seems to have adopted the plant. That too, is gratifying.

Through my position and Cardinal leadership, I’ve been exposed to many of the industry groups associated with the ethanol and agricultural industries. These teams of people have provided great experience, knowledge, patience and insight.

Finally, that brings me to American Coalition for Ethanol. I was fortunate enough to be led to the group by Brian Jennings who’s spoken at Cardinal’s annual unitholders’ meetings in the past, as well as some of the annual conferences that Christianson and Associates used to conduct. I chose to attend a board meeting and then several conferences ACE held. There, I met wonderful individuals such as Ron Alverson, Ron Lamberty, Dave Sovereign, John Christianson and a whole group of highly talented people on the board. The ACE staff have also always been fabulous. The ACE conferences have brought me in touch with so many industry insiders, industry supporters and government officials I could never have met in the career I once had. I am forever grateful I chose to be a part of the group and its board.