The Annual ACE Conference

REGISTER NOW - 34th Annual Conference - August 18-20, 2021 Minneapolis, Minnesota

Register Now!


The ACE room block is now closed. 

Contact Renaissance Reservations at (612) 375-1700 or 866-211-4611 to request a room.


REGISTRATION RATES (plus applicable taxes):

Ethanol Producer: $269

ACE Member: $369

Non-Member: $419


Wednesday, August 18

2pm - 6:30pm    Registration Open

5:30pm - 7pm    Welcome Reception


Thursday, August 19

8am - 5pm         Registration Open

8am - 8:30am    Continental Breakfast

8:30am - 12pm  General Session

  • Accelerate: Updates from ACE Leadership
    • ACE leadership will discuss our game plan for accelerating ethanol demand and positioning our members for future success.

      • Speaker: Dave Sovereign, ACE President (representing Golden Grain Energy)
      • Speaker: Brian Jennings, ACE CEO
      • Speaker: Ron Lamberty, ACE Senior Vice President & Market Development Director
  • Special Address: U.S. Representative Angie Craig (MN-2)
  • Status of Clean Fuel Policies
    • Hear about the evolution and success of the Midwest Clean Fuels Initiative, developments in key states, and national efforts to advance a low carbon fuel standard.

      • Moderator: John Christianson, Christianson PLLP
      • Speaker: Brendan Jordan, Vice President Transportation & Fuels, Great Plains Institute
      • Speaker: Jonathan Lehman, ACE Lobbyist, Cultivating Conservation
  • Balancing Act: Risk Management, Capital Investment Planning, and Profitability
    • This timely panel discussion moderated by ACE President Dave Sovereign will address volatility in commodity markets, crush margins, and strategies for staying profitable while balancing the demands on working capital.

      • Moderator: Dave Sovereign, ACE President/Chairman of the Board, Golden Grain Energy
      • Speaker: Mike Blackford, Risk Management Consultant, StoneX
      • Speaker: Jason Johnson, Managing Director, Compeer Financial

12:15pm - 1:15pm    LUNCH & Awards Presentation

1:30pm - 2:30pm      Breakout Sessions Round I (held concurrently)

  • Planning for the Future: Boards, Employees, Products
    • Strategic planning is something a board of directors might undertake every 3-5 years. However, effective planning should involve more than the board and happen more frequently. This presentation will cover what planning really means and ways to be successful, including ideas you can incorporate and not have it feel like such an undertaking.

      • Speaker: Donna Funk, KCoe Isom
  • Insights on Carbon: Navigating Verification and Measuring Project Value
    • This session focuses on best practices to help you understand how to set up and monetize projects that capitalize on carbon-focused incentive programs and tax credits. It will include insights from the first complete cycle of California LCFS reporting and verification, as well as other low-carbon programs under development, explore effective monetization of 45Q tax credits, and provide insights on correlations between profitability and a plant’s focus on low-carbon programs, drawn from Christianson Benchmarking’s latest data.

      • Moderator/Speaker: Connie Lindstrom, Biofuels Benchmarking Analyst, Christianson PLLP
      • Speaker: Jamey Cline, Business Development Director, Christianson PLLP
      • Speaker: Kari Buttenhoff, Partner, Christianson PLLP
  • Destination Biocampus
    • Biocampuses are the ultimate destination of the Gen 1.0 biofuels facility. The path to a sustainable biocampus can be long or short depending on the route chosen and the desired outcome.  Biofuels facilities are positioned to enable and lead the creation of sustainable and low CI products the marketplace is asking for.  Join Fluid Quip Technologies as we unwind the paths to a biocampus and lay out a sustainable, future-proof strategy every facility can use to find the niche of sustainable products and technologies that provide the diversification and revenue generation they need today and tomorrow. 

      • Neal Jakel, Partner, Strategy & Technology, Fluid Quip Technologies
      • Timothy Bauer, General Manager of Growth Ventures, Fluid Quip Technologies

2:45pm - 3:45pm    Breakout Sessions Round II (held concurrently)

  • Leading in an Era of Exponential Change
    • Change is perpetual, pervasive and exponential. In this interactive session, participants will learn how to address changes in the workplace and the changes in leadership needed to navigate this new reality. Participants can expect to have their current mindsets about leadership challenged to look beyond the traditional ways of thinking and leading. 

      • Speaker: Shaunna Jones, ACC, HR Success Strategist, KCoe Isom
  • Developing a Carbon Strategy - Now
    • New clean fuel policies provide opportunities for U.S. ethanol plants to monetize with low carbon strategies. Now is the time for plants to assess those carbon strategies and take action.

      Join P&E Solutions, Whitefox, and Bioleap as they share their unique approaches to reducing your plant’s carbon score (“CI score”), allowing you to take advantage of current and future carbon markets. This session will use real plant data and modeling to demonstrate the carbon benefits available to today’s plants, with P&E Solutions demonstrating the carbon benefits and direct energy savings derived from the implementation of combined heat and power, Whitefox illustrating how membrane dehydration can reduce natural gas use and CI score while increasing plant rate and improving plant cooling and overall operations, and Bioleap detailing how it’s DEER System has cut natural gas usage at seven ethanol plants by about 20%, helping those plants achieve some of the lowest CI scores in the country.  This panel will naturally delve into how these technologies, in combination with additional process upgrades and methods such as on-farm CI scoring, can help plants continue down the path to achieving an ultra-low or zero carbon footprint. 

      • Speaker: Bernie Hoffman, Vice President, P&E Solutions LLC
      • Speaker: James Knight, President, Bioleap Inc.
      • Speaker: Paul Kamp, VP Sales & Business Development - North America, Whitefox
  • Efficient Operational Strategies for Feed Diversification and Lower Carbon Intensity Score for Ethanol Biorefineries
    • Product diversification continues to be an important strategy for ethanol plants looking to position their operations for future success. While implementing technologies for diversification is of the utmost importance, the adoption of them must also translate into sustainable approaches that allow plants to lower their carbon intensity score.

      The process technologies developed by ICM, Inc. provide ethanol plants with the flexibility to efficiently create animal feed products based on market demands, while improving operational efficiencies and reducing their overall CI score.

      From evaluating and reducing energy consumption in the production process to designing new approaches that allow continuous dewatering throughout the process and optimized dryer performance, this  presentation will focus on sustainable strategies that translate into operational savings, lower energy consumption and CI improvements while producing of high quality feed.
      • Matt Durler, Vice President of Feed Development, ICM, Inc.

4pm - 5pm    Breakout Sessions Round III (held concurrently)

  • Cutting Through The Noise with Compelling Communication Strategies
    • Research indicates the most trusted source in a person’s life is “someone like me.” Telling your story and sharing your experiences with the right audience, at the right time, in the right way, can make real and important change happen. Every ethanol plant board of directors, management team and plant staff can be a grassroots advocate and amplify the work done by their state and national organizations. Join these speakers as they combine practical tips on positive public relations with an emphasis on what can be done at the local level.

      • Moderator/Speaker: Katie Muckenhirn, Communications Director, American Coalition for Ethanol
      • Speaker: Sue Retka Schill, Editor/Writer, WriteOH
  • Calculating Your Carbon Intensity
    • Using Ron Alverson’s customized simplified GREET model tool, ACE recently published the “Carbon Intensity Calculator” to equip farmers and ethanol producers with the ability to use their unique data to better understand their current carbon score. Join Ron as he walks you through how to use this calculator, and why knowing your CI score is so important.

      • Moderator/Speaker: Nick Fosheim, Director of Member & Industry Relations
      • Speaker: Ron Alverson, ACE Board Member/Director, Dakota Ethanol
  • Balancing Efficiency and Economics Through Optimization and Process Improvements
    • Join Phibro Ethanol and CTE Global as they present approaches to optimizing your plant’s potential; Phibro Ethanol through a holistic approach to microbial management, and CTE through the application of their data-driven strategies platform to inform process optimization for improved starch conversion.

      Phibro Ethanol offers a holistic approach that encompasses all aspects of successful microbial management. They will introduce their novel approach to CIP, discuss bacterial infection impact along with successful identification of bacterial “hot spots”, and relay best practices in selecting an antimicrobial agent.  Economic models and operational plant data will be shared to support the program. They will also share information on preventative treatment to negate fouling, and advances in automation.

      CTE’s comprehensive approach combines industry-wide benchmarking of process operations and in-depth lab analysis of enzymatically accessible starch and resistant starch, which allows for uniquely crafted strategies tailored for each individual plant and their goals. These strategies allow for faster troubleshooting, consistent production, and potential yield improvement. They will explore data to show how a better understanding of the parameters involved in effective starch conversion can lead to novel approaches to both solubilize more starch in liquefaction and reduce residual starch in fermentation. In a dynamic industry with very high standards for performance, expanding our collective ability to continuously improve through relevant data has the potential to make a significant impact.

      • Tara Naman, Lab Manager, CTE Global, Inc.
      • Jenny Forbes, Vice President, Products & Services, Phibro Ethanol

5pm - 6:30pm    Networking Reception


Friday, August 20

8am - 10am              Registration Open

8am - 8:30am           Continental Breakfast

8:30am - 12:00pm     General Session

  • EVs, Low Carbon Fuels, and a Technology-Neutral Playing Field
    • Dr. Steffen Mueller has produced volumes of research on land use change and lifecycle analysis, with recent work focused on the need for a truly technology-neutral approach to assessing the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits and costs of electric vehicles (EVs) compared to low carbon biofuels.

      • Steffen Mueller, PhD, Principal Economist, Energy Resources Center, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Credit Makers and Credit Takers
    • From producer to street price, RINs and carbon credits affect how much producers, marketers, wholesalers, and retailers can charge or are willing to pay for ethanol and other fuels. The availability of all types of credits, and how they are applied or shared can mean big profits or lost margins for those who blend renewables and trade credits. Learn about important changes to renewable fuels production that can affect ethanol's value in the near future, and how wholesalers and retailers account for credits to increase fuel sales and profits.

      • Moderator/Speaker: Ron Lamberty, Senior Vice President & Market Development Director, American Coalition for Ethanol
      • Speaker: Ryan Ruikka, Biofuels Energy Analyst, The ProExporter Network
  • Accelerating Demand for Ethanol
    • New demand and value for ethanol will require innovation, investment, and collaboration. We take a look at ClearFlame Engine Technologies’ unique approach to replacing high-carbon, petroleum-based fuels with decarbonized, renewable, liquid fuels to significantly reduce CO2 and particulate matter emissions from diesel-style engines to meet increasingly stringent industry regulations.

      • Dr. BJ Johnson, CEO, ClearFlame Engine Technologies
  • From Net-Zero to Net-Negative Carbon: Accelerating Ethanol's Advantage
    • Ethanol is the only clean energy transportation fuel that can achieve both net-zero and net-negative carbon emissions. Hear from speakers who are working on carbon sequestration strategies that will achieve incredible GHG reductions and provide significant return on investment for low carbon producers.

      • Moderator: Brian Jennings, CEO, American Coalition for Ethanol
      • Speaker: Ron Alverson, ACE Board Member/Director, Dakota Ethanol
      • Speaker: Jim Pirolli, Chief Commercial Officer, Summit Carbon Solutions
  • Expanding Ethanol Use Around the World
    • With export markets and trade policy in the spotlight, hear more about opportunities and challenges to increase ethanol and coproduct markets around the world.

      • Speaker: Brian Healy, U.S. Grains Council, Director of Global Ethanol Development


2021 Sponsorship Brochure

Get back in front of your customers!

Sponsorships are available.

Contact Chuck Beck at or 605-334-3381 to secure your sponsorship today. 


Click here to view the sponsorship guide

2021 Conference Sponsors

  • Networking Reception

    Networking Reception
  • Refreshment Break

    Refreshment Break
  • WiFi

  • Lanyard

  • Premier

  • Premier

  • Premier

  • Media Partner

    Media Partner
  • Silver

  • Refreshment Break

    Refreshment Break


The American Coalition for Ethanol's 33rd annual conference was held in conjunction with the 2020 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) & Expo as a virtual event, on September 16, 2020. 

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the economic hardship it’s brought to bear on the ethanol industry, ACE leadership held a virtual event, paired with the FEW, to provide members with a safe, robust opportunity to catch up on the latest industry news, network with peers, and discover new technology. The conference theme of “Rising Up” embodies the resilience demonstrated by those in the ethanol industry in response to the pandemic and the grit these individuals possess to rise together - stronger than before.

For more than three decades, the ACE conference has focused on the people of the ethanol industry and their priorities — a meeting where ethanol producers rub shoulders with retailers, policymakers, researchers, and other industry members. This year’s abbreviated event consisted of an afternoon of general sessions, including updates from ACE leadership, and insight on topics related to restoring and building ethanol demand.

Check out the recap below!




*Note: All videos are recordings of content either streamed live on September 16, 2020 or pre-recorded in the weeks prior to the event.

2020 Awards Video

Stephen Censky Recorded Remarks (Early September 2020)

Retailer Panel + Market Development Update


Took Place on September 16, 2020

Rise Up: Welcome from ACE's President & CEO

  • Duane Kristensen, ACE Board President, Chief Ethanol Fuels
  • Brian Jennings, ACE CEO - CLICK HERE for Jennings'' remarks updated 9/14

Keynote: USDA Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky 

Go Your Own Road: A Conversation with Higher Blend Pioneers

Welcome remarks from ACE's Senior Vice President & Director of Market Development, Ron Lamberty

ACE keeps up with strategies for selling more ethanol by keeping in touch with fuel retailers already getting it done. Join this conversation where representatives of leading E15 and flex fuel retailers Pump & Pantry and Casey’s General Stores tell us what has worked and what hasn’t, how the ethanol industry can help, and when we should get out of their way.

  • Moderator: Ron Lamberty, ACE Senior Vice President & Market Development Director
  • Nathaniel Doddridge, Vice President of Fuels, Casey's General Stores
  • Randy Gard, COO, Pump & Pantry/Bosselman

Fuel Marketing in the Time of Corona: A Look at Drastic and Not-So-Drastic Changes to Downstream Markets in the Next 15 Months 

Tom Kloza, Global Head of Energy Analysis, Oil Price Information Service, an IHS Markit Company

  • A Look at Crude Oil Supply & Pricing in 2020 & 2021. 
  • Refinery Closures; Which Operations are Threatened and Why? 
  • North Atlantic Balances 
  • What a Biden presidency might mean to petroleum markets. (Hint: Carbon Impacts) 
  • 2020 Records Likely to be Broken  

Producer Perspectives: A Panel Discussion

Three ethanol producers discuss what it is like to lead their companies through uncertain times and share their thoughts about the future of the industry. Commentary on Election + RFS

  • Duane Kristensen, General Manager and Vice President of Operations, Chief Ethanol Fuels, Inc. – Moderator and Panelist
  • Dave Sovereign, Chairman, Golden Grain Energy, LLC - Panelist
  • Neil Koehler, Co-Founder, Director, and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Ethanol, Inc. – Panelist


OPIS - Tom Kloza - Fuel Market Update

Ethanol Producer Panel Discussion


  • Thank you to SD Corn for the additional support!

    Thank you to SD Corn for the additional support!

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