The Annual ACE Conference
August 15-17, 2017
Doubletree Hotel Downtown - Omaha, NE
ACE's annual conference is unique in the world of renewable fuels because it is specifically tailored to the interests and needs of the people of ethanol — the folks who are really in the trenches. It’s a gathering of ACE’s commitment to connect ethanol producers with the farmers, researches, retailers, and support businesses to continue what all of them started a long time ago. It’s also an excellent place to learn and share ideas. And it’s got all the fun of a family reunion.
ACE has a contracted room block at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Omaha. Make your reservations at the conference reservation site or call (402) 636-4914.
Click here to view the sponsorship opportunities, or contact Chuck Beck at email@example.com to find out how your company can have a presence at the ACE Conference.
Contact Shannon Gustafson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 605-334-3381 ext.16 with questions about the event, or to submit topic or speaker recommendations.
TESTED. PROVEN. DRIVEN.
Annual ACE Conference
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
11:00am – 4:00pm Annual Meeting, Board Meeting, and ACE member priorities discussion (ACE Voting & Ethanol Producer members only, RSVP required)
2:00pm – 7:00pm Conference Registration
5:00pm – 6:30 pm Welcome Reception
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
8:00 am – 5:00 pm Conference Registration
8:00 am Continental Breakfast
8:30 am – Noon General Session
“Tested. Proven. Driven.” Updates from ACE Leadership
ACE leadership will discuss the successes of the last year and highlight upcoming projects and opportunities we are working on for ACE members.
- Duane Kristensen, ACE Board Vice President (representing Chief Ethanol Fuels)
- Brian Jennings, ACE Executive Vice President
- Ron Lamberty, ACE Senior Vice President
Keynote: Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts
Global Tailwinds and Headwinds
On the heels of exporting the second-highest volume of ethanol and distillers grains last year, U.S. ethanol exports so far in 2017 are stronger than any year on record. Jim Galvin, the appointed Leader of the U.S. Grains Council Advisory Team for Ethanol, helps guide the industry’s export market development strategy. Jim will discuss market trends, the factors driving (and restricting) global demand for ethanol and coproducts, and the implications of Trump administration trade policy reform on the U.S. ethanol industry.
- Jim Galvin, CEO and Director, Lakeview Energy
10:30am – 10:45am Refreshment Break
Retail: Ethanol’s Point of Opportunity
Nationwide availability of E15 and flex fuels is improving every month. Two fuel marketers who have made the switch will reveal why they decided to offer higher ethanol blends, how they overcame the challenges and roadblocks, what they would do differently, and how E15 and flex fuels are affecting their bottom line.
- Moderator: Ron Lamberty, Senior Vice President, ACE
- Charlie Bosselman , Owner, Bosselman Enterprises
- Bob O’Connor, Owner, JETZ Convenience Centers
11:45 am – 1:15 pm Luncheon & Special Awards Presentation
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Breakout Sessions Round I: (held concurrently)
Board of Directors – Roles and Responsibilities
This session will provide ethanol plant board directors with a framework for understanding their diverse roles and responsibilities and the critical board-management relationship. It will cover essential functions like employment, daily decisions, plant operations, and community and industry involvement, and share some examples of best practices of other boards and how a director’s role can evolve over time.
- Donna Funk, Principal, KCoe Isom
Product Diversification: Proven Path Forward
As the ethanol industry continues to mature, the need for diversification is ever more important, given the limited market and market volatility of ethanol. Ethanol is still approximately 75% of the typical plant’s revenue and is held captive to external market influences as is DDGS given the commodity nature of this product. New products, new market, hence new opportunities for the ethanol industry are growing. FQPT has developed a suite of commercially proven technologies that help ethanol plants truly become biorefineries via product diversification.
- Neal Jakel, VP Strategy & Technology, Fluid Quip Process Technologies
Plant Efficiency Improvements are the Backbone of Good Business
In the ever changing industry landscape facilities are looking to create more sustainability through expansions or technology differentiation. The increasing pressure on carbon intensity and energy usage require creative solutions to old problems. The addition of ICM’s technologies at numerous plants has proven to help operators capture value that comes through these increased yields with lower cost of operations. Moving beyond only capacity now is the time for creative solutions that ultimately will allow skilled plants to realize maximum efficiency, maintain maximum yields and move towards product diversification to acquire long-term profitability.
Brock Beach, VP Sales and Marketing, ICM Inc.
2:30 pm – 2:45 pm Refreshment Break
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm Breakout Sessions Round II: (held concurrently)
Succession Planning & Retention for Ethanol Plant Boards of Directors
In recent years, ethanol company boards have begun to acknowledge the vital importance of effective retention programs and long-term succession planning for the Board and CEO. There is much to be said for stability on a board, for it may reflect an effective culture of competence, trust and consistency. But there is also a danger that it is leading to stagnation with some independent ethanol company boards. Top boards have begun to adopt proactive and rigorous processes to secure the very best leadership for the business that will take the company to the next level of business success.
In just about every sector, these ethanol businesses are in a state of dynamic change. Boards and CEOs are faced with some form of transformation, whether it be regulation, market disruption, innovative technologies, new business models or other forms of competitive pressure. The hallmark of a successful business is its ability to assemble the right executive and board leadership talent capable of navigating these changing conditions.
Some board members see their legacy defined as the accomplishments that were made during their tenure. Ascendant challenges boards to also measure their legacy by the talent and capability of the next generation of board and management leadership. The next class will guide the business through the changing business environment and position the business for sustainable long-term success. Ascendant will review what top boards are doing to retain board and CEO talent and come up with succession planning initiatives to get the next level leadership for the business.
- Scott McDermott, Partner, Ascendant Partners
2017 Trends in Production Efficiencies
Not only is ethanol production efficiency critical from a profitability standpoint, it's also important to demonstrate to the public that the industry is committed to using natural resources effectively and sustainably. Christianson's biofuels consultants will discuss trends in ethanol efficiencies using data from their biofuels benchmarking program, and will also examine the principal changes in efficiencies under review by thought leaders in the industry.
- Connie Lindstrom, Senior Biofuels Analyst, Christianson PLLP
Making Openings (and Re-openings) Grand
There is more to a successful retail grand opening for E15 or E30 than picking a date and setting up a live remote with the local radio station. Promotions require planning and preparation to ensure a large crowd and a positive experience for those who attend. Learn how to bring in a big crowd and send them home smiling, from people who have successfully introduced higher ethanol blends with well-executed retail promotions.
- Jim Seurer, CEO, Glacial Lakes Energy
- Pam Miller, Board Chair and Director of Industry and Investor Relations, Siouxland Ethanol
3:45 pm – 4:00 pm Refreshment Break
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Breakout Sessions Round III: (held concurrently)
Fraud – Not in Our Organization, No Way!
Is your plant protected from fraud? You trust you have safeguards in place to protect shareholders.
Most organizations think they are safe until it’s too late and fraud has occurred. We will discuss internal fraud risks, will detail the profile of a fraudster, identify the red flags and describe how common schemes are conducted. Best practices will also be provided to help prevent and detect these events.
- Eric Hansen, Eide Bailly
Taking it (Almost) to the Streets: Ethanol Direct to Retail
Infrastructure funding programs help speed the process of making high ethanol blends available to consumers, but before those programs began and after the money runs out, resourceful marketers have been moving ethanol well past the “blend wall” by supplying it at wholesale to reflect RIN value and other ethanol advantages. Hear how ethanol producers and fuel marketers are improving the availability of competitively priced ethanol through direct marketing.
- Randy Gard, Executive Director, Bosselman Enterprises
- Seth Harder, General Manager, Husker Ag LLC
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Networking Reception
Thursday, August 17, 2017
8:00 am – 11:00 am Conference Registration
8:00 am – 8:30 am Continental Breakfast
8:30 am – Noon General Session
Shifting to High-Octane Fuel
Three experts will highlight how they are putting the pedal to the metal to help automakers accelerate the transition of motor fuel to high-octane ethanol blends.
- Trey Binford, Product Manager of North America Dispensers at Wayne Fueling Systems – Trey will explain why Wayne differentiated itself as the first equipment manufacturer to exclusively offer fuel dispensers UL-listed for E25 to gasoline retailers in North America.
- Brian West, Deputy Director and Senior Development Staff Member of Fuels, Engines and Emissions Research Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory – Brian has led Department of Energy research to pave the way for higher ethanol blends and will discuss testing underway to help demonstrate the benefits of high-octane fuel to help automakers meet fuel economy and GHG reduction targets.
- Adam Gustafson, Partner at Boyden Gray & Associates – Adam has represented state governments, biofuel producers, agricultural interests, and other clients on fuel and automotive regulations. He is currently helping lead an effort to navigate the regulatory roadways which will enable automakers and consumers to experience the benefits of high-octane fuel.
Tax Reform: Opportunities and Challenges for the Ethanol Industry
Comprehensive tax reform is set to be one of the top priorities for congressional leadership and the Trump Administration. It is critical that members of the ethanol industry begin planning for how tax reform could affect profitability and competitiveness. Some provisions of tax reform could benefit the industry, while others could be detrimental. In this valuable session, you’ll learn about potential impacts of a wide variety of proposed tax changes and what ethanol businesses can do now to prepare for these looming changes to the tax code.
- Donna Funk, Principal, KCoe Isom
10:15 am – 10:45 am Refreshment Break
The behind the scenes technical and regulatory work that is needed to support the commercialization of fuels containing more ethanol and octane can be daunting, and that’s just in the U.S. Other countries have their own intimidating set of rules and regulations that must be navigated to allow ethanol-blended fuel. During this presentation Kristy Moore will discuss efforts here and abroad to set the stage for higher ethanol blends.
- Kristy Moore, Owner, KMoore Consulting LLC
Closing remarks and adjourn