Get a Look at our Everything Counts Conference Agenda

ACE's 2023 CONFERENCE FEATURES a range of topics.

*Speaker presentations linked throughout


Wednesday, August 23, 2023

2:00 pm – 7:00 pm               Conference Registration & Company Display Setup Open                

                                                    Atrium, Level 4

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm               Welcome Reception

                                                    Atrium, Level 4                       

Thursday, August 24, 2023

8:00 am – 5:00 pm               Conference Registration

                                                    Atrium, Level 4                        

8:00 am                               Continental Breakfast         

                                                  Atrium + Ballroom 3/4

Sponsored by:                       

8:30 am – 12:00 pm          General Session

 Ballroom 1/2

Everything Counts:  Updates from ACE Leadership

                              • Dave Sovereign, Board President, ACE (representing Golden Grain Energy)
                              • Brian Jennings, CEO, American Coalition for Ethanol
                              • Ron Lamberty, CMO, American Coalition for Ethanol


Keynote: Ethanol Outlook in a Changing Energy Market Landscape

                              • Tom Kloza, Global Head of Energy Analysis, Oil Price information Service, an IHS-Markit company

A rapidly evolving energy market poses opportunities and challenges for ethanol. This keynote presentation from a leading market expert will provide useful insight on shifting market dynamics and how to best navigate them.

9:45 am – 10:10 am            Refreshment Break


  Sponsored by: 


Untangling and Maximizing IRA Biofuel Incentives

Moderator: Brian Werner, Executive Director, MN Bio-Fuels Association

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 is poised to transform the clean energy movement and propel low carbon fuel technologies through significant tax credits and benefits, including enhancements to Sections 45, 45Q, 45V, 48 and the new Section 45Z of the Internal Revenue Code, and some hidden gems that are getting less attention. There are many details which affect the applicability and monetization of these tax credits for ethanol producers. Join three leading consulting firms who have the expertise to untangle the details and help develop strategies for maximizing your potential benefits.


Cultivating Progress: Climate-Smart Farming for Carbon Markets

Moderator: Brian Jennings, CEO, American Coalition for Ethanol

                              • Jonathon Lehman, Founder, Cultivating Conservation
                              • Brennan Lewis, Research Associate, South Dakota State University
                              • Ron Alverson, Board Member, Dakota Ethanol

ACE is working to validate the benefits farm-level practices have in reducing corn ethanol’s carbon footprint, enabling farmers and ethanol producers to benefit from clean fuel markets. Hear about this first-of-its-kind project in South Dakota to illuminate the path forward to increase ethanol value and demand based on climate-smart farming practices.


Special Virtual Address: U.S. Representative Angie Craig (MN-2)


12:15 pm – 1:15 pm             Luncheon & Awards Presentation

Ballroom 3/4

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



Exploring Opportunities and Challenges in Plant Staffing and Administration

                              • Sara DeRoo, CPA, Partner, Christianson PLLP
                              • Connie Lindstrom, Senior Biofuels Analyst, Christianson Benchmarking
                              • Barb Bontrager, lead consultant for Virtual Business Management Services, Beyond (A Christianson Company)

Retaining skilled personnel has become increasingly important and difficult. Exploring data gathered from ethanol plants across the country, as part of Christianson’s annual labor survey, this discussion will provide insight into current standard practices, and how administrative and production labor can impact your plant’s financial opportunities today and in the future. Attendees will learn best practices for creating an agile business model that pivots as employee’s needs change, as well as how to ensure board and management work together to keep a plant competitive.


Fermentation Treatment and Technology

Good fermentation management can save producers money, ease the workload, create consistency and predictability, improve efficiency and production, and the list goes on. This panel looks at successful fermentation management strategies and dives in on topics like antibiotic applications for bacteria control. The panel will also uncover the role of enzymes in sustainable fermentation and advancements in microorganisms and processes to enhance fermentation.


Climate-Smart Agriculture and Ethanol’s CI

Moderator: Ron Alverson, Farmer & Board Member, Dakota Ethanol

                              • Trish Jackson, PhD-Director of Regenerative Agriculture, PrairieFood
                              • Danielle Duran, Product Analytics, Verity Tracking, Gevo
                              • Chandler Mazour, Product Manager, Verity Tracking, Gevo

Corn production is responsible for about half or more of ethanol’s lifecycle GHG emissions. With lifecycle carbon performance playing an ever-growing role in the long-term success of an ethanol facility, quantifying carbon intensity (CI) is at the farm level is essential. This session will highlight companies working to help farmers implement climate-smart farming practices that could eventually reap financial benefits for the producer and ultimately help decarbonize the ethanol production supply chain.

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm               Refreshment Break


Sponsored by: 


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



Board Succession Planning: How to Determine if you Have an Effective Board

Your board is an important tool for making decisions at the plant, and a succession plan is key to its continued success. This panel will provide valuable insights and guidance on assessing the effectiveness of a board of directors and implementing a robust succession plan. Experts will share practical strategies and tools for conducting board assessments, defining clear succession plans, and developing a pipeline of qualified board candidates. Attendees will gain actionable knowledge to enhance governance practices, ensure continuity, and drive organizational success through effective board succession planning.


Unlocking Corn Oil Extraction and Utilization Advancements

                              • Anne Chronic, Director, Market Analytics, Phibro
                              • Bob Fesser, Technical Sales Manager, Trucent
                              • Chuck Gallop, Director of Innovation, ICM

This session brings together technology providers to discuss innovative methods and technologies for maximizing the potential of distillers corn oil (DCO) as a valuable co-product in the ethanol production process, as well as a valuable feedstock for current and emerging markets like renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). This session will highlight emerging trends and what’s being done to unlock the full value and potential of corn oil in today’s market, including how to utilize analytics to deploy refinement and optimization strategies.


Engineering Carbon Reduction

From large capital projects to smaller energy improvements, plants must focus on how best to capitalize on the new incentives available under the Inflation Reduction Act. This session will highlight some specific cutting-edge, carbon-reducing technologies available to the ethanol industry, as well as how to review common carbon intensity (CI) reduction technologies and determine the best CI reduction strategies based on facility specific advantages and challenges.

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm               Refreshment Break 



4:00 pm – 5:00 pm               Breakout Sessions Round III: (held concurrently)



Workforce Evolution: Harnessing the Power of your Current Workforce and the Future Role of AI Technology

The workerless plant is closer than ever with advancements in AI. These plants will self-optimize, utilize robots, put in work orders for maintenance, and perform their own lab work. There are currently solutions to integrate your data to AI to present you with ideas and alerts. While not here yet for ethanol, creating your own pipeline of talent with a sustainable workforce is key, and you can even use AI and chat GPT for hiring, staffing and succession planning. This session will cover how to use digital tools to develop an even more intimate relationship with your customers and change how you serve the industry, while leaving you with strategies for successful hiring.


Maximizing Your Energy Resources

                              • Brad Thompson, Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions
                              • James Knight, President, Bioleap
                              • Delbert Grotewold, Senior Technical Consultant, Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions

Regulations and incentives to lower carbon intensity become more prominent every year. This session will uncover technologies and best practices to maximize profitability while decreasing the energy resources used and downtime. One of these big resources is water. This panel will share specific contaminants, optimum treatment approaches, and new innovations to minimize and reuse water, including technology to recover water and utilize waste energy to produce clean, boiler-quality steam.


Real Time CI Scoring for Ethanol Producers

Moderator: Brian Jennings, CEO, American Coalition for Ethanol

                              • Preston Brown, Director of Agribusiness, nZero
                              • Austin Vaillancourt, Sr. Business. Manager, Biofuels and Bioproducts, Gevo
                              • Ben Parsley, Director of Operations, SIRE

As it’s becoming increasingly important for ethanol producers and farmers to calculate the upside potential of investing in practices, products and technologies to reduce carbon intensity, tools to track carbon performance continue to advance, including comprehensive and dynamic real-time and scoring. This session will feature platforms to help ethanol producers and farmers realize their unique CI score to maximize revenues.

5:30 pm                             Networking Reception

Target Field - Minnesota Twins versus Texas Rangers Game

                                  Sponsored by:   

Friday, August 25, 2023

8:00 am – 11:00 am             Conference Registration


8:00 am – 8:30 am               Continental Breakfast

   Atrium + Ballroom 3/4

8:30 am – Noon                  General Session

                                                     Ballroom 1/2

E15 & Flex Fuel Roadmap: Small Retailers Clearing Roadblocks and Blazing Trails for Ethanol Availability

Moderator: Ron Lamberty, CMO, American Coalition for Ethanol

                              • Bruce Vollan, Owner, Vollan Oil Company
                              • Glenn Badenhop, President, American Freedom Energy

When we hear about stations offering higher ethanol blends, it's usually larger retail chains who’ve made the switch. But nearly every big chain was prodded into action by a brave individual with a smaller operation in a place like Baltic, South Dakota, or Liberty Center, Ohio, who added higher blends early on. These small-town retailers identified E15 and Flex Fuels as opportunities to grow their business by offering their customers cleaner, low-cost fuels that support their local economy, and their success forced the "big guys" to consider higher blends to keep up. Hear from two early high blend adopters about what they’ve learned over years of marketing E15 & flex fuels, some of the battles they’ve had to fight, and how ethanol has impacted their businesses.


The Journey to Capture, Store, and Utilize Carbon

Moderator: Dave Sovereign, Board President, ACE (representing Golden Grain Energy)

Game-changing enhancements to the 45Q tax credit for carbon capture, utilization, and storage have jump-started many innovative projects and opportunities. This panel will cover everything from permitting, construction, and operation of pipeline projects to CO2 utilization opportunities for ethanol producers. 

10:30 am – 10:55 am          Refreshment Break


Sponsored by: 


Outlook for Exports

                              • Mackenzie Boubin, Director of Global Ethanol Export Development, U.S. Grains Council

Developing export markets and supportive trade and clean fuel policies around the world are critically important to growing demand for biofuels. Hear from the U.S. Grains Council on opportunities and challenges to increase ethanol and coproduct markets globally and how they’ve shifted over the past few years. 

Noon                                 Adjourn & Company Display Takedown 

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