Remembering the life of industry veteran Randy Ives
Posted on 12/11/2019
Pictured: Randy Ives, wife Denise, daughter gabriella, and industry friends and colleagues at ace's 2019 annual conference.
Randy Ives was honored with ACE's most prestigious award, the Merle Anderson Award, named after ACE's founder, for his distinguished contributions to the advancement of the U.S. ethanol industry during the 2019 August conference in Omaha. Duane Kristensen, ACE Board President, presented Ives with this honor, along with comments from friends and colleagues of Ives, including USGC CEO Ryan LeGrand and Greg Krissek, ACE board member representing the Kansas Corn Growers Association.
Remembrance from Dave VanderGriend, ICM Inc. CEO
It is with heavy hearts we inform you that Randy Ives, 63, of Omaha, Nebraska, passed away Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. Randy was born in Hays, Kansas, and graduated with his degree in marketing from the University of Illinois in 1985. In 1980, Randy married Denise and she traveled with him to Illinois where he finished out his college education with his degree in marketing. Upon completion of college, Randy went to work for AGP in Omaha and traveled to various locations to do the marketing at specific plant sites. In 1995 is when he first got involved with the fuel ethanol industry as he took a job with Dave VanderGriend at High Plains Corporation in Colwich, Kansas. Here, he developed the strategic marketing plan for distillers dried grains (DDGs) and corn for both the Colwich, Kansas, plant and the York, Nebraska, plant. In early 1995, Randy was one of the co-founders, along with Dave, Brad Box and Dave's brother Dennis, of ICM, Inc. Randy was the Vice President of Marketing and was responsible for marketing both distillers grains and corn procurement for the two High Plains facilities. Randy quickly grew that business to include marketing for other ethanol plants in the Midwest.
In 2002, a partnership between ICM and Fagen, Inc. formed a marketing company called United Bio-Energy. Randy went with that group and they began marketing for a number of facilities that both Fagen and ICM had built. In 2005, United Bio-Energy was sold to US Bio-Energy which eventually owned eight ethanol plants. Randy continued to office in Wichita and travel back and forth to St. Paul, Minnesota, as Senior Vice President for US Bio-Energy. When US Bio-Energy was sold to Verasun, Randy then went to work and helped start up the Hawkeye Renewable marketing program. He then moved from Wichita to Ames, Iowa, where he worked with Hawkeye for approximately three years. In 2010, Randy returned to Omaha and took a job with Gavilon which is also a large marketer of distillers grains. While there, he continued his strategic involvement with the U.S. Grains Council and was a driving force behind getting rid of the anti-dumping charges levied by the Chinese government. Randy made numerous trips to China to defend the Chinese anti-dumping claims and was instrumental in getting the ethanol industry to support those efforts. Randy was, by far, the most instrumental person in turning our DDGs from a by-product into a co-product. In 2015, he rejoined ICM as President of Pellet Tech, an ICM subsidiary, and he remained living in Omaha. In 2019, Randy was no longer able to work due to the progression of ALS causing his early retirement.
Randy has two married children. Gabriella, his daughter, lives in Omaha with her husband Alex and one-year-old son Micah. Grant, his son, lives in Lincoln with his wife Sabraand and 18-month-old daughter Sadie. They were both able to be close to him during his last months.
Throughout Randy's life around the Midwest he and Denise were always very active in a church and in the community where they were living. This resulted in many friendships throughout the Midwest and the ethanol industry. His solid faith foundation and his positive can-do attitude rubbed off on a lot of people and we are all better because of Randy. The courage and upbeat attitude Randy demonstrated as he battled this incurable disease is a tribute to his character.