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A Tribute: The Ethanol Industry Remembers Two Influential Leaders
by Kristin Brekke

Kathy Bryan, BBI International President and co-founder

Well-known ethanol industry veteran Kathy Bryan, BBI International President and co-founder, passed away at her Salida, Colorado home on July 11 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Bryan, 63, was the publisher of Biodiesel Magazine, Biomass Magazine and Ethanol Producer Magazine, serving as Editor-in-Chief of the latter for several years.

Kathy was born August 29, 1945 in St. Petersburg, Florida to Weldon and Verla Hulse and was youngest of two children, the eldest being her sister Barbara. She graduated from Mound High School in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota. Kathy married Rudiger Graf in 1966, with whom she raised six children on a small farm in Watertown, Minnesota. Kathy remarried in 1992 to Mike Bryan and lived in St. Louis before moving to Colorado.

Together, Kathy and Mike co-founded BBI International as a renewable fuels consulting business. The global headquarters was in Cotopaxi for seven years before the business relocated to Salida in 2004. Kathy played an instrumental role in shaping the company into a leading international publications, conference and technical services company for the bioenergy industry.

She was a well-known and respected figure in the renewable fuels industry and instrumental in the growth of the renewable fuels movement in the United States and around the world. She was an influential member of numerous industry, agricultural, and environmental committees and organizations. Her passion was to forge relationships between industry and communities to help grow rural economies and protect the environment.
In May of 2008, Kathy was diagnosed with metastatic ovarian cancer, which ultimately took her life. She is survived by her husband Mike; six children, Stephanie, Angela, Nicole, Edric, Gabriella, and Ariana, along with three step-children, Randy, Joe, and Tom; 14 grandchildren, her sister Barbara, and two nieces and a nephew.

She was loved by all who knew her and left a legacy of “doing the right thing,” undying enthusiasm, and deep respect and support for all she knew – family, friends, colleagues, and community alike. Her spirit will live on forever.

Dr. Ray Katzen, KATZEN International

Dr. Raphael “Ray” Katzen passed away on July 12 at the age of 93. Dr. Katzen was an engineer, inventor, businessman, and entrepreneur who had an unwavering commitment to and lifelong vision for the fuel ethanol industry and its potential for making the world a better place.

After graduating from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn with a Doctorate of Chemical Engineering, Ray worked for 16 years in the chemical industry before creating Raphael Katzen Associates International, Inc. in 1954. He chaired the company for four decades before turning over the ownership and operation of KATZEN International to those personally selected and trained. He continued as adviser and also conducted his personal practice as an independent consultant to the ethanol industry.

His experience with ethanol began while working at Vulcan Cincinnati, a company awarded a government contract to build an ethanol plant using wood waste as a feedstock. Dr. Katzen then turned his attention to pre-Castro Cuba and created a modern ethanol industry there. Engineers from Brazil visited Cuba to see the success of ethanol there and learned about sugarcane-based fuel from Dr. Katzen.

After the Castro regime expelled Ray, his company consolidated operations in Cincinnati with a focus on the ethanol industry. He worked with the U.S. Department of Energy on a report mapping a path for the development of a fuel ethanol industry in the United States. In 1980 Katzen designed a 60 million gallon per year ethanol plant in South Point, Ohio – at that time the world’s largest coal-fired dry mill fuel ethanol plant. In the years to follow, the company designed, built, and consulted on numerous plants with a variety of feedstocks in a number of countries. In his later years, Ray refocused his energies on developing new technologies in cellulosic ethanol.

Dr. Katzen was honored by many prestigious awards and accolades throughout his career. Ray worked until the very end for the advancement of the ethanol industry, in which he believed so strongly. He lived his life, both professionally and personally, with Selma Katzen, his partner and lovely wife of more than 71 years. Ray is survived by his daughter Nancy and husband Richard, and three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Dr. Katzen’s wisdom and commitment to excellence will live on in the achievements of those whose lives he touched.

 
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The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industryís hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanolís carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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