Just a few ethanol industry pioneers were present at the first Fuel Ethanol Workshop in St. Louis some 23 years ago.
This week, attendees at the 2007 FEW filled the floor of the America’s Center arena, numbering more than 5200, with over 700 exhibitors filling the expo hall.
“How many in this audience were here at that very first one?” asked Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen at the opening general session. “You ought to stand up.” Not very many people were standing, but Dinneen noted that they are the true pioneers of the ethanol industry. “Those are the people that deserve a lot of credit for where our industry has come.”
As the first speaker for the event, Dinneen outlined the success of the industry and stressed the importance of issues that need to be addressed for future growth, including food vs. fuel, quality and safety.
He said that 20 years from now participants at the conference will fill the entire arena. “Each of you will have some measure of pride to take in what we are building,” he said.
Listen to Bob Dinneen’s opening address from FEW here: [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/rfa/few-07-dinneen-speech.MP3]