Ethanol Industry Mourns Passing of Pioneer

Chuck Zimmerman

Kathy BryanIt is with heartfelt sadness that we report that Kathy Bryan, BBI International has passed away. We received the following alert from the Renewable Fuels Association.

On Saturday, July 11, the ethanol industry lost one its true leaders and pioneers. Kathy Bryan, well-known to so many in agriculture and renewable energy, was a true pioneer for the ethanol industry. As a farm girl from Minnesota, she recognized the value-added benefits of ethanol long before it became fashionable. Kathy was ethanol before ethanol was cool.

She and her family operated a small ethanol plant in the early ‘80s. She worked for the creation of the Minnesota Ethanol Commission and became its first Chair, where she helped to shape the state’s aggressive ethanol policy, a program so successful it is now commonly referred to as the “Minnesota Model.” Later, as a board member of the Renewable Fuels Association, she lobbied for ethanol at the national level. And, of course, with her husband Mike she formed BBI, International, a global biofuels consulting and publishing company.

Renewable Fuels Association President and long time personal friend of the Bryans Bob Dinneen issued the following statement:

“Kathy was the very first person I met in the ethanol industry. She has been a mentor, a confidante and a friend for more than 20 years. I will miss her greatly.

“The thing about Kathy that will always be with me, however, is her indomitable spirit. Kathy was an indefatigable optimist and her confidence that ethanol would succeed was never shaken by misinformed detractors or volatile market conditions. She knew ethanol would prevail because it was the right thing to do for farmers, for the environment and for national security. It is no exaggeration that the U.S. ethanol industry would not be what it is today without Kathy’s passion and perseverance.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to her husband Mike Bryan and the entire Bryan family, many of whom have followed Kathy’s path and become strong ethanol advocates themselves, and each of whom Kathy loved with all her heart.”

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