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Plenary Program

AFCC Conference Plenary Program

Plenary Program Information


There will be three plenaries with featured keynote opinion and thought leaders as they discuss the state of play for the areas of growth opportunities. Attendees will learn about the necessary factors to successful commercialization and decarbonization in sustainable aviation fuels, alternative fuels, renewable chemicals (includes bioplastics), biomaterials, food ingredients and additives, flavors and fragrances, alternative proteins, and regenerative agriculture.


The plenaries at the conference will include diverse and dynamic speakers, a broad range of content from keynotes to panel discussions and innovation for a sustainable future. All other sessions will stop for the plenaries.

Lunch Plenary Session, Monday, November 7

Opening Remarks from USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (Invited)


Sustainability in Industrial Biotechnology – Is it Measurable?

Monday, November 7, 11:45 - 1:15 PM

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Sponsor Remarks from:

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Roger Wyse, Founder & Managing Partner, Spruce Capital Partners


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Dawn Emerson

Group Sustainability & External Affairs Leader


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Manoj Kumar

Chief Technology Officer & Vice President Plant Protein

Louis Dreyfus Company


David Livingstone

Managing Director

Citigroup Global Markets

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Samir Somaiya




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Richard Haldimann

Chief Technology & Sustainability Officer


Sustainability and its finance-oriented cousin, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) are increasingly becoming important globally and technologies are now driving sustainable and ethical sourcing.  Investors are increasingly applying non-financial factors as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities.  ESG and carbon emissions accounting are impacting on how global regulations are shaping the ESG disclosure field.  Sustainability is forcing companies and their investors to change, they are no longer nice-to-do activities but core to reducing risk, ensuring resilience, attracting talent and seizing new opportunities.  Industrial biotechnology companies are under the sustainability limelight and are looking at the entire supply chain from farm gate to consumer biobased products in renewable chemicals for flavors and fragrances, food health ingredients, biobased materials and biofuels.  We will hear from organizations having global footprint on the myriad ways they are addressing today’s sustainability, environmental and social challenges.  SEC-mandated carbon emissions reporting will be discussed and its impact to companies.

Breakfast Plenary Session, Tuesday, November 8

Vanguard Biobased Materials and their Applications

Tuesday, November 8, 8:00 - 9:30 am

Sponsor Remarks from:

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Jesse Daystar, Chief Sustainability Officer, Vice President, Sustainability, Cotton Incorporated


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Rich Altice

President &



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Brad Boren

Chief Sustainability Officer & Director of Innovation


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Mark Herrema




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Michael Saltzberg


Covation Biomaterials

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Jon Veldhouse



The breakfast plenary session on Tuesday, November 8, will focus on an eye-opening insight into how far we are in integrating impactful biomaterial innovative solutions into existing supply chains and for mass-scale adoption.  The panelists will provide their experiences in promoting a new biobased economy through partnerships and collaborations. 

The biobased economy is driving consumers towards a net-zero carbon by 2050, the panelists are leading the charge towards a sustainable supply chain.  They will share their stories on how they are moving the world away from fossil fuels without compromising on performance.  We will hear how these biobased materials can drop into any existing consumer product, in the adoption for apparels, materials, and other industries. 

Lunch Plenary Session, Tuesday, November 8

​​Opening Remarks: Jigar Shah, Executive Director, U.S. Department of Energy Loan Program Officer



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Sponsor Remarks From:


Fly the Sky Economically and Climate Smart

Tuesday, November 8, 11:45 - 1:15 PM

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Kate Gordon, Senior Advisor to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Department of Energy


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John Briere

Director, Fuel Supply & Trading




Jaelith Hall-Rivera

Deputy Chief State and Private Forestry

USDA Forest Service

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Shishir Joshipura

CEO & Managing Director

Praj Industries

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Eric McAfee





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Kelly Nodzak

Global Director Jet Fuel Procurement & Operations

Delta Air Lines

The contribution to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of global climate change from growing accumulations of greenhouse gases have increased the planet’s global average surface temperature by an estimated 1.1 0C. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that the planet will continue to warm until at least the middle of the century.  Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) has the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions and airlines are searching ways to reduce their impact from renewable sources, executives and government leaders need to align on a meaningful pathway to accelerate aviation’s decarbonization through use of forest residuals and insect infested trees piling in forests creating catastrophic wildfire, which can be deployed from federal and tribal lands for use as renewable resources to produce SAF.  Currently, there is no market for this biomass waste and tools such as the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) exist which can effectively be used to reduce wildfire.  The government officials overseeing forest lands, airline executives, and producers on the panel will provide insight on avenues of working together to combat the barriers for the use of forest residuals as a major source of feedstock for SAF.

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