Algae Biomass Organization to move HQ to Washington, DC

January 9, 2014 |

ABOExecutive Director Mary Rosenthal opts to not make the move; ABO commences search for new leader as “proactive role in participating and shaping a policy agenda” becomes key to trade group’s future.

In Minnesota, the Algae Biomass Organization announced that ABO headquarters will be moving to Washington, DC in the New Year.

The goal, noted ABO board chair Margaret McCormick, is “to better participate in policy-related activities and build deeper relationships with the agencies, staffers and organizations who are instrumental to moving the industry forward.” McCormick said that “we will take an even more proactive role in participating and shaping a policy agenda to accelerate the growth for our members, regardless of their industry.”

The trade group also disclosed plans to invest in additional staff to expand the number and breadth of services to a membership that increasingly includes products and industries beyond fuel.

One key figure in the algae biomass movement who will not be making the transition to DC is executive director Mary Rosenthal, who has opted to remain in the Minneapolis area.

She exits ABO after four years, during which the group blossomed from a small group of committed volunteers into a 300+ member organization including algae developers, major food products and agricultural companies, oil & energy companies, national laboratories, large fuel consumers such as airlines and delivery companies, and a range of other Fortune 500 companies.

ABO said, in an internal note to members, that it has begun the search for a new executive director “who can build on this solid foundation and accelerate the growth of the organization and the industry.” From all sources the Digest has spoken with on the ABO’s plans moving forward, they are focused on building a top-flight lobbying organization and will likely seek a high-energy DC veteran for the top post.

A Digest comment

The move to DC, and to broaden services and staffing to serve an industry that is working in multiple markets including fuels, chemicals, nutraceuticals, food supplements and more, plus its base in the scientific community — well, that’s inevitable. Washington is the best point from which to influence the policy agenda.

We’ll be intrigued to see who, in ABO’s view, has the right combination of DC savvy and algae smarts.

But we’ll be sad to see Mary Rosenthal leaving the helm. She’s been a class act as the public face of ABO these past four years.

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