4 Minutes With…Joanne M. Ivancic, President, Advanced Biofuels USA

October 16, 2014 |

ivancicTell us about your organization and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

Advanced Biofuels USA, a nonprofit educational organization advocates for the adoption of advanced biofuels as an energy security, military flexibility, economic development and climate change mitigation/pollution control solution. Our key tool for accomplishing this is our web site, 14,000+ indexed articles. Technology neutral, feedstock agnostic.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

In addition to trying to keep our library of posts of articles about biofuels and advanced biofuels up to date and comprehensive, we hope to publish an updated version of an easy-to-read engaging quick “Guide to Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts” which we will present to the new Congress this winter. We are looking for sponsors to help us give Congressional staff, reporters and the general public a better understanding of policy, products, technology and promise of advanced biofuels.

We would also like to publish a children’s book about the carbon life cycle from the point of view of a carbon atom. From the whoosh of of being flung into the atmosphere as CO2 through life in a plant, digestion and belching of a cow back into the air, through life as a fuel combusted in an engine to eventually becoming part of a leaf that falls to the ground, sleeps and dreams of its birth in the belly of a star. We’ll educate children as well as the adults who read them the book.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?

Taxing carbon and financially recognizing “externalities.”
Understanding how engines and fuels work together. And how renewable fuels can help engines work more efficiently, with less pollution and with greater health benefits, as well as climate change mitigation advantages–a milestone for industry, general public and policy makers.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change?

I would increase the general public’s perception of the urgency for transitioning from fossil-based to renewable energy in all its forms, including the need to transition to renewable transportation fuels. Not only in the US, but around the globe.
Those using black soot-polluting cooking fuel would transition to home-grown ethanol or biodiesel

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?

Reasoning that influenced getting in: When oil hit $150/barrel or gasoline hits $5.00/gallon in the US, and people are looking for a continuation of the country’s energy policy (i.e., cheap transportation fuel), we’ll be ready. Still compelling: This is an industry of wonderful people, true believers who will enable sustainable comfortable habitation.

Where are you from? 

Born and reared on the North Coast, Ohio, east of Cleveland in the foothills of the Appalachians. As an adult, lived in Washington, DC and Frederick, MD. Study of the United Nations System via Kent State University in Geneva, Switzerland and Europe.

What was your undergraduate major in college, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway? 

Political Science and German. I went to college to learn to be a good citizen–thus the political science. I’d learned a bit of Spanish and French in elementary and high school, but had no opportunity to learn German. I figured the world was a small place and I should know how to communicate in more than one language.

Who do you consider your mentors? What have you learned from them?

Too many people to mention. I tap into memories of something someone said once or how someone else lived; different lessons from each-sometimes what to emulate; and sometimes the lesson is what not to do.

My grandmothers influenced me greatly, each very different from the other. Both left their homes in their teens to seek their fortunes on their own in a land where they didn’t speak the primary language. They had interesting and successful lives even though at times they were penniless.

What’s the biggest lesson you ever learned during a period of adversity?

I love this question and learn a lot from the answers of others.
I’m still in a period of adversity. I am learning to have a long view while taking one day, one moment at a time. And valuing each moment.

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry? 

Hiking. The Appalachian Trail is near home and wonderful. We are hiking it in one-day pieces; have finished Maryland and pieces of Pennsylvania and Virginia. It amazing to see how different each section is one from another along the same summit. Gardening. Herbs and vegetables. Watching CO2 gathered from air mix with water to arrange itself…

What 3 books would you take to read, if stranded on a desert island?

Moby Dick (a great gay fish story with lots of water, so I’d have hope for rescue)
Kama Sutra (I haven’t read it yet. If I was stranded alone–fodder for a healthy fantasy life; if with other(s) text for interesting experimentation)
Basic Manual about wilderness survival suited to the location; I know nothing of these things-never a girl scout.

What books or articles are on your reading list right now, or you just completed and really enjoyed?

My book club list:Clybourne Park Bruce Norris
Still Life with Bread Crumbs Anna Quindlen
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel Ari Shavit
Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, The Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America Gilbert King
A Lesson Before Dying Ernest J. Gaines
A Call to Action: Women, Religion…Jimmy Carter

What’s your favorite city or place to visit, for a holiday?

Northern Ohio along Lake Erie. Visiting parents and get to “look at the lake” even when its too cold to swim. It’s so calming.Hawaii when I was in shape to windsurf. I’m trying to visit family, friends and interesting biofuels people where they live. Lately OH,TN, LA, PA, TX. Stories bring history, art, agriculture, architecture, panoramas.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Million Minds

Thank you for visting the Digest.