4 minutes with… Mike Perry, CEO, Forest Concepts

January 1, 2015 |

bio.mikeTell us about your organization and it’s role in the advanced bioeconomy.

Under DOE/USDA SBIR projects, my company has developed and patented a low energy rotary shear machine that can process a variety of normal moisture (green) biomass including wood, corn stover, miscanthus, switchgrass and others into flowable uniform particles down to 1.6mm for optimized conversion to biofuels/ biochemicals/ pellets.

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

Our company goal is to find a large equipment company to partner with and take our rotary shear technology to a commercial scale. Although I will not mention names, we have been fortunate to begin discussions with a potential partner who brings an incredible amount of experience and know-how along with a strategy and direction to capture a leadership role in the biofuel feedstock equipment market.

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

To compete with low natural gas and gasoline prices the biofuel/biochemcial production facilities must secure long-term agreements for low cost “quality” feedstocks that optimize conversion processes and enable high yields that are economically sustainable.

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

Eliminate the “snake oil” salesmen that have not been able to live up to their claims and have tainted the market for investments.

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.

I truly believe that to be energy independent we need to develop an economically sustainable bioenergy industry to compliment our fossil fuel reserves. By doing so we will become more competitive on an international level as well as do our part in reducing pollution and trying to minimize the effects of global warming.

Where are you from? 

I was born in Upstate New York and lived in Painted Post, NY until after graduating college.

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

I was blessed with the ability to play baseball, which, along with an aptitude for math and science, got me several scholarship offers including one to attend Cornell University where I received a BS in Business. Looking back, my choice of Cornell was one of the best decisions of my life due to the quality of the education I received.

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

Having work experience at two Fortune 100s, I had the good fortune of seeing and working with several visionaries and highly skilled implementors who were the lifeblood for long-term growth and increased shareholder value. However, after being recruited by biotech startups, I quickly learned the value of cash flow, getting a return for every dollar spent and making sure we stayed focused on our goals and the process to get there. It remains a never-ending learning process.

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

I love my work and Forest Concepts, but away from work and living in the great Northwest, outdoor activities are a passion and include fly fishing, camping, elk hunting and golf.

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

Anything by Clancey, Cussler, Patterson, Ludlam, etc.

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

All of the bioenergy/biofuel journals including Biofuels Digest, Ethanol, Biomass, Wood Bioenergy, Pellet Mills, Vital, etc.

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

My family and I love to visit the Yellowstone national Park and Jackson, WY area during the summer or fall of the year. Every visit brings a new adventure as well as a reminder of how fortunate we are to live and travel in such a wonderful country.

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Category: Million Minds

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