After only six months of operation, the Renewable Fuels Association’s Young Professionals Network recently onboarded its 100th member. The YPN was formed last summer as an initiative to bring together innovative and dedicated young professionals from across the country who are 39 years old and younger and employed full time by a company in the U.S. ethanol industry. Since its inception, the YPN has hosted multiple virtual networking events and learning opportunities, including a webinar last November that featured leaders from the fuel retail sector.
“I joined the YPN to meet new industry colleagues and was excited to be a part of an organization that is helping to shape the future of our industry,” said Cody Painter, an electrician and instrumentation technician at Mid-Missouri Energy. “In a short amount of time, the YPN has been instrumental for many in building relationships in the renewable fuels arena and I predict it will be a key contributor in developing new ideas that are going to expand possibilities for ethanol producers, stakeholders, and consumers.”
In addition to a full calendar of events, the YPN also gained a principal sponsor when Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits signed on to support the Network’s initiatives as part of their company’s mission to educate the next generation of ethanol industry leaders. Some of the members of the YPN have also formed a working group that is dedicated to assisting the industry in recruiting and retaining top-notch talent and plans to host projects that will provide resources to companies across the industry in assisting their employee recruitment efforts.
“RFA’s YPN gives me the opportunity to connect with other young professionals and to learn about our industry and the folks it comprises,” said Janet Fisher, enzyme product category manager at Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits. “As an employee of the title sponsor, Lallemand Biofuels and Distilled Spirits, I am interested in creating stronger ties with and providing support for our future leaders, thereby promoting the long-term health of North American fuel ethanol. I encourage other young professionals to join us. Connect, share your experiences, and engage with us to focus efforts on the development of our next generation of ethanol industry leaders.”
A membership with the RFA’s Young Professionals Network is free, and applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. Members are required to participate in at least one engagement (event, webinar, etc.) per year to maintain their membership status and some events will be held in-person in conjunction with meetings and conferences once COVID-related restrictions are lifted. To learn more and access the YPN application, go to EthanolRFA.org/YPN.