Social Entrepreneur, Founder of Inua Naturals & Community Fellow, UNICEF USA
Dave VanderGriend is the founder and CEO of ICM, Inc. In addition to leading the company’s research and development (R&D) initiatives and promoting the renewable fuels industry in conjunction with the government affairs division, Dave focuses on ways to sustain agriculture and build a stronger economy on a global level. True to his philanthropic nature, he is passionate about supporting projects that integrate people, food, energy, and environmental restoration in developing countries.
Dave first experienced the effects farming has on rural communities, as well as the economy, when he grew up on a farm outside Sheldon, Iowa. Today, Dave has made it his mission to help sustain agriculture by finding innovative ways to turn grain into renewable energy, such as ethanol.
With a strong design and fabrication background, he began working in the ethanol industry when it was just getting started in the early 1970s. Before founding ICM, Dave was the vice president of operations for High Plains Corporation (now Abengoa Bioenergy), an ethanol production company. Dave left High Plains in early 1995 to start ICM in Colwich, Kansas, where it has grown from a 20-employee fabrication shop to become the ethanol industry’s leading process technology provider, with its proprietary technology integrated in more than 102 ethanol plants across North America.
In recognition of his contributions to the industry, Dave received The Renewable Fuels Association Leadership Award in 2012 for the important role he has played in “helping ethanol producers improve efficiencies, develop new technologies and product streams, and increase profitability.”