David R. Walker
Mr. Walker has been in the food, juice, and alcohol business for over 30 years. Mr. Walker is President of Benchmark, a family owned business that was started by his father, Mr. Charles S. Walker, over 65 years ago. The company is the world leader in citrus process equipment fabrication and has supplied over 95% of all the citrus concentrate, food processing, and waste heat recovery systems worldwide in the citrus industry.
Under Mr. Walker’s leadership, the company has provided process design, machinery, and equipment for beer processing, fishmeal, barley dehydration, rum distilleries, sugarcane, corn ethanol, and cellulosic ethanol businesses. Mr. Walker is currently working on advanced biofuel ethanol projects as well as nutrient recovery and discharge water cleaning systems for sewage treatment effluent and bio-solids waste treatment systems.
Rick Eastman will operate as the CEO and General Manager of the Advanced Bio-fuel facility. With 35 years experience in the ethanol industry, Mr. Eastman is one of the original shareholders of Pacific Ethanol. He brings a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of managing the Bio-fuel business to the position.
Terry A. Ruse
Terry Ruse has been involved in the ethanol industry for over thirty-five years and will control all plant process operations, quality control and customer product off-take operations. Mr. Ruse has been in several advising committees on Renewable Energy , both at the state and federal level.
Chief Financial officer
Juan Briceno is the CFO in charge of financial operations of the company. He also oversees business developing and execution of additional projects. Mr. Briceno's background included 34 years in the spirits and ethanol industry as an owner/operator. He also brings experience in financial responsibilities with multinational corporations and global operations. Mr. Briceno is a Commercial pilot with over 5,000 hours of flight time.
Richard G. Walz
Chief technology officer
Mr. Walz has been in the process engineering industry for over 30 years. Mr. Walz has worked both inside the U.S. and internationally and is currently the Vice President of Benchmark Design, LLC. Mr. Walz’ international experience includes working in an advisory role as the Chief of Management Information Systems for the Royal Commission of the government of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Walz also worked as an advisor in Brazil for the Ministry of Transportation in the state of Bahia working on national transportation policy.
Mr. Walz managed a lime citrus processing plant in Florida making pectin and lime juice concentrates. Benchmark Design, LLC provided the equipment to the lime citrus plant. In 1990, Mr. Walz joined Benchmark and was placed in charge of International Sales, Project development and Processing.
Mr. Walz was a member of the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command with a top secret clearance and helped develop contingency plans for nuclear war scenarios. Mr. Walz received his B.S. in Engineering Science and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University.
agricultural management operations & farming technology
Keith Holesinger is the farm manager in charge of the crop from planting, harvesting and transportation to the production facility . The farming operation utilizes the latest technology available for crop control assuring maximum yield . Holesinger is a member of a third-generation farming family with over 8,000 acres currently in corn and bean production. Keith has conducted extensive research on Sweet Sorghum and is a Beta tester of John Deere new equipment.
Sergio Barreira, Technology and Engineering Integration
Mr. Barreira was instrumental in building the Brazilian Ethanol Industry. With more than 40 years of professional experience, he holds an Engineering degree and an MBA from the Universidad de Sao Paulo Brazil. He held positions in Alfa Laval, Codistil SA/ Dedini and NG Metalurgica as Ethanol Engineer, Engineering Manager and Engineering Director. He is currently the President of Destiltec Consultoria em Procesos Industriais Ltda.
Mr. Barreira is considered one of the world's foremost authorities in the sugar to ethanol industry.