Advanced Biofuels


GranBio Launches U.S. Operations and Names Vonnie Estes Managing Director-U.S.

Date Posted: April 26, 2013

Sao Paulo, Brazil and San Francisco, CA—GranBio, a Brazil-based leader in advanced biorefineries, announced April 26 it will open its US operations office and named industry leader, Vonnie Estes, Managing Director – US.

In this new role, Ms. Estes will lead GranBio’s efforts to access new technologies and establish key public and private collaborations for the company’s continued global expansion in advanced biorefinery development.

The U.S. operations will be headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

Vonnie Estes brings to GranBio over two decades of experience leading technology and commercial development programs for global chemical companies.

This includes building new businesses through multi-million dollar partnerships and new value chains in technology-focused businesses.

She has extensive, worldwide experience in biofuels, biobased products and agricultural biotechnology.

Ms. Estes joins GranBio from Codexis, Inc (NASDAQ: CDXS), a developer of engineered enzymes for pharmaceutical, biofuel and chemical production, where she most recently was Vice President of Corporate Development.

Prior to CDXS, she was the Chief Commercial Officer at DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol (DDCE) as Executive Vice President, Business Development.

Prior to joining DDCE, she led DuPont’s commercialization program for cellulosic ethanol.

Her multifunctional team was responsible for the $140 million joint venture between DuPont and Danisco.

Before DuPont, Ms. Estes managed the biofuels platform and strategic alliances at Syngenta.

She went to Syngenta after stints at several start-up agricultural biotechnology companies and three years at Monsanto.

“GranBio intends to expand its profile in North America and our new office in the United States will allow us to build a team and execute our strategy,” said Alan Hiltner, Executive Vice President, GranBio.

“We are extremely pleased that Ms. Estes will lead our effort.

"Her track record of success at large, established multi-national and early stage start-up companies is the mark of a true entrepreneurial spirit and savvy industry trendsetter.

"These are exactly the qualities we want to be known for as GranBio begins its strategic global expansion.”

In April, GranBio completed the acquisition of a 25% equity investment in the North American Cleantech pioneer American Process Inc. (API).

Under the agreement, GranBio will have access to a proprietary biomass pretreatment platform that makes it possible to cost-effectively develop cellulosic sugars as a feedstock for conversion to a variety of biochemicals and biofuels.

For more information, call + 55 11 4873 7618.

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