Financial conference attendance indicates growing interest

By | October 13, 2006
The 2nd Annual Biofuels Financial Conference, hosted by Christianson & Associates PLLP, may be an indication of the growing financing sector of the biodiesel industry. Attendance at the Aug. 17-18 conference in Des Moines more than doubled the number that attended in 2005.

Seventy-five attendees from biofuels industries-10 representing biodiesel companies-and robust discussions about current issues made the event a success, according to Christianson & Associates representatives.

"I think the discussion was more detailed this year, and I think we had a very good crowd, including industry board members, comptrollers and CFOs," said Joel Gratz, a Christianson & Associates partner and certified public accountant. "It was a good group to bounce ideas off of."

One strength of the conference is the large amount of group discussion, made possible by the smaller numbers in each of the hour-long sessions, Gratz said. Issues were addressed openly, and it added value for everyone to share in the experience of someone else in their industry, he added.

Gratz was one of nine speakers during the conference, which focused on topics such as U.S. Securities and Exchange reporting and requirements, people and performance management, and financial statement and audit preparation. Brian Jennings of the American Coalition for Ethanol gave a dinner speech promoting renewable fuels as one industry that is making a difference.
As the biofuels industry continues to grow significantly each year, Gratz hopes to also expand the Biofuels Financial Conference. Next year's event aims to double attendance again, he said. Although plans are not definite, Christianson & Associates is considering Sioux Falls for its 2007 event with the intent to hold it during the same week in August.
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