Board of Directors
Michael S. Burke — Michael S. Burke was appointed as a member of the board of directors of our general partner in July 2011. Since March 2007, Mr. Burke has served as a member of the board of directors of Rentech. Mr. Burke was appointed President of AECOM Technology Corporation (NYSE:ACM), or AECOM, on October 1, 2011. AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to government and commercial clients. From December 2006 through September 2011, Mr. Burke served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of AECOM. Mr. Burke joined AECOM as Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy in October 2005. From 1990 to 2005, Mr. Burke was with the accounting firm, KPMG LLP where he served in various senior leadership positions, most recently as a Western Area Managing Partner from 2002 to 2005 and was a member of KPMG’s Board of Directors from 2000 through 2005. While on the board of directors of KPMG, Mr. Burke served as the Chairman of the Board Process and Governance Committee and a member of the Audit and Finance Committee. Mr. Burke also serves on various charitable and community boards.
John H. Diesch — Mr. Diesch was appointed President and member of the board of directors of our general partner in July 2011. He is responsible for plant operations at our facility, Rentech’s Product Demonstration Unit in Colorado, and the operation of future synthetic fuels plants, including Rentech’s proposed facility near Natchez, Mississippi. Mr. Diesch was promoted in January 2008 to President of our facility and Vice President of Operations for Rentech, positions he had held since April 2006. Joining Rentech after seven years as Managing Director of Royster-Clark Nitrogen, he previously served as Vice President and General Manager of Nitrogen Production and Distribution for IMC AgriBusiness. In 1991, he joined Vigoro Industries as Cincinnati Plant Manager after serving as Plant Manager, Production Manager and Process Engineer with Arcadian Corporation, Columbia Nitrogen Corporation and Monsanto Company. Mr. Diesch is a board member of the Gasification Technologies Council and previously held board seats at the Fertilizer Institute and with the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce, and was recently Management Chairman of the Board for the Dubuque Area Labor Management Council. Mr. Diesch is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Bemidji State University, with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Studies.
James F. Dietz — James F. Dietz was appointed as a member of the board of directors of our general partner in February 2012. Mr. Dietz has over 41 years of experience in the fertilizer and chemical industries, most recently serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (PotashCorp) from November 2000 until he retired in June 2010. While at PotashCorp, Mr. Dietz was responsible for the company’s worldwide operations as well as its Safety, Health, and Environment performance and the Procurement functions. He previously served as President of PotashCorp Nitrogen and held other executive positions at Potash Corp Nitrogen and its predecessor company Arcadian Corporation. Mr. Dietz began his career with Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio) at the Vistron Chemical Plant, working in various engineering and production supervisor positions in the nitrogen fertilizer facilities and later worked as Operations Manager in Vistron’s grassroots chemical plant. Mr. Dietz continued to work at the company through its acquisition by British Petroleum (BP) and resigned after 24 years of service to Sohio/BP to take the position of Vice President of Manufacturing with Arcadian Corporation.
Keith B. Forman — Keith B. Forman was appointed as a member of the board of directors of our general partner in October 2011. Since April 2007, Mr. Forman has been a director of Capital Product Partners L.P., a publicly traded shipping limited partnership specializing in the seaborne transportation of oil, refined oil products and chemicals. Mr. Forman currently serves as the Chairman of its conflicts committee and is a member of its audit committee. From November 2007 until March 2010, Mr. Forman served as Partner and Chief Financial Officer of Crestwood Midstream Partners LP, a private investment partnership focused on making equity investments in the midstream energy market. The other partners of Crestwood Mainstream Partners LP included the Blackstone Group L.P., Kayne Anderson Energy Funds and GSO Capital Partners LP. From February 2005 to 2007, Mr. Forman was a member of the board of directors of Kayne Anderson Energy Development, a closed-end investment fund focused on making debt and equity investments in energy companies, and was a member of its audit committee. Mr. Forman was also a member of the board of directors of Energy Solutions International Ltd., a privately held supplier of oil and gas pipeline software management systems, from April 2004 to January 2009. From January 2004 to July 2005, Mr. Forman was Senior Vice President, Finance for El Paso Corporation, a provider of natural gas services. From January 1992 to December 2003, he served as Chief Financial Officer of GulfTerra Energy Partners L.P., a publicly traded master limited partnership, and was responsible for the financing activities of the partnership, including in commercial and investment banking relationships.
D. Hunt Ramsbottom — Mr. Ramsbottom was appointed Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of our general partner in July 2011. He has over a quarter-century of experience acquiring and growing both publicly traded and privately held companies and is CEO, President and Director of Rentech. Since joining Rentech in September 2005, Mr. Ramsbottom has leveraged his extensive business and management experience to focus on commercializing Rentech’s patented clean-fuel technologies. Over the course of his career, Mr. Ramsbottom acquired nearly 70 small to medium sized-companies with strong market potential, growing them into larger, more profitable ventures and strategically taking select private companies into the public realm. He joined Rentech from Circle Funding Group LLC, a buyout firm where, as Principal and Managing Director, he spent two years acquiring a range of companies in the distribution and manufacturing sectors. From 1998 to 2005, he was CEO and Chairman of the automotive repair venture M2 Automotive. Prior to that, he led Thompson PBE for seven years, taking the company public in 1995 and growing it into the largest supplier of paints and related supplies. He also previously served as President and CEO of Kellow Brown, a printer, packager and distributor for major computer hardware and software clients. Mr. Ramsbottom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Plymouth State College.
Michael F. Ray — Michael F. Ray was appointed as a member of the board of directors of our general partner in July 2011. Since May 2005, Mr. Ray has served as a member of the board of directors of Rentech. Mr. Ray founded and, since 2001, has served as President of ThioSolv, LLC. ThioSolv, LLC is in the business of developing and licensing technology to the refining and chemical sector. Also, since May 2005, Mr. Ray has served as General Partner of GBTX Leasing, LLC, a company that owns and leases rail cars for the movement of liquid chemicals and salts. Since 2008, Mr. Ray has served as a member of the board of directors and the Technology Committee, for Cyanco Holdings, LLC, a producer of sodium cyanide in the Western United States, and a subsidiary of Oaktree Capital Management, which holds a controlling interest in the company. From 1995 to 2001, Mr. Ray served as Vice President of Business Development for the Catalyst and Chemicals Division of The Coastal Corporation, a company that principally gathered, processed, stored and distributed natural gas. Mr. Ray served as President (from 1990 to 1995), Vice President of Corporate Development and Administration (from 1986 to 1990) and Vice President of Carbon Dioxide Marketing (from 1985 to 1986) of Coastal Chem, Inc., a manufacturer of dry ice and solid carbon dioxide. Mr. Ray served as Regional Operations Manager (from 1981 to 1985) and Plant Manager (from 1980 to 1981) of Liquid Carbonic Corporation, a seller of carbon dioxide products. Mr. Ray previously served as a member of the board of directors of Coastal Chem, Inc., Cheyenne LEADS and Wyoming Heritage Society. Mr. Ray also served on the Nitrogen Fertilizer Industry Ad Hoc Committee, the University of Wyoming EPSCOR Steering Committee and Wyoming Governor’s committee for evaluating state employee compensation. The board of directors of our general partner has determined that Mr. Ray brings to the board valuable knowledge of and experience in the chemical and nitrogen fertilizer industries and directorial and governance experience as a director of Coastal Chem, Inc., and therefore he should serve on the board of directors of our general partner.
Halbert S. Washburn — Halbert S. Washburn was appointed as a member of the board of directors of our general partner in July 2011. Since December 2005, Mr. Washburn has served as a member of the board of directors of Rentech, and since June 2011 has served as its Chairman. Mr. Washburn has over 25 years of experience in the energy industry. Since April 2010, Mr. Washburn has been the Chief Executive Officer of Breitburn GP, LLC, the general partner of BreitBurn Energy Partners LP. Since August 2006 until April 2010, Mr. Washburn was the co-Chief Executive Officer and served on the board of directors of BreitBurn GP, LLC. He has served as the co-President and a director of BreitBurn Energy Corporation since 1988. He also has served as a co-Chief Executive Officer and a director for BreitBurn Energy Holdings, LLC and as co-Chief Executive Officer and a director of BEH (GP), LLC. Mr. Washburn previously served as Chairman on the Executive Committee of the board of directors of the California Independent Petroleum Association. He also served as Chairman of the Stanford University Petroleum Investments Committee and as Secretary and Chairman of the Wildcat Committee. The board of directors of our general partner has determined that Mr. Washburn brings to the board knowledge of our business and extensive experience with master limited partnerships, including his service as an executive officer and director of several BreitBurn entities, and therefore he should serve on the board of directors of our general partner.