PBPC2024: Circular Solutions will explore the innovations, business models, and policies influencing the entire lifecycle of bioproducts in the promotion of a more circular economy. Attendees will hear from, and network with, industry leaders, policymakers, brands, and experts through panels, keynotes, networking sessions, and more
We attract influential, visionary experts and leaders worldwide, who have the knowledge, experience, and capabilities to engage and stimulate innovative dialogue amongst their peers.
Stay tuned for more information. We’ll add speakers here as they are confirmed.
Governor of Nebraska
Governor Jim Pillen was sworn in as Nebraska’s 41st Governor on January 5, 2023.
He enters office with the goal of protecting, training, and keeping our kids in Nebraska, cutting taxes, growing agriculture, and defending our commonsense, conservative values.
Governor Pillen grew up on a farm in Platte County, Nebraska and raised pigs with his father, Dale. He graduated from Lakeview High School.
He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from UNL, and married Suzanne Shreve. Governor Pillen then earned a doctor of veterinary medicine from Kansas State. In 1983, he returned to Nebraska and opened a small animal practice and swine consulting practice.
Governor Pillen and his father, Dale, partnered together, raising 60 sows and 1,200 market hogs on a dirt lot on their home farm. In 1993, Jim started Pillen Family Farms. In 2003, he added DNA Genetics. In 2010, his two oldest children, Sarah and Brock, joined the business.
Pillen Family Farms and DNA Genetics are now a multigenerational family-run business, composed of over 1,100 team members. The family business operates by some basic core beliefs—do what is right, do the best you can, and treat others the way you want to be treated.
Jim and wife, Suzanne, have four children, Sarah, Brock, Polly and Izic, and seven grandchildren, William, Halle, Eloise, Henry, Harrison, Ava, and Thomas.
Sea F. Briganti
Founder and CEO, LOLIWARE Inc.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Sea F. Briganti is the Founder and CEO of LOLIWARE Inc., an award-winning, seaweed-based materials tech company replacing single-use plastics. A seaweed-based alternative that can replace plastic at scale has the immense potential to positively impact humanity by tackling the triple planetary emergency: plastic pollution, climate crisis, and biodiversity collapse. Moreover, this solution paves the way for a new seaweed-based economy for millions of people to benefit from, especially those living in developing countries.
With her team of master scientists, engineers, & technologists, Sea has demonstrated the capacity to utilize conventional plastic processing methods such as extrusion and injection molding to produce commercially viable, high-performance, compostable, and marine-safe seaweed-based products. LOLIWARE’s first MVP was a seaweed drinking straw launched in Fall 2019. Early adopters included Marriott and Pernod Ricard, along with being the official straw of the Emmy Awards and the MoMA. The company now has 9 new products in R&D and organic demand in over 82 countries across 6 continents.
Looking ahead, Sea and the LOLIWARE team are hyper focused on rapidly obsoleting Big Plastic with seaweed to tackle plastic pollution, improve our ocean’s health, and decarbonize our future. Sea resides near the ocean as much as possible, consumes three different types of algae daily, and believes we can advance humanity towards a plastic-free future.
Director of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs, Plant Based Products Council
Jamaica Gayle is the Director of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs at PBPC. In her position, she manages PBPC’s efforts to advance sustainability across plant-based product value chains. Jamaica is also responsible for representing PBPC in a broad range of industry and environmental coalitions focused on sustainability and environmental issues.
Prior to joining PBPC, Jamaica served as the Executive Director of the National Foreign Trade Council’s Global Innovation Forum, a project to elevate small businesses to help foster an inclusive policy landscape. In this role, she led the organization’s work to advance small business exports and sustainable trade initiatives. Jamaica began her career as a coordinator with the National Association of Manufacturers.
Jamaica is also a Women Leaders in Energy and Climate Fellow at the Atlantic Council and the Co-Chair of the Inclusion in Trade programming section of the Association of Women in International Trade. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the American University in Washington, D.C.
Originally from Minnesota, Jamaica has a lifelong passion for the great outdoors and sustainable agriculture. She holds the following certificates: Urban Agriculture Certificate, University of District of Columbia; Nature-Based Solutions for Disaster & Climate Resilience Certificate, UN Sustainable Development; Permaculture Design Certificate.
Executive Director, Plant Based Products Council
As PBPC’s Executive Director, James Glueck leads the organization’s advocacy for a shift toward a more circular bioeconomy through greater adoption of renewable, plant-based materials. He works to educate stakeholders on programs and policies that will support the growth of the plant-based products industry, helping to harness its environmental and economic potential to deliver a more sustainable future.
Prior to joining PBPC, James served as Vice President at the Torrey Advisory Group, where he advised and represented clients across the food and agriculture value chain on engaging federal legislative and executive branch officials and stakeholders on policy issues including sustainability, supply chain, health and hunger, research, regulation, and production agriculture.
Previously, James held many positions with the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, including Staff Director and Policy Director where he led teams responsible for oversight, presidential nominations, and bipartisan, bicameral legislative efforts including reauthorization of the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills and COVID-19 emergency relief packages.
James has also worked for Senator Mike Johanns, Bunge North America, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. An alumnus of Texas A&M University, Glueck holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural development with a minor in business and a certificate in Spanish.
In his spare time, James enjoys gardening, staying active outdoors, and traveling. He is a sought-after speaker in the food and agriculture sectors.
Vice President, Public Policy, American Farm Bureau Federation
Sam Kieffer serves as the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Vice President, Public Policy. In this role, he leads the AFBF government affairs, advocacy and economics teams in advocating for farmers and ranchers with Congress and the administration.
Kieffer previously served as the Chief Administrative Officer of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, where he led a staff of more than 80 professionals in representing and serving farm and rural families across Pennsylvania. He began his career with Pennsylvania Farm Bureau in 2005 and held several positions within the organization including Regional Organization Director, National Government Relations Director, and Manager of the Government Affairs & Communications Division. Kieffer is also a 12-year veteran of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, where he served as a logistics officer.
Kieffer grew up on a family grain and beef farm in Pennsylvania, and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Dickinson College, a master’s degree in public administration from Widener University and a master’s degree in business administration from Delaware Valley University. He is also a recipient of FFA’s Honorary American Degree.
CEO, Green Dot Bioplastics
Mark Remmert is the Chief Executive Officer of Green Dot and serves on the Board of Directors.
Remmert was CEO of Styron Corporation based in Horgen, Switzerland, from its inception in July 2009. Styron was a $5 billion, wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Co, and the world leader in its top two products – polystyrene and S/B latex.
In his 30-year career with Dow Chemical, Remmert assumed a variety of commercial and business leadership roles in the United States, Europe, and Asia. For two years prior to Styron, Remmert held the dual roles of global business director for Polycarbonate and Compounds & Blends, and general manager of Dow Fiber Solutions (DFS), also based in Horgen, Switzerland.
From 2001-2007, Remmert served as President, and Chairman of LG-Dow Polycarbonate Ltd., based in Seoul, South Korea. Remmert was responsible for the launch of the new company and guided the company to unprecedented growth. He also served for 10 years on the Board of Directors of Sumitomo Dow Ltd. in Japan, and LG Dow Polycarbonate Ltd., in Korea.
Remmert holds a bachelor’s degree in geology and geophysics from the University of Wyoming.
CEO, Evoco, Ltd.
Jason Robinson is CEO of Evoco, a global leader in sustainable materials. A pioneer in the industry, he is focused on creating better performing, responsible and ecological products. His expertise in engineering and science has prepared him to charter this new territory and challenge the status quo every step of the way. He is a proud recipient of the Canada's Clean50 Award for his leadership in climate technology and the work him and his team are doing at Evoco. Jason is dedicated to uncovering new approaches in a full 360 view of innovation, he is closing the loop on unsustainability, for good.
Tech Hubs Director, U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), U.S. Department of Commerce
Eric Smith leads government investments in innovation and technology economies through EDA’s Tech Hubs program, which aims to strengthen our economic and national security by enabling the industries of the future to start, grow, and remain in the U.S.
Eric was in-house counsel in fintech before joining government at the Patent and Trademark Office, focusing on wireless technologies. Earlier at EDA, he helped start its first innovation-centric program and improved EDA’s digital infrastructure. At NASA, Eric led digital services as Chief Customer Officer for SBIR/STTR, building software to manage $200+ million in annual small business R&D.
Eric was (mostly) raised and educated in Indiana, is a member of the New York bar, and has lived and worked in Washington, DC, for more than a decade. He holds a J.D. from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a B.S. in computer science and mathematics from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.