Mascoma Corp. Adds 2 Veterans Of Oil Industry To Board

Lebanon — Mascoma Corp. has appointed two oil industry experts to its board of directors.

The appointments of Steve Percy, former chairman and CEO of BP America, and Dan Nelson, former vice president of ExxonMobil, were announced last week.

The biofuel company said it is diversifying membership on its board of directors to include experts in finance, technology, operations and regulatory affairs to guide the management team as it continues efforts to commercialize Mascoma’s technology

“We are excited to welcome Steve and Dan to our board as we continue to execute our vision of enabling the production and commercialization of environmentally sustainable, low cost, low-carbon fuels and chemicals from biomass,” Bill Brady, Mascoma’s president and CEO, said in a news release. “Their depth of experience … will be a tremendous asset to us as we continue to expand and grow.”

After retiring from BP, Percy has served as the head of Phillips Petroleum’s Refining, Marketing and Transportation Co., visited as a professor of corporate strategy and international business at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and lectured at Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment. He had served as a member of President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development in the role of co-chairman of its Climate Change Task Force.

He also served as vice chairman of the board of Resources for the Future, an environmental and economic research organization.

Nelson worked for Exxon Mobil for more than 32 years, most recently as the company’s vice president for government relations. Following the ExxonMobil merger, he was appointed chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil Saudi Arabia Inc. and served as director of several key projects. In addition, he has served as a director of several nonprofit organizations, including Arena Stage, Meridian International Center, American Near East Refugee Aid, N Street Village, Middle East Policy Council and the Middle East Institute.

Mascoma is a bioconversion company working to develop the efficient production of fuels and chemicals from biomass sources. Its bioengineered yeasts and other microorganisms are designed to reduce costs and improve yields in the production of renewable fuels and chemicals.

Its first commercial application, Mascoma Grain Technology, is designed to improve the economics of corn-based ethanol production. The company also is pursuing other commercial applications and is working with other companies that operate or plan to operate facilities that produce cellulosic ethanol, as well as working with collaborators to develop and construct commercial-scale facilities to convert woody biomass to cellulosic ethanol.

Mascoma Corp. was co-founded by Lee Lynd, a Plainfield resident and professor at Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering, and Charles Wyman, an authority in the field of cellulosic ethanol who has a summer home on Lake Mascoma. Its technology has built on research begun by Lynd in the late 1970s.

The company started in 2006 in the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center at Lebanon’s Centerra Resource Park. In 2009 moved into its own research and development facility at the intersection of Route 120 and Etna Road in Lebanon. The company also has facilities in Massachusetts and New York.