LEIPSIC — Less than a decade ago, Mark Borer was working for a Findlay company as director of sales and product engineering.
He managed two startups in foreign countries for his company and was a proven leader. Those experiences landed him a job as general manager of Poet Biorefining in Leipsic, despite having little knowledge of the ethanol industry.
It was leadership Poet sought. The company has a strong training program to teach managers and employees exactly what they need to know to run an effective ethanol operation.
“The opportunity to start up a plant, locally, was appealing and enticed me to join Poet,” Borer said. “I enjoyed the startups overseas.”
The plant in Leipsic was the state’s first, and great success has followed, thanks in part to Borer. Construction began around the time Borer joined in 2007, and the plant was open for production in 2008.
Borer credits his success to the highly trained staff. The training and experience helps the plant run like a well-oiled machine, he said.
Having that confidence in the 42-member workforce allows Borer to let employees do their work with less supervision while freeing himself up for other tasks.
Every day presents a new opportunity for Borer, and those opportunities are a challenge he embraces.
“It’s challenging, the technology that continues to be introduced,” he said.
Borer also believes in his work and the role it plays in helping the country. Fuel made from corn, which is about 10 percent of the makeup of gasoline, plays a big role in limiting the dependency on foreign oil, helps local farmers and produces a cleaner burning fuel, he said.
“What I do take is a lot of satisfaction that we are helping the local economy,” he said.
The ethanol industry may be new here, but it’s here to stay and really just getting started. The future is bright for the 52-year-old Borer and his facility.