American Ethanol Summer 2017 - Page 4

Mark Marquis envisions a worldwide future for American ethanol Ethanol Goes T he story of American industry is composed of chapters written by hardworking individuals who were able to see the future and seize the opportunity it offered. The founders of Marquis Energy began writing their chapter more than 40 years ago. ”My dad and uncle were tenant farmers on corn and soybeans farms, and I grew up hoeing weeds out of the beans for $1 an hour,” Mark Marquis, co-founder and CEO of Marquis Energy, recalled. “Then, in 1975, my father, my uncle, and I bought a $3,500 truck and a $50 grain dealer’s license from the state of Illinois and started Marquis Grain. I was 19 at the time.” 4 From these humble beginnings, Marquis Grain grew through the ’80s and ’90s. Marquis’ cousin and brother-in-law joined the company as it expanded into the import and export business, shipping grain, fertilizer, steel, and sand up and down the Illinois River. The company built one grain elevator and purchased a second, then built two barge terminals to handle liquid nitrogen fertilizer. These impressive accomplishments laid the foundation for a business decision that would give birth to Marquis Energy—and transform the company into a major player in the international energy market. AMERICAN ETHANOL THE MAGAZINE