It’s a sad day for the Algae Biomass Organization and many people in the industry as we learn that Mary Rosenthal, ABO’s first executive director, passed away on Saturday after a battle with cancer.
Mary took the reins at ABO during a time – 2009 — when she wasn’t sure if there would even be enough funding for long term employment. Back then, algae was just coming on to the national radar, and ABO had been formed to bring this fledgling industry together.
No stranger to evangelizing sustainable products and materials from her time at NatureWorks, Mary rolled up her sleeve and was instrumental in developing new members, transforming the annual Algae Biomass Summit into thepremier industry conference, and becoming the voice of the algae industry.
During her tenure the organization grew to more than 200 members representing a wide cross section of industry. Under Mary’s leadership the ABO also achieved success on numerous policy initiatives on the Hill, including getting algae biofuels to qualify for the $1.01 tax credit for the first time ever.
Mary was an inspiration to many as she continued to fight for algae even while fighting cancer. She will be missed.
UPDATE: On October 4, 2014 Biofuels Digest recalled Mary’s contributions to the industry and the loss felt by those that had the privilege of working with her.
UPDATE 2: Tim Portz at Biomass Magazine writes a moving tribute to Mary, an article that has also attracted comments from many that have worked with her over the years.
UPDATE 3: If you would like to send regards to the family please get in touch with ABO. Our office number is 877-531-5512.
For donations and memorials, please send them in honor of Mary to the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MOCA). Their address is 4604 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407 and their phone number is 612-822-0500. You are welcome to instead send these donations and memorials to your local Ovarian Cancer Society.