About Us

Who We Are

Viridis Chemical, a Nebraska-based operation with a global reach, is a leading producer of renewable and bio-based ethanol products.

We are focused on transforming the production of chemical commodities using agricultural feedstock rather than oil, which makes the Cornhusker State with its abundant and cost effective corn-ethanol resources and entrepreneurial spirit, an ideal home.


Carl Rush

President & CEO

In 2013 Carl Co-founded Emerging Infrastructure Capital Partners (EICP), an investing platform for asset rich technologies. Additionally, in 2015 he co-founded and served as the CEO of Continuus Materials, a portfolio company of EICP. Carl was with Waste Management, the leading provider of environmental services in North America, from 2001 until 2012. He was a member of the Senior Leadership Team and served as Senior Vice President of Organic Growth, where he and his team invested in and oversaw a portfolio of some 35+ technology investments. These investments were primarily concentrated on deriving more value from waste. He started the group in 2006 and was its leader until his departure in 2012.

Before joining WM in 2001 Carl was the President and CEO of the GNI Group for 14 years. GNI is an environmental service company providing hazardous waste disposal and specialty chemical manufacturing. Carl holds a Bachelors of Business Administration and a Masters of Business Administration from Texas Christian University.

Randy Whitaker

Chief Financial Officer

Over the last decade, Randy has been involved as founder and CFO of several businesses, including the ethyl alcohol industry and with Continuus Materials, LLC, a company that converts waste materials to high-value construction products. In 2014, Randy joined International Alliance Group (“IAG”), an engineering and construction services firm that serves chemical manufacturing, refining and other capital-intensive businesses, as a Director of Business Development. Previously, Randy was Managing Director of Waste Management’s (“WM”) venture investment and new business group from 2007 – 2012, Finance Director of WM’s Business Development & Strategy group from 2005 – 2007, and served in Director level roles in WM’s Corporate Accounting and Finance Departments from 1997 – 2005. Prior to joining WM, Randy was with an international accounting firm for four years.

Randy is a Certified Public Accountant with a Masters of Business Administration from Rice University and Masters of Science and Bachelors of Science degrees in Accounting from Oklahoma State University.

Keith Terhune

Senior Vice President of Operations

Keith has had a long, successful career of engineering and operational experience in the chemical and energy industries. He was with Baker Hughes, Inc. for eight years in various roles managing global supply chain and manufacturing for oil field and specialty polymer chemicals.  His 19 years with Eastman Chemical Company included engineering roles in multiple world-class chemical plants. Most recently, Keith has providing manufacturing and process safety consulting services to industrial companies manufacturing strategic specialty chemicals.

Keith holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arkansas.  He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Arkansas and has been inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Chemical Engineers.

Rick Cochrane

Senior Vice President of Commercialization & Business Development

Over the last twenty years, Rick has been involved with companies that not only were innovators in their markets but had substantial impacts on reducing carbon and increasing circularity. Rick was most recently with Cyclyx International where he was responsible for launching and growing Cyclyx’s consortium memberships with emphasis on the chemical industry. Eleven of the world’s largest companies became members in the first year. In 2016, Rick joined Continuus Materials, a company diverting materials destined for landfill into high-value construction products, as Senior Vice President of Business Development. Prior to Continuus, Rick was CEO and COO, respectively, of two private equity owned businesses, the former specializing in plastic products manufacturing and the latter in electronics recycling. From 2002 to 2011, Rick was with Waste Management (WM) where he served in a variety of management positions, including in WM’s Organic Growth Group where he was responsible for developing growth strategies for new waste to value businesses.

Rick holds a Bachelors of Engineering in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and has participated in the Executive Scholars Program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Eric Lawrence

Plant Manager

With over 15 years of technical experience, 12 years in production leadership, and 10 years as a Marine Corps reservist, Eric brings a wealth of varied skills and practice to the Viridis management team. Eric’s skilled background includes electrical and mechanical troubleshooting, Lean Six Sigma, continuous improvement, and leadership in both medical and biochemical manufacturing. Eric was an integral part of the startup of an innovative bio-based ethyl acetate plant, the first of its kind in the nation. Throughout his years in manufacturing, Eric has worn a multitude of different hats, including that of Controller, IT Manager, HR Manager, Safety Manager, and Operations Manager.

Eric received his Associate of Arts in Automotive & Diesel Mechanic Technology from the Universal Technical Institute of Arizona in 2004 and obtained the rank of Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Reserves in 2011 before leaving in 2015. In 2016, Eric completed his Bachelor of Business Administration, Management from Bellevue University and he is currently working toward his Master of Business Administration from Capella University.

Amit Hasabnis, Ph.D.

Manager Process Development

Dr. Hasabnis is a top-performing professional with more than eleven years of experience in Research and Development, Process Development, Process Scale-up, Plant Design, Commissioning, and Operations of chemical plants. Dr. Hasabnis has in-depth experience in leading projects at all stages of technology maturation from idea to commercialization. Dr. Hasabnis is an expert in the synthesis of multifunctional reactors, specifically reactive distillation, and possesses hands-on experience in the development of process simulations using Aspen-plus.

From 2012 to 2020, Dr. Hasabnis was with Greenyug LLC, a developer of technology for the commercial production of chemicals from renewable sources. While with Greenyug, he led a team on the design, construction, and operation of the pilot plant used to develop certain patented ethanol-based catalytic reaction processes. After successful completion of pilot plant studies, Dr. Hasabnis joined Greenyug’s commercialization efforts of their renewable ethyl acetate process and was involved in or led teams working on plant design, construction, quality testing, commissioning and operations of their commercial scale plant. Prior to his time with Greenyug, Dr. Hasabnis worked in the operations group of a pharmaceutical and specialty chemical company.

Dr. Hasabnis holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), India. 

Stephen Nunes

Corporate Controller

Stephen has over 30 years of experience in Accounting. He started his career at KPMG (then Peat, Marwick, Mitchell), and soon moved to industry. He has worked in manufacturing and service industries in the Corporate world, where he started at the staff level and took on increasing responsibility in operations and corporate accounting at Schlumberger and Waste Management. He has also worked in the middle market for entrepreneurially and private equity owned manufacturing and distribution companies where he held Vice President of Finance and CFO roles.

Stephen has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting (with a minor in Economics) from Rider University, and was a Rhodes Scholar candidate.

John Colwell

Vice President of Corporate Development

John brings extensive experience in corporate finance and business strategy, having worked in private equity and within portfolio companies to achieve strategic and operating objectives. Prior to joining Viridis Chemical, he was the Chief Financial Officer at VanZandt Controls, a private equity-backed distributor of automated valves, instrumentation, and flow measurement equipment. He helped guide the company to a successful exit in February 2022. John joined VanZandt after working for its private equity owner, OFS Energy Fund. He began his career in public accounting with Ernst & Young and spent time in the consulting practice of Alvarez & Marsal.

John holds bachelor and master’s degrees in accounting from The University of Texas at Austin. In addition, he is a Certified Public Accountant and is a CFA Charterholder.

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Here at Viridis Chemical, the progress is in the process.

What We Do

Viridis Chemical’s competitive advantage is the process which replaces fossil fuels with local renewable resources.

We have created a cost-effective and environmentally friendly process that utilizes bio-ethanol, a major derivative of Nebraska corn, exclusively, in lieu of petroleum, while adding value to Midwest agriculture. For more technical information about our products, visit our products page.
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Good for the community. Good for consumers. Good for our world.

Why We Do It

We’re passionate about sustainability and the technological advancement of modern society, and we don’t believe the two should be mutually exclusive.

Our mission was to replace environmentally harmful products and processes by employing environmentally friendly practices and inventing ecologically responsible processes. And at Viridis Chemical, we are immensely proud to have taken those values to bring our vision to fruition for the benefit of business, nature, local agriculture, and humanity.

Our enduring vision here is, and always will be, to carry on the passionate pursuit of cultivating a worldwide consciousness for integrity in preserving our resources while delivering value to our shareholders and our communities.

Our Partners

We are supported by equity commitments from the following partners.


We participate in the following groups, organizations and associations.

Join Our Team

If you think you’d be a great fit for our growing team of dedicated, motivated innovators, we’d love to meet you.

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