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David Rubenstein, CEO & President, CE + P
RENEW Podcast Episode 10


David R. Rubenstein co-founded California Ethanol + Power on June 1, 2007 and assumed the position of Chief Operating Officer at that time. He then elevated to the positions of CEO and President on November 1, 2013. He has been an active and successful business owner in the Los Angeles area for more than 30 years. Mr. Rubenstein has worked to grow his chemical distribution company from a small niche supplier of ammonia to becoming the largest industrial ammonia supplier in the Southwestern United States. After graduating from Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota in 1986 with a Bachelor of Business Administration and minors in accounting and sociology, Mr. Rubenstein began working for Koboy-Reslabs Company, Inc. (“Koboy”). Koboy, based in suburban Chicago, was a supplier of ammonia and related products used in the blueprint, microfilm and garment industries. At that time, Koboy had just purchased the ammonia division of National Research and Chemical (“NACCO”) located in the Los Angeles area. Mr. Rubenstein was hired to develop the California division of Koboy. In 1987, Mr. Rubenstein was asked to head both the Chicago and Los Angeles divisions of Koboy.

In 1988, Mr. Rubenstein purchased the California division and renamed it Pacific Diazo Products (“PDP”). In the 1990s, the traditional industries of blueprinting, microfilming and garment pattern reproduction evolved and in turn, reduced the need and use of ammonia. Mr. Rubenstein was successful in redirecting the scope of PDP’s business by supplying ammonia to larger users such as power plants (used for pollution control), water & wastewater facilities (for purification of water), refrigeration facilities, and a host of other technologies that require ammonia. During this time, PDP increased its assets in order to keep up with growing demand for its products. The increase came in the way of chemical storage tanks, large chemical mixing equipment and the addition of straight trucks, chemical tractors and tank trailers and field service trucks used by PDP’s technical service personnel. PDP also established additional facilities in Arizona and the central valley area of California. PDP grew to own a fleet of vehicles that carried products throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. PDP developed a Field Service crew that installed and maintained ammonia storage tanks and systems at customers’ locations and responded to chemical leaks. PDP assembled the largest fleet of delivery trucks for industrial ammonia products in the Western United States and had perhaps the largest industrial ammonia inventory capacity in Southern California. PDP began construction of a state-of-the-art distribution facility in Riverside, California. On December 31, 2007, Mr. Rubenstein sold PDP to Airgas, Inc., a major U.S. industrial gasses company.

During his time with PDP, Mr. Rubenstein participated in numerous industry associations. Mr. Rubenstein has served on the board of directors of the Western Reprographics Association and the National Association of Chemical Distributors. He currently serves as a Trustee of Winona State University’s Foundation and received a Winona State University Distinguished Young Alumni Award in 2009. He is married and has two daughters and a son and resides in Manhattan Beach, California.