LOUISVILLE, KY — Sunstrand CEO Dr. Trey Riddle has been elected president of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association.
Riddle’s Sunstrand, a 2-year-old company providing biomaterials and processing services, specializes in converting hemp and similar agricultural feedstocks into fibers and fillers that are compatible with plastics and other applications.
Prior to starting Sunstrand in Louisville, Ky., Riddle founded a successful engineering services firm in an effort to supply innovative design, material evaluations, research and development services to meet the needs of a growing composites industry.
The 37-year-old earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Montana State, then received a master’s degree in that field from Cornell.
Riddle returned to Montana State to complete his doctoral studies and earned his Ph.D. in 2011.
The Louisville-area native launched Sunstrand in Kentucky just after the state moved to legalize industrial hemp. His team already had been working with a number of other natural fibers.
Riddle hopes Sunstrand can help drive the adoption of feedstocks as sustainable manufacturing materials in the United States, a trend that already has exploded in Europe.
In his role as KYHIA president, Riddle will be responsible for leading the organization’s efforts to educate, develop and accelerate expansion of the hemp world market supply and demand.
“The domestic hemp industry has been nonexistent over the past two decades, but it is poised once again to become a major economic force in the 21st century,” Riddle said. “Hemp is an extremely versatile plant and the KYHIA will do everything we can to see it reach its full potential.”