Gala on Grand

Presented by
Simon Law
Schedule of Events
5:00pm - Mass in the Chapel
6:00pm - Doors Open
6:15pm - Dinner Stations Open
7:30pm - Legacy Presentation
8:00pm - Live Auction Begins
Legacy Award Honoree:  Rudi Roeslein '66

Rudi Roeslein grew up in south St. Louis after immigrating to the United States from Austria with his parents in 1956. He attended St. Louis University, where he jokes that he majored in soccer and minored in Engineering. In 1971, Roeslein graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Last fall, his 1967 NCAA Division 1 championship team was inducted into the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame. Rudi still credits much of his business success to the comradery and cooperation he learned from his team. 

Before Roeslein & Associates, Roeslein worked in the engineering department at Container Corporation of America, a composite can manufacturing company. He first saw the potential and many opportunities that modular concepts offered when he became a project manager and was responsible for the installation and startup of proprietary machinery and processes. He developed many of his modular concepts later at GISMO where he eventually became the Executive Vice President before leaving for a short time to work at a can conveying company as Director of International Business.

In January of 1990, he started Roeslein & Associates, where he and his employees designed, built, and shipped entire modular preassembled beverage can manufacturing systems from the U.S. worldwide. While many multinationals and manufacturing operations moved overseas, Roeslein believed that he and his employees could compete with any other country if given the tools, motivation, and vision. Holding to that belief, Roeslein and his employees designed, procured, manufactured, and installed projects ranging from $60 million to $100 million in cost and completed 70% of the construction activities in its modular fabrication facility in Red Bud, IL. Roeslein & Associates competed globally by capitalizing on efficiencies and reducing project completion time from 24 months to less than 12 months while increasing the performance to over 90% efficiencies in under a year. 

Today, Roeslein & Associates is a global engineering, modular fabrication, and construction company home to over 1200 employees between U.S., Europe, Brazil, and Asia offices. It has successfully completed projects across six continents and 60 countries.

In 2010, Roeslein & Associates entered the oil and gas industry and completed two ethanol projects for Abengoa using its concepts of Unitizing and Preassembly. During this period, Roeslein began to think about alternatives to drop in liquid fuels and became exposed to the anaerobic digestion industry. Roeslein developed distributive control and power systems for his modular unitized systems and saw the potential of these applications in the energy sectors. He started pursuing opportunities in the alternative energy industry, paying close attention to renewable energy from waste and biomass that could serve as ecological services and wildlife habitat.

In 2012, led by his true passion for wildlife and prairie restoration, Roeslein founded Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE), an operator and developer of renewable energy production facilities that convert agricultural and industrial wastes, along with renewable biomass feedstocks to renewable natural gas and sustainable co-products.

Over the course of the last several years, Roeslein has been working with the University of Missouri, the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Prairie Foundation, the National Wild Turkey Federation, The Environmental Defense Fund, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to brainstorm solutions that promote better farming techniques and better uses of marginal land. The Smithfield Foundation, RAE, and EDF are converting 1000 acres of highly erodible land back to native prairie in an experiment to provide market solutions for the production of renewable natural gas, wildlife habitat, and ecological services.

RAE’s research and development team is also working with Argonne Laboratories to develop uses for the digestate from the anaerobic digestion process that helps retain water and rebuild carbon in the soil. Ninety anaerobic digesters are being developed on nine hog-finishing farms in Northern Missouri. These anaerobic digesters will convert manure from over 2 million hogs to CNG. This project can potentially produce 1 million dekatherms of energy while eliminating over 850,000 tons of CO2-equivalent methane in the atmosphere and replacing 2 million gallons of diesel in the vehicle market.    

In 2016, the Conservation Federation of Missouri awarded Roeslein the distinguished Conservationist of the Year award for his efforts to improve our air with his significant investment in the Smithfield anaerobic digestion projects. Roeslein uses the practices he advocates for on his own two Missouri farms — a 1,750-acre farm in Putnam County and a 1350-acre farm in Osage County, where he is actively restoring prairie land and reconstructing riparian areas around uplands, streams, and watersheds.

His companies have been named a Best Place to Work by the St. Louis Business Journal, ranked in the Top 150 Privately Held Businesses in the Greater St. Louis area, won a “Friend of the ABC” category by the American Biogas Council, and achieved recognition for his business models on Fox 2 Now, KPLR 11, and Manufacturing Marvels. Rudi Roeslein himself has been named Air Conservationist of the Year by the Conservation Federation of Missouri, a St. Louis Character by the St. Louis Business Journal, a Prairie Landowner of the Year by the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a Saint Louis University – Institute of Technology Alumni Merit Award recipient, a Pat Jones/New York – Spirit of Wilderness Conservation Award recipient, and a recipient of the National Lewis and Clark Conservation Award. Roeslein was awarded a 2019 Energy Vision Leadership Award for advancing farsighted policies and projects addressing climate change, waste, and pollution. 

Christina Bianchi 
Special Events Coordinator
314.481.8400 ext. 116
Steffani Lautenschlager
Chief Development Officer
314.481.8400 ext. 119