Lyle’s Resume

Lyle Howard Estill
4479 Pittsboro-Moncure Rd. Moncure NC 27559
(919) 321-8260|


Lyle Estill has been active in the business community since 1984. As an entrepreneur he has founded a variety of companies and has been involved in a wide range of startup ventures.

Mr. Estill immigrated to the United States in 1990 and founded EMJ America in Cary, North Carolina. With operations in his native Canada, the United States, Brazil, and Hungary, Mr. Estill brushed with globalization and the international economy.

Since then his vision of enterprise has become increasingly local, as he has been on a continual journey toward ever increasing sustainability. His first recognition in North Carolina’s environmental community came from his participation in an indoor/outdoor-constructed wetland in his facility on the edge of Jordan Lake. The system allowed the building to treat its own waste, and has been heralded as model since completion.

Mr. Estill has been making fuel since July 2002.

He currently publishes the widely read Energy Blog, which has been adapted into a book by New Society Press. His first book, Biodiesel Power, the Passion, People, and Politics of the Next Renewable Fuel is in its second printing. His second book, Small Is Possible; Life in a Local Economy, appeared in 2008, and his third book, Industrial Evolution; Local Solutions for a Low Carbon Future appeared in 2011. His fourth book, Small Stories, Big Changes; Agents of Change on the Frontlines of Sustainabililty will be released in 2013.


Piedmont Biofuels Pittsboro, NC
January 2005 Present

Co-Founder. Manage finance, recruitment, real estate, facilities, construction, and sales for Piedmont Biofuels Industrial. Also active in policy discussions, lobbying efforts, education and outreach. Spokesman for Piedmont Biofuels at many events around the country. Not counting Plant tours, Estill has averaged one public speaking engagement a week since 2005.

Blast Internet Services Pittsboro, NC
September 2002-September 2004

CEO. Managed a “turn around” for an Internet company involved in design, hosting, network management, access and content delivery. Oversaw the acquisition of OpenNMS and the merger of Blast Software and EMJ Internet Inc. Spun out Blast Wireless.

Moncure Chessworks–Moncure, NC

Sole Proprietor of a sculpture studio and metal working shop. Also an artist’s incubator that launched a number of studio artists in and around Chatham County.

EMJ America Inc. Apex NC

President. Presided over the growth of this enterprise from one employee to 50. Oversaw the acquisition of Interadnet, and the establishment of EMJ do Brasil and EMJ Hungary KFT.

EMJ Data Systems Ltd. Guelph, Ontario

Technical writer, and salesman. Responsible for the creation of four branch offices across Canada, including EMJ D’Informatique in Quebec, a Computer Aided Design division, and a training group, EMJ Tech. Intimately involved in EMJ Data’s public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange.


University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario
B.A. in History

Iowa State University
Biodiesel Production Technology
Biodiesel Analytics

Central Carolina Community College
Biofuels I, Biofuels II


B Labs, “Best for the Planet” 2013

The Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Development Program, Outstanding Stweardship Award, March 2013, for the creation of Piedmont’s biodiesel dispensing station in Wilmington, NC.

Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels Certification, awarded in March, 2013, making Piedmont Biofuels the first biodiesel producer on earth to achieve this status.

B Labs, “Best for the Planet” 2012. Piedmont has been a certified B Corporation since 2011.

NC Mobile CARE, Fuel and Technology Provider Award for air quality efforts, 2010.

BQ9000, a quality accreditation awarded by the National Biodiesel Board, 2008 to present.

North Carolina Alternative Fuels Leadership Award, from the State Energy Office, 2007.

Sustainable Energy Leadership Award, from the State Energy Office, 2006.

Sustainability Award, from Sustainable North Carolina for green building design including day lighting, geothermal heating and cooling, various energy conservation features, 2005.

Environmental Educator of the Year, from North Carolina Environmental Educator’s Association for outreach on biodiesel, 2004.

Family Friendly Workplace Award, from Carolina Parent Magazine for being one of the best businesses in the state for family-friendly business practices, 2003.

Best Workplace Culture, from Triangle Business Journal, for flexibility, family-friendly practices etc., 2002.

Citizen of the Year, from Southeast Chatham Citizens Advisory Committee for community development and leadership in Chatham County, 2001.

Forty Under Forty, from Triangle Business Journal, a selection of forty “up and coming professionals” in our region for entrepreneurial leadership, 2001.

Governor’s Award for Excellence in Waste Reduction, from North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, for the first waste water recycling system of its kind in the state, 1999.

Governor’s Business Council Award for Arts and Humanities for sponsorship of “Closing, the Life and Death of an American Factory.” Photographs by Bill Baumberger, 1998.

"Community is quickly emerging as the most important word in the environmental lexicon, and for a society that is focused so squarely on individualist consumerism, it's not the easiest concept to really understand. Small is Possible is a real-life, warts-and-all description of how to get things going back in the direction of neighborliness. I found it immensely hopeful."
Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth and climate change activist